Friday, 13 February 2015

DVI Team identifies eight more bodies of AirAsia QZ8501 passengers

The Disaster Identification Team of the East Java Police on Friday identified the bodies of eight more passengers of AirAsia flight QZ8501.

On the 48th day since QZ8501 crashed, the number of bodies identified has reached 89. The process of identifying 13 more bodies, two of them are not intact, are going on at Bhayangkara Hospital, Chief of the East Java Police Inspector General Anas Yusuf said here Friday.

"Eight bodies were identified today; they were eight bodies and two body parts. After the identification process, it was confirmed that the two body parts were part of the eight bodies," Yusuf explained.

The eight bodies have been identified as that of Michele Clemency Ardhi (male, 13), a resident of Surabaya; Rony Handoyo (male, 28), a resident of Malang District, East Java Province; Reggy Ardhi (male, 40) from Surabaya; Juliana HO (female, 38) from Surabaya; Kenneth Matthew Gunawan (male, 10) from Surabaya; Kayla Audrey Gunawan (female, 7) from Surabaya; Fransisca Lanny Winata Liem (female, 47) from Surabaya; and Vincencia Sri Andrijany (female, 44) from Probolinggo, East Java Province.

The bodies were identified by matching primary data such as the DNA of their mothers and the DNA profiles of the victims personal belongings.

"Michelle Clemency Ardhi was identified with the help of the DNA obtained from his umbilical cord that is still stored in the hospital where he was born," Yusuf said.

The AirAsia Airbus A320-200 carrying 162 people had gone missing on the morning of December 28 after losing contact with air traffic control on its way from Surabaya, East Java, to Singapore.

Flight QZ8501 lost contact after the pilot sought permission to climb to 38 thousand feet from 32 thousand feet to avoid stormy weather over the sea between Bangka Belitung and West Kalimantan.

The aircraft carrying 155 passengers and seven crew members took off from Juanda International airport in Surabaya at 5:36 a.m. local time and lost contact with the Jakarta air traffic control at 6:17 a.m. local time.

The plane, piloted by Captain Iriyanto and First Officer (FO) Remi Emmanuel Plesel, was scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 8:30 a.m. local time.

Seven foreigners were among the passengers of the missing jet. The foreign nationals included three Koreans, a Singaporean, a Briton, a Malaysian, and the French FO.

Friday 13 February 2015

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Bangalore train mishap: 12 dead in Bangalore-Ernakulam Express accident

Up to 12 passengers were killed and 25 injured when nine coaches of the Bengaluru-Eranakulam Inter-City Express derailed in Karnataka early Friday, an official said. The incident occurred at 7.35 am after the train left Anekal station towards Hosur near the border with Tamil Nadu, a railway official told IANS here.

While one railway official in Bengaluru claimed five deaths, others at the disaster site put it at 10. But Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said after speaking to a Karnataka minister that 12 people had died.

Rescuers frantically retrieved bodies from two of the coaches which telescoped into one another following the crash. The train was chugging at high speed when it went off the rails. The train departed from the main city station here at 6.15 a.m. and covered 45 km when the disaster took place between Anekal road and Hosur town on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.

“A disaster relief force team is at the spot for rescue and relief operations. The injured have been rushed to private and government hospitals at Anekal and Hosur,” one official said. He said 10 of them were reported to be in serious condition.

Chandy, who spoke to Karnataka Home Minister K.J. George, told reporters in Kochi that a team led by Kerala Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed had left for the accident site.

Anish, a passenger on the train, told the media in Kochi over telephone that the rescue team had cut open the two coaches to shift the injured to hospitals. Another passenger, Cyriac Mathew, said he had seen three bodies.

“The worst affected was coach D-8. I could see the bodies of two men and a woman in the coach,” said Mathew, a regular traveller on the train. ”Police and the ambulance arrived an hour after the accident,” he said.

Officials have not explained the cause of derailment. “An expert team is at the mishap spot to inspect what caused the derailment,” the official noted.

The South Western Railway has set up help desks at the Bengaluru station and the accident site to assist the injured and the stranded passengers. The railways arranged special buses to shift the stranded passengers to Anekal and Hosur to either return to Bengaluru or to continue their onward journey to Ernakulam in Kerala via Tamil Nadu.

“We are planning to run a special train later in the day after the track is cleared,” the official added.

Friday 13 February 2015

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Chinese relatives protest declaration all perished on missing flight MH370

Chinese relatives of passengers on a missing Malaysia Airlines flight protested Thursday outside the carrier's office, urging Malaysia to rescind a declaration that all on board have perished.

Flight 370, which disappeared last March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off western Australia. A search is ongoing but no confirmed debris has been found.

Malaysia's government on Jan. 29 formally declared the plane an accident and said all 239 people on board were presumed dead, paving the way for compensation claims. It upset victims' families, who are still waiting for evidence of the plane's fate.

"I cannot accept it. Where is the debris? Where are the bodies? Nothing is found, why declare it an accident?" said Wang Rung Xiang, 58. Her only son, Hou Bo, 35, was on the plane.

"My daughter is still alive," another relative wailed, as she was consoled by others.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Thursday that the declaration was intended to allow families to move on and assured the relatives that the international search will continue.

Fifteen Chinese relatives of passengers arrived Wednesday in Malaysia to demand answers, and more are expected to arrive before the Lunar New Year. Most of the passengers were from China.

Grace Subathirai, whose mother was travelling to Beijing to meet up with her husband, said her family had been offered $US50,000 from the airline, but would not be accept it.

"I don't know about the value of a life - I mean, how do you quantify someone who you love so much in terms of money? I don't think it's possible," she said.

"Accepting it would be accepting the fate of all the passengers on board and accepting that they have died.

"We are not ready to accept that without any proof."

For some of the families of those on board the statement has not brought the closure it was supposed to, and many are choosing to reject compensation offers.

Chinese relatives have descended on the headquarters of Malaysia Airlines in Kuala Lumpur, carrying signs reading 'MH370 Cry for Truth' and 'Today it's us, tomorrow it could be you'.

"Malaysia announced MH370 was lost and nobody could have survived," Weng Wan Cheng, the father of missing passenger said.

"There's been no proof to justify that."

Three representatives from the group later met with the airline's management.

The airline said in a statement that it is in constant communication with victims' families, but is "in no position to provide any further clarification or technical information" at this time on the airplane's fate.

Friday 13 February 2015

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Death toll of explosion on Brazilian oil ship rises to 5, 4 missing

Two bodies were found inside an oil ship that exploded off Brazil's coast, increasing the death toll to five, the oil workers union said Thursday.

The Oil Workers Union of the state of Espirito Santo, where Wednesday's explosion took place, said rescue teams are searching for four who remain missing. It said 10 workers were injured in the blast.

The union said on its Facebook page that the two bodies were found inside the engine room of the vessel, one of many floating oil production, storage and offloading units that state-run oil company Petrobras employs in developing Brazil's massive offshore oil fields.

The ship was leased by Petrobras from Norway-based BW Offshore, which confirmed the new death toll and the number of missing workers.

"It was a tragic day and we will not rest until we find the four workers who are missing," BW Offshore CEO Carl Arnet said in a statement.

BW Offshore said that 74 workers were on board at the time of the blast and that 65 were safely evacuated from the ship, which was about 25 miles (40 kilometers) off the coast.

According to the Unified Oil Workers Federation, Brazil's biggest oil industry union the blast was caused by a gas leak in the vessel's engine room.

The Brazilian government's National Oil Agency said in a statement that no oil leaked as a result of the accident and said it had begun an investigation. It noted the ship passed a Navy inspection earlier this year.

Friday 13 February 2015

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Search teams find last TransAsia Airways crash victim

Search teams in Taipei on Thursday found the body of a passenger who'd been missing for nine days after TransAsia Airways flight GE235 crashed into the Keelung River. All of the victims' bodies have now been recovered, bringing the final death toll in the crash to 43.

The last victim pulled out of the water was identified as a male passenger from mainland China. Search teams discovered his body about three kilometers downstream from the crash site.

Flight GE235 crashed into the Keelung River on February 4 shortly after taking off from the Songshan Airport in Taipei with 58 people on board. Initial reports from the black boxes said that the plane's right engine had "flamed out" about two minutes after take-off.

Friday 13 February 2015

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