Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Eight People Killed In Cambodia Market Fire

Eight people, including four children, have been killed in a fire that tore through a popular night market in the Cambodian tourist town of Siem Reap.

Two others were seriously injured in the blaze, which raged for about two hours early on Saturday, said Sath Nady, chief of Siem Reap police.

The children, aged between nine and 14, were sleeping with their families on the upper floor of a building on the premises when the fire broke out, he said.

"Eight people from two families died in the fire. They could not find their way out."

The fire, apparently caused by an electrical fault, also destroyed more than 100 stalls selling souvenirs, and forced the market to be closed.

Siem Reap, a small town in the northwest, is the gateway to the country's main tourist destination, the ancient temple complex of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Saturday 8 December 2012


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13 killed as bus plunges into Taiwan ravine

Thirteen people were killed and ten others injured Sunday when a bus they were travelling on plunged into a ravine in a mountainous area of northern Taiwan, rescue workers said.

The bus, carrying 22 passengers, veered off the road and rolled down a steep mountainside in Hsinchu county at around 3:00 pm (0700 GMT), the Hsinchu County Fire Bureau said.

"Most of the passengers were in their 50s and 60s," an official at the bureau told AFP. "Our understanding is that they were all Taiwanese."

The ten injured passengers were taken to a local hospital, one with serious injuries. The bus driver was among the survivors, according to the official.

Tuesday 11 December 2012


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Bus accident leaves six dead and 41 wounded

The victims were identified as Rocio Allen Marroquin, 1 year; Wilson Alexander Diego Lopez of 2 years and 9 months, Alicia Lopez, 20, Maria Gil Sarazua Algeria, 37, and also two women aged 25 and 30 who have not been identified.

The bus crashed Carrillo Transport is carrying about 50 people of Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez to Chimaltenango.

Witnesses reported that the collective unit was overloaded and the driver was driving at excessive speed. They explained that before reaching the kilometer 56, where the descent begins, the driver tried to stop, but he heard a noise and the bus lost control and went into a ravine.

Relief Corps moved 41 people to the National Hospital of Chimaltenango and Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez.

According to the National Civil Police, the driver fled the scene mass transit.

Wilson Lopez Appen Audy, husband and father Aliai Judith Wilson Lopez, two of the deceased, said he had gone for a walk with your family because it met five years of marriage. "I was alone, I'm going to do. Only my child I was ..." he sobbed.

Translated by Google Translator. Tuesday 11 December 2012


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12 dead in central China road accident

12 people died after a bus hit an electric bicycle and ended up in a roadside pond in central China's Henan province on Sunday morning, authorities said Monday.

The accident occurred at 11 am when the bus carrying 34 people ran into the electric bicycle, hit a tree, and then went into the pond in Minquan county in the city of Shangqiu, a county government spokesman said.

As of Monday morning, 12 people, including the bicycle rider, died despite medical efforts, the spokesman said.

23 other people were in a stable condition after being taken to hospital.

The bus, with a load capacity of 30 passengers, belongs to a local transportation company. It was heading for the provincial capital of Zhengzhou from Shangqiu when the accident happened, according to the spokesman.

An initial investigation showed that the accident was caused by the bus driver's improper operation of the vehicle. A further investigation is under way.

Tuesday 11 December 2012


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9 killed in western Colombia traffic accident

At least nine people were killed and at least 10 others were reported wounded Monday after a bus falls of a 300-meter cliff in western Colombia.

The bus crashed in the department of Tolima while en route to the city of Medellin.

The vehicle fell about 300 meters off the rural road which, due to Colombia’s mountainous terrain, can often be precarious and sometimes dangerous to maneuver.

Colonel Javier Herrera, the department’s police chief, was quoted as saying "The bottom line of this tragic event is 9 people dead and another 10 are injured," going on to claim that "The cause is bad weather, fog, rain also, the bus tried to avoid a rock that had fallen on the road."

Initially five people were reported dead. However, four more died on the way to the areas hospital, reported Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

Tuesday 11 December 2012


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Report on deadly accident to be submitted in two weeks: minister

Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo said Monday that the investigation report on a deadly coach accident that left 13 dead and 10 injured in northern Taiwan's Hsinchu County will be submitted in two weeks.

The accident occurred Sunday on County Road No. 60 in Jianshih Township, which is administrated by the local government, Mao said during a legislative session.

The Directorate General of Highways has set regulations on medium- or large-sized tour buses driving on provincial highways in mountainous areas, Mao noted.

The ministry will help local governments fully review county roads in mountainous areas across Taiwan to ensure safety, the minister said.

The accident, which occurred Sunday afternoon, involved a bus that fell about 300 meters into a ravine after it reportedly backed off the road leading to Smangus Village. The bus was carrying a driver and 22 tourists, who mostly came from Taishan District in New Taipei.

Family members of the deceased planned to hold a ritual for their late relatives at the scene of the accident on Dec. 13, according to the Taishan District Office.

A Christian church in the Atayal aboriginal village has already performed a ritual for the dead at the crash site.

Local residents, including aborigines from Smangus that helped with the rescue mission, prayed and sang a hymn at the occasion.

According to Hsinchu County Police Bureau's Hengshan branch, the accident spot is in a steep location and the wreckage of the coach is scattered over a large area.

The Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office sent three prosecutors to interview injured passengers and others who have knowledge of the accident, said Chen Chia-hsiu, a prosecutor from the office.

The dead bodies have undergone post-mortem examinations, she said.

She added that prosecutors will determine the cause of the accident after reviewing testimonies and evidence, including video footage from a vehicle's on-board camera that showed the bus going backwards and falling into the valley.

The prosecutors and the police said that cause of the accident can only be completely verified when the wreckage has been removed from the ravine.

Tuesday 11 December 2012


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310 tuna fishermen are still missing

Typhoon "Pablo" may have spared this city, but the long wait is tearing apart the families and loved ones of the more than 310 tuna fishermen who are still missing.

The fortunate ones who survived the rough seas on that fateful day had chosen to remain silent, unable to muster the courage to talk about what happened.

It doesn't help that the disaster occurred on December 3, the week leading to the fight of this city's favorite son, Manny Pacquiao, in Las Vegas. To the families of the victims, it hurts that many seemed more preoccupied with the monumental loss of the city’s iconic figure last Sunday, December 9, than the fate of the missing tuna fishers.

News of the missing tuna fleet did not spread until we wrote about it Thursday last week, citing information we gathered from some of the vessels' owners who were in Manila for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting held on December 2-6.

It is easy to blame greed for the alleged failure of vessel owners to recall all their fishing fleets in the area. Or to put the blame on the Philippine Coast Guard for allowing them to set sail despite the storm warning.

But most of these fishing boats were already out in the sea weeks before the storm developed into a super typhoon. Medium-sized purse seines can stay up to 6 months in open sea, regularly receiving fuel and food supplies from carrier ships.

Marfenio Tan, former president of the Socsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries (SFFAI), said most of the missing boats were caught in the middle of a perfect storm at the unholy dawn hours of Monday, December 3, when most radio communication units in base companies were either unmanned or had been turned off.

The typhoon was predicted to make a landfall on December 3. On the morning of December 4, a worried Dominic Salazar, a ship owner, told colleagues they had lost contact with one of their catcher vessels. Salazar however said all 3 crew members of a support light boat had been found alive after their own vessel sank.

Later in the morning, I met John Yap of Rugela Fishing who said two of his catcher vessels were also missing, including their complement of light and ranger boats.

Jake Lu, president of SFFAI, quoted survivors as saying that they saw at least 3 dead bodies and a capsized catcher vessel. “Ga-tumbling daw,” Lu said (It was tumbling all over).

The manager of RR Fishing said one of their catcher vessels was forced to make a port call after "Pablo" triggered giant waves before slamming into the coastal villages of Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur.

The next day, December 5, former SFFAI president Tan arrived at the WCPFC meeting in Manila and told the Philippine delegation that 6 catcher vessels could no longer be traced and that as many as 300 fishermen were missing.

Before that, Tan made frantic calls to the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy. He was told that the available floating assets of both the coast guard and the Navy lacked the capability to a launch a search and rescue operation without endangering their own crew. At that time, the seas were still dangerous for light vessels.

On December 7, I called PCG eastern Mindanao chief Commodore George Ursabia who said 3 of their floating assets were just on their way to Davao from Zamboanga, while the Philippine Navy had already deployed a ship to begin the search and rescue mission. But the Navy ship was to reach the area on December 8 yet.

A survivor said waves of more than 3 stories high slammed into his outrigger handline tuna fishing boat. He refused to give further details, saying the tragedy that claimed some of his companions is still too grim to be retold.

Light boat operator Montgomery Montealegre, whose son Mark Gil is still missing, said their fish carrier loaded with fish left the mother boat (catcher vessel) on November 30, some 302 kilometers off Baganga town in Davao Oriental. The mother boat owned by LPS Fishing was to follow the following day.

Montealegre reached the port of Mati on December 2. He was expecting his son to dock at the same port for refueling before heading back to General Santos City the following day.

They have not made it and it is already Tuesday, December 11.

He and his wife have been going daily to the command center of Task Force Maritime Search at the adjacent wing of the General Santos City Police Office in Camp Lira.

Task Force Maritime Search operations chief Commander Lued Lincunan said they have officially listed 306 fishermen missing from General Santos City and nearby Sarangani alone from the total 46 fishing vessels also reported as missing. (The national government put the missing fishermen at 310.)

Lincunan fears the number could rise because several complainants are claiming to have relatives on board these vessels whose names are not on the official list submitted by vessel owners to authorities.

“We are still on a search and rescue mission,” Lincunan said with cautious optimism.

Tuesday 11 December 2012


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Attorney general applies to quash Hillsborough inquest verdicts

The attorney general Dominic Grieve has formally applied to the High Court for the verdicts of the original Hillsborough disaster inquests to be quashed.

A total of 96 people lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster

Mr Grieve said there was a ‘good case’ to quash the accidental death verdicts following a damning report that revealed a cover-up and attempt to shift the blame on to the victims.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans were killed following the April 15, 1989, disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium during the FA Cup semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest.

‘I believe that the case for the High Court to quash the original inquests is a good one,’ Mr Grieve said, adding that he planned to appear in the High Court himself to petition for new inquests.

‘My application has now been lodged with the Court. It is my intention to appear to argue the case at the hearing that will take place in the High Court.’

If the High Court accepts the attorney general’s application it can order new inquests in the district where they were originally heard, in this case either Sheffield or Doncaster, but the Hillsborough families want any new inquests held in Liverpool.

Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, whose 18-year-old son James died in the Hillsborough disaster, said: ‘We have waited over 20-years for these verdicts to be overturned and I’m sure all the families will be delighted to hear that these steps are being taken.

‘It is a great step towards getting the justice we have fought for.’

Last week MPs approved new powers for the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating actions of up to 2,400 retired or serving officers, to compel serving officers or staff on other bodies to attend interviews.

The legislation is yet to be approved by the House of Lords, however.

Tuesday 11 December 2012


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Death toll from 'Pablo' now up to 714, at least 800 more missing

The death toll from Tropical Cyclone Pablo (Bopha) went up to 714 as of early Tuesday as more bodies were recovered from areas hit by Pablo Monday night.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council head Benito Ramos said at least 861 more remained missing, radio dzBB's Rodil Vega reported Tuesday morning.

Ramos was quoted in the report as saying at least eight bodies were found in Cateel in Davao Oriental province on Monday night.

At least 1,906 people were reported injured in the wake of Pablo, which dissipated after reaching Northern Luzon last Sunday night.

Tropical Cyclone Pablo plowed through parts of Mindanao and Visayas and then headed for Northern Luzon, but weakened and dissipated once over the Ilocos area.

Tuesday 11 December 2012


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