Saturday, 10 May 2014

Divers retrieve two more bodies in S Korea ferry disaster

Divers have retrieved two more bodies from the wreck of the South Korean ferry that sank last month, as conditions on the ship further deteriorated, officials said on Saturday.

The bodies were found late on Saturday in the inverted, submerged ship, bringing the confirmed death toll from the April 16 disaster to 275, Coastguard Spokesman Ko Myung-Suk told journalists.

Twenty nine are still unaccounted for.

Divers have now swept through most of the ship, which is resting on its side at a depth of more than 40 metres off the country’s southern coast.

The divers have also reported that partition walls on the ship have started warping and are at risk of collapsing, which would further complicate their work, a government task force said in a statement.

The divers have been under immense pressure from the authorities and the victims’ families to retrieve all the trapped bodies as quickly as possible.

They face enormous hazards and challenges, including near-zero visibility, strong currents and often treacherous weather conditions.

The Sewol was carrying 476 people when it sank after listing sharply to one side.

Of those on board, 325 were children from a high school in Ansan City in the southern suburbs of Seoul who were on an organised trip to the southern resort island of Jeju.

Initial investigations suggest the ferry was carrying up to three times its safe cargo capacity.

The Sewol’s regular captain, who was off duty on the day of the accident, has told prosecutors that the ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine Co. “brushed aside” repeated warnings that the 20-year-old ship had stability issues following a renovation in 2012.

The head of Chonghaejin, Kim Han-Sik, faces charges of manslaughter through negligence and breaches of vessel safety laws, Yonhap news agency said.

At a public park in Ansan, a focal point of national mourning, some 2,000 students from various high schools in the city held a candlelit vigil yesterday night for the victims, with yellow ribbons tied to their arms.

Saturday 10 May 2014

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Accident death toll in Dubai increases to 15

Fifteen workers were killed and 14 others injured in a traffic accident on Emirates Road on Saturday.

Colonel Ali Ghanim, Director of Bur Dubai Police Station said that the accident occurred when a bus carrying 29 Asian workers rammed a heavy truck parked on the hard shoulder, killing 13 people on the spot.

According to the statement issued by the Dubai Police, 10 of the injured were rushed to Rashid Hospital and six others to Al Baraha Hospital. Two of the injured died shortly at the hospital which increased the toll to 15.

The air wing of Dubai Police and ambulance and police patrols used hydraulic cutters to remove bodies of the workers.

Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police visited the accident scene to determine the cause of the accident.

It is worthy to mention that the Dubai traffic authorities have proposed that mini buses and vans should not be allowed to transport workers as they are not safe.

Saturday 10 May 2014§ion=crime

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5 dead, 10 missing in Odisha boat capsize

At least five people drowned to death and over ten persons went missing as a country boat capsized in Biluakhai river near Biridi in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district, the SP Satyabrat Bhoi said this evening.

The fire brigade team engaged in the rescue act have so far managed to fish out five bodies, he said, adding that the joint rescue and search operation by the fire brigade, police and local volunteers is on.

Local sources said the small-sized country boat was carrying over 25 people which was far beyond the capacity across the Biluakhai river. The passengers, mostly from the Nachhipur village, were returning home after attending a fire ritual at a Shiva temple located in Galipur on the other side of the river.

Saturday 10 May 2014

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MH370: 89th aircraft to go missing in last 66 years

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is allegedly the 89th aircraft to have gone mysteriously missing since 1948 and since its disappearance two months ago numerous theories and conclusions have surfaced.

Dubbed the biggest mystery in aviation history, investigators and experts from around the globe raced to find solutions, not ruling out the possibilities of hijack, pilot suicide, sabotage or even alien abduction.

According to data from the Aviation Safety Network, some 88 aircraft have been declared as "missing" which means there are no traces of bodies or debris from these flights, all with 14 or more passengers on board.

Back in the 1940s and 50s such disappearances were more common when communication technology was not so advanced, but in recent history, with such state-of-the-art equipment, the fate of MH370 truly remains a mystery.

Based on the history of aircraft disappearances, one could conclude that even if MH370 is not located in the near future, there is the possibility of it resurfacing decades down the line.

According to past reports, a Boeing 727 that went missing sometime in 1985 was not discovered till 2006 when some hikers stumbled upon the wreckage in a glacier on Mount Illimani - Bolivia's second hightest peak.

Listed below are six cases of aircrafts that mysteriously went missing over water (source from - similar to the fate of MH370.

- British South American Airways Star Tiger (January 30, 1948)

The waters of the Atlantic Ocean in what would be dubbed the Bermuda Triangle had already been the scene of a mysterious aviation incident in 1945 when five American torpedo bombers on a routine training mission all mysteriously vanished off the Florida coast.

A seaplane with 13 aboard also disappeared in the rescue mission. Three years later, the Star Tiger, with 31 people aboard, maintained normal radio communication shortly before entering Bermuda airspace on a flight from the Azores.

The plane, however, never landed, and no distress message ever emanated from the Avro Tudor aircraft.

A five-day rescue effort located no wreckage, and investigators concluded the fate of the airliner was "an unsolved mystery."

- British South American Airways Star Ariel (January 17, 1949)

Less than a year after the Star Tiger vanished in the Bermuda Triangle, another British South American Airways flight also disappeared in the same region en route from Bermuda to Jamaica.

Although the pilot reported fine weather conditions, radio contact with the Star Ariel suddenly ceased an hour after the flight departed.

British investigators could not find the wreckage of the Avro Tudor Mark IV or any sign of the 20 people on board.

Without evidence, investigators were forced to conclude that the cause of the accident was unknown.

- Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501 (June 23, 1950)

As the pilot of the DC-4 prop plane carrying 55 passengers and a three-person crew approached Lake Michigan around midnight, a powerful line of squalls loomed ahead.

The storm's severe turbulence and frequent lightning had already caused pilots of three other westbound flights to turn around.

Near Benton Harbor, Michigan, the pilot of the Northwest airliner requested permission to lower altitude from 3,500 feet to 2,500 feet without stating a reason, but air traffic controllers denied the request because of other planes in the area.

The pilot's acknowledgment of the denial would be the last transmission received from the plane that was en route from New York to Seattle with stopovers scheduled for Minneapolis and Spokane, Washington.

Minutes later, witnesses on the ground heard a sputtering aircraft "like a stock car with a blown head gasket" and saw a "terrific flash."

The U.S. Coast Guard discovered oil slicks in Lake Michigan near Milwaukee and focused the initial search there.

However, two days later search parties discovered blankets with the Northwest logo, foam rubber cushions and human remains 10 miles offshore of South Haven, Michigan, and the responders realised they had been looking in the wrong area of the lake for the plane.

With visibility less than eight inches in the murky lake bottom, divers could not locate the plane, and the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board could only conclude that the cause of what at the time was the deadliest commercial airliner accident in American history was "unknown."

- Canadian Pacific Air Lines (July 21, 1951)

As the Korean War raged, a Douglas DC-4 took off from Vancouver, Canada, on a flight to Tokyo, Japan, to assist in the Korean Airlift.

Carrying 31 passengers and a six-person crew, the Canadian Pacific airliner encountered rain, low visibility and icing conditions as it approached Anchorage, Alaska, for a refueling stop.

The plane reported no issues as it checked in near the Alaskan panhandle about 90 minutes from arrival.

It would never be heard from again. American and Canadian rescue teams searched for months but found no traces of wreckage.

- Pan Am Flight 7 (November 9, 1957)

The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser that took off from San Francisco to Honolulu with 36 passengers and 8 crewmembers on the first leg of an around-the-world flight was the lap of luxury.

Passengers aboard the "ocean liner of the air" enjoyed 60 inches of legroom, reclining sleeper seats, a horseshoe-shaped cocktail lounge and seven-course dinners that included caviar and champagne.

The Clipper Romance of the Skies was about halfway through the flight when radar contact was suddenly lost without a distress call from the plane.

After a five-day search, a U.S. Navy carrier spotted floating debris and recovered 19 bodies nearly 1,000 miles east of Honolulu.

Most of the victims were wearing life vests, indicating that the plane had been prepared to hit the Pacific Ocean.

The aircraft and the remaining 25 people aboard were never found.

Although testing revealed elevated levels of carbon monoxide in several of the recovered bodies, the Civil Aeronautics Board found "no evidence of foul play or sabotage."

- Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 (March 16, 1962)

Chartered to transport military personnel during the Vietnam War, the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation took off from Guam with 93 U.S. Army electronics and communications specialists, 3 members of the South Vietnamese military and 11 crewmembers aboard.

Although flying conditions were ideal and no distress signal was ever received, the plane never arrived at its intended destination-Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

The disappearance sparked the largest peacetime air-and-sea rescue mission in the Pacific Ocean since Amelia Earhart vanished in 1937.

The 1,300-person search party scoured 144,000 square miles and turned up nothing.

An Italian crew aboard an oil super tanker reported seeing an "intensely luminous" explosion in the sky and two flaming objects plunging to the ocean around the location of the plane when it disappeared.

Since another Flying Tiger plane had crashed in Alaska only hours earlier, killing one of the seven people aboard, sabotage was considered, but the Civil Aeronautics Board ultimately could not determine a probable cause because of the lack of any recoverable evidence.

Saturday 10 May 2014

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At least 13 missing Niger migrants found dead in Sahara

At least 13 of the dozens of migrants from Niger abandoned by smugglers in the Sahara desert last week have been found dead in southern Algeria, a local official and a military source in Niger said on Friday.

Alat Mougaskia, the local representative of the Niamey government in the northern town of Arlit, said 13 bodies had been confirmed in one location. Mougaskia said another 33 people from the same convoy of mainly women and children were believed to have died elsewhere but their bodies had not been found yet.

"These people appear to have gone looking for shelter but died from the lack of food and water," a Niger military source told Reuters, asking not to be named. The source put the estimate for the dead at 30.

There was no immediate comment from authorities in Algeria.

Niger sits at a crossroads of migrant routes linking North Africa t

o the rest of the continent. The country pledged to crack down on smuggling after 92 migrants died trying to make the same trip to Algeria late last year. Authorities on both sides of the border have been searching for migrants this week after six women and eight children who were part of a convoy of migrants abandoned by their driver in the desert were rescued by Algerian security forces, officials said.

Most of the migrants heading to Algeria are women and children from Niger's remote southeast who are sent to beg outside mosques in Algeria. The Libya route, however, is popular amongst youth from across West Africa looking to work in Libya or seek a better life in Europe.

Saturday 10 May 2014

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