Tuesday, 17 February 2015

At least 20 dead after power line falls on Haiti carnival float

At least 20 people were killed during a Carnival parade in Haiti’s capital early Tuesday when a music group’s float hit a low-hanging power line, causing them to be electrocuted, officials said.

The accident occurred as thousands of people filled the streets of downtown Port-au-Prince for the raucous annual celebration. People at the scene said someone on the float touched an overhead power line with a pole or stick as the float passed underneath it.

There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties. Nadia Lochard, a coordinator for the Department of Civil Protection, said at least 20 people were killed and 46 were injured.

The float, one of 16 in the downtown Carnival parade, was sponsored by the Haitian hip-hop group Barikad Crew. Some of the victims were instantly electrocuted in a flash of sparks, according to witnesses. Others managed to jump off, causing panic in the crowd.

“I saw the wire falling and sparks and I started running for my life,” said Natacha Saint Fleur, a 22-year-old who was near the float at the time.

Hundreds of people thronged the General Hospital, where many of the victims were taken, some carrying victims and others searching for family members brought by ambulance.

Haitian officials were expected to announce later Tuesday whether they would cancel a second day of Carnival events. Communications Minister Rothchild Francis said the government was working to assist victims.

It is a common practice in Haiti and elsewhere to have someone at the top of a parade float who moves low-hanging power lines. In Brazil, officials said three people were killed when they were electrocuted while standing atop a Carnival float that hit a power line early Tuesday on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

Tuesday 17 February 2015


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Thane GRP shows pics of 104 unclaimed bodies at railway stations to get them identified

In a bid to lessen the number of unclaimed bodies, the Thane government railway police (GRP) on Monday set up a camp at Thane station. From morning till 8 in the evening, its officers showed commuters photos of last year's 104 unclaimed deceased to see if any would get identified.

Officers said in the coming days they will set up camps at other railway stations too.

Thane railway jurisdiction covers Thane, Diva, Kalwa and Mumbra stations on the central line and Airoli on the harbour line.

The GRP personnel said they plan to set up camps on one station daily to create awareness among commuters and take their help in getting as many deceased identified as possible. The officers said besides the photos, they have also kept a register for providing commuters any other details they may require in recognising the bodies.

Inspector AS Rane said, "It's a good initiative, a number of commuters have approached us till now. Through this, we aim to help those who don't know for sure what happened to their loved ones and are still searching for them. Also, in case a person has died, getting the body identified and informing his/her family members means they can seek compensation from railways. Same goes for life insurance, in case the deceased had taken a policy which his/her kin can file a claim for."

"We had undertaken a similar initiative last year, which helped us get identification for many unclaimed bodies. This year, apart from these camps that we will be holding, people can also log on to our official website www.shodh.gov.in for past records," said GRP commissioner R Singal.

Tuesday 17 February 2015


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7 dead, 4 missing in floods in central Argentina

Seven people are dead and four others are missing in central Argentina after heavy rain led to street floods that swept up several people, including a 5-year-old girl.

Civil Defense director Diego Concha told the television station TN that more than 1 foot (32 centimeters) of rain fell during a 12-hour span in the province of Cordoba, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires.

Concha said the bodies of the girl and a young man were recovered Monday, and the others, of various ages, were recovered late Sunday. He said authorities evacuated 400 people and several hundred others had fled on their own.

Images from several local stations showed powerful currents moving vehicles and flooding storefronts and houses.

Tuesday 17 February 2015


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