Eight die in explosion
At least eight people died and seven were injured when a three-story building in Rawalpindi collapsed yesterday morning after fireworks stored on the ground floor exploded, police said. A dozen residents remained trapped inside the remains of the building, but rescue teams had recovered the dead and injured from the rubble, Rawalpindi police chief Saud Aziz said. "The building collapsed in the wake of explosions of illegally stored fireworks," he said. The building was located near the local police station and contained both residential apartments and shops on the ground floor.
Registry to open on Aug. 8
Beijing's wedding registry said it would stay open for business on the Summer Olympic Games' opening day, an auspicious date expected to attract thousands of couples hoping for a little extra luck, state media reported yesterday. Guo Xusheng, a spokesman for the city's Civil Affairs Bureau, denied rumors that the registry would close for the start of the games on Aug. 8, Xinhua news agency said. The number eight is considered especially lucky because it rhymes with the Mandarin word meaning to get rich. Beijing set the opening date for the Olympics to fall on the eighth of August, the eighth month of the year, with the games to start at 8:08pm.
Test compensation paid
The government has begun compensating military and civilian veterans of its atomic bomb tests, state media reported, offering a small peak into the highly secretive program. The compensation was included in an overall 15.12 billion yuan (US$2 billion) paid out last year to military veterans or their families, Civil Affairs Minister Li Xueju (李學舉) was quoted as telling Xinhua news agency on Saturday. No details were given about the numbers of nuclear bomb test veterans compensated, or the amounts they were given, although Xinhua said they included both uniformed personnel and civilians.
Deckhand attacked by shark
A mako shark attacked a fisherman on his boat deck, biting him on the leg after the man reeled it in while fishing off the east coast yesterday, an official said. The 20-year-old deckhand was airlifted by helicopter rescue, said Brian Russell, a spokesman for the rescue service. He was flown to the Gold Coast Hospital where his condition was reported as stable before he underwent surgery. The man had been fishing for tuna when he reeled in a 3m, 90kg mako shark and landed it on the deck. "He stepped on its tail and it whipped around and latched on to his tight calf, biting through to the bone," Russell said. "The shark had his leg clamped in its jaws for several minutes until other deckhands cut its head off."
Officials to be punished
Railway officials who hired untrained workers to adjust tracks are to be punished over a train accident in eastern China that killed 18 people and injured nine, investigators said. The deaths occurred on Wednesday when a train hurtling through the night at more than 120kph slammed into a group of about 100 workers carrying out track maintenance near Anqiu, Shandong Province. Investigators found the China Railway 16th Group hired unlicensed, part-time migrant workers and failed to provide them with required safety training, Xinhua news agency said, citing an official with the regional railway bureau.