Boat sinks with 40 on board
At least 29 people were missing after a crowded boat sank in the Kosi River yesterday, police said. The incident took place in Sunsari District, 200km southeast of Kathmandu. “Eleven of the estimated 40 people on the boat have been rescued and the search for the rest is continuing,” the police control room in Kathmandu said. Details were not available.
Millions receive vaccine
Twenty-two million children were vaccinated against polio on Saturday, in the second round of a fresh drive against the incurable disease that re-emerged in the country nearly three years ago, health officials said. The first round of the campaign to immunize all children under five was held on Nov. 28, with the assistance of UNICEF and the WHO. The country was declared polio-free in August 2000 and has launched several rounds of vaccinations since the disease re-emerged in March 2006. Field workers from the health and family welfare ministry, along with some 600,000 volunteers, administered oral polio vaccines to some 22 million children and vitamin A capsules to 21 million children at 140,000 sites, officials at the health directorate said.
Medical planes too small
Increasing obesity has prompted a state to seek larger planes for the country’s famous “Flying Doctor” service, government officials said on Saturday. New South Wales has put out a tender to assess the cost of two new, larger planes for its air ambulance fleet, which is flown under contract by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to service remote areas. International surveys have placed Australians as among the most obese people in the world.
Jet skier survives at sea
A 26-year-old man was recovering yesterday after spending 24 hours swept out to sea by a storm when his jetski broke down. Nathan Maclure was picked up 13km off the coast of the South Island on Saturday evening when a Russian trawler came across him in what police described as the “good luck story of the year.” Maclure, who took his jetski out for a spin on Friday in a river estuary, survived two severe storms that pelted him with hail and was menaced by three sharks, attracted by jellyfish swimming underneath him. He fell off his jetski twice before he managed to rope himself to it and told the Sunday Star-Times, “I was really scared.”
‘Olympic’ sturgeon dies
A third rare sturgeon has died in an aquatic park, a spokeswoman said yesterday, the latest misfortune to strike a school of the endangered fish donated from China to mark the Olympics. The Chinese sturgeon died at Ocean Park on Friday suffering from a head injury and blood clotting, a spokeswoman said. “We will be doing more investigations [to find out what happened],” said the spokeswoman. The death is the third among a group of 10 sturgeon donated to the theme park to mark China’s hosting of the Olympics in August, the first time the fish has been sent outside mainland China. The first was killed by a bite from barracuda in the aquarium and was a diplomatic embarrassment for Hong Kong, prompting the city’s Chief Executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權) to demand a full report.
Traffic deaths down: ministry
Traffic deaths declined 10 percent last year to 73,484 helped by a nationwide safety campaign during the Olympic Games, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday. The explosive growth of China’s auto market, the world’s second largest, lax enforcement of rules and poor quality roads have resulted in one of the world’s worst traffic safety records. A greater focus on safety, however, has reduced the number of traffic deaths from over 100,000 as recently as 2003.