Teen courier killed
Police admitted yesterday that they killed an innocent teenage courier driver in a shootout with a gunman who led them on a 40-minute chase through Auckland suburbs at up to 160km an hour. The gunman, who had fired at a police helicopter during the chase, was trying to hijack 17-year-old Halatau Nitoko’s van after crashing his stolen car on a city motorway on Friday. The unidentified 50-year-old gunman was arrested after the shootout. Nitoko had a two-year-old daughter and was awaiting the birth of twin boys next month, news reports said.
Fog hampers transportation
Poor visibility caused by fog yesterday morning in usually sunny Bangkok led to a boat collision on the Chao Phraya River, the diversion of eight flights to the domestic airport and a railroad death, media reports said. A thick fog that blanketed the capital until 9am was blamed for a collision between a container ship and cement barge on the Chao Phraya River. Two crew members on the barge were slightly injured, the Nation online news service said. Poor visibility was also partly blamed for the death of 88-year-old Nipha Chunhasiri, who was hit in the shoulder by a train and flung to the ground, cracking her skull. Fog is almost unheard of in the low-lying capital.
Hand-foot-mouth kills tyke
A toddler, aged 17 months, died of hand-foot-mouth disease in Anhui Province, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting local health authorities. Dozens of cases of the disease have been reported in the province this month, with at least 15 more children undergoing treatment. It is not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, which affects animals.
Three killed in landslide
A Filipino man was killed along with two fellow local workers when they were buried by a massive landslide at a timber camp in the eastern state of Sarawak on Borneo island, official reports said yesterday. Filipino Rinald Agillia, 38, and locals Jeseil Ed and Wilson — all workers in the timber camp were killed when the landslide occurred late on Friday, the official Bernama news agency said. Seven other workers, including three Filipino nationals, one Indonesian man and three Malaysians, were injured in the incident, district police chief Khairul Ridzuan Ahmad said.
Fireworks caused blaze
An investigation has determined fireworks caused a devastating blaze that ripped through a Bangkok nightclub on New Year’s Day killing 65 people, a top police official said yesterday. Police have charged five people in connection with the fire at the upscale Santika club, which also injured more than 200 revelers, minutes after the New Year countdown. “The fire at Santika pub was caused by fireworks, according to the police investigation,” deputy national police chief General Jongrak Jutanont said. “There will be more arrests.” He would not reveal whether the fire was started by a pyrotechnics display put on by the club or the sparklers handed out to partygoers, saying full details of the investigation would be officially announced tomorrow.
Dispute leaves three dead
Three men were killed and two injured in an agricultural land dispute, the police said yesterday. The clash occurred on Friday in Papang village in East Nusa Tenggara as two groups, totaling around two dozen people, fought over the right to use 1 hectare of land, the police said. “There are three people that we have arrested regarding the fight. We are still chasing the others,” Manggarai police chief Hambali, who only uses one name, said. The groups used machetes — which are normally used for farming — during the fight.