Plane crashes, but no deaths
A passenger plane carrying 52 people crash-landed at an eastern airport yesterday, injuring two, officials said. The MA-60 aircraft, operated by state-owned Merpati Nusantara airlines, was coming in to land at an airport in East Nusa Tenggara Province when the accident happened, Ministry of Transportation spokesman Bambang Ervan said. Pictures showed the Chinese-made turbo-prop plane lying on its belly on the runway with its engines jammed facedown into the tarmac and its wings bent forward. The accident happened as the plane, which was on a domestic flight from Flores island, came into land at El Tari Airport in Kupang City at 9:40am, Ervan said.
Factory inspectors suspended
The government has suspended seven inspectors it accuses of negligence for renewing the licenses of garment factories in a building in the Dhaka suburb of Savar that collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,129 people, Ministry of Labor official Mikail Shipar said yesterday. Shipar said a ministry investigation found that the inspectors never visited the five factories housed in the shabbily built eight-story Rana Plaza building. Inspectors are required to visit factories before issuing licenses. He said one of the factories, EtherTex, had been operating without any license from the factory inspection department since 2008. Shipar said the ministry’s report was preliminary and that if the accusations are proven, the inspectors, all mid-level officials, will lose their jobs.
Search and rescue called off
Authorities yesterday said they had called off a major air and sea search for survivors from a boat carrying at least 55 asylum-seekers which disappeared suddenly off a remote Indian Ocean territory. Officials late on Sunday halted the search for the vessel off Christmas Island — which was seen before it went down carrying men, women and children — after failing to find anyone alive. Up to 13 bodies were spotted in the water during the extensive search, but customs said staff were occupied with a number of “high-priority operations” in national waters and would not be able to recover the bodies yesterday.
Indonesian dies in fire
An Indonesian woman died on Sunday in a fire lit by workers outside the Indonesian consulate in Jeddah, where thousands converged seeking to resolve their immigration status, a consular source said. About 8,000 Indonesians gathered outside the consulate trying to sort out their papers as illegal foreign workers in the kingdom face a deadline to regularize their position or leave. Before the fire, rocks and stones were thrown at the consulate by workers frustrated by long waits to get their cases dealt with.
Officials probe pig dissolving
Authorities are probing a pig farm in Changsha, Hunan Province, for reportedly dissolving dead pigs in a chemical solution and pumping the remains down its drains into a river. The Huasheng Online Web site said the farm claimed that using strong alkali to break down carcasses before flushing them away was a harmless method of disposal for pigs that died of disease. However, microblog users were disgusted. “It’s absolutely illegal and absolutely harmful,” one using the name Quxiaolijie wrote. “The only non-harmful way to dispose of dead pigs is to burn them or bury them. They absolutely can’t be discharged into the river. Strictly investigate and strictly punish!”