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!”
Triple bombings kill 15
Two car bombs and a suicide attack killed at least 15 people in a fruit and vegetable wholesale market north of Baghdad yesterday, officials said. The blasts went off in the predominantly Shiite town of Judaida al-Shat, which lies just west of the restive city of Baqubah and remains one of the nation’s most dangerous. The bombings left another 48 people wounded, a police officer and a medic said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Drivers don skirts in protest
Commuters on a train line in northern Stockholm were met with an unusual sight this week: male train drivers and conductors wearing skirts to work. Train driver Martin Akersten said he and more than a dozen others at the Roslagsbanan line have started wearing skirts in the summer as a protest against the train company’s uniform policy, which does not allow shorts. Akersten, 30, said on Sunday the response from customers has been only positive. Arriva, the company that runs the train line, has not stopped the drivers. Arriva spokesman Tomas Hedenius said the company wants its staff to look “nice and proper,” but cannot stop men from wearing “women’s clothes” if that is what they want because it would be discrimination. He did not rule out a change of the company’s uniform policy.
Double decker loses roof
Police said a double decker bus carrying dozens of Danish students slammed into a small railway bridge in Munich on Sunday and tore off part of the upper deck, injuring 40 people, one of them seriously. Munich police spokeswoman Alexandra Schmeitz said the students, aged 16 to 19, were hospitalized. One 17-year-old girl sustained serious head and spine injuries. The Munich fire department said the driver of the double decker bus apparently overlooked a sign saying the bridge had only a height of 3.4m.
Shooting death toll rises
The death toll from a mass shooting in California rose to five on Sunday after a 26-year-old woman seriously wounded during the gun rampage died in hospital, authorities said. Marcela Franco was caught in a hail of bullets that also claimed the life of her father, Carlos, during the shooting on Friday in Santa Monica carried out by a gunman clad in black and wearing body armor. Local media reports have identified the gunman as John Zawahri, who was due to turn 24 on Saturday. The gunman was shot and killed by police after being cornered in the library of Santa Monica College. Marcela Franco and her father, a groundskeeper at the school, died after Zawahri opened fire on a car they were traveling in at the college on Friday.
Prince Philip recovering
Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip yesterday celebrated his 92nd birthday in the London hospital where he is recovering from exploratory abdominal surgery. The prince was said by Buckingham Palace to be “progressing satisfactorily” after undergoing the operation at the London Clinic on Friday. The palace would not reveal if the queen, 87, and other members of the family were to visit the duke, who is expected to spend up to two weeks in hospital while his results are analyzed. The occasion was marked by traditional gun salutes at the Tower of London and Hyde Park, according to officials.