News Flash – 1 February 2018

National News



Notes worth lakhs burnt in ATM fire



NEW DELHI: An ATM in Dwarka was gutted after a fire broke out due to a short-circuit. Cash worth lakhs of rupees stored in the machine were burnt in the blaze. The fire swiftly spread across a few other shops adjoining the ATM and items worth lakhs were destroyed there as well. Fire officials said they received a call from Dwarka Sector 12 around 9pm and a fire tender was sent. Since the fire was not doused for half an hour, another fire tender was pushed to action and the situation was controlled in the next half an hour. Police that the people in the buildings adjoining the ATM were evacuated timely and no one was hurt. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined and a case of negligence has been registered.



Earthquake tremors felt in Delhi-NCR region



NEW DELHI: An earthquake was felt in the national capital Delhi and NCR region on Wednesday afternoon at around 12:40 pm. The earthquake having magnitude 6.2 had its epicenter in the Hindukush region of Afghanistan. The tremors were felt repeatedly for one minute. The tremors were felt in several parts of north India including Chandigarh, Srinagar, and Jammu & Kashmir region. The tremors were also felt in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As per Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the tremors in north India were followed by 6.2 magnitude earthquake on the Afghanistan-Kazakhstan border. As of now, there were no reports of any damage in India due to the earthquake.



Home guards resuscitate ill motorist at Puranapul



HYDERABAD: A home guard helped a cardiac patient, who collapsed on the road near Puranapool, to breathe again by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Wednesday. At 1:30pm Bahadurpura traffic home guards, K Chandan Singh and Baba, were performing their duty near Puranapool. They suddenly saw an aged man, who was playing on a two-wheeler, collapse on the road while the vehicle was on the move. The motorist fell face down and suffered minor injuries. When the two home guards rushed to his aid, the man was unconscious and his heart was not beating. Immediately Chandan started pumping the motorist’s chest for a minute before the motorist started breathing slowly. Within some time, the motorist regained consciousness. “When I realised that his heart stopped beating, I recalled lessons given to us as part of our traffic training programme, to deal with such cases. At one point of time, with the force I used for the compressions, I got very tired. Luckily, he started breathing again,” Chandan recalled, while talking to TOI. Later, the motorist’s family members, who reside in Tadbund, reached the spot and took the motorist in an auto. Amid the tense situation, the guards forgot to take motorists name and other details.



Gas balloon cylinder blast in school kills Class XII boy



VELLORE: The sports day at a private matriculation school in Vellore ended on a tragic note on Wednesday when a helium cylinder used to fill balloons exploded, killing one student and leaving another battling for life. Police have registered a case against the balloon seller, who is absconding. The incident occurred at Shanthiniketan Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Bagayam around 4.15pm, before the start of the prize distribution. Ganapathy, engaged to supply balloons for the function, was inflating them when his assistant poured water into the cylinder and it blew apart. Witnesses later told police that the bottom portion flew nearly 250 feet before smashing into a parapet wall on which a group of Class XII students were sitting. Jeethesh, son of Velu, died instantly. Naveen, son of Sivalingam, was injured in the incident. Naveen is being treated at the Christian Medical College Hospital where his condition is said to be critical. Many at the ground said the impact of the explosion was so intense that the water barrel was shattered and the seller’s two-wheeler was flung away to a distance of several metres.


“We found the top portion of the cylinder in the parking lot of the Community Health and Development building, opposite the school, on Vellore-Bagayam Road,” said a policeman who is part of the investigation team. Several others thought a transformer had exploded. “Scores of students took shelter in the auditorium and along the parapet wall,” said a witness. A team of the Bagayam police rushed to the spot and cordoned off the spot. They asked students and parents to leave the campus immediately. Parts of the exploded cylinder, a plastic bag containing chemicals and the two-wheeler and other samples were collected from the spot for further investigation. Vellore superintendent of police P Pakalavan said the sports day was for students of Classes VI to XII and that more than 500 students were present. “We are conducting a detailed inquiry to find out what went wrong. We are looking for the balloon seller [Ganapathy],” he told TOI. The school authorities had asked him to leave after supplying the balloons for the drill, but he remained there and continued to sell balloons to students, said the SP.



International News



One dead as train carrying Republicans hits truck, lawmaker’s safe

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a train crash involving a garbage truck and a passenger train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers.



WASHINGTON: One person was killed when a train carrying US lawmakers to a retreat in West Virginia slammed into a garbage truck on Wednesday, the White House said, adding that no members of Congress were seriously hurt. “There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury. There are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, adding that President Donald Trump has been briefed on the accident. Several dozen House and Senate Republicans were onboard the Amtrak train taking them to an annual retreat at a resort in West Virginia, west of the capital Washington, when it hit a truck on the tracks. “The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision, but Rebecca and I are both okay,” congressman Bradley Byrne said on Twitter, referring to his wife.


“Security and doctors on board are helping secure the scene and treat injuries,” he added. Paul Ryan‘s office said the Republican House speaker was “fine”. Vice President Mike Pence — the keynote speaker at the three-day retreat west of the US capital — was to fly in later in the day, and was not on the train. House Republican Greg Walden tweeted a photograph of the scene, showing people standing off the train tracks next to a badly damaged truck, with debris strewn on the ground. “We’re fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck,” Walden said. “The train hit a garbage truck, they’re asking for doctors on the trains to help,” said the Twitter feed of congressman Roger Marshall, who is also a licensed physician. “Right now Dr Marshall is helping people who are injured”.



Earthquake kills child, injures dozens in Pakistan

People gather outside their offices in Lahore following an earthquake.



KABUL: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck northeast Afghanistan on Wednesday, shaking large parts of the region and killing a child and injuring several people in neighbouring Pakistan, officials said. The quake, which rattled buildings in the Afghan capital and was also felt in parts of India, struck 270 km (167 miles) northeast of Kabul in the Hindu Kush mountains, at a depth of 180 km, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said. A baby girl was killed and 10 people were injured when roofs of mud-walled houses collapsed in the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, a district deputy chief, Shabbir Megnal, said. There were no immediate reports of any serious damage or casualties in Afghanistan. Large parts of the region are seismically active because a tectonic plate, known as the Indian plate, is pushing north into the Eurasian plate. A 7.6-magnitude quake in northern Pakistan in October 2005 killed about 75,000 people.



More than 80 people on missing Kiribati ferry, search for survivors continues



WELLINGTON: Authorities confirmed on Wednesday that a missing Kiribati ferry had held more than 80 passengers, as Australian and US planes scoured the central Pacific ocean for survivors, more than a week after it sunk. The 17-metre (56-foot) catamaran was reported missing on Jan. 20, two days after it departed Nonouti Island on a 250 km (155 miles) trip to Betio in Kiribati. Seven people rescued from a drifting dinghy on the weekend said the ferry broke up soon after setting out on Jan. 18 and that they had seen other passengers scramble aboard a life raft, which was now the focus of the aerial search. The New Zealand Defence Force had previously reported eight people had been rescued, but had revised that number. Reports on the total number of passengers had varied in recent days between 35 and 100. The Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand (RCCNZ), which is supporting the search, said in a statement on Wednesday that Kiribati authorities had confirmed about 80 passengers and five crew were aboard the ferry and seven of them had been rescued.


Two Australian aircraft and one from the U.S. coastguard were combing around 92,000 square km (35,500 square miles) of ocean for the missing life raft, which was designed to hold about 25 people but capable of squeezing on more. “It is still a rescue mission, not a recovery,” Vince Cholewa, a spokesman for the RCCNZ told Reuters by phone. “Obviously the longer it goes the smaller those chances become but there’s still hope for finding survivors”. A New Zealand plane spotted a dinghy on Sunday with seven people, including a 14-year-old girl, who had been adrift for days without water. The seven were rescued by a nearby fishing vessel and were now making their way back towards land on a Kiribati patrol ship that was expected to arrive on Friday. The survivors had been assessed by medics on board the patrol boat and were not in need of urgent hospital treatment, the RCCNZ spokesman said.

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