News Flash – 13 November 2019

National News



Dacoit held at Railway Station, 1 Tola Gold Seized



Secunderabad: A member of a dacoit gang from Maharashtra was nabbed at the Secunderabad railway station on Tuesday. The accused identified as Balaji Shrirang Shinde (25) from Solapur, Maharashtra is member of the Pardhi gang. Police recovered 1 tola gold from the accused who along with his associates was involved in seven dacoities, last year alone in Mahbubnagar district. According to cops, the Pardhi gang specialises in tampering railway signals to commit dacoity. In September 2018, the gang tampered railway signals at Kaukuntla railway station in Mahbubnagar. When the train stopped, they committed dacoity in Yeshwanthpur Express and Jabalpur Express trains. The gang pelted stones at passengers and threatened them. In less than 15 days, the gang committed another dacoity in Yeshwanthpur Express by tampering signals at Divitipalli railway station. The gang stole 37.5 tola gold ornaments. Balaji committed five offences in trains in 2016 in Lonavala, and a robbery in Jamked, Maharashtra in 2017. In 2018, his gang committed five dacoities in Ananthapur. The gang allegedly sold the stolen properties in Solapur, said police.



Back-Seat Deaths Show Why Safety Belts are a must for All Occupants


Kolkata: The driver and co-passenger in the sedan that smashed into a Metro pillar are critical but alive. But the three seated in the rear that sustained the least damage died on the spot. The difference between life and death was a 2-inch-wide strapping that all three in the rear seat had ignored to buckle on. “Passengers in a vehicle, who are not wearing a seat belt, can become projectiles during an accident. Unbuckled passengers can very easily be ejected through the front, rear or side windows, resulting in death. Occupants can also die of internal haemorrhage caused by being violently thrown forward and upward, smashed into the front seat and over and bumped into the dashboard or the windscreen. Head injuries apart, they would have suffered chin and facial damage, rib fracture and spinal injury,” said Institute of Road Traffic Education director Rohit Baluja, an expert on road safety, who helped frame the Motor Vehicles Driving Regulation 2017, that has made the driver responsible for the use of seat belts by all occupants of the car. In Kolkata, only 50% of front seat occupants wear seat belts. None in the rear seat do so. Not just Kolkata, a countrywide survey showed that only 15% of those who travelled in the rear seat wore seat belts. In 2017, 16,876 passengers were killed, and 61,942 passengers were injured due to non-use of seat belts according to government data. According to WHO, use of rear seat belt reduces the probability of being killed by 25% and injuries by 75%.



In this crash, the difference between the occupant who wore seat belt and the ones that didn’t, was stark. The blood spatters in the car told the tale. The co-passenger’s seat next to the driver was clean as was the air bag that had inflated on impact, indicating that Sarbjyot Singh, who was seated there, had his seat belt on. Hours after the accident, he walked out of the hospital and headed home. In the driver’s seat, Mohit Jain was critically injured and is battling for life. The airbag on the steering wheel had inflated as well but the blood smears on it indicated that it had smashed into an unrestrained occupant, causing major injuries. “An airbag can cause more damage than harm if the seat belt is not fastened,” explained Baluja. Automakers acknowledge no matter how expensive the cars and how advanced its safety features, it is the seat belt that makes all the difference. “Seat belts are meant to restrain passengers and prevent them from being smashed into the steering wheel or back of the front seat, or thrown out of the car. Three quarters of people who are thrown from the car in a crash are killed,” explained an automotive expert on crash tests. Passengers in the rear seat are particularly vulnerable in an accident as they usually don’t see it coming and don’t get the split second warning to brace for impact. A few years ago, Union minister Gopinath Munde died in what appeared to be an innocuous road accident in Delhi that did not cause much damage to the car.



International News



1,800 Flights Cancelled as Arctic Blast Freezes US


US: A woman braces herself in snow blowing off Lake Michigan, Chicago, on Tuesday. Snow and cold records fell from New York to Texas and beyond as an ‘Arctic Blast’ that started in Siberia spilled over a big chunk of the eastern half of the US. The mid-autumn taste of winter brought record single-digit temperatures to Chicago and environs; set snowfall records in Buffalo and Detroit; dusted cars with snow in Memphis, Tennessee; and froze lakes in Minnesota weeks earlier than usual. More than 1,800 flights at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airport were cancelled.

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