News Flash – 20 February 2020

National News



Thieves Walk Off with Wheels from Cars Parked in Kalikapur


Kolkata: A group of miscreants fled with five wheels from three vehicles parked in Kalikapur on Saturday night. Before leaving, the thieves placed bricks under the vehicles so that they don’t topple. The city had witnessed a similar incident at Salt Lake’s AE Block last August. Surprisingly, the sedans from which Tyres were stolen last year are of the same make. One of the victims had brought the car barely three months back while the two other cars were being run on rent. The owners, both residents of Rupanjali Park in Kalikapur, were stumped to see their vehicles in that state when they stepped out of their home last Sunday. They waited for two days though before making a formal complaint. The block adjoining the Kalikapur Bazar allows an easy getaway, bypassing check posts on the Bypass at night. But police believe the thieves had used a vehicle to ferry the stolen wheels. Each alloy wheel, along with tyre, costs around Rs 4,000-Rs 8,000. Around 6am last Sunday, one of the owners, Chayan Shaw (22), was about to board his car to get to work, when he saw the left front and rear wheels missing. He rushed to the other side and was relieved to see the wheels along the kerb were at least in place. “Losing two wheels is better than four. I guess those who stole the wheels did not have enough space on the other side to open the wheels. The thieves were prepared and had brought a jack to lift the car and a wrench to open the nuts so that the wheels could be removed.



They also brought bricks to place the car on it before removing the jack. The theft included more than one person,” said Shaw, who had invested all his savings to buy the car to run it with car rental agency. What Shaw saw next was even more curious. The wheels of another sedan parked in front of his car, also a Swift Dzire, were missing as well. The car belonged to another person, Manik Bag, who had bought the car in 2017. “He woke up around 8am to learn about the case. I have been living in this area for long but never have I heard about such a theft here,” added Shaw. The locals claimed the theft is now “big news” in the area. “We do have two CCTVs fitted at the entrance of our neighbourhood, but it is for cops to find out. Cops from Garfa police station arrived promptly. They are trying to check the footage from cameras fixed in adjoining lanes and blocks to identify unfamiliar vehicles that may have entered and left the area that night,” said Shaw. “We are also checking if someone has recently joined a tyre retailer in the belt or if a car had gone out from a workshop during the night,” an investigator said. A single FIR has been drawn up, citing the car numbers and addresses of the owners.



3 Dead, 9 Hurt in Crane Crash at Shooting Spot

A crane crashed on a small tent while lifting a load of lighting equipment.



Chennai: Three people, including an assistant director, were killed and nine others were injured in an accident during the film shooting of Kamal Haasan movie ‘Indian -2’ at EVP Film City near Poonamallee on Wednesday. Sources said the accident took place at 9.15pm when a crane crashed on a small tent while lifting a load of lighting equipment. The deceased identified as Krishna, 34, assistant director, and Madhu, 29, and Chandran, 60, caterers of the unit were among a group of people sitting inside the tent coordinating the shoot. The injured have been rushed to Saveetha Medical College and Hospital. “Three people were brought dead. They suffered crush injuries. Their bodies have been sent to mortuary. The injured are stable,” said hospital sources. Actor Kamal Haasan who was at the site has rushed to the hospital to attend to the injured. A call was placed for 108 ambulances, but two of them were later cancelled by a caller from the film city, said a source. Kamal Hassan in a tweet said “I have faced and overcome many accidents. But today’s is the worst of them all. I lost three comrades. The sadness of family members who lost them will be manifold than mine. I share their loss and sorrow as one among them. My deep condolences. The shoot has been going on at the place for the last few days. Kajal Agarwal, Rakul Preet Singh and Siddharth are part of the big-budget film directed by Shankar.



Fire Breaks out in Salem, Trees Destroyed

BURNING ISSUE: Local residents saw fire raging in the hills on Tuesday night and alerted the forest department and Shevapet fire service station officials.



Salem: A fire broke out in Uthumalai in Salem on Tuesday night, destroying trees and herbs spread across a few acres. The forest department is yet to ascertain both the cause of fire and the extent of damage caused by the same. According to a senior forest officer, local residents saw fire raging in the hills at night and alerted the forest department and Shevapet fire service station officials, who sprang into action to put it out and prevent it from spreading to more areas. Quoting residents, the officer said thick smoke started to emanate from the hill area around 11pm on Tuesday. “The fire spread soon”. He said they had removed dry leaves in the surrounding areas of the incident place to prevent fire from spreading to other areas. “We, along with the fire and rescue services personnel, managed to put out the fire on Wednesday morning. An inquiry is on to identify whether it was a natural fire or manmade one,” the officer said.



International News



About 500 Leave Isolated Ship, Indians Still on Board

About 500 passengers who tested negative for COVID-19 were allowed to disembark from Diamond Princess cruise ship on Wednesday.



Japan: About 500 passengers left the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship moored at Yokohama in Japan over coronavirus fears, on Wednesday at the end of a 14-day quarantine period that began on February 5. Six Indian passengers and 125 Indian crew members, however, were not among those who left the ship on the first day of the phased disembarkation. “While I have been tested for the novel coronavirus, the results have not come in. If I test negative, I can leave. I am hoping that will be tomorrow, or maybe the day after,” said a Japanese passenger, who wanted to be identified as ‘Daxa’. The remaining 2,000-odd passengers are expected to be released by February 21. “The disembark process will be undertaken over several consecutive days, since they will be tested, and the testing and results require two to three days to complete. A certificate that indicates a negative Covid-19 test result will be granted by Japanese health authorities to exit the ship,” a statement issued by Princess Cruises, which runs Diamond Princess, said. Meanwhile, one more Indian crew member has tested positive for the virus, taking the number of Indians infected to seven. They are undergoing treatment in local hospitals. “Another Indian crew member had tested positive earlier but was found to not have the infection after subsequent tests,” first secretary (political) at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo Suman Kansotiya told TOI.



Those who are recovering in hospitals will be provided travel assistance by the cruise line. But for the 1,000-odd crew members, many of whom helped the Japan Disaster Medical Assistance Team and the 150 Japan Self-Defence Forces (the military) personnel escort passengers out of the ship on Wednesday, quarantine has not even begun. “I was isolated after I tested positive. Other crew members will have to start over when all passengers leave,” said Sonali Thakkar, a security officer from Mumbai. Once the second quarantine is over and everyone has left the ship, it will be “taken to a special service dock, where it will receive a rigorous Level 3 cleaning, Princess Cruises stated. But even as passengers started leaving, concerns grew globally about efficacy of quarantine on the ship. On Tuesday, a video posted by eminent infectious diseases specialist, Dr Kentaro Iwata, about the lack of safety protocols went viral. “There was not a single professional infection control person inside the ship. There was nobody in charge of infection prevention as a professional. The bureaucrats were in charge of everything … A medical officer had stopped using protective equipment because she was sure she was infected,” Dr Iwata said in the video. Princess Cruises did not respond to questions about Iwata’s statement.

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