News Flash – 21 November 2018

National News



Train passes over 1-yr-old in UP, baby survives without a scratch

Four coaches of a train passed over the baby with the wheels of the train barely an inch from her.



Agra: In a miraculous escape, a one-year-old baby survived without a bruise after a train passed over her when she slipped from her mother’s arms and fell on railway tracks on Tuesday. The incident occurred on platform number one of Mathura junction when the girl’s parents attempted to deboard Samta Express which was bound for Visakhapatnam via Agra. The chilling moment when the child fell from the arms of the mother and onto the tracks was caught on camera. The parents as well as people at the station waited with bated breaths and little hope as the four coaches of the train passed over the baby, with the wheels of the train barely an inch from her. But everyone heaved a sigh of relief when they heard the child crying and one of the passengers rushed to pick her up. The baby was handed to her parents who then took her home. Sonu, father of the girl named Sahiba, said, “We were getting down from the train when it started moving. My wife, who was holding Sahiba in her arms, was pushed by someone as the train was very crowded, causing our daughter to fall on the tracks”. Asif Khan, one of the bystanders, told TOI, “No one expected her to survive. When she was picked up from the tracks, we saw that she had not suffered any injuries. There was a sense of jubilation, everyone wanted to touch and bless the girl.” Station house officer, Mathura junction railway protection force, C B Prasad said, “It was a miracle that the baby survived without any injury.” Sonu said the family was heading to Jhansi and had deboarded the general coach of the train as he had been pickpocketed.



6 killed in blast at ammo depot in Maharashtra

One of the 10 injured in the Pulgaon blast being treated at a hospital.



Pulgaon (Wardha): Six people — an employee of the ordnance factory (OF) at Khamaria in Jabalpur and five casual labourers — were killed and 10 others injured in a blast at Army’s central ammunition depot (CAD) at Pulgaon, over 90km from Nagpur on Tuesday around 7.15am. Four of the injured, who are being treated at the government hospital in Sawangi, underwent surgery and two are reportedly in a serious condition. The five deceased casual workers have been identified as Prabhakar Wankhede, 40, Rajkumar Bhovate, 23, Vilas Pachare, 40, Narayan Pachare, 55, and Pravin Munjewar, 25. All were residents of nearby villages. The Khamaria OF staffer killed in the blast was Uday Virasingh, 37. While Bhovate died at the hospital, others succumbed on the spot. The workers were engaged in destroying a 23mm Schilka anti-aircraft ammunition, production of which has been stopped since 2014 due to technical issues. “The operation was happening under technical supervision of some Khamaria OF staffers and contract workers were engaged for the job,” sources said. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh each for those seriously injured. Those who have sustained minor injuries will get Rs 50,000 each. The announcement was made by state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who is also the guardian minister of Wardha district where the Pulgaon CAD is located. The injured workers said soon after the blast, they were left to fend for themselves as no immediate help came from the authorities. They helped each other get into the contractor’s vehicles parked at the site and reach the hospital, which is about 20km from the blast site.



This year, 80% had deadly Dengue-II


Kolkata: Stung by more than 20 dengue deaths in Kolkata this year, the civic authorities have marked out areas that are at risk from the virus. Blood samples of victims sent to National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) have revealed that 80% had Type-II dengue, the most virulent strain. The civic authorities have identified the Golf Green-Bijoygarh-Jodhpur Park belt under Borough 10 as the most prone, where 12 patients have died this year. Last year, the area recorded eight deaths. The Hatibagan-Bagbazar- -Rajballavpara area under Borough 2 comes second. Five more boroughs in south and central Kolkata have also been listed as risk zones. Charting out a roadmap for dengue on Tuesday, MMiC (health) Atin Ghosh said other than boroughs 10 and 2, boroughs 1, 6, 11, 12 and 14 have recorded numerous dengue cases. “Each of these areas has had cases and is at risk. These places have to be monitored and measures taken to check the spread of the virus. We have decided to start dengue-prevention camps there from January,” Ghosh said. Blood samples of dengue victims sent to the NICED reveal that 80% had type-II dengue. “This is the most virulent type and has been the predominant strain this year,” said NICED director Shanta Dutta.


Ghosh added the IgM test would now be mandatory to confirm the disease. “This will help detect if a patient has had dengue in the past, other than making sure the virus has indeed struck,” he said. According to a KMC health official, there have been confusions over dengue treatment. “Prescribed norms for treatment have been violated by practitioners, particularly at private clinics and hospitals. Some physicians, too, are guilty of flouting norms and we have sent their names to the state health department, recommending disciplinary action,” he said, adding the deadly type-II made treatment difficult and often left doctors confused. “In many cases, platelet dropped suddenly, leaving no chance to the doctors to revive the patient. Some patients got water in the lungs after receiving saline”. Last year, too, serotype II was responsible for 73% dengue cases. Serotypes I and III had been more common here till recently. “Our immune systems are geared to counter these strains rather than II and IV, which are now more frequent. This probably explains why deaths have been occurring more frequently,” said a consultant.



Five fires leave traders, employees spooked; glare on safety measures


Kolkata: More than 100 shops in the congested commercial pocket of Sonapatti, barely 700 metres from Bagri Market where a fire raged for over 82 hours in September, had a lucky escape on Tuesday morning when a blaze at a shop in a costume jewellery market was doused within a couple of hours. But the fire in Srini Bhavan, which has 30 shops inside and double the number outside, exposed once again how commercial establishments in the central business district continue to function without adequate fire safety measures. At around 9.45am, locals in Sonapatti noticed fire billowing from Bina Jewelers inside Srini Bhavan located on 19 Nalini Seth Road in Burrabazar. Landlord R K Singh rushed to the shop with a fire extinguisher which did not work even as labourers and van rickshaw pullers tried to break open the shutter of the shop. “We immediately informed the fire department. The other shops in the market started clearing the stock to prevent the fire from spreading and damaging their goods,” said Singh. Sonapatti in Burrabazar is a hub of costume jewellery and low end ornaments made of gold and silver.


But like most pockets of Burrabazar encroachments, overhanging wires and narrow roads here made firefighting extremely difficult. According to preliminary investigation by the fire department officials, an electrical short circuit may have caused the fire. Three tenders brought the blaze under control. “The building lacks fire safety measures. Even fire extinguishers are lying defunct. Luckily, it was a small fire and did not spread,” said a fire department official. The Sonapatti fire shows that no lessons have been learnt from the Bagri blaze despite the immense damage it caused to goods worth several hundred crores and more than 40,000 livelihoods since the market is shut for business for the past two months. A fire on September 16 that raged for over 82 hours gutted two hundred shops. “Tuesday’s fire was like Bagri market blaze in a lot of ways but luckily it did not spread fast and we could contain the damage,” said a senior fire department official. For the time being the power connection to the market has been severed.



People rush out of Topsia building after morning blaze


Kolkata: A fire at the meter box of a high-rise in Topsia triggered panic among the inhabitants of the building that houses the shop of an online furniture brand and a car showroom among others. Cops said that the metre box was located on the ground floor of the seven-storey building, Trinity Plaza. The police said that the entire building, where several offices are located, was evacuated after thick blanket of smoke engulfed it. The fire was first noticed by security guard Jag Bali (58), who informed others to come out around 11.30am. Two fire tenders rushed to the spot and the fire was finally controlled within 15 minutes. None, however, was trapped inside. Police said that the fire did not cause extensive damage. But the fire left everyone panicked. “For a second, we thought we all will choke. We used the stairs to come down,” said Sabuj Dey, a private firm employee. Sanjib Datta, who works at the car showroom, said they were worried the fire might spread to their office. “However, the fire officials controlled the blaze,” he said. The power connection is yet to be restored at the high-rise. “The CESC is working here and we hope the power connection will be restored soon,” said an officer.



International News



A ‘Robot Nose’ that can replace Sniffer Dogs

BREAK FOR CANINES: Currently, trained dogs are indispensable for security. But they don’t come cheap and can get very tired.



Washington: Scientists have developed an artificial “robot nose” device made from living mouse cells that could be used instead of dogs to sniff out narcotics and explosives. The researchers from Duke University in the US developed the prototype based on odour receptors grown from the genes of mice that respond to target odours. “This idea of an artificial nose has been present for a long time,” said Hiroaki Matsunami, a professor at the Duke University. “The receptors were identified in the 1990s, but there are significant technical hurdles to produce all these receptors and monitor the activity so that we can use that in an artificial device,” said Matsunami. “E-noses” that exist now use various chemical compounds to detect smells instead of receptor stem cells, Matsunami said. He said those devices are “not as good as a trained dog”. “The idea is that by using the actual, living receptors, maybe we can develop a device similar to animals,” Matsunami said. “Nobody has achieved that yet, but this study is moving toward that goal,” he said. Human, dog and mouse genomes contain around 20,000 genes, which contain instructions to create proteins that smell, taste, feel, move and do everything that our bodies do. About 5% of mouse genes have been identified as instructions to make odour receptors, Matsunami said. In contrast, humans only use about 2% of their genes to make odour receptors.



43 killed as suicide bomber targets clerics in Afghanistan capital



Kabul: A suicide bomber targeted a gathering of hundreds of Muslim religious scholars in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, killing at least 43 people, Afghan officials said. Public health ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh said another 83 people were wounded in the attack, which took place as Muslims around the world marked the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. He said more than 20 people are in critical condition and that the toll could rise. The suicide bomber was able to sneak into a wedding hall in Kabul where hundreds of religious scholars and clerics had gathered to mark the occasion. “The victims of the attack unfortunately are all religious scholars,” said Basir Mujahid, spokesman for the Kabul police chief. No one immediately claimed the attack, but both the Taliban and a local Islamic State terror group affiliate have targeted religious scholars aligned with the government in the past.



Shooting in US Hospital leaves 4 Dead



Chicago: A gunman shot a doctor to death outside a Chicago hospital on Monday before storming the facility and killing a pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer during an exchange of gunfire and dying in the rampage, officials said. The shooter knew the doctor he shot, police superintendent Eddie Johnson said, describing the initial killing as an act of domestic violence. The gunman was the ex-fiancé of the doctor, reports said, with one witness saying he demanded a ring back. The gunman also died but it was not clear if he shot himself or was struck by a police officer’s bullet, Johnson said.

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