News Flash – 27 May 2019

National News



Flight makes Emergency Landing after Threat Call



Kolkata: A city-bound AirAsia flight from Bagdogra made an emergency landing at Kolkata airport on Sunday evening after the airline’s office in Bengaluru received a threat call earlier in the evening. The aircraft was thoroughly searched after it landed and the emergency was called off after about an hour when nothing threatening was found on the flight. The flight with 179 passengers and eight crew members touched down around 6.15pm and was cordoned off. “On May 26, around 6.05pm, emergency was declared at Kolkata airport after a threat call was received at Bengaluru airport for AirAsia I5-588 flight from Bagdogra to Kolkata. Emergency was called off at 7.25pm. There were 187 passengers on board, including crew members. All the security checks are being carried out as per procedure. All passengers disembarked safely,” a statement issued by the Kolkata airport read.



According to sources, the airline’s Bengaluru office received the threat from an unidentified caller who claimed there was something suspicious on the flight. “He finished the 10-second call saying that if anybody was hurt, ‘we will not be responsible’,” a city airport official said. Officials from the Bengaluru office called a senior official of the airline at Bagdogra to run a safety check on the flight. “However, the flight was about to land in Kolkata in a few minutes. We passed on the message to Kolkata airport ,” said Subramani P, the Bagdogra airport director. Once emergency was declared, one of CISF’s quick response teams, BDS officials, a medical team and fire brigade officials reached the runway and cordoned off the area. “The flight was escorted to a remote bay for checks by the bomb detection and disposal squad. All 179 passengers were offloaded and checks were conducted on them and their luggage. However, nothing suspicious was found till late in the evening,” said an airport official.



36k Government Schools don’t have Fire-Safety Systems


Gandhinagar: The terrible deaths of 22 students in a coaching centre blaze in Surat have pushed the government into a face-saving exercise targeting coaching centres. But the fact that the 36,000-odd government run schools in the state lack basic fire safety systems, raises the question of what the state government thinks about the lives of the 75 lakh children who study in these schools. The state government is similarly easygoing about installation of fire safety systems in the 10,000-odd private schools in the state where around 25-30 lakh children spend a big part of their day. Vinod Rao, secretary, school education, government of Gujarat said, “There are standing instructions for fire safety in schools but there is lack of proper infrastructure and monitoring mechanism”. When asked about the lack of fire safety systems in government-run and private schools, state education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said, “I accept the fact that our schools are not prepared to fight fire, but our government has taken a serious view of the issue and decided to take long term actions”.



Chudasama said, “On Monday, the chief minister has planned a meeting to discuss the issue in a holistic manner and plan for action”. “We are issuing a circular to all DEOs for fire safety audit in all government and private schools in coordination with local fire safety authorities. The government plans to provide fire safety equipment under the SSA (Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan) in all government-run schools now,’’ Rao said. Times View: How can this government ensure that private tuition classes adhere to fire-safety norms when its own school buildings do not have fire-control equipment or infrastructure? Following the Supreme Court’s verdict in the 2004 Kumbakonam school fire tragedy, government schools across the country were issued detailed guidelines for fire safety. Fifteen years on, Gujarat’s government schools are still grappling with the same problems. That reflects the state government’s lack of purpose.



International News


Three dead in latest attack on church in Burkina Faso



Ouagadougou: Three people were killed on Sunday at a Catholic church in northern Burkina Faso in the latest in a series of attacks on Christian targets in the region, a security source said. “Heavily armed individuals attacked the church as the faithful were celebrating Sunday mass” in the town of Toulfe, the source said, adding that three people were killed. Last week gunmen killed four Catholics in a religious procession, the day after a priest and five parishioners were murdered at mass. Also last week, French special forces freed four foreign hostages in the former French colony during an overnight raid that cost the lives of two soldiers. Burkina Faso’s population is around two-thirds Muslim and one-third Christian. The semi-desert country has suffered from increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to a number of jihadi groups, including the Ansarul Islam group, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. The raids began in 2015 in the north before targeting the capital Ouagadougou and other regions, notably in the east.

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