News Flash – 6 October 2017

National News



In 22 hours, 7 babies die in Assam hospital



GUWAHATI: Seven newborn babies have died in the state run Fakkhrudin Ali Ahmed Medical College in Assam‘s Barpeta in less than 22 hours since Wednesday evening, setting off alarm bells in the state, which has a high infant mortality rate. While five of the babies died between 7.20 pm and 11 pm on Wednesday, two died on Thursday. All of them were either 2 or 4 days old. The condition of four others is critical. Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the mortalities are purely related to the critical nature of the cases like pregnancy at an early age and the babies being underweight. “We have been talking about the dangers of giving birth to a child at a very early age both within and outside the assembly. Two mothers are aged between 19 and 20. There was no negligence in medical care. The babies were very weak and the doctors tried their level best,” he added. Sarma pointed out that the hospital records 60 infant deaths on an average every month which means two infants are dying everyday on an average in the hospital. “Yesterday, it was more than average as five babies died,” he added.



Ambulance driver saves South Bombay biker hurt due to pothole



NAVI MUMBAI: Shantaram Bamne, a 45-year-old Vashigaon resident, who works as an ambulance driver at Sterling Wockhardt hospital in Vashi, saved the life of a biker who had met with an accident on the Sion-Panvel highway recently. While motorists paused to see the injured youth profusely bleeding on the road, Bamne took the biker in a taxi to the hospital 500 metres away. The 22-year-old victim, Farhan Pasta, who resides with his uncle at Colaba, had bumped into a rainwater-filled pothole after crossing the Vashi toll plaza. A speeding truck from behind ran over him and dragged him for some distance which severely damaged his internal organs. Bamne said, “On September 19, I was returning home in a borrowed car after finishing some work in Chembur. Around 4pm, when I crossed the plaza, I saw a crowd gathered abutting the highway, and a biker lying on road with his body covered with a plastic sheet. A traffic cop was waving at vehicles but no one halted as it was raining heavily. I stopped to help the cop, when a passing taxi halted behind. The cop put the youth in the taxi to take him to NMMC hospital in Vashi. But the youth seemed critical, so I suggested he be taken to Sterling Wockhardt. Doctors operated on the youth and saved him as he was brought quickly”.


Hospital PRO Umesh Bhogale said, “Bamne has been an ambulance driver here since 2010. He has been quick in reaching accident spots after receiving emergency calls. But this was his first experience of saving a person’s life by rushing an accident victim to the nearest hospital”. Dr. Abhijit Bagul, trauma care surgeon at Sterling Wockhardt, said, “Pasta had to undergo three surgeries as he sustained a major abdominal injury, pelvis fracture, urinary bladder rupture and multiple fractures of his limbs. His condition was critical. Even the truck tyre mark was visible on his abdomen. With prompt medical care, we resuscitated the patient”. Bagul said, “The patient was discharged on September 30 as his family wanted to continue his nursing care post-surgery at a hospital in South Mumbai which is close to their residence. They intend to shift him later to a hospital in their home town, Jamnagar.” Bagul added, “Every month, 7-8 patients come here for orthopaedic treatment after vehicle mishaps due to potholes. The bikers are more prone to such mishaps”. The victim’s father, Hanif, said, “I do not have words to thank the man who helped save my son’s life. He told me his bike skidded due to the pothole-ridden road. The agency responsible for non-maintenance of the highway should reimburse our huge medical bills. We have shifted our son to Saifee hospital at Charni Road in Mumbai”.



Delhi government panel proposes security audit of schools



NEW DELHI: The high-level committee set up by the directorate of education for submitting recommendations within three weeks on how schools in the capital can be made safe submitted its draft report last Friday. It has proposed a comprehensive security audit of schools. The committee had been set up after the rape of a five-year-old student at a private school in Shahdara last month. Following the latest incident in which a six-year-old student of a private school in south Delhi was sexually assaulted, the Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe. A two-member committee of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) will visit the school on Friday to conduct an inquiry and evaluate how far the school was complying with safety rules. The government had also directed all schools — run by the government and corporations, and the private ones too — on September 11 to install CCTVs on their premises and ensure police verification of all employees. Deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia had ordered that anybody entering the premises of the school has to go through police verification in the next three weeks. “We will take action against schools that are not conducting this verification and the employees who are not cooperating in the process”. According to Delhi government sources, the verification process is underway but the latest incident proves that the malaise runs deep.


The high-level committee, comprising of education and transport department officials, principals of private and government schools and police officers, was mandated to give suggestions on how to make our schools safe and secure for every child. It will create a complete SOP (standard operating procedure) on safety of children and look into every aspect, including transport, surveillance and security provided at a school. The draft report is learnt to have suggested a slew of safety measures, including setting up of a mandatory school safety committee and conducting safety walks every month. The report has proposed a safety checklist, right from entry to CCTV surveillance to toilets. This has 17 sub-categories covering transport, staff recruitment and orientation, electricals, sanitation, construction work, playground, lunch area, toilets, school entrance for staff and school gate besides others. The government is likely to take a decision on the recommendations soon, based on which the directorate of education will asked the schools for compliance.



Heavy rains lash Bengaluru again, cause traffic snarls across city



BENGALURU: Heavy rains returned to lash Bengaluru on Thursday causing traffic snarls across the city. Hundreds of vehicles are stranded at several traffic junctions and under-passes which are flooded with rain water. Most of the low-lying areas of the city are inundated leaving many drains overflowing. Earlier in the day, the weather department sounded an alert that the downpour could get heavier in the night and cause flashfloods in vulnerable locations in the east, south and central parts of the city. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the disaster management cell have issued a 10-point advisory to all citizens to keep themselves safe from the rain.


  1. Try to be at home if heavy rains occur.
  2. In case you have to walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure you do not step into deep water.
  3. Never walk through flowing water- you may get swept away or stick by a moving object.
  4. Should not drive through a flooded area- you may not see fallen objects.
  5. Never turn on ceiling fans or fixtures if ceiling is wet.
  6. During floods movements of Childrens, Senior citizens, pregnant women , differently abled should be accompanied by a physically fit person.
  7. Don’t eat any food that has come into contact with flood water.
  8. Books of school & college students should be kept at least 5 feet above ground level.
  9. All important documents should be kept in higher place at least 5 feet above ground level.
  10. Use mobile for sending messages only. With such action you can have continuous communication.



Pharma pollutants kill 23 lakhs fish

The fish that were killed due to release of toxic effluents from pharma companies.



HYDERABAD: In a major environmental disaster, chemical effluents released from Kazipally Industrial Estate consisting of 30 pharma companies, including some top firms, has resulted in the death of around 23 lakh fish worth `10 crore in Gandigudem lake near Patancheru in Sangareddy district. Ameenpur police named top pharma companies MylanHetero Pharma, Aurbindo, SMS Pharma, Sriram and Vantec as accused in the FIR registered on Thursday evening under Sections 277 and 278 of the IPC. The chemical wastes were release during the last 48 hours after the heavy rains of October 3, said the police. Almost 70 to 80 percent fish died after chemicals were released into the 266 acre lake.



Eye in sky: Black Cats, choppers on standby mode for emergency


KOLKATA: National Security Guard (NSG) commandos will remain on standby at their hub in Badu near Madhyamgramon the U-17 World Cup match days at the Salt Lake stadium. So will Mi-17V5 helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Air Force Station Barrackpore to airlift them to the stadium at short notice, should the need arise. Over the last few weeks, the Black Cat commandos have carried out several recces by air to chart out the possible approach routes that helicopters can take to allow them to rappel down effectively. The commandos have also carried out drills at the hotels where the teams are putting up and have a clear knowledge of their layouts. During such drills, the NSG has also developed effective standard operating procedures with units like the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police, who would be the first responders in case of a terror strike. “The NSG commandos have exercised extensively with IAF helicopters and have also dropped out of them at locations in Kolkata after dark. This will help in case they have to get airborne during the matches. Within minutes of receiving instructions to proceed, the IAF choppers would take off and make their way to Badu. The commandos are trained to climb aboard even as the helicopters hover several feet above the ground at the hub. It would then take only a few minutes for the helicopters to reach the stadium and insert the first of the Black Cats.


The IAF pilots have also trained to vector their aircraft to locations after dark,” a senior official of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said. The NSG has also provided assistance to the Bidhannagar Police in fine-tuning security around the stadium during the matches. According to the MHA official, such a major international event is taking place in Kolkata (along with other cities) after several years and nothing will be left to chance. “There is full co-ordination with the state police force. Over the years, we have seen such events are favourite targets of terror outfits, both due to the large number of people present and the mileage. Lone wolf attacks can’t be ruled out either and special precautions are being taken to ensure not even a minor event takes place that can mar the revelry associated with such occasions. Intelligence-gathering has been intensified and inputs are being shared with all agencies concerned. Special equipment has been brought in for proper monitoring. Hospitals have been asked to remain prepared,” the official added.



School bus overturns injuring 18 students near Chennai, driver dies of ‘possible cardiac arrest’



CHENNAI: A 47-year-old driver died of a “possible cardiac arrest” after a private school bus he was driving overturned at Ramakrishnaraju Pet near Tiruttani on Wednesday, police said. There were 18 students in the bus, and all of them suffered injuries. After the bus overturned, driver Mohammad Batcha, a resident of Gopalapuram in RK Pet, escaped from the spot leaving the vehicle and children behind. The accident happened near the school. Residents and road users broke open the windshield of the bus and rescued the trapped school children. They were treated as outpatients in a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, Batcha called his son over the phone and informed him that he was suffering of chest pain. Batcha’s son and other family members rushed to the school and searched for him. Finally, he was found lying unconscious in a coconut grove near the school. They rushed him to a private hospital, where doctors declared him dead on arrival. His body was sent to the Government Hospital in Tiruttani for postmortem. Meanwhile, parents of the injured children went to the school and argued with the school authorities. Some of them pelted two school’s buses with stones and damaged their windshields. A police team led by the Tiruttani deputy superintendent of police Balachandran and RK Pet police inspector Anna Durai pacified the agitating parents. The school authorities held a parent-teacher meeting on Thursday.



International News



Tropical Storm Nate blamed for 22 deaths; threatens US coast

Neighbors walk under the rain past a washed out road in Alajuelita on the outskirts of San Jose, Costa Rica, on Oct. 5, 2017.



MANAGUA, Nicaragua: Newly formed Tropical Storm Nate was blamed on Thursday for at least 22 deaths in Central America as it dumped rain across the region on a path that would carry it toward a potential landfall on the US Gulf Coast as a hurricane over the weekend. Louisiana officials declared a state of emergency and ordered some people to evacuate coastal areas and barrier islands, and evacuations began at some offshore oil platforms in the Gulf. The US National Hurricane Center said the storm could cause dangerous flooding by dumping as much as 15 to 20 inches (38 to 50 centimeters) of rain as it moved over Honduras, with higher accumulations in a few places. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) by Thursday evening and was likely to strengthen over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night and Friday before a possible strike on the Cancun region at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula at near-hurricane strength. It could hit the US Gulf coast near New Orleans over the weekend at hurricane strength. In Nicaragua, Nate‘s arrival followed two weeks of near-constant rain that had left the ground saturated and rivers swollen. Authorities placed the whole country on alert and warned of flooding and landslides. Nicaragua’s vice president and spokeswoman, Rosario Murillo, said that at least 15 people had died in that country due to the storm. She didn’t give details on all the deaths, but said two women and a man who worked for the Health Ministry were swept away by a flooded canal in the central municipality of Juigalpa.


The government closed schools nationwide. Costa Rica‘s Judicial Investigation Organism blamed seven deaths in that country on the storm and said 15 people were missing. Flooding drove 5,000 residents into emergency shelters. In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency and mobilized 1,300 National Guard troops, with 15 headed to New Orleans to monitor the fragile pumping system there. With forecasts projecting landfall in southeast Louisiana Sunday morning, Edwards urged residents to ready for rainfall, storm surge and severe winds _ and to be where they intend to hunker down by “dark on Saturday”. Louisiana’s governor says Nate is forecast to move quickly, rather than stall and drop tremendous amounts of rain on the state. State officials hope that means New Orleans won’t run into problems with its pumps being able to handle the water. Edwards warned, however, against underestimating the storm. Officials ordered the evacuation of part of coastal St. Bernard Parish east of New Orleans ahead of the storm. Earlier Thursday, a voluntary evacuation was called in the barrier island town of Grand Isle south of New Orleans. New Orleans officials outlined steps to bolster the city’s pump and drainage system. Weaknesses in that system were revealed during summer flash floods.


The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement‘s New Orleans office said in a news release that as of midday Thursday, six production platforms, out of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf, had been evacuated. No drilling rigs were evacuated, but one moveable rig was taken out of the storm’s path. The agency estimated less than 15 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in, which equates to 254,607 barrels of oil per day. The storm was centered about 45 miles (75 kilometers) west of Puerto Lempira, Honduras and was moving north-northwest near 10 mph (17 kph). The forecast track showed the storm could brush across the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula late Friday night and then hit the US Gulf Coast as a hurricane by Sunday morning. Forecasters said hurricane conditions were possible in Mexico Friday night. In the Pacific, former Tropical Storm Ramon dissipated off the southwestern coast of Mexico.



18 killed in suicide blast at Sufi shrine in Balochistan



ISLAMABAD: At least 18 people, including a police constable, were killed and more than 30 injured in a suicide attack on a Sufi shrine while a ‘dhamaal’, a form of devotional dance, was in progress in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Thursday. The bombing took place at the entrance of the shrine, Dargah Fatehpur, in the Jhal Magsi district of the volatile province, as scores of people had gathered for Thursday’s prayers that were to follow the ‘dhamaal’. This was the second deadly attack on a Sufi shrine in Pakistan this year. In February, a suicide bomber had killed more than 80 people and injured 250 others in an attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan Sharif in Sindh. Thursdays are considered days of spiritual significance by followers of Sufi saints and the presence of devotees, including women and children, is far greater in shrines than on other days of the week. Majority of the dead and injured were members of the Shia community. The attack took place hours after the Army spokesperson, Major General Asif Ghafoor, highlighted the Army’s efforts in combating terrorism across the country and claimed that there were no safe havens for terrorist organizations in Pakistan.


“It was a suicide blast. The bomber had tried to enter the shrine but a police constable stopped him at the gate, after which he detonated his explosives,” Mohammad Iqbal, the district’s top police official, said. Dr Rukhsana Magsi, medical superintendent at district headquarters hospital in Gandawah, the nearby city, said that 15 dead bodies and 24 injured were brought to the hospital. “The condition of 18 injured persons was not stable and they were shifted to hospitals in Quetta and Larkana for treatment,” she said. Balochistan home minister Sarfaraz Bugti said that if the attacker had managed to enter the shrine, the death toll would have been much higher. “We are in a war zone. We share a porous border with Afghanistan and cannot rule out happening of such attacks,” he said.

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