At Least 13 Migrants Dead In Italy Boat Tragedy

 

The Italian coastguard said Monday it had recovered the bodies of 13 women, some of them pregnant, after a boat carrying around 50 migrants capsized off Lampedusa.

Around a dozen people, reportedly including eight children and other pregnant women, are still missing after the small, overloaded boat capsized off the coast of the southern Italian island, the coastguard said.

PHOTOS: Tragedy Averted As Tanker Skids Off Road

Tragedy was averted on Wednesday after a petrol tanker skidded off the road and spilled its content in Shango area of Minna, Niger State capital.

Eyewitnesses told Channels Television that the accident was caused as a result of over speeding by the tanker driver who lost control and eventually skidded off the road.

The accident, however, resulted in a heavy gridlock leaving commuters and motorists stranded.

READ ALSO: Stop Harassing Young Nigerians Carrying Laptops, FG Tells Security Agencies

Men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps have cordoned the area, while officials of the Road Safety Corps are diverting motorists to other routes.

Rescue efforts are also ongoing as officials of the Federal and State Fire Services are applying chemical mixed with water to the area to prevent fire disaster from occurring.

See photos below…

36 People Missing After Boat Sinks In Congo River

 

Thirty-six people are missing after a boat sank in the Congo river on the outskirts of Kinshasa, DR Congo police said on Sunday.

Seventy-six people survived after the vessel went down overnight on the outskirts of the capital, the police wrote on Twitter.

“The cause of the accident is not yet known,” police spokesperson Colonel Pierrot-Rombaut Mwanamputu told AFP.

AFP

World Leaders React To Sri Lanka Easter Blasts

Sri Lankan security personnel walk next to dead bodies on the floor amid blast debris at St. Anthony’s Shrine following an explosion in the church in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP

 

World leaders have condemned a series of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed more than 150 people on Sunday, including dozens of foreigners — with British, Dutch and American citizens believed to be among them.

Hospital sources also said Japanese citizens were among those injured by the bombs which ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services.

Here is a summary of the reactions:

 Britain: ‘Stand together’ 

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as “truly appalling”.

READ ALSO: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Condemns ‘Cowardly’ Attacks

“The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time,” she tweeted.

“We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear.”

 The Netherlands: ‘Terrible reports’ 

“Terrible reports from Sri Lanka about bloody attacks on hotels and churches on this Easter Sunday,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted after the attacks first emerged.

“Thoughts are with the victims and their relatives.”

 Australia: ‘Terrorist attack’ 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was thinking of those killed in a “horrific terrorist attack”.

“To the beautiful people of Sri Lanka, Australia sends its heartfelt sympathies and our prayers and our support — and our offer to do whatever we can to support you in this terrible time of need,” he said in a statement.

“At this time as Easter Sunday draws to a conclusion here in Australia, our heart goes out to those Christians and all of those other innocents who have been slaughtered today in this horrific terrorist attack.”

 New Zealand: ‘Devastating’ 

A month after dozens of Muslims were killed in a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as “devastating”.

“New Zealand condemns all acts of terrorism, and our resolve has only been strengthened by the attack on our soil on the 15th of March. To see an attack in Sri Lanka while people were in churches and at hotels is devastating.

“New Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and the right to worship safely. Collectively we must find the will and the answers to end such violence.”

Catholic Church in Holy Land: ‘Solidarity’ 

The Catholic Church in Jerusalem said the blasts were particularly sad as they “came while Christians celebrate Easter”.

“We pray for the souls of the victims and ask for speedy recovery of the injured, and ask God to inspire the terrorists to repent of their killing and intimidation,” the statement said.

“We also express our solidarity with Sri Lanka and all its inhabitants in their various religious and ethnic backgrounds.”

AFP

Easter Tragedy In Sri Lanka As Blasts Kill 156

Sri Lankan security personnel keep watch outside the church premises following a blast at the St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019.  ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP

 

A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on Sunday, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe condemned the attacks as “cowardly” and said the government was working to “contain the situation”.

Images circulating on social media and local news stations showed extensive damage at one of three churches targeted in the near-simultaneous blasts on Sunday morning.

Much of the church roof was blown out in the explosion, with roof tiles and splintered wood littering the floor and pools of blood in between wounded worshippers.

READ ALSO: Germans Injured In Madeira Bus Crash Flown Home

The injured flooded into local hospitals, where officials reported hundreds of wounded were being admitted.

 Police chief warning 

The nature of the blasts was not immediately clear and there were no immediate claims of responsibility.

But documents seen by AFP show that Sri Lanka’s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued an intelligence alert to top officers 10 days ago, warning that suicide bombers planned to hit “prominent churches”.

“A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” the alert said.

The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that was linked last year to the vandalisation of Buddhist statues.

The first blast was reported at St Anthony’s Shrine, a well-known Catholic church in the capital Colombo.

A second deadly explosion was then confirmed at St Sebastian’s, a church in the town of Negombo, north of the capital.

“A bomb attack to our church, please come and help if your family members are there,” read a post in English on the church’s Facebook page.

Soon after, police confirmed that a third church in the town of Batticaloa had been hit, along with three high-end hotels in the capital.

Hospital sources said British, Dutch and American citizens were among the dead, with Britons and Japanese among those injured in the attacks.

 ‘Cowardly attacks’ 

President Maithripala Sirisena said in an address that he was shocked by the explosions and appealed for calm, and the prime minister was expected to speak to the media shortly.

On Twitter, Wickremesinghe wrote: “I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today.

“I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”

The hotels targeted in the attack are all popular destinations for tourists, among them the Cinnamon Grand, which is near the prime minister’s official residence in Colombo.

An official at the hotel told AFP the blast there had hit the restaurant and reported at least one person had been killed.

At the Shangri-La hotel, an AFP photographer saw extensive damage on the second-floor restaurant, with windows blown out and electrical wires hanging from the ceiling.

 ‘Horrible scenes’

“Emergency meeting called in a few minutes. Rescue operations underway,” Sri Lanka’s Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Harsha de Silva, said in a tweet on his verified account.

He said he had been to two of the attacked hotels and was at the scene at St Anthony’s Shrine, where he described “horrible scenes”.

“I saw many body parts strewn all over,” he tweeted, adding that there were “many casualties including foreigners”.

“Please stay calm and indoors,” he added.

Embassies in Colombo warned their citizens to shelter in place, and Sri Lankan Airlines told customers to arrive at the airport four hours ahead of flights because of ramped-up security in the wake of the attacks.

Only around six per cent of mainly Buddhist Sri Lanka is Catholic, but the religion is seen as a unifying force because it includes people from both the Tamil and majority Sinhalese ethnic groups.

There have been no attacks in Sri Lanka linked to foreign Islamist groups, despite local media reports that a 37-year-old Sri Lankan was killed in Syria in 2016 while fighting for the Islamic State group.

In January, Sri Lankan police seized a haul of explosives and detonators stashed near a wildlife sanctuary following the arrest of four men from a newly formed radical Muslim group.

AFP

 

PHOTOS: Black Monday In Iran As Military Cargo Plane Crashes

A picture taken on January 14, 2019 shows a Boeing 707 cargo plane that reportedly crashed into a residential complex near the Iranian capital Tehran with 10 people onboard. The plane overshot the runway during its landing, Iran’s aviation organisation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh told state broadcaster IRIB. HASAN SHIRVANI / MIZAN NEWS / AFP

 

Tragedy struck in Iran on Monday when a cargo military plane crashed near Tehran, the country’s capital.

According to the Fars news agency, only the flight engineer of the 16 passengers on board that survived.

State broadcaster IRIB earlier said there were 10 people on the plane, without confirming any casualties.

“A (Boeing) cargo 707 places carrying meat took off from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and had an emergency landing at Fath airport this morning,” the army said in a statement on its website.

See photos below:

Tragedy As Motorway Bridge Collapses In Italy

A picture taken on August 14, 2018 in Genoa shows a section of a giant motorway bridge that collapsed earlier injuring several people. ANDREA LEONI / AFP

 

A section of a giant motorway bridge collapsed Tuesday in Genoa, injuring several people in what Italy’s transport minister said was an “immense tragedy.”

Some Italian media, citing sources within the interior ministry, said that at least 11 people had died, though it was not immediately possible to confirm this figure.

Rescuers scouring through the wreckage after part of a viaduct of the A10 freeway collapsed said there were “tens of victims”, while images from the scene showed an entire carriageway plunged on to railway lines below.

Cars and trucks were trapped in the rubble and nearby buildings damaged.

Italian media reported that 200 metres (650 feet) of the “Morandi” bridge had fallen away.

The Italian fire service said that the viaduct, located in an industrial area in the west of the city, collapsed at around noon (1000 GMT).

“I’m following with the utmost apprehension what is happening in Genoa and what looks like it could be an immense tragedy,” transport and infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli said on Twitter.

Italy’s far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini said he was following events in Genoa “up to the minute” and thanked the emergency services for their swift response.

A fire service spokesperson told AFP that the bridge had mostly fallen on rail tracks 100 meters (yards) below and that “cars and trucks” had fallen with the rubble.

“Firefighters are working together and teams of rescuers and police sniffer dogs have been mobilised,” emergency services said on Twitter.

Genoa is located between the sea and the mountains of northwestern Italy.

Its rugged terrain means that motorways that run through the city and the surrounding area are characterised by long viaducts and tunnels.

AFP

Tragedy Averted In Ekiti As Fuel Tanker Spills Content

 

A tragedy was on Sunday averted after a petrol tanker spilt its content on the road after offloading at a Filling Station in Ado the Ekiti, the state capital.

The incident occurred while the tanker was pulling out of the filling station, spilling the remnant of its contents in the process.

The incident would have escalated into a tragic explosion but men of the state fire service swung into action, preventing a fire outbreak around the tanker or at locations where the split remnant of its content flowed to, via the drainage.

READ ALSO: North West Governors Forum Hold Meeting In Kaduna

Governor Ayodele Fayose in reaction visited the scene. He warned businesses owners to comply with standards and safety measures while going about their businesses.

“They need to put the interest of the state and the people first. Today, many lives would have been lost because this is a tanker containing PMS.

“In doing business, especially businesses with this kind of sensitivity, like the oil an gas, they have to keep to standard and measures for the safety of our people.

See more photos below…

EASTER TRAGEDY: 38 die in Catholic and Deeper life Churches

At least 30 persons have been confirmed dead as a Catholic church building in Adamgbe, Mbayongo Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue state collapsed on Saturday night while parishioners were worshiping during the Easter vigil night.

Eyewitnesses said the number of casualty was high because help could not reach those trapped on time.

The church, St. Roberts Catholic church collapsed in the middle of the service held to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ night.

Eyewitnesses said the number of casualty was high because help could not reach those trapped on time.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Alaribe Ejike, who confirmed the incidence said that
the worshippers died when the Church collapsed on them.

He said the speculations that the incidence was caused by an attack as reported by some foreign
media agencies is a lie.

Mr Ejike assured the people of the state of the readiness of the police to protect the lives and
property of citizens.

Eight die at Deeper life retreat

Eight persons have also been confirmed dead during the Deeper Life Easter Retreat in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The camp where the worshippers assembled at Eyenkorin, on the outskirts of Ilorin, reportedly collapses on Friday due to a heavy rain accompanied by thunderstorm leaving eight dead and several others injured.

This was said to be as a result of a heavy downpour, accompanied by thunderstorm.

Eyewitnesses said a pillar of the camp venue collapsed, leading to the crashing of the worship centre on worshippers.

Seven persons were reported dead on the spot while a pastor of the church, who was on his way to donate blood for the severely injured, was hit and killed by a vehicle on his motorbike.