Twenty-three people were injured when an Air Canada jet struck an antenna and crash landed as it attempted to touch down in heavy snow at Halifax airport on Sunday March 29th. All but one of the injured were later released from hospital following the incident, which came just five days after a pilot killed himself and 149 others when he slammed his Germanwings plane into the French Alps.Like the doomed Germanwings flight, the Air Canada plane involved in Sunday’s incident was an Airbus A320.Flight AC624 from Toronto “exited runway upon landing at Halifax,” the airline said on Twitter, and pictures showed the nose of the plane sliced off, its landing gear collapsed and at least one engine badly mangled.Passengers said the plane had circled over the airport before coming in to land and had “bounced” upon impact, shortly after midnight.Investigators were probing what caused the incident, but heavy snow was falling in the eastern Canadian city and Environment Canada had issued a snowfall alert, warning of low visibility.Transportation Safety Board investigator Mike Cunningham told a press conference the plane had struck an antenna array approximately 350 meters (1,150 feet) before the start of the runway.The collision caused “significant damages to the aircraft,” he said, ripping off the landing gear.Five crew and 133 passengers were on board the plane, according to Air Canada.TSB investigators have recovered the black box flight recorders for analysis of cockpit exchanges with air traffic control and flight data.– Passenger panic –Passengers described scenes of panic.“There was a couple people, all bloodied. Everybody was able to get out, but what was worse was that they left us for an hour outside in the blowing snow,” Lianne Clark told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.Some ran from the plane “because the fuel was coming out and we were scared,” she said.Halifax airport spokesman Peter Spurway said passengers had appeared shaken as they left the plane, describing the incident as “scary.”Power was out at the airport at the time of the incident, but it was unclear whether there was an impact on the situation.“We did lose power, we’re not sure if the two incidents are connected. They may be but we’re not sure,” Spurway told AFP.Back-up generators were running when the flight landed and the runways were lit, he added.Both runways were closed overnight but the airport was slowly returning to normal early Sunday.Images showed the aircraft sitting on the airfield with its badly damaged nose as thick snow covered the ground.Spurway reported the damage as “extensive” and said at least one emergency chute had opened.Several counties in the eastern coastal province of Nova Scotia were affected by Saturday’s winter weather alert.“We at Air Canada are greatly relieved that no one was critically injured,” said Klaus Goersch, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Air Canada.“Yet we fully appreciate this has been a very unsettling experience for our customers and their families, as well as our employees, and we are focused on caring for all those affected.”
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal will lay the foundation stone of the proposed Rail Coach Factory at Latur on Saturday. The decision to set up the factory was taken in January and it is expected to cost ₹500 crore. An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in February during the Magnetic Maharashtra Summit between the ministry and the state government. The factory is being built on 153 hectares. The State has offered several concessions for the project. The Rail Coach Factory will manufacture EMU coaches as well as Metro coaches. During the Summit Mr. Goyal had said that the eventual plan was to create a large industrial complex of around 2,000 acres and turn Latur into a manufacturing hub for Metro coaches. The coach factory has been planned to meet the demand for Metro coaches, especially in Maharashtra.The project, which is expected to provide employment to 30,000 people in the region, will in the first phase manufacture 250 coaches annually, increasing it to 400 in Phase 2.
Story Highlights St. James business and tourism interests say they are in strong support of the extension of the State of Emergency (SOE) in the parish, arguing that “Montego Bay and neighbouring communities have never felt safer”. St. James business and tourism interests say they are in strong support of the extension of the State of Emergency (SOE) in the parish, arguing that “Montego Bay and neighbouring communities have never felt safer”.Mayor of Montego Bay, His Worship Homer Davis, told JIS News it is clear that the SOE is working, and every effort should be made “to keep a good thing going”.“We have to keep ostracising the criminals… . We can’t give them any breathing space. We have to speak with one voice as a nation and to let them know that there is no place where they will be safe,” he added.On May 1, the House of Representatives unanimously voted to extend the SOE in St. James until August 2, 2018.Mayor Davis said since the SOE, crime has taken a welcomed nosedive and that “the criminals are on the run”.“If they are planning a ‘waiting out’ strategy, we have to show that our resolve is stronger than theirs. We can’t give them any opportunity to regroup… no opportunity to come back and set up shop,” the Mayor said.“We have made some tremendous gains, which in no way we can allow to be reversed. That would be nothing short of a tragedy and something I am sure none of us want,” he emphasised.For his part, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said everything should be done to send the criminals a message that their days of waging terror on the streets are over.“We have to remain committed. We cannot allow the crime situation to get back out of control,” he said.Newly elected President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Winston Lawson, said the Chamber welcomed the extension.“The Chamber lauds the tremendous work of the joint security forces since the advent of the SOE and recognises the significant successes in reducing the crime levels,” he said.“We hope the extension time is used to strategise in transitioning away from the SOE,” Mr. Lawson said. “We have to keep ostracising the criminals… . We can’t give them any breathing space. We have to speak with one voice as a nation and to let them know that there is no place where they will be safe,” he added. Mayor of Montego Bay, His Worship Homer Davis, told JIS News it is clear that the SOE is working, and every effort should be made “to keep a good thing going”.
VANCOUVER — A British Columbia Supreme Court judge says jurors will need to use their common sense in assessing the reliability of an alleged confession by a man accused of killing a 12-year-old girl.In final instructions to the jury, Justice Austin Cullen says an undercover police officer posing as a crime boss provided financial and social inducements to Garry Handlen but the man was never threatened.Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack near her home in Merritt in 1978.Her remains were found 17 years later, near where Handlen told the supposed crime boss that he sexually assaulted and killed her.The RCMP began a so-called Mr. Big sting in early 2014, falsely telling Handlen police had DNA linking him to Jack’s murder and witnesses could place him at the crime scene but “things could be done to take care of it” if he told the truth.The trial began in October and jurors are expected to start deliberations on Monday.The Canadian Press
Tamra Keepness has been missing since 2004 (Regina Police Service).The Canadian PressRetired police corporal Jim Pratt remembers standing on a road on the outskirts of Regina as a team of searchers walked through a yellow canola field.They were looking for a missing Indigenous girl, five-year-old Tamra Keepness. Elders had told police they had visions of the child near rocks, water and trees.Pratt says a car with two older white women pulled up beside him, and one peeped out a window.“Did you find our baby yet?” she asked.No. And 15 years later, Tamra still hasn’t been found.Pratt gets emotional thinking about that day, that unsolved case and the girl so many worried about.“Race was thrown to the side,” Pratt says. “That little girl became everybody’s baby.”Toothy smileTamra and her toothy smile were well-known across Canada in 2004, and the search for the missing girl grew to one of the largest in Regina’s history.She was last seen about 10:30 p.m. on July 5 of that year as she was going to bed in her home in Regina’s core, where she lived with her mother, stepfather, twin sister and four other siblings.She was noticed missing the next day about noon.“No matter what we did, no matter how many people we talked to, no matter where we searched, we were no closer at the end of that than we were the day that she was reported missing,” says Marlo Pritchard, a staff sergeant in charge of the major crimes unit at the time.Now chief of police in Weyburn, Sask., Pritchard recalls the force was consumed with an urgency to find the little girl.About 2,000 tips came in and, like a grenade going off with fragments flying everywhere, each one needed to be looked at as a potential lead.It’s frustrating no one was able to find her, he says.“It pulls at your heart. It hurts.”Search and rescueRetired officer Ron Weir, who was called in to set up the search and rescue operation just as he was heading out on holidays, remembers working 20-hour days on the case.Police were “behind the eight-ball,” he says, because several hours had passed between the time Tamra was last seen and when she was reported missing.He brought in volunteers to help.“These people were out there daily with us for months and taking time off their work,” he says.Police and hundreds of volunteers scoured neighbourhoods, combed through yards and garages and, assuming the worst, looked in trash bins and a local landfill. The search also expanded to Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation and Pasqua First Nation based on tips from the public and visions from elders.Regina police did not respond to a request for an update on the case. But this week they released a short video saying investigators continue to search for answers.Ottawa StreetThe old brown-and-white house from where Tamra vanished still stands on Ottawa Street. Some residents say the neighbourhood has its issues: property crime, women working street corners at night and people in dark clothing walking around looking inside vehicles.Posters of a missing Indigenous woman, Jenaya Wapemoose, who hasn’t been seen since March, are taped to lampposts along the block.Tamra’s cousin, Honey Watetch, moved in across the street a few months ago. Having Tamra’s old house so close is hard, Watetch says, and she doesn’t like to talk about it.Troy Keepness also visited the neighbourhood this week.Tamra’s father says he feels like crying and harbours guilt over losing custody of his children in the years leading up to Tamra’s disappearance.Brave, gigglyThe last time he saw Tamra – the brave, giggly, energetic girl who looked most like him – Keepness says she told him she wanted to be home with him.He’s numbed the pain over the years with alcohol and drugs, he adds, and has also had interactions with police.“I feel awful about how I’ve been living to deal with issues around my life.”Keepness has 10 other children who are mostly now grown, he says. He’s proud of his kids. One son recently graduated high school. Tamra’s twin is now in university.He knows Tamra would be doing well now too, he says, and hopes to one day find her – or at least find out what happened to her.It’s something he has prayed about.“I prayed whoever has her would keep her safe and not hurt her,” he says. “And if she’s already an angel, then I said ‘hello.”’Pratt still advises police on the case, and says he also thinks about Tamra all the time.“Some day we’ll see her in the spirit world or some day she’ll walk down the street in real life and say, ‘I’m here,” Pratt says. “That’s how I have to look at it.“We’re not going to give up hope.”