32 die in Indian fireworks blast

euronews-At least 32 people have been killed and 10 others injured in a blaze that led to an explosion at a fireworks warehouse in southern India.

The victims are said to have been mainly traders buying fireworks ahead of the Diwali Hindu festival.

Local government official Pacalani Kumar said: “The total death toll is 32 and the person who was running the shop and the owner of the premises have been arrested.”

The fire and the resulting explosion destroyed the warehouse in Pallipat near Chennai, the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Several big cities and towns in India are known to house illegal firework factories which supply pyrotechnics for weddings and festivals.

At least 20 dead in power plant accident

At least 20 people were killed and scores more were believed trapped when a chimney caved in Wednesday at a thermal power plant under construction in central India, police said.
“The death toll from the accident has gone up to 20,” said Chhattisgarh state police spokesman R.K. Vij told AFP in state capital Raipur.

Vij said there were “over 100 labourers working on the site when the chimney fell” and that police believed that 60 to 70 more people could be still trapped under the debris.

“There is chaos at the plant. Labourers are helping the rescue team to pull people out of the debris,” Vij said.

The accident occurred when the chimney of the plant, being built by Bharat Aluminium Co Ltd (Balco), in Korba town in Chhattisgarh state, collapsed, police and company officials said.

Balco is a 51 percent-owned unit of London Stock Exchange-listed resource giant Vedanta Plc, whose activities are focused on India.

The Indian government holds the remaining 49 percent.

Television footage showed frantic rescue efforts under way to bring out those trapped by the chimney’s collapse as family members waited anxiously for news of relatives.

“Seven injured people have been brought to hospital,” Balco general manager B.K. Srivastava told AFP.

“A chimney of 275 metres was being constructed, 100 metres were already completed. There was heavy rain and lightning when the incident occurred,” Srivastava said.

Korba lies 200 kilometres (124 miles) from Raipur.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said in a statement that “a judical probe has been ordered” into the accident.

He said that a police case had been filed against Balco.

Hundreds saved as Philippines ferry sinks

In what is being hailed as a maritime miracle, 900 people have been rescued from a ferry that sank in the southern Philippines. At least five people died and several dozen are still missing. But the hope is that they have been rescued by local fishing boats.

The ship was heading for the central city of Iloilo, but got into difficulties and sank off the west coast of Zamboanga peninsula on Mindanao island.

It is not known why the Superferry 9 went down. However the coastguard says the crew had reported problems with its generator. The weather was clear at the time.

Ferries are an important mode of transport in the Philippines but their safety record is abysmal.

At least 15 drown as Macedonia tourist boat sinks

A tourist trip has ended in tragedy at a beauty spot in Macedonia.

At least 15 people drowned when a sightseeing boat sank.

Most of the more than 70 people on board the vessel, allegedly exceeding its maximum capacity, were Bulgarians.

They had been enjoying a pleasure cruise on Lake Ohrid, Macedonia’s best-known tourist resort.
Holidaymakers at a campsite nearby were the first on the scene, helping to save survivors before a full-scale emergency operation swung into action.
Rescue teams were still looking for at least three people unaccounted for.

Macedonia’s President and Prime Minister travelled to the scene as investigations got underway into the disaster. Sunday has been declared a day of mourning for the victims.

NATO chief promises probe into Afghan blast

The attack in Afghanistan has been on the agenda of a meeting of experts debating NATO’s future.

NATO’s Secretary General says a full investigation is underway and a team is interviewing witnesses to establish just what happened in Kunduz province.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: “There ‘s also the possibilty of civilian casualties as well, but is is not yet clear…..an investigation team has been set already to the scene…led by an admiral from ISAFHQ.

General McCrystal has already spoken to President Karzai to express his commitment to get to the bottom of what happened as soon as possible.”

Fatal train crash in Turkey

As many as five people have been killed after a Turkish express train crashed into a construction vehicle en route from Ankara to Istanbul.

Several carriages were derailed on impact and a number of people suffered injuries close to the nortwestern town of Bilecik.

Ambulances and rescue teams are hard at work trying to release those trapped in the twisted metal.

Two Brothers Killed in Drunk Driving Accident on Long Island

Two brothers are dead after being hit, police say, by a drunk driver. The two brothers left their grandmother’s East Meadow home early in the evening for a night on the town. They left their car at home and went out on foot. Unfortunately the driver who mowed them down on Hempstead Turnpike didn’t make the same choice. The results were deadly.

Kyran Conneloi choked up with emotion as he described the way 28-year old Joseph Occhiogrosso cared for his grandmother here at her East Meadow home on Long Island. Occhiogrosso worked for Conneloi at his plumbing company for several years. Conneloi considered the young man who showed up every day before the shop opened, part of the family.

Joseph and his brother, 27-year old Thomas Occhiogrosso, were crossing Hempstead Turnpike and Conti Square Boulevard early this morning when they were struck and killed by 33 year old James Farr of Garden City. Farr was arrested at the scene. He’d been behind the wheel of a 2005 Black BMW.

Tonight Farr is under arrest for vehicular homicide and driving drunk.