Seven die in Colombia plane crash

UNTV News   •   September 16, 2019   •   458

A small plane crashed near the southwestern Colombian city of Popayan on Sunday (September 15), killing seven of the nine passengers aboard, the city’s mayor and the country’s civil aviation authority said.

The incident occurred just a few minutes after the aircraft, owned by a small local company, took off from the airport in Popayan, a city of about 270,000 surrounded by mountains. The other two passengers were injured and were being treated at a hospital, Police Chief Fabian Cardenas told the media.

Video footage showed parts of the airplane scattered on top of houses in the area. Colombia’s civil aviation authority said in a statement it was investigating the cause. (REUTERS)

Seven dead after fuel truck explodes in Colombia

UNTV News   •   July 7, 2020

A blast from a fuel truck in northern Colombia left at least seven people dead and more than 50 injured on Monday (July 6).

After the accident a group of local residents gathered around the tanker to try to fill up gas when it exploded, causing an inferno, officials reported.

According to local media, the truck overturned on the road east of Barranquilla, and a dozen people gathered near the vehicle carrying plastic containers when a large cloud of fire erupted and left several people burned.

Colombia’s President Ivan Duque sent a message of solidarity to the families of the victims.

The accident occurred when the hospital services in Colombia’s Caribbean coast are collapsing due to coronavirus cases in the region. (Reuters)

(Production: Herbert Villarraga, Javier Andres Rojas, Liamar Ramos)

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Colombia busts animal trafficking ring smuggling thousands of baby turtles

Marje Pelayo   •   March 9, 2020

REUTERS – Authorities in Colombia on Sunday (March 8) busted an animal smuggling ring out of the country, rescuing thousands of native matamata turtles.

According to officials, a sniffer dog found the turtles as part of a routine inspection at an airport in Amazonas.

Authorities said the turtles were to be smuggled out to the United States and Japan.

The black market value of this group of rescued turtles has been put at around $250,000 dollars.

The baby turtles were reportedly packed together without water and in bags. Many were found in a bad state.

According to reports, 150 of the matamata that were found dead.

The matamata are a species native to this region of Latin America. With its triangular head, spiky scales and unique camouflage, the turtle is popular in animal trafficking rings.

(Production: Camilo Cohecha, Paul Vieira)

Firefighting plane crash kills 3 in Australia

UNTV News   •   January 23, 2020

Workers try to put out a bushfire behind a row of factories near West Queenbeyan, Australia, Jan.23, 2020. EFE-EPA/MICK TSIKAS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Sydney, Australia – Three people were killed when a water-bombing plane fighting bushfires crashed into a large fireball in Australia on Thursday amid rising temperatures that have further fueled the blazes in the country.

The New South Wales authorities said the C-130 Hercules tanker aircraft went down in the Snowy Monaro area, south of the Australian capital, Canberra, in the afternoon.

“Three people have lost their lives after a large tanker crashed. Our thoughts and prayers and heartfelt condolences go to their families,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

She said the disaster was a “stark and horrible” indication that the fire season in Australia was far from over and the “dangerous work” being undertaken to control the blazes.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the contact with the aircraft was lost shortly before 1.30 pm.

“Tragically, there appear to be no survivors as a result of the crash down in the Snowy Monaro area. It has impacted heavily with the ground.

“Initial reports are that there was a large fireball associated with the impact of the plane as it hit the ground,” he said.

Fitzsimmons said there was “no indication at this stage on what caused the accident”.

The victims in the plane crash were not immediately identified but the commissioner said all three aboard were residents of the United States.

Canberra Airport was closed on Thursday after the Australian authorities once again activated its fire alert over rising temperatures, which in some places exceeded 40 degrees Celsius.

The flights arriving in and departing from the country’s ninth busiest airport in terms of the number of passengers were suspended around midday due to a fire raging nearby, the airport said in a statement on social media.

The authorities once again activated its fire alert on Thursday over rising temperatures, which in some places exceeded 40 degrees Celsius.

In the Sydney region, where the mercury reached 41 degrees, it is feared that severe heat conditions, strong winds, and potential storms could aggravate the situation.

Strong winds in the mountains posed an increased risk of fires, said the meteorology bureau of New South Wales, the capital of which is Sydney, and. Some 84 fires, 40 of them uncontrolled, are burning in the region.

“There’s every potential for flare-ups and new ignitions to come out of some of these fire grounds,” Fitzsimmons said.

The authorities in the Australian Capital Territory, which includes Canberra, were also on alert against the danger of fires before temperatures begin to fall again on Friday.

Bushfires, which have been raging since September and which worsened on New Year’s Eve, have claimed 32 lives and affected more than 1 billion animals.

The fires have razed more than 2,500 homes and 180,000 square kilometers (some 69,500 square miles) of land, an area equivalent to the size of Syria.

These fires, which experts say have been more intense this year due to global warming, have emitted so far 400 megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, an amount equivalent to the country’s average annual emissions, according to the global environment monitoring program Copernicus.

A survey by the Australia Institute published on Thursday found that 57 percent of the people surveyed across the country of 24.6 million inhabitants felt the impact of fires and smoke, while 26 percent experienced health problems as a result.

The report also underlined that about 1.8 million people were unable to work because of the fires, and the loss in productivity was estimated at AU$1.3 billion ($894 million).

“Australia is in the grip of a national climate disaster. The social, economic and medical impacts are vast and only just starting to become clear,” said Tom Swann, a senior researcher at the Australia Institute. EFE-EPA

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