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3 die as Turkish plane overruns runway, breaks to pieces

The Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 plane carrying 177 passengers and six crew members aboard was arriving at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen International Airport from Turkey’s Izmir province.

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plane slides off runway

Istanbul, Feb 6 : Three people were killed after a Turkish passenger aircraft skidded off the runway after landing and broke into three peices, the country’s Health Minister said on Thursday.

Three people remained in intensive care, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, adding that 179 others were hospitalised with minor injuries, reports Efe news.

The Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 plane carrying 177 passengers and six crew members aboard was arriving at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen International Airport from Turkey’s Izmir province.

“According to the information we obtained, after the hard landing, the plane drifted,” Transportation Minister Cahit Turhan said,.

The majority of passengers were Turkish, although local media said at least 22 were foreign nationals from 12 different countries.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said the plane skidded off the runway and then drifted for about 50 metres before falling from 30 meters and breaking into three pieces.

Authorities have launched an investigation to examine the black box of the 10-year-old aircraft and determine the details of the accident.

This is not the first time the airline has been involved in accidents of such nature.

The crash comes less than a month after another Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 overran the runway at the same airport.

Passengers in the plane, inbound from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, were unharmed in the Jan. 7 incident.

In 2018, the same accident took place with the same aircraft model, this time at Trabzon Airport, as it landed from Turkey’s capital Ankara. The airplane overran the runway and came to a halt at the bottom of a cliff just short of plunging into the sea below. There were no casualties.

The low-cost airline has a fleet of 87 planes and has been in operation for 20 years.

The Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Kurtkoy on the Asian side, which is the smaller of the two international airports in the capital city, has resumed normal operations.

Health

Over 10,000 Indians stranded in Kyrgyzstan

However, under the apparently grim scenario, only three flights may not be sufficient to bring back all the 10,000-plus stranded students from Bishkek.

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Mumbai, March 29 : Over 10,000 Indian students from across India are stranded in the Osh State University (OSU), Kyrgyzstan who desperately want to return, a student from the varsity said on Sunday.

Reacting to a report by IANS on March 28 via email, the medical student Darshan Shinde narrated the plight of the Indian students at the university.

“We were removed from our hostel and kept in other hostels, with four persons in one small room. We are locked here and our passports are not given to us,” rued Shinde.

Besides, the hostel has reportedly kept suspected cases of COVID-19, and the student apprehends that the food stocks in the local markets would disappear soon.

His response came after Union Minister of State for Social Welfare Ramdas Athawale on Saturday informed IANS about the students languishing there in the midst of the Cornavirus pandemic.

“They called me up with urgent requests to help evacuate them. Of these students, I am informed that around 205 are from Maharashtra alone, according to their families,” Athawale said Saturday.

The central minister said that Kyrgyzstan’s Avia Traffic Co., in the capital Bishkek, is ready to operate at least three flights to India and send the stranded students home.

“They are ready to operate two flights to New Delhi and one to Mumbai to bring back these stranded students. I shall be speaking with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Minister for External Affairs and other officials to grant landing permission to the flights on priority basis despite the lockdown and the ban on flight operations,” Athawale said.

He is hopeful of getting the relevant clearances from the Indian government to enable the launch of evacuation proceedings within a couple of days or so as their near and dear ones are getting panicky in view of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

However, under the apparently grim scenario, only three flights may not be sufficient to bring back all the 10,000-plus stranded students from Bishkek.

Meanwhile, Wardha-based education consultant Dr Kishor Saste had estimated that there may be around 2000 Indian students studying medicine in OSU, and more than 500 – including some 125 girls – from Maharashtra alone.

OSU is ranked among the distinguished medical universities globally and is increasingly popular among Indian students in a big way since a couple of decades, besides affordable costs, and good weather conditions, according to Saste.

Incidentally, Kyrgyzstan with a population of around 6.3 million has around 55-plus COVID-19 positive cases with medical emergency situation declared in several parts of the country.

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Travel

Wuhan buses hit the road after two-month lockdown

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Wuhan Bus Service

Beijing, March 26 : As a bus departed from its terminus at Hankou Railway Station at 5.25 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Wuhan started to resume bus service after nine weeks of lockdown.

Apart from a driver, a safety supervisor was also on each bus, whose duty was to make sure all passengers are healthy as their health code shows before boarding.

“For those who do not use smart phones, they should bring with them a health certificate issued by the health authorities,” said Zhou Jingjing, a safety supervisor aboard bus No. 511 departing from Wuchang Railway Station complex, Xinhua news agency reported.

Wuhan, the once hardest-hit city in central China’s Hubei Province during the COVID-19 outbreak, resumed a total of 117 bus routes starting Wednesday, around 30 percent of the city’s total bus transport capacity, the municipal transport bureau said.

From Saturday, six metro lines are expected to reopen to the public. The service time will be published on the stations.

According to a spokesperson of the bureau, passengers must wear masks, register with their names and scan a QR code, and take a temperature check before taking buses and subways. To minimize the infection risk, people who are vulnerable to the virus including those aged above 65 are not encouraged to take public transportation.

On January 23, Wuhan declared unprecedented traffic restrictions, including suspending the city’s public transport and all outbound flights and trains, in an attempt to contain the epidemic within its territory. Similar restrictions were soon introduced in other areas in Hubei.

Hubei authorities ended restrictions on outbound traffic starting Wednesday, with the exception of its capital city of Wuhan, which will lift outbound travel restrictions on April 8, according to a provincial government notice issued Tuesday.

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India

Railways suspends all passenger services till April 14

Railways said that passengers could claim a full refund for all trains cancelled in this period till June 21.

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railway platform

New Delhi, March 24 : The Indian Railways on Tuesday announced suspension of all passenger services till April 14 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a 21 day lockdown across the county.

Freight movement, however, will continue to carry essential commodities across the county.

The Railways on Sunday had announced suspension of all its passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31 midnight in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic to break the chain of transmission of the deadly disease.

The suspensions also included all suburban train services.

Railways said that passengers could claim a full refund for all trains cancelled in this period till June 21.

It also said that people who couldn’t avail train journeys could wait it out at station waiting room with their timings being extended.

The Railway Board on Tuesday also issued instructions to all its production units to examine the feasibility of manufacturing items like simple hospital beds(without mattress), medical trolleys for hospitals and quarantine facilities, and IV stands to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Railways has also ordered closure of all rail museums, heritage galleries and heritage parks up to April 15 as a preventive measure to control the spread of the disease.

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