Did Oxygen Tank Explode on Jet?

27 07 2008

Qantas jet with hole in fuselage, July 25

MANILA, Philippines (July 27) – Australian investigators are focusing on the possibility that an oxygen cylinder could have exploded mid-flight on a Qantas jumbo jet that made an emergency landing in the Philippines with a giant hole in its fuselage, officials said Sunday.

 

 

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority said Qantas has been ordered to urgently inspect every oxygen bottle aboard its fleet of 30 Boeing 747s.
“At this stage, there is no evidence whatsoever that this is a security-related event,” Neville Blyth, senior investigator from the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau, told a news conference in Manila. “This is being treated as a safety investigation.”
Blyth said tests for bomb residue were negative. Philippine bomb-sniffing dogs went through the aircraft, particularly the cargo hold and the passenger baggage, and found no indication of explosives.
He said the focus is now on an oxygen bottle missing from the cargo hold that was left exposed when a section of the 747-400’s metal skin ripped away at 29,000 feet over the South China Sea on Friday.
“I can’t speculate as to indeed the probability of that cylinder having caused the damage,” Blyth said, when asked if there were indications that the scuba tank-like cylinder had exploded and damaged the plane.
“In the vicinity of the damage, we are missing one cylinder. The areas around the damage will be inspected. We’re obviously looking for evidence on where that cylinder may have gone,” he said.
Peter Gibson, spokesman for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said an inspection of all oxygen bottles in Qantas’ fleet will take several days. He said bottles located near the hole contained emergency oxygen for the flight deck. aol.com




Death toll in China earthquake up to nearly 9,000

12 05 2008

Cnn picture

CHENGDU, China (AP) — One of the worst earthquakes to hit China in three decades killed nearly 9,000 people Monday, trapped about 900 students under the rubble of their school and caused a toxic chemical leak, state media reported.

The 7.9-magnitude earthquake devastated a hilly region of small cities and towns in central China. The official Xinhua News Agency said 8,533 people died in Sichuan province and more than 200 others were killed in three other provinces and the mega-city of Chongqing.

Xinhua said 80 percent of the buildings had collapsed in Sichuan province’s Beichuan county after the quake, raising fears that the overall death toll could increase sharply.





Rabbi, priests, sheriffs support Passaic imam in court

11 05 2008

A Jewish rabbi, Roman Catholic and Episcopalian priests, a federal prosecutor and two sherriffs took the witness stand today to heap praise upon a popular Muslim cleric as his attorneys began presenting their case for why he should not be deported.

Mohammad Qatanani, imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Paterson faces deportation for allegedly failing to disclose on his 1996 green card application that he had been arrested and pleaded guilty to aiding the terrorist group Hamas in an Israeli military court three years earlier.

His attorneys argue that Qatanani was detained administratively, convicted in absentia and subject to interrogation tactics Israel’s top court later outlawed as torture.

Among the witnesses subpeonad by Qatatani’s lawyers was Assistant United States Attorney Charles McKenna, who described numerous trips to the Paterson mosque as part of an effort to create better understanding between law enforcement and the Muslim community.

As an example, he said investigators often interpreted the tendency of Muslim women to not look them in the eye as a sign of deceit. Through the dialogue at the mosque, they realized it is routine in Arab culture for women not to look men outside their family in the eye.

“It’s important for us to have leaders in the Islamic community who will be accepting of us and give us inroads in the community,” he said.

The sheriffs of two north Jersey counties echoed McKenna’s statements that the mosque’s open door policies had helped investigators become more familiar with cultural aspects of the Muslim community.

But they also described a more personal connection they had made through their cooperation with Qatanani.

“When I’m in his presence, and he does have a presence, this small, unassuming person, he doesn’t say “boo” but he gives me a better feeling of peace,” said Bergen County Sheriff Leo McGuire. “I feel better as a person to be with him.”

Jerry Speziale, the sheriff of Passaic County echoed McGuire’s testimony saying Qatatani “radiates peace.”

Christopher Brundage, one of two Department of Homeland Security attorneys serving as prosecutors in the case, pressed Speziale and McGuire, asking if they would have different opinions if they had known about Qatatani’s alleged ties to Hamas.

Speziale said he would need to see proof of the conviction himself. McGuire said, “It would surprise me,” but added, “it cannot change my mind about what I have observed.” NJ.com





ISRAEL: Terrorists Kill 2 Israelis

25 04 2008

Two Israelis were killed Friday morning when Palestinian terrorists opened fire at them in the Nitzane Shalom industrial complex near Tulkarm in the West Bank.Israel Defense Forces troops and police were at the scene and were searching for the shooters.

According to the preliminary investigation, at least one terrorist arrived at one of the factories in the complex and opened fire at the two.

The gunmen initially intended to infiltrate Israel but returned to the industrial complex after they were unable to penetrate the security barrier, Army Radio reported.

The two men, Shimon Mizrachi, 53, of Bat Hefer and Eli Wasserman, 51, of Alfei Menashe, were declared dead by a Magen David Adom team that was called to the area. They were security guards at one of the factories.

Wasserman’s funeral is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. at the cemetery in Netanya. He is survived by a wife and two children.

Itzik Mimran, an MDA paramedic, was one of the first to arrive on the scene.

“When we arrived, there were two casualties,” he told Channel 10. “One of the senior medics reported that one of the casualties was dead and that another was wounded. We immediately initiated advanced resuscitation, but sadly he died.”

The two had weapons on their person, Mimran said.

The Nitzane Shalom complex was built in 1995. It houses nine factories that provide jobs to many Palestinians from the West Bank. Jewish.com