Today is Monday the 24th of October, 2016

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Now we start the new week with the following stories….

Be safe out there!


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French customs officers killed in fireball plane crash at Malta airport

Five French customs officers were killed when a plane heading towards Libya to monitor migrant trafficking routes crashed shortly after take-off at Malta’s main airport. malta

The US-registered light aircraft, on lease to a company in Luxembourg, was seen banking sharply before plummeting to the ground and exploding in a huge fireball at around 7.20am local time.

Malta’s government said the five men were part of a French customs surveillance operation tracing routes of human and drug trafficking.

The plane, a twin-propeller Fairchild Metroliner Mark III, had been heading for Misrata in north-west Libya.

A government spokesman said witnesses had confirmed there was no explosion prior to impact.

Actor Edward De Gaetano was returning to London when he witnessed the aftermath of the crash.

He told the Press Association: “We were about to take off; moments before we did from our windows we could see a massive explosion – at first we had no idea what caused it.”

He added: “Then there was a second explosion and I thought ‘Oh my God, this is not just a fire’. We are all a bit stunned.”

Mr De Gaetano said it was “definitely not a military plane” which had crashed – with flames from the explosion “engulfing” a nearby tree.

Before the crash he said everything seemed “very, very normal”.

The airport was closed for four hours while debris was cleared, causing dozens of flights to be delayed and cancelled and officials warned it would take “some time” for the schedule to return to normal.

A spokesman for the airport at Luqa said: “We can confirm that the five crew on board the aircraft are deceased. Our thoughts are with families of people involved in this accident.

“An investigation is currently ongoing and we are working with all the authorities to provide them with any assistance necessary.”

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Russian Helicopter Crash in Siberia Kills 19

Nineteen people were killed Saturday when a helicopter carrying oil workers crashed in northwestern Siberia. Weather may be to blame, the Russia

In this handout photo, made available by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, a Mi-8 helicopter lies on the ground after it crashed about 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Staryi Urengoi in Hassana, Russia. Russia's aviation agency says 19 people have died after a helicopter carrying oil workers crashed. (Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

In this handout photo, made available by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, a Mi-8 helicopter lies on the ground after it crashed about 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Staryi Urengoi in Hassana, Russia. Russia’s aviation agency says 19 people have died after a helicopter carrying oil workers crashed. (Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

aviation agency reported.

Russian officials said the Mi-8 helicopter carrying 22 people was flying from Vankor to Staryi Yrengoi in the Yamalo-Nenets region when the incident happened 45 kilometers from Staryi Urengoi.

According to a preliminary investigation, all three crew members and 16 of the 19 workers onboard died at the scene. The helicopter was taking workers from a subcontractor of Russian oil giant Rosneft, TASS state news reported.

It took a rescue team hours to find the crash site due to fog and poor visibility.

Emergency workers found the helicopter lying on its side, but they were still able to save three people from the wreckage.

The three passengers are reported to have suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. They were able to call rescuers on the phone from inside the helicopter after it crashed, saying the aircraft “flew into strong winds and fell.”

Russia’s civil aviation authority has opened an investigation, but said “based on preliminary data, the incident could be linked to unfavorable weather conditions.”

Officials said a special commission will investigate the crew’s decision to fly during adverse weather.

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Two people dead in Miller County, Mo. plane crash


MILLER COUNTY, Mo. – Two people died in a plane crash in Miller County Saturday afternoon, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

The MSHP said it received a call around 3:30 p.m. about a small aircraft crash near Lee C. Fine Airport in Miller County. MSHP troopers, Miller County sheriff’s deputies, Osage Beach police officers and other surrounding emergency responders went to the area and found a single-engine Beechcraft airplane crashed in a wooded area.

Bruce Hensler, 56, and Sarah M. Hensler, 30, both of New Britain, Pennsylvania were pronounced dead at the scene by the Miller County coroner. Investigators believe Bruce Hensler was the pilot.

Investigators have not determined where the aircraft had taken off or its destination. Federal Aviation Administration investigators will be at the crash site on Sunday to conduct a complete investigation.

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Suspected drunk driver crashes into fire truck, medical helicopter near Gallup, N.M

GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) –  McKinley County Sheriffs Office deputies responded to a crash early Sunday morning after a suspected drunk driver helo-duiwent crashing into a medical helicopter and fire truck on Highway 566 near Gallup.

Deputies say a landing zone for a medical transport helicopter had been set up by the fire department for transport of a patient from a separate crash on Navajo route 1149, when the reported drunk driver went around the barricade on Highway 566 crashing into the helicopter and fire truck.

The helicopter was unoccupied, not running and rotors were not spinning, according to McKinely County Sheriff’s Office.

McKinley County sheriff’s say the suspected drunk driver, now identified as 26-year-old Glenn Livingston of Gallup, has been arrested and is charged with aggravated DWI, resisting, evading and or obstructing an officer among other charges.

No injuries were reported at the time of the crash.

MCSO says all vehicles involved were rendered inoperable and towed from the crash scene.

No further information is available.

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Pilot not hurt in Muskegon County Airport plane crash

NORTON SHORES, MICH. – A student pilot is OK despite her plane crashing at the Muskegon County Airport. michigan

The plane, described as a single-engine aircraft, went down during landing just before 2:20 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler said. Its front-nose wheel collapsed and bent upon contact with the ground, causing the aircraft to skid to a stop.

The plane appeared to be largely intact and not on fire, a witness told WZZM.

“I was sitting in my living room when I heard a fire whistle go off, which I think was kind of unusual,” said Terry Knoll, who then went outside to investigate the scene.

The pilot is an 18-year-old Indiana woman who was completing some advanced flying time just before the crash, Roesler said. She waved off medical help before ambulances arrived, according to dispatch traffic.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety board are tasked to continue an investigation.

Alcohol nor drugs are not believed to be factors in the crash.

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Pilot injured as small plane crash lands in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada cemetery

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A small plane crash landed in a cemetery in Medicine Hat, Alta. Saturday night.  medicine-hat

Sgt. Jeff Wieschorster (WEE’-chess-ter) of the Medicine Hat Police Service said the pilot — a 64-year-old local man — suffered serious, but non life-threatening injuries.

He was the only person on board the single engine Beechcraft Sierra 35.

Sgt. Wieschorster said the Medicine Hat control tower received a Mayday call from the plane around 8 p.m., just before it went down in the Hillside Cemetery, about one kilometre short of the airport.

There was no word late Saturday night about the exact nature of the distress call, however, Transportation Safety Board investigator John Lee said he planned to talk to the pilot on Sunday to try to determine exactly what happened.

The cemetery, meantime, sustained only minor property damage.

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Canister found after London City Airport evacuation

A canister, believed to be “a CS gas or spray”, was discovered by police during a search on Friday afternoon. _92021607_city-airport4_alistair-goold

About 500 people were evacuated from the east London airport at 16:00 BST after some passengers felt unwell.

Two people were taken to hospital and 26 others treated at the scene.

A spokesperson said that while “the cause of the incident has not yet been confirmed, officers are investigating if it was the result of an accidental discharge”.

“At this early stage officers are investigating whether it may have been discarded by a passenger prior to check-in,” the spokesperson said.

The Met have said they are not treating the case as terrorist-related.

David Morris, 28, had been checking in for a BA flight to Edinburgh when he “started to cough to the point I was not able to keep talking”.

“It was getting quite bad and we saw other people starting to cough at the same time. The people behind the desk were coughing the most and quite aggressively,” he said. london1

Chris Daly, 35, from Southend, told the BBC he had just landed on a flight from Glasgow when he heard the fire alarms.

“When we got into the airport terminal building we could hear the fire alarms going on, then there were announcements in three different languages saying this is a fire alarm and the crew were directing us at the baggage carousel to evacuate the building,” he said.

London Fire Brigade said sweeps of the airport were carried out by crews wearing protective equipment.

“No elevated readings were found and the building was ventilated, searched and declared safe,” a spokesperson said.

The airport was reopened after about three hours and is running as normal.

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Suburban emergency crews put to the test during airport drill (West Chicago, Illinois)

The field next to a DuPage Airport runway was transformed into the scene of a downed plane Saturday morning as part of an emergency exercise complete with fires, debris and bloodied victims. dpa

“We’re trying to make it as real as we can,” West Chicago Fire Protection District Chief Patrick Tanner said as the site was being prepared at the West Chicago airport.

More than a dozen local and federal agencies participated in a plane crash simulation, which was planned by the DuPage Airport Authority and the West Chicago Fire Protection District.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the DuPage Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management were joined by at least nine fire departments. Firefighters and equipment came from as far away as Bartlett, Hanover Park and South Elgin.

Tanner said the goal of the exercise was to put everyone to the test.

“It tests a lot of people’s capabilities,” Tanner said. “It tests their confidence. And it tests our system to make sure we have what we need to successfully mitigate this kind of situation.”

The drill started with radio reports that a twin-engine business-type jet was experiencing problems and had to land. Minutes later, there was another message that the plane had crashed.

As emergency crews arrived, they found multiple controlled fires. One blaze was inside part of a small plane, which served as the cockpit of the downed plane. There was scattered debris and two bodies — represented by mannequins — in the field. Meanwhile, a bus doubling as the jet’s fuselage contained eight people portraying injured passengers.

Some firefighters immediately smothered the flames. Others worked to remove and diagnose the “victims,” who all had fake blood and mock injuries.

After being treated on the scene, victims were taken away by ambulances to an area representing a hospital emergency room.

The exercise was observed by officials from the FAA, Waukegan National Airport, and the DuPage Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. They will evaluate how it went and provide feedback to the participants.

“There’s always things that you can learn from any type of exercise like this,” Tanner said. “No matter how perfect you think you are, you’re not.”

DuPage Airport officials plan to have another disaster drill in three years, even though it’s not required.

“This is being done because we think we have a moral and ethical responsibility,” said David Bird, the authority’s executive director. “If we’re going to ask people to use the airport, we want to ensure we have the ability to respond to emergencies.”

With more than 80,000 annual flights at the airport, officials have taken steps to be prepared. The fire protection district, for example, has an on-site aircraft rescue and firefighting station at the airport that is staffed 24 hours a day.

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DuPage County, Illinois disaster drill tests emergency response to plane crash

What if a plane crashed at DuPage Airport and everybody showed up for it? ct-ctlfl-ct-nvs-airport-drill-st-1023-02-jpg-20161022

That’s what the scene looked like Saturday morning on Runway 2R, where a steady stream of emergency vehicles from local, state and federal agencies arrived, lights flashing, to participate in a disaster drill. Just off the runway, a broken plane and several debris piles waited to be set on fire, while eight volunteer “victims” in gory injury-simulation makeup stood ready to take their places around the wreckage.

The West Chicago Fire Protection District fire department was already on the scene. It operates a fire station at the airport.

“This one isn’t like our other stations,” district Trustee Chuck Bratcher said. “It has robotic-arm trucks especially designed to fight airplane fires, and it’s manned by the same group of people working in shifts because they all have to be trained to use those trucks.”

Sara Gelsoming, emergency management coordinator for the West Chicago Police Department, watched last-minute drill preparations along with her assistant coordinator, Det. Robbi Peterson, and Police Chief Michael Uplegger.

“In a real emergency, we’d work with the on-scene supervisor to make sure the scene was secure,” Gelsoming said. “Mostly we would maintain a secure scene for the firefighters to work in, but if they needed something else, we’d try to supply it.” ct-ctlfl-ct-nvs-airport-drill-st-1023-06-jpg-20161022

Once the plane caught fire and the rescue workers flooded in, air safety investigator Pam Sullivan of the National Transportation Safety Board watched the proceedings carefully, trying to spot procedures that could compromise evidence and make it harder to determine the cause of the crash.

“What fire and rescue personnel does can impact our job,” Sullivan said. “Obviously, they have to do whatever it takes to get victims out, but if they have to cut switches or take apart the plane, they need to let us know so we can take that into account during our investigation.”

As the drill progressed, observers listened to emergency radio transmissions describing the state of the crash scene and telling emergency response teams what to do. Karen Bosnyak, trauma coordinator for Central DuPage Hospital, focused on the transmissions from the triage team director listing the number and conditions of the victims.

“If this were real, I’d be at the hospital getting this information by radio from the scene so that we could clear out the ER and prepare to receive patients from the crash,” she said. “We’d need to know what their injuries were before arrival so we could call in trauma surgeons and other specialists, depending on what kind of care they’d need. There are people at the hospital now going through the process of making those preparations. The more we practice this, the easier it is to do smoothly and efficiently when a real emergency happens.”

Fire departments participating in the drill included Carol Stream, Geneva, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Wheaton, Winfield, Batavia, St. Charles, Lockport ct-ctlfl-ct-nvs-airport-drill-st-1023-04-jpg-20161022and Janesville, Wis. “We’re not likely to get called to help with something out here unless it’s a really horrific disaster,” noted a Lockport Fire Department observer. “But we serve a regional airport, so we’re always looking for a chance to practice disaster response.”

While the staff inside the Department of Homeland Security’s mobile unit mostly stayed put, everyone else eventually made their way to the Salvation Army disaster relief mobile kitchen for hot coffee, snacks and conversation.

“For this event, we got an invitation from the airport to participate,” canteen coordinator Larry Pilotte said. “When real emergencies happen, the responding agencies have an 800-number hotline to call us in if they want us. Here, we’re just enjoying the chance to meet and greet people and show what we can do.”

Salvation Army relief teams keep rescue workers fed and hydrated so they can keep working to save victims, Pilotte said. They also serve victims, both with meals at the scene and with social service officers, who find temporary accommodations and other necessities for those who need them.

“Last year, when a Category F5 tornado hit Fairdale, near Rockford, we were out there continuously for three weeks,” Pilotte said. “It’s a tiny town with very few emergency resources. We fed people from the kitchen 24-7, and we packed up hot meals and drove around to all the homes that had been blown down so we could give them to the people working out there to clear debris and look for survivors.

“It gives you a good feeling when you can do something to support people in situations like that, and it’s good to be able to do something to help people practice for the times when it’s real.”

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