At least 35 people killed in Genoa bridge collapse: Italian police

MILAN (Reuters) - At least 35 people were killed when a bridge collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa, police said on Wednesday after firemen worked through the night looking for any survivors buried under the rubble.

“The latest official number is 35 but we can’t rule out it could rise further,” a spokeswoman for the police in Genoa said.

A 50-meter (160-foot) high section of the Morandi bridge, including a tower that anchored several stays, crashed down with as many as 35 vehicles driving on it on Tuesday. Huge slabs of reinforced concrete plunged onto two warehouses, train tracks and a riverbed.

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Tourists flee Indonesia's Lombok island after quake kills 91

MATARAM, Indonesia (Reuters) - Rescue workers found chaos and destruction across the Indonesian resort island of Lombok on Monday after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake killed at least 91 people and prompted an exodus of tourists rattled by the second powerful quake in a week.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said the death toll was expected to rise as information came in from areas where thousands of buildings collapsed or were badly damaged, especially in the north, the quake’s epicenter.

Power and communications were cut in some areas of Lombok, and the military said it was sending in a vessel with medical aid, supplies and logistical support for the island.

The Indonesian Red Cross said in a Tweet that it helped a woman give birth after the quake at a health post in the north. One of the names she gave the baby boy was ‘Gempa’, which means earthquake.

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Lombok was hit a week earlier, on July 29, by a 6.4 magnitude quake that killed 17 people, injured hundreds and briefly stranded several hundred trekkers on the slopes of a volcano.

The Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) said that more than 120 aftershocks were recorded after Sunday evening’s quake, whose magnitude the U.S. Geological Survey revised down to 6.9 from an original 7.0.

There were no foreigners among the dead and the number of injured stood at 209, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference.

The tremor was so powerful it was felt on the neighboring island of Bali where, according to BNPB, two people died.

Indonesia sits on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

“THIS IS IT FOR ME IN INDONESIA”

Long lines formed at the airport of Lombok’s main town, Mataram, as foreign visitors cut their holidays short.

The Garuda Indonesia airline said it was adding extra flights from Lombok to help tourists leave.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted that the budget airline would try to lay on extra flights, while Indonesian budget carriers Lion Air and Citilink said there had been a jump in demand for outbound flights from Lombok and Bali.

“I was at the rooftop of my hotel and the building started swaying very hard. It felt like two meters to the left, then two meters to the right, I could not stand up,” said Gino Poggiali, a 43-year-old Frenchman, who was with his wife and two children, at the Lombok airport.

His wife Maude, 44, said the family were on Bali for the first quake and Lombok for the second.

“This is it for me in Indonesia,” she said. “Next time we will stay in France or somewhere close.”

Carlos Romartinez, a 24-year-old Spaniard who was also waiting for a flight out of Lombok, said he had decided to head instead to the island of Flores to the east.

“All the activities are shut down. We can’t dive, we can’t do anything so we will go to another island,” he said.

Dutch tourist Marc Ganbuwalba injured his knee as a stampede of diners rushed from a restaurant after the quake.

“We are cutting short our holiday because I can’t walk and we’re just not in the mood anymore, more in the mood to see our loved ones,” said the 26-year-old, sitting on a trolley with his leg bandaged.

“We are just thankful to god and also to the hotel staff who really helped us. Some of them said their own houses had been destroyed but they were still helping us.”

SCREAMS, SHAKING, CRACKS

About 1,000 foreign and domestic tourists were evacuated in boats from the three Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, BNPB spokesman Nugroho said via Twitter.

He posted a video showing a crowd of hundreds of people crammed on a beach at one of the Gilis, apparently waiting to be ferried back to the main island.

Singapore Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, who was on the 10th floor of a hotel in Mataram when the quake struck, said that his room shook violently and walls cracked.

“It was quite impossible to stand up. Heard screams. Came out, and made my way down a staircase, while building was still shaking. Power went out for a while. Lots of cracks, fallen doors,” he wrote on Facebook.

His government issued a travel notice, advising citizens to defer travel to Lombok and urging those currently there to leave.

Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton was on the 12th floor of a Lombok hotel at the time of the quake. “We were knocked certainly to the floor,” he told Australian radio. “We were pretty lucky to get out. Everyone’s a bit shaken but all well.”

 

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Plane with 101 on board crashes in Mexico, everyone survives

An Aeromexico passenger plane with over 100 people on board has crashed after taking off from the Guadalupe Victoria International Airport near the city of Durango, Mexico.

Eighty people have been injured in the crash, the Durango state civil protection spokesman has said. The state governor says none were killed. According to the Mexican transport minister, the plane had 97 passengers and four crew members on board.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DjdrtZZVAAAk6v3.jpg

@Rescate_Condor Accidente de una aereonave de la línea Aeroméxico al realizar el despegue en el Aeropuerto Internacional Guadalupe Victoria, ubicado en la ciudad de Durango. Servicios de emergencia auxilian a lesionados.

18 people who suffered injuries in the crash have been taken to hospital, Durango’s Health Ministry reported.

Two of the injured remain in critical condition, according to the Health Ministry.

Images of the scene published on social media show a plume of smoke rising from the ground near the tail of a plane with the Aeromexico logo on it.

A video has emerged showing firefighters hosing down the smoldering aircraft as they attempt to extinguish the fire.

Bad weather might have played a part in the plane’s hard landing. The aircraft was taking off in heavy rain, the governor of Durango state Rosas Aispuro told local broadcaster MVS News.

Passengers’ accounts seem to confirm that stormy weather might be to blame for the crash.

“The storm was very strong, there was no visibility, we took off and we fell,” Jaqueline Flores, who was on board of the ill-fated flight, told MVS News.

Mexican airport operator OMA, which runs the Durango airport, has named“adverse weather conditions” as a preliminary cause of the accident. Operations at the airport have been temporarily halted.

Aeromexico has confirmed that the crash of flight 2431, bound for Mexico City, took place shortly after takeoff from the Guadalupe Victoria International Airport. The plane was an Embraer 190 with a capacity for 100 passengers.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has instructed federal agencies, including the Secretariat of National Defense, to attend to the plane crash.

The plane has been in service for 10 years and was bought by Aeromexico in 2014. Before that, it belonged to US Airways and another US airline, Republic Airways, according to the Airfleets database.

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South Korea Firm Says Laos Dam Damage Found Day Before Collapse

Seoul: The South Korean partner in a Laos hydropower dam said Wednesday it discovered the upper part of the structure had washed away 24 hours before it collapsed, engulfing villages and leaving hundreds missing.

The wall of water unleashed Monday by the failure of the dam in the country's southeast surged downstream, sweeping away homes and leaving an unknown number of people feared dead.

SK Engineering & Construction, a South Korean builder that is one of the partners in the project, said it discovered the damage to an auxiliary dam at around 9:00 pm Sunday local time.

"We immediately alerted the authorities and began evacuating (nearby) villagers downstream," it said in a statement.

Repair work was hampered by heavy rain which had damaged roads, it said, and early on Monday water was discharged from the Xe-Namnoy dam -- one of the two main dams in the project -- to try to relieve pressure on the auxiliary structure.

The government was warned about further damage to the dam at around noon, prompting an official evacuation order for villagers downstream, and the structure collapsed a few hours later, it said.

By Tuesday morning, seven out of 12 villages located downstream were flooded, it said. Aerial pictures showed a vast brown inundation swamping houses and jungle alike over a huge area.

Another video showed families waiting for rescue on the rooftop of their house, with a nearby Buddhist temple partially submerged.

The South Korean firm said it had sent a crisis team to the site, dispatching helicopters, boats and rescue workers.

"Currently, SK E&C is actively working on personnel recovery and damage relief with the Laotian government," it said.

Communist Laos is traversed by a vast network of rivers and several dams are being built or planned in the impoverished and landlocked country, which exports most of its hydropower energy to neighbouring countries such as Thailand.

The $1.2 billion dam located near the border with Cambodia is part of a project by Vientiane-based Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Company, or PNPC, a joint venture formed in 2012 between a Laotian, a Thai and two South Korean companies, according to the project's website.

The 410 megawatt capacity plant was supposed to start commercial operations by 2019, according to the venture's website.

The project consists of a series of dams over the Houay Makchanh, the Xe-Namnoy and the Xe-Pian rivers in Champasak province.

It planned to export 90 percent of its electricity to energy-hungry Thailand and the remainder was to be offered up on the local grid.

Under the terms of construction, PNPC said it would operate and manage the power project for 27 years after commercial operations began.

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'Duck boat' capsizes in Missouri, kills at least 11: police

(Reuters) - At least 11 people drowned on Thursday when an amphibious “duck boat” capsized and sank in stormy weather on a lake in Missouri with 31 people, including children, on board, as divers searched for other possible victims, police said.

Seven people were taken to hospital following the incident on the “Ride the Ducks” amphibious vehicle on Table Rock Lake, near Branson, Missouri, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told reporters.

At least 11 people were killed in the incident as divers finished their search effort for the night and will start again in the morning, the sheriff said later in a news conference.

https://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20180720&t=2&i=1285101371&r=LYNXMPEE6J097&w=1200Rescue personnel are seen after an amphibious "duck boat" capsized and sank, at Table Rock Lake near Branson, Stone County, Missouri, U.S. July 19, 2018 in this still image obtained from a video on social media. SOUTHERN STONE COUNTY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT/Facebook/via REUTERS

Emergency crews responded to the incident shortly after 7 p.m. (0000 GMT) after thunderstorms rolled through the area, the fire district said on Twitter.

Video footage shot by an eyewitness who was on shore showed strong waves tossing two duck boats side to side. The video clip was posted online by KY3.

“Our number one priority is the families and our employees that were affected by this tragic accident; as of this time right now we are assisting the authorities as they continue with their search and rescue operation,” said Suzanne Smagala-Potts a spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, which owns the Ride The Ducks operation in Branson.

She could not confirm how many crew members were aboard the boat.

Duck amphibious vehicles are used on sightseeing tours around the world and have been involved in a number of fatal accidents in the past two decades.

The company that builds ducks, Ride the Ducks International LLC, agreed in 2016 to pay a $1 million fine after one of the vehicles collided with a bus in Seattle, killing five international students.

The company admitted to failing to comply with U.S. vehicle manufacturing rules.

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On Thai Cave Rescue, An Inevitable Hollywood Movie Is Coming Soon

The jokes, groans and eye-rolls started on Twitter even before the announcement - replete with tongue-in-cheek casting predictions.

"How soon is too soon to start boycotting the Hollywood movie of the Thai cave rescue starring Mark Wahlberg?"

- Linda Ge

"The movie of the Thai boys trapped in the cave will star Matt Damon as all of the boys"

- Ketan Joshi

"Cave rescue is going to make an incredible movie, can't wait to see Scarlett Johansson inspire in her role as 12 Thai boys."

- djb

Then, on Wednesday, it was actually announced. The story that captivated the world about a boys soccer team and their coach being trapped in a cave in Thailand is going to be a major motion picture. Pure Flix Entertainment, the Christian film studio known for the "God's Not Dead" series, will produce it.

@KetanJ0 The movie of the Thai boys trapped in the cave will star Matt Damon as all of the boys
 
The jokes, groans and eye-rolls started on Twitter even before the announcement - replete with tongue-in-cheek casting predictions.

"How soon is too soon to start boycotting the Hollywood movie of the Thai cave rescue starring Mark Wahlberg?"

- Linda Ge

"The movie of the Thai boys trapped in the cave will star Matt Damon as all of the boys"

- Ketan Joshi

"Cave rescue is going to make an incredible movie, can't wait to see Scarlett Johansson inspire in her role as 12 Thai boys."

- djb

Then, on Wednesday, it was actually announced. The story that captivated the world about a boys soccer team and their coach being trapped in a cave in Thailand is going to be a major motion picture. Pure Flix Entertainment, the Christian film studio known for the "God's Not Dead" series, will produce it.

The announcement came the same day the last boy was rescued. The inevitable pushback was immediate, with writer and director Larry Charles tweeting:

"The Thai cave rescue reminds me of a post modern version of Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole. You've got Elon Musk grabbing attention with shameless self-promoting, trying to shill a new product AND a movie of the saga being announced before the kids are out of the hospital."

Drudge Report tweeted, "Hollywood producers already on scene plotting Thai cave movie" - the emphasis naturally falling on "already."

The speed with which an ongoing tragedy has been mined for intellectual property, as if it were an old Marvel comic book, might seem distasteful. But it isn't a particularly new phenomenon.

- - -

"Zero Dark Thirty" and "The Hurt Locker"

One of the most striking recent examples is "Zero Dark Thirty," Kathryn Bigelow's dramatization of United States government's hunt for and eventual killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. U.S. forces killed bin Laden on May 2, 2011, in what President Barack Obama called "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaida." The movie hit theaters in December 2012, barely a year and a half later.

That's a remarkable turnaround time. Bigelow, though, was no stranger to tackling fresh issues. She won six Oscars, including best director and best picture, for her 2008 movie "The Hurt Locker," which followed a U.S. bomb disposal team during the Iraq War. Though the movie was based on accounts of a journalist embedded in Iraq in 2004, it came out while the Iraq War was still underway.

"Patriots Day" and "Stronger"

The 2013 Boston marathon bombing, which killed three and injured hundreds more, was turned into two major, star-driven films.

First came "Patriots Day" in 2016. The Peter Berg movie depicts Mark Wahlberg as Boston Police Sgt. Tommy Saunders as he searches for the bombers in the attack's immediate aftermath.

Though movies based on recent tragedies are often subject to backlash, the reaction to "Patriots Day" was particularly fierce - especially in the Boston area. The movie, wrote Boston film critic Sean Burns, was "as disgraceful an exploitation of real-life tragedy as I've ever seen. Everyone involved in this movie should be ashamed of themselves."

The Boston Globe's Ty Burr was slightly more forgiving, calling it "slickly heartfelt" and "vaguely insulting."

A year later, "Stronger" hit theaters. Rather than focus on the police response, the David Gordon Green told the story of Jeff Bauman (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), a man who lost his legs in the bombing and was the subject of a famous photo from the day.

This one was much more warmly received, perhaps because it was based on Bauman's memoir. It "rises on the power of its well-chosen ensemble to offer an emotionally resonant fact-based story that transcends inspirational drama cliches," reads the critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, where it earned a 92 percent "fresh" rating.

"United 93″ and "World Trade Center"

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States was, by far, the country's deadliest. Perhaps due to this wretched gravity, Hollywood waited a bit longer to cash in on the horror. But cash in it did, with a pair of back-to-back movies. "United 93″ and "World Trade Center" were both released in 2006, within four months of each other.

The first came in April, and as the title suggests, told the story of United 93 - the hijacked plane heading toward Washington, D.C., that crashed in Pennsylvania after its passengers attacked the hijackers. Paul Greengrass' account was met warmly by critics, but those connected to the actual event weren't as pleased.

"It was both excruciating and beautiful at the same time," Alice Hoagland, whose son was on the flight, told the San Francisco Chronicle. After Marjorie Kase, who lost three friends in the 9/11 attacks, unexpectedly saw a trailer, she echoed others in telling the paper, "I don't think the country is ready for this movie right now. We don't have enough perspective or hindsight on the matter."

Just as "United 93″ was coming out on DVD months later, Oliver Stone's account of first responders was hitting theaters amid far more mixed reviews - many of which deemed it exploitative.

The World Trade Center attacks are still being mined for the big screen. "9/11," starring Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg, came out just last year.

With each release, it seems, those directly affected by attacks are forced to relieve the horrid day. Bill Doyle, whose son was killed in the Twin Towers, was particularly angry after seeing advertisements for 2012's "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," the Tom Hanks vehicle based on a Jonathan Safran Foer novel.

"Everybody's trying to make money off 9/11," he told the New York Post. "A lot of families got upset. Why couldn't they warn us about this? I don't think people really realized that these people are really still stressed."

"American Sniper"

A year after Chris Kyle -- the deadliest marksman in United States history who had 255 confirmed kills during four tours in Iraq -- died in 2013, the Oscar-winning, Clint Eastwood-helmed depiction of his life (and death) titled "American Sniper" hit theaters.

Made-for-TV movies

The timeline also tends to be even shorter when it comes to the made-for-TV movies. Consider this: In May 1993, Tim Daly portrayed David Koresh in a small screen flick about the standoff between the police and the Branch Davidians - which occurred less than a month earlier.

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Boys lost weight but in good health as Thai cave rescue restores faith

CHIANG RAI, Thailand (Reuters) - The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from inside a flooded Thai cave lost an average of 2 kg (4 pounds) during their 17-day ordeal but were generally in good condition and showed no signs of stress, a senior health official said on Wednesday.

Thais reacted with relief, gratitude and exhilaration after the last group of the “Wild Boars” soccer team was rescued from the Tham Luang cave, near the border with Myanmar, on Tuesday night, ending an ordeal that gripped Thailand and the world.

They were taken by helicopter to a hospital about 70 km (45 miles) away to join their team mates in quarantine for the time being.

“From our assessment, they are in good condition and not stressed. The children were well taken care of in the cave. Most of the boys lost an average of 2 kg,” Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, an inspector for Thailand’s health department, told reporters.

Parents of the first four boys freed on Sunday have been able to visit them but had to wear protective suits and stand 2 meters (7 feet) away as a precaution.

Thongchai said one from the last group rescued on Tuesday had a lung infection and they were all were given vaccinations for rabies and tetanus.

The group ventured into the vast cave complex in northern Thailand after soccer practice on June 23 and their rescue dominated front page headlines in Thailand.

“All Wild Boars Saved,” read one headline.

“Hooyah! Mission accomplished,” read another, echoing the rallying cry of the Thai navy SEALs involved in the rescue.

The hashtag #Hooyah was also hugely popular with Thai netizens wanting to show their support for the hundreds of rescuers, including divers from around the world, who helped to get the boys out.

Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn thanked people in Thailand and from around the world soon after the final rescues were completed. A senior Australian police officer acknowledged the degree of international cooperation “in a very unfriendly environment”.

“It is amazing what the human being can do. There are extraordinary people doing extraordinary things,” Glenn McEwan, the Australian Federal Police’s Asia manager, told reporters in Chiang Rai.

(For a graphic on the Thai cave rescue click tmsnrt.rs/2KR2zRj)

‘AMAZING NEWS’

Audiences around the world cheered the team’s successful rescue after the saga generated messages of help, prayers and - finally - expressions of relief.

The drama in Thailand has even resonated as far as Russia, where soccer’s World Cup is reaching its final stages. Players from France and England welcomed news of the rescue and sent their best wishes to the “Wild Boars” on Twitter.

“This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong,” French midfielder Paul Pogba tweeted after his team beat Belgium 1-0 overnight to reach the final.

Manchester City and England defender Kyle Walker, whose team faces Croatia in the second semi-final later on Wednesday, said he wanted to send shirts to the boys.

“Amazing news that all of the Thai kids are out of the cave safely!” Walker tweeted.

A Google search on Tuesday for the words “Thai cave rescue” revealed 359 million results, with interest peaking since last week when British divers found the boys and the rescue mission began.

Araya Hargate, one of Thailand’s top actresses and a L’Oreal cosmetics brand ambassador, shared a cartoon of the boys surrounded by rescuers on her Instagram page, which has 7.9 million followers.

“After all ... the world is not such a bad place #humanityfaithrestored #thailandcaverescue,” the actress, known in Thailand as “Chompoo”, wrote.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the courage of the multinational rescue team, which was run by the Thai military, as “one of the most heroic and inspiring episodes of our time”.

“It’s hard to imagine anything more frightening than being trapped underground in the dark, let alone having your children trapped underground in the dark,” Turnbull told the Queensland Press Club.

 

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Rescuers Begin 'Challenging' Final Push To Free Last Five From Thai Cave

BANGKOK/CHIANG RAI: The third phase of an operation to rescue four remaining boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded Thai cave began on Tuesday morning, the head of the rescue mission said.

Narongsak Osottanakorn told a news conference the latest rescue operation began at about 10:08 a.m. local time (0308 GMT).

"All five will be brought out at the same time today," he said, to cheers from reporters and rescue workers.

Rescue organisers said they needed 20 hours to replan and replenish oxygen supplies, with the next rescue mission expected to come some time on Tuesday afternoon. 

Highlights

  1. Four more boys rescued from Thailand's Tham Luang cave
  2. Now 8 people have been rescued, while 5 remain in the cave
  3. The remaining five will be brought out at the same time today

The plight of the boys and their coach has drawn international attention, with divers, engineers and medics among others flying in from around the world to assist.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation and was quoted by Narongsak as saying he didn't want to see this kind of incident happen again on Thai soil.

The "Wild Boars" team became trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the cave after soccer practice and rains flooded the tunnels.

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