Sep 06

California house explosion rocks Riverside locality

californiaRIVERSIDE: Powerful explosion occurred in a house situated on Friday at Riverside city of California state and heavy fire erupted in the incident.

Firefighters have reached the incident site and continued spraying water on flames, however, no casualties reported till yet.

NBC Story:

Firefighters continued to spray water on flames Friday morning after an explosion and fire at a Riverside house.

Details regarding the cause of the blast were not immediately available, but an initial investigation indicated there was a gas leak. The explosion destroyed the structure and left debris scattered in the neighborhood.

A neighbor who lives about a half-mile from the home heard and felt the explosion. His house shook from the blast.

“It sounded like someone dropped a truck from a helicopter — boom,” said Gary Wolfenberger.

Jul 09

Ramadan 2013 USA: Barack Obama’s Iftar Party in White House for Muslims

Ramadan 2013WASHINGTON: Keeping up his tradition of throwing party for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, United States President Barack Obama will host fifth Iftar party for Muslims in White House.

Popular for his soft and tactical moves for common people Obama has been hosting Iftar party for Muslims in US.

Millions of Muslims live in the country, which is known for accepting people from every background.

Muslims across the globe especially in Europe, America and Middle will start fasting from Wednesday after moon was not sighted in Saudi Arabia last night. Most of the Muslims in the above mentioned region open Ramadan with the kingdom.

Earlier, Obama extended his “best wishes”to the community on start of Ramadan.

“For the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, Ramadan is a time for thoughtful reflection, fasting and devotion. It is also an opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate the principles that bind people of different faiths — a commitment to peace, justice, equality and compassion towards our fellow human beings,” Obama said in statement. “These bonds are far stronger than the differences that too often drive us apart.”

Jul 07

Two killed as Asiana Airlines jet crashes in San Francisco

asiana airlinesSAN FRANCISCO: An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 passenger jet crashed and burst into flames as it landed short of the runway at San Francisco International Airport, killing two people and injuring 182 others.

Flight 214 had 307 people — 291 passengers and 16 crew — on board when it left Seoul. The aircraft apparently struck a rocky area at the water’s edge short of the runway at the airport — a major international hub, especially for flights to and from Asia.

“It is incredible and very lucky that we have so many survivors. But there are still many that are critically injured,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee who also sent condolences to the families of those killed and hurt.

The plane’s tail “hit the runway and the aircraft veered to the left out of the runway,” South Korea’s transportation ministry said in a statement Sunday from Seoul.

It was the first fatal crash involving an Asiana passenger plane since June 1993, when an Asiana Boeing 737 crashed into a mountain in South Korea, killing 68.

Pictures showed the tail detached from the fuselage, and the landing gear had also sheared off.

“At this time there are two fatalities,” the city’s fire chief Joanne Hayes-White said.

One of the two dead “carried a Chinese passport,” and the nationality of the other victim was unclear, said Lee Jeong-Gwan, the foreign ministry’s ambassador for overseas Koreans and consular affairs, told reporters, quoting a US forensic in touch with South Korean officials.asiana airlines 1

No one was unaccounted for, US officials said, revising downwards an earlier estimate of dozens. The remainder of those on board, 123, were uninjured.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said there was no indication that terrorism was to blame for the crash.

Survivor Elliott Stone told CNN that as it came in to land, it appeared the plane “sped up, like the pilot knew he was short.”

“And then the back end just hit and flies up in the air and everybody’s head goes up to the ceiling.”

Video footage showed the jet on its belly surrounded by firefighters with debris scattered on the runway and in the surrounding area.

“It looked normal at first… the wheels were down,” an unidentified man who witnessed the crash told CNN. “It just hit (the seawall) like that and the whole thing just collapsed immediately.

At least two people were killed and 182 injured when an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 jet crashed at San Francisco © Getty Images/AFP Ezra Shaw

“It just pancaked immediately. The wings caught on the tarmac.”

A team of experts from the National Transportation Safety Board was heading to San Francisco to investigate the crash landing.

A four-member South Korean government team was also heading to inspect the site of the accident, officials in Seoul said.asiana airlines 3

“Everything is on the table at this point,” NTSB chairwoman Debbie Hersman told reporters in Washington when asked if pilot error was to blame. “We have to gather the facts before we reach any conclusions.”

One dramatic photo tweeted by a survivor showed people streaming out of the jet following the crash-landing. An inflatable slide was at the front entrance. Other emergency exits also appeared to have been used.

“I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok,” the passenger, David Eun, wrote on Twitter.

But another photo from above showed a more distressing scene, with most of the roof of the plane missing and the cabin seating area charred by fire. The aircraft’s wings were still attached.

“I saw some passengers bleeding and being loaded onto an ambulance,” another passenger, Chun Ki-Wan, told YTN TV in Seoul.

“Everything seemed to be normal before it crash-landed.

Stone said he feared for the flight crew seated in the back of the plane, which took off in Shanghai, stopped in Seoul and then headed to the United States.

“They were sitting in the back end and got hammered because we landed short. And then they all fell out and it was just the most terrible thing I’ve seen,” he said.

The airport was closed immediately after the incident but two runways later reopened. Some flights were diverted to Los Angeles.

Among those on board were 77 Koreans, 141 Chinese, 61 US citizens, and one Japanese national, Asiana said in a statement.

San Francisco General Hospital said it was treating 34 patients, five of them in critical condition.

Local media cited multiple witnesses who said the plane had approached the runway at an awkward angle, with several onlookers saying they then heard a loud bang.

“You heard a pop and you immediately saw a large, brief fireball that came from underneath the aircraft,” Anthony Castorani, who saw the crash from a nearby hotel, told CNN.

The accident site was covered in white foam used by firefighters, with at least six fire trucks at the scene.

The White House said President Barack Obama had been briefed on the incident, noting: “His thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost a loved one and all those affected by the crash.”

Asiana is based in Seoul. The twin-engine 777 aircraft is one of the world’s most popular long-distance planes, often used for flights of 12 hours or more, from one continent to another.

Jul 04

Iran test-fires ballistic missile able to hit Israel

The Shahab-3 has a range of up to 2,000 kilometres.

Iran on Tuesday test-fired in its central desert a ballistic missile capable of striking Israel as part of war games designed to show its ability to retaliate if attacked, media said.Iran fired medium range missile.

Iran s Revolutionary Guard fired the medium-range Shahab-3 missile at a mock target in the Kavir Desert on the second day of its Great Prophet 7 exercise, which is due to end on Wednesday, Iran s Al-Alam television network reported.

The Shahab-3 has a range of up to 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles), which means it is theoretically able to hit Israel, which is some 1,000 kilometres away.

Al-Alam said two short-range missiles, the Shahab-1 and Shahab-2, with ranges of 300 to 500 kilometres, were also launched.

The Fars news agency said “dozens of short-, medium-, and long-range missiles have been fired from different parts of Iran at a single target in Kavir.”

The ISNA news agency said the last day of the drill would see Revolutionary Guard “bomber drones” also used.

Although the Islamic republic has test-fired its Shahab missiles before, and frequently holds military manoeuvres, it says these war games are aimed at sending a message to Israel and the United States to think twice on their threats of possibly attacking Iran.

The Great Prophet 7 exercise targeted a replica military base set up in a desert and made to look like a foreign facility, similar to those the United States has in neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan.

The launch of the Shahab-3 missile coincided with the day official experts from Iran and world powers were to hold talks in Istanbul to discuss the West s push to have Tehran scale back its sensitive nuclear programme.

Israel, which is not part of the talks, and its ally the United States have both said they reserve the option of launching military action on Iran if diplomacy and sanctions fail to convince it to curb its atomic activities.