THE GAME: Musician apologises for fight at basketball match

Los Angeles – VIJAY SHAH via NICK MOJICA and XXL

American rapper The Game, famous for his 2005 release “Hate It or Love It” has found himself at a tricky level in the controversy game after he was made to apologise for fighting a teammate while participating in a basketball match recently, reported online magazine XXL.

The musician, real name Jayceon Terrell Taylor, was playing at a Drew League match in the Californian city of Los Angeles when he got into a confrontation with Jarion Henry, a fellow player. In video footage released on the Twitter social network this past Sunday, The Game squares up to Henry, who is then felled by a punch to his body from another teammate from behind as the atmosphere at the game began to sour quickly and security personnel rushed in to quell the sudden feud.

 

The Game quickly attempted to make amends, writing out a public apology on photo-sharing platform Instagram. He was quoted as saying: “I’m writing this sincere apology 1st & foremost to my teammate & lil brother @j_hennn for my role in our disagreement that went a lot further than it should’ve”. The post was later deleted.

“I acted out of character & although as brothers for the last 7 years & one of my teammates I definitely consider family…. there are always heated moments on the court & in our locker room but it should never get to where it got to today… so again, this is my apology fam,” he added.

The Game also extended his apology to the Drew League’s commissioner, Dino Smiley, the commissioner’s daughter Chanel Smiley and his fans. He said: “Secondly, I apologize to the @drewleague commissioner ‘Dino Smiley’ as well as his daughter Chanel Smiley for how things spiraled out of control today as you know my character as of late is far better than what was demonstrated today,”

After the fight on the basketball court, The Game also admitted he had a talk with Henry to try and smooth over the dispute and express regret at his actions. “I’ve talked to @j_hennn & we both voiced our opinions & as well our apologies to one another,” the rhymer added. “I just felt the only way for my feelings to reach to all of you at once was to bring here….so here I am.”.

There was no word as to the consequences of the unidentified player who struck Henry, causing him to fall.

The Drew League is a special tournament first begun in 1973, to encourage youngsters from different parts of Los Angeles’ tough South Central area to cooperate in the context of sport and draw them away from gang violence and street crime.

SOURCES:

HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

iGotBeatsForU, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/iGotBeatsForU

XXL Magazine, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/XXL

“The Game Apologizes Following Fight With Teammate at Drew League” – Nick Mojica, XXL http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2018/08/the-game-apologizes-after-fighting-teammate-basketball-game-in-los-angeles/

TWEET CREDIT:

T & T, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Terelle

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SOCAL PLANE CRASH: Five reported killed

Santa Ana – VIJAY SHAH via ARTEMIS MOSHTAGHIAN and CNN

Five people have been reported killed after a small plane crashed into a car park in southern California state, USA yesterday according to a report published by news network CNN.

The Orange County Fire Authority told CNN that a Cessna 414 twin-engine craft en route to the John Wayne Airport in the same county lost control and crashed into the car park in the city of Santa Ana, according to the Fire Authority’s report source, Capt. Tony Bommarito, a public information officer.

 

The five who perished were all believed to have been on the Cessna, which came down around 12.30 pm local time. The plane was reported to have struck a parked and unoccupied car in the park, whose owner was out buying groceries. The crash occurred just a block from the South Coast Plaza, a popular local shopping centre. No deaths and injuries were reported among people on the ground, according to Bommarito.

The plane put out a mayday message before crashing, CNN said. The victims have not yet been identified. The American Federal Aviation Administration is to run an investigation into yesterday’s crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

#AceBreakingNews, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/AceBreakingNews

“#Breaking144 – A small plane crashed into a parking lot, killing five people in Southern California, authorities say – @AceBreakingNews” – #Breaking144 @Breaking144/Ace Worldwide News Group/Sterling Publishing & Media News/WordPress (6 August 2018) https://acebreakingnews.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/breaking144-a-small-plane-crashed-into-a-parking-lot-killing-five-people-in-southern-california-authorities-say-acebreakingnews/

“Small plane crashes into parking lot, killing 5 in Southern California” – Artemis Moshtaghian, Amanda Jackson and Madison Park, Cable News Network (CNN)/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (6 August 2018) https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/05/us/orange-county-plane-crash/index.html

TWEET CREDIT:

CNN Breaking News, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/cnnbrk/status/1026235766513524737/photo/1

BUCKINGHAM PALACE POLICE ACCIDENT: Police car overturns during speedy chase in London

London – VIJAY SHAH via JOE ROBERTS and Metro

While the police in London are largely renowned for their exemplary vehicle handling during high-speed car (and moped) chases, one unfortunate squad car and its occupants came a cropper while chasing a moped near the world-famous Buckingham Palace, part-time residence of the UK’s royal family.

 

According to a report in tabloid newspaper Metro, the police vehicle was called out to a report of a stolen moped being driven by a seventeen-year-old boy and carrying one passenger at 4:30 am at Hyde Park Corner yesterday. The police gave chase and that chase carried on through central London. Upon arriving at Grosvenor Place’s junction with Chapel Street, just outside the Palace’s grounds, a second police car, which may have also been involved in apprehending the suspects, collided with the moped, leaving the bike’s driver with leg injuries that needed medical treatment. The police car itself flipped over and ended up resting on its roof at the side of the road near a high wall.

The 17-year-old was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers after being discharged from hospital. He is being charged for ‘a number of motoring offences’ according to police sources cited in the Metro. A police spokesperson said: “The vehicle, rider and pillion passenger matched the description of a moped believed to have been involved in a series of offences”

The passenger fled the scene and is being hunted by police. As is the norm in police situations where people are injured or killed, the incident has been forwarded to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for further investigation. An IOPC representative told Metro: “An independent investigation has been launched following a collision between a moped and a marked police car in Westminster, London, this morning.

‘A 17-year old boy has suffered serious leg injuries and been taken to hospital. A police vehicle overturned during the incident but no police officers have sustained injuries.”

Mopeds in London are often a popular choice of vehicle stolen by criminals due to their ubiquity, ease of theft, and that police are often unable to bring them to a halt, due to their high speeds and manoeuvrability.

SOURCES:

Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

“Police car flips over chasing moped near Buckingham Palace” – Joe Roberts, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 August 2018) https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/04/police-car-flips-chasing-moped-near-buckingham-palace-7799119/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Emergency Vehicle Operator’s Course aids JBPHH first responders in arriving on time, every time” – U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden, Pacific Air Forces (27 March 2014) http://www.pacaf.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/591508/emergency-vehicle-operators-course-aids-jbphh-first-responders-in-arriving-on-t/

BATHINDA GO-KARTING TRAGEDY: Woman dies in accident at go-kart course

Bathinda – VIJAY SHAH via LUCIA SUAREZ SANG, Fox News and India sources

A go-kart fan in India has died after getting her hair caught in the wheel of the vehicle she was racing in, according to a news report published in the US’s Fox News website yesterday.

Puneet Kaur, aged 28 years, was visiting the Aqua Village amusement park, a popular destination for families near her home in Rampura Phul, a locality of the Punjab city of Bathinda, when the incident occurred. She had been visiting the park with her husband, Amardeep Singh and their 2-year-old son and their family when they decided to try out the go-kart racing course.

 

According to police sources mentioned in the Indian national newspaper the Hindustan Times, Kaur and her husband Amardeep Singh got in one cart, while their child and his grandmother rode in another one. As the vehicles began racing, Kaur’s hair was suddenly trapped in the wheel of her cart, causing catastrophic injuries to her scalp.

“My wife and I were enjoying the ride on the go-kart. Suddenly, my wife’s hair got loose and I heard her scream. I raised an alarm and when the kart stopped, her scalp was peeled off. I do not know the quality of the rubber band and the helmet given to my wife,” Kaur’s husband told police, according to the Indian Express, another national newspaper.

After the accident, Puneet Kaur was immediately rushed to hospital, but tragically, she failed to make it. The incident is now under investigation by the Punjab police and the amusement park has closed the race track to visitors, pending the investigation’s outcome.

“The exact cause of death is unclear, but we will know after we receive details of the post mortem report,” a police officer told the British public service broadcaster BBC.

The manager for the amusement park told the Hindustan Times that the incident has “left everyone shocked.”

“Usually, all safety measures are followed,” Yadavindra Gardens manager Neeraj Gupta told the newspaper. “One person has been tasked with ensuring that all people wear proper head gear and follow other rules before using a go-kart. It is shocking this incident happened.”

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

MalibuSelfies, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/TlrWorldWidellc

Fox News, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/FoxNews

“Woman dies after her hair gets caught in go-kart wheel, police say” – Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News/FOX News Network, LLC. (16 February 2018) http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/16/woman-dies-after-her-hair-gets-caught-in-go-kart-wheel-police-say.html

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Free photo: Go Karts, Race, Ride – Free Image on Pixabay – 1444373” – Ajale, Pixabay (5 June 2016) https://pixabay.com/en/go-karts-race-ride-1444373/

STRATFORD CENTRE: Six people hurt in fight and acid attack near shopping mall

London – VIJAY SHAH via ALIA ROPUN, ALAN MCGUINNESS, IAN FRANCIS and Sky News

Six men were reported injured after a ‘noxious substance’ was thrown in a street fight near the Stratford Centre shopping arcade in Stratford, east London yesterday at around 8 pm, Sky News said today.

The incident occurred near to a Subway restaurant on the Broadway, close to Stratford’s bus station and the Westfield Stratford City retail complex. Three of the individuals needed hospital treatment after having a chemical thrown on them during the mêlée between two separate groups of males, Sky News reported. A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

 

Shoppers saw one man in agony as friends called for help by shouting “it is an acid attack, his skin is burning”. People rushed to the scene with water to ease the man’s chemical burns, according to the broadcaster.

One eyewitness, an assistant manager of a local Burger King restaurant who only gave his name as Hossen, told Sky News that he saw a victim and another male believed to be the victim’s friend, run into his restaurant and then to its washroom, desperate to wash off the corrosive chemical. Hossen said “There were cuts around his eyes and he was trying to chuck water into them”

The area where the fight took place was quickly cordoned off and treatment offered to the victims. Police, paramedics and fire crews all attended within 10 minutes. Paul Gibson, an assistant director of operations with the London Ambulance Service, said: “We treated six patients in total  and took three to London hospitals”.

Stratford administratively falls under the London Borough of Newham, and the borough’s police chief superintendent, Ade Adelekan, said: “I would like to be very clear concerning this incident.

“What initially may have been perceived as a number of random attacks has, on closer inspection, been found to be one incident involving two groups of males”.

Sky News reports that none of the men suffered serious harm in the street fight.

Attacks on people by assailants with chemicals such as sulphuric acid, bleach and drain cleaner were once associated with honour attacks in places like South Asia, but have become increasingly common in London, due to the ease of buying and carrying around dangerous chemicals, and the punishment for such attacks is less severe than assaults with knives or guns.

In June, 21-year-old student and model Resham Khan was travelling in Newham’s Beckton area with her cousin, Jameel Mukhtar, when an assailant flung acid in their faces while they were waiting at traffic lights. Even as far as back as 2011, a mother had acid splashed at her while walking her two children home from school in Upton Park. Latest figures published by the Evening Standard suggest a quarter of all acid attacks in London this year have occurred within Newham’s boundaries.

SOURCES:

Alia Ropun.

upday for Samsung UK http://www.upday.com/en/

“Six hurt in ‘acid attack’ at Stratford Centre in London” – Alan McGuinness and Ian Francis, Sky News/Sky UK (24 September 2017) http://news.sky.com/story/six-hurt-after-being-sprayed-with-noxious-substance-at-westfield-in-stratford-11050889

“Acid attack on school-run mother in Newham” – BBC News/BBC (4 May 2011) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13282439

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Stratford Centre, Stratford” – N. Chadwick, geograph (20 January 2009) http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1128397

 

AUTISTIC BOY HANDCUFFED: Police restrain 12-year-old after fight with own brother

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Lanark, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via STEPHEN JONES and Mirror

A police force in Scotland have been condemned for excessive force after officers handcuffed a schoolboy with autism after he got into a fight with his brother in class, The Mirror newspaper reports.

Twelve-year-old Colin Gow, who attends Lanark Grammar school in Lanark, got into a dispute with his older brother Keiran, aged 13 and also autistic. He allegedly hurled a plastic bottle at his brother which set off the fight, and was then subsequently handcuffed by police. Colin was said to have been left ‘distressed and sobbing’ after the incident, which took place at a special Additional Support Needs class.

 

 

Colin and Keiran’s father, Colin Gow Senior, told the Mirror: It broke my heart to see my son in handcuffs.

“It wasn’t the way to deal with this incident.”

“The first thing I did was ask the officer to take the handcuffs off – he was clearly very distressed – and I put my arms round him to comfort him,” he said.

Lanarkshire authorities said that Colin had to be handcuffed for his own and others’ safety, but the boy’s parents have demanded an urgent review of how the incident was handled by police and the school. The incident took place just before the end of the school day on February 2nd, and a pair of officers were called to Lanark Grammar, where they handcuffed Colin, who also has spina bifida and is only 5’1″ tall. As a result, Colin’s parents now say he has developed a phobia of the police. The child also had to be taken for treatment at Wishaw General Hospital in Wishaw, north Lanarkshire county, the Mirror states.

Police and education chiefs at South Lanarkshire Council insist Colin had to be restrained to keep everyone “safe from physical harm”. Police representatives also claimed that Colin’s special education needs and his conditions were not made apparent to them at the time.

According to the Daily Record newspaper, Colin started attending Lanark Grammar, which was founded in 1183 and is one of Scotland’s oldest secondary schools (for pupils aged 11-16), after he was expelled from his previous school for allegedly punching a teacher. Lanark Grammar has a specialist unit for children with ‘Additional Support Needs’, including those with autism and dyslexia. During the day, Colin attends the unit and mixes with the non-unit students during morning assemblies, break times and lunch hours.

Despite the school’s specialism, Colin’s parents expressed concerns about the way his condition is being handled. His mother, Sharon, said that she was informed that they as parents would not have to do anything as the school’s dedicated staff would handle any issues that arose. They were at first optimistic that Colin would thrive at Lanark Grammar, but Sharon told the Mirror that Colin was not getting the support he badly needed.

South Lanarkshire Council’s head of education Carole McKenzie confirmed the police were called into the school as a result of “concerns for the pupil’s safety”.

She said the boy was attempting to leave school grounds without permission, which his parents deny.

Superintendent Louise Skelton, of Police Scotland, said officers quickly established “no criminality”.

She said: “In order to protect the boy involved, staff and officers, handcuffs were deployed in an effort to keep all parties safe from harm.

“Officers remained with the boy until he was left in the care of a relative.

“Police Scotland has been engaging with the family. No complaint has been received at this time.”

SOURCES:
HEM News Agency, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-news-agency
Daily Mirror, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/DailyMirror
“Police handcuff 12-year-old autistic boy after fight with brother at school” – Stephen Jones, Mirror – News – UK News – Schools/MGN Limited (12 February 2017) http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/police-handcuff-12-year-old-9803082
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Handcuffed Girls Qiqi Lourdie December 05, 20104” – Steven Depolo, Flickr (5 December 2010) https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/5242520722

GAS MAIN EXPLOSION: ‘Huge’ fire reported in Whitstable

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Whitstable, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via KEELY LOCKHART, PA & The Telegraph

There have been reports of a large explosion and fire in Whitstable, Kent, in the south of England, leaving two men injured, according to national newspaper The Telegraph.

The explosion, believed to be centred around a subterranean gas main (gas pipe) at the Estuary View Business Park, an industrial site, occurred at 10:00 pm yesterday night, The Telegraph reports.

One of the victims, a gas engineer who was repairing the main at the time, suffered burns to his legs and face and was rushed to William Harvey Hospital in nearby Ashford, also in Kent county, by emergency services who arrived at the scene. A second man, possibly a fellow engineer or passer-by, sustained minor injuries.

The injured engineer, employed by the gas distribution firm SGN, had been called out to fix an issue with the medium-pressure main believed tampered with by an unknown ‘third party’, when the gas ignited. It is not known what exactly set off the explosion. The second casualty was treated at the scene. Neither are in serious danger.

 

File image (c) robert wade

Images posted by local man Chris Rowden on Twitter showed large orange flames rising from the ground ferociously, with ambulance teams from the South East Coast Ambulance Service and fire engines in attendance. Another witness, who lives a mile away from the scene, reported seeing the sky ‘lit up’ at the time of the incident.

Kent Fire and Rescue, which manages emergency services in the county, told the Telegraph that SGN was able to cut off the gas supply to the main and extinguish the fire at around 3 am this morning. A spokesperson told the paper “It is not known what caused the explosion at this stage.”

To minimise the risk of secondary gas leaks or explosions to Whitstable residents, SGN ordered the ceasing of gas supply to 430 homes in the Old Thanet Way residential area, and Kent police has set up roadblocks near the business park the gas explosion occurred in.

In a statement, SGN said: “It is too early to know what caused the fire last night but an investigation is under way.

“We would like to reassure the local community that we are continuing to closely monitor the situation to ensure their safety.”

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
Mauritius Now, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/mauritiusnow
“Huge fire erupts after gas main explodes in Whitstable, Kent” – Keely Lockhart & Press Association, The Telegraph – News/Telegraph Media Group Limited (28 May 2016) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/28/huge-fire-erupts-after-gas-main-explodes-in-whitstable-kent/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Flames Following the Gas explosion at Townsendfold, Rossendale, Lancashire” – robert wade, Flickr (31 July 2007) https://www.flickr.com/photos/rossendalewadey/3131234197

 

UK TERRORISM SCARE: Four-year-old threatened with ‘counter-terrorism measures’ after mispronouncing word

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Luton, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via DAVID BARRETT & The Telegraph

A British four-year-old child was allegedly threatened with counter-terrorism measures after mispronouncing the word ‘cucumber‘ as ‘cooker bomb’ as a wave of hysteria permeates the U.K. in the light of ongoing terrorism threats, national newspaper The Telegraph yesterday. 

The unidentified boy was at nursery when teachers overheard him say ‘cooker bomb’ instead of cucumber during play and workers at the nursery have said the child should be referred to a de-radicalisation and counter-terrorism project, despite the fact that many children of his age regularly mispronounce longer words.

The boy, said to be of ‘Asian‘ heritage, also allegedly drew a picture of a man chopping up a cucumber, technically a fruit, but used widely as a vegetable in both British and South Asian cooking, with a large knife, which triggered further concerns in the worried nursery workers.

Staff at the nursery in Luton, Bedfordshire, around 33.5 miles from central London, spoke with the boy’s mother and said he commented ‘cooker bomb’ when asked about the subject of his picture. They also expressed a wish to refer the incident to the ‘Prevent’ deradicalisation scheme, run by the Home Office government agency. Instead the case was referred to police and social services, who decided no further action would be taken, according to the BBC Asian Network.

The little boy’s mother, who was not named in the Telegraph report, told the newspaper “[The member of nursery staff] kept saying it was this one picture of the man cutting the cucumber, which she said to me is a ‘cooker bomb’.

“I was baffled. It was a horrible day.”

The mother also expressed fears that her child would be taken away from her into care once social services became involved. The case echoes that of a 10-year-old boy, also British Asian, who was visited by police at his home, after he wrote ‘terrorist house’ instead of ‘terraced house’ for a school assignment, triggering a radicalisation alert from his teacher.

Since July 2015, as part of the UK government’s strategy to combat extremism and radicalisation among young people and the voting in of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, teachers have been required to report any incidents alluding to terrorism and violence amongst their pupils, but this has led to numerous mistakes, many almost farcical, as teachers complained that the reporting rules were not clear enough. Many teaching unions have said that the government measures have been poorly laid out to the educational community. 

Alex Kenny from the National Union of Teachers said: “Teachers are scared of getting it wrong.

“They think Ofsted is going to criticise them if they haven’t reported these things, and you end up [with] the boy making the spelling mistake, or the boy saying something in Arabic – that then gets reported on.”

Figures published by the Telegraph state that just under 2,000 under-15s were referred to counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation initiatives such as Prevent in the period between January 2012 and December 2015.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
AsianWorld Newspaper, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/AsianWorldNews
“Four-year-old who ‘mispronounced the word cucumber’ threatened with counter-terrorism measures” – David Barrett, The Telegraph – Home – News – UK News – Terrorism in the UK/Telegraph Media Group Limited (11 March 2016) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/12191543/Four-year-old-who-mispronounced-the-word-cucumber-threatened-with-counter-terrorism-measures.html
IMAGE CREDIT:
Getty Images via Zemanta.

ALTON TOWERS ‘AIR’: Eighty people trapped as popular rollercoaster breaks down

More than a month after British theme park Alton Towers became a disaster zone when its Smiler ride malfunctioned, seriously injuring four people, another rollercoaster broke down yesterday, which was the hottest day of the year so far. The broken down car was alleged to have helped trap more than eighty people on and around the ride for two hours, the Metro newspaper reports.

On the same day the United Kingdom experienced the hottest daytime temperatures since 2003, the theme park’s Air rollercoaster seized up, causing dozens of thrillseekers to be suspended upside-down mid-air for twenty minutes. Another eighty visitors hoping to follow them onto Air were stuck in sweltering carriages for more than an hour after two monorail trains stopped.

Air , montagnes russes à Alton Towers
Air , montagnes russes à Alton Towers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the beginning of last month, sixteen people on a rollercoaster car on the recently opened Smiler were injured when it collided with an empty car parked further down the ride after the safety braking mechanisms failed. Two of the injured visitors had legs amputated due to their horrific injuries.

A spokesman said delays were ‘within expected levels’ and the monorail would re-open on Thursday.

It took an hour for Alton Towers staff to remove 80 people off the monorail using the evacuation walkways installed for such emergencies.

A spokesman told the BBC television broadcaster: “The train drivers kept guests informed via the on board PA system and refreshments were provided.”

Guests trapped on the Air ride were rescued “within standard operating procedures”, according to the theme park’s management. Nobody was injured in the rollercoaster malfunction, and there are no reports of damage to the ride. After the Smiler incident, Alton Towers agreed to pay compensation to the affected and also to review their safety and maintenance policies. 

Air is a fast-paced ride that promises visitor they will “experience the feeling of flying” as they sail into the clouds and through the resort’s trees. It is located in the Forbidden Valley section of the park and stands at a height of 20 metres. Its cars can reach speeds of 75 kilometres per hour along the 850 metre long track and was built at a cost of GBP £12 million. Air can accommodate 1,500 riders per hour.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK?fref=nf
“Alton Towers’ Air rollercoaster broke down for two hours trapping 80 people upside down” – Carri-Ann Taylor, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (2 July 2015) http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/02/alton-towers-air-breaks-down-leaving-guests-stranded-upside-down-5275895/?ito=facebook
“Air” – Alton Towers Resort, Alton Towers Resort Operations Limited/Merlin Entertainment Group http://www.altontowers.com/things-to-do/theme-park/air/
IMAGE CREDITS:
“File:Air (Alton Towers) 01.jpg” – Andyfishburne, Wikimedia Commons (15 October 2007) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Air_(Alton_Towers)_01.jpg

 

VENICE BEACH TRAGEDY: 1 killed, 11 injured as driver loses control on US beachwalk

One person has died and 11 have been injured after a driver used his vehicle to accelerate and mow down pedestrians in the popular seaside resort of Venice Beach near Los Angeles in the American state of California.

Witnesses reported seeing a driver in a black saloon-type car rapidly accelerate down the Venice Beach Boardwalk, a pedestrian-priority promenade facing the beach, before he indiscriminately ploughed into tourists leisurely strolling along the pavement.

Venice Beach and the Boardwalk, as seen in the...
Venice Beach and the Boardwalk, as seen in the music video for “When Love Takes Over” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Californian summer brought out thousands of tourists and sun-seekers at around 6:40pm local time, the busiest time for the area, and witnesses described the boardwalk as being packed with people when the motorist rampaged through the crowd. He then fled the scene, leaving the promenade “in chaos”, according to a report by Singapore’s Strait Times.

The victim, who has not yet been identified, passed away from their injuries a few hours later in hospital after being struck in the crash, which happened yesterday (Saturday) evening, said Los Angeles police spokesperson Lt. Andy Neiman.

A security CCTV video taken at the scene shows the man parking his car at the boardwalk at sunset, leaving it for a while to watch the sun go down. He then re-entered the vehicle before driving it directly into the crowd at the beachwalk. Families, vendors, and street performers were seen fleeing for their lives as the man aimed at them, cutting an S-shape through the crowds of panicking holidaymakers. According to a news bulletin by local news television station KTLA, the young man first targeted a group of vendors near a cafe. People were said to have bounced off the bonnet of the man’s car “like bowling pins”, said KTLA reporter Steve Kuzj. Victims were left lying on the pavement, one was seen with bloody injuries to her arms. The unknown driver was said to have deliberately aimed his vehicle at innocent walkers at high speed before disappearing down a side street.

He left behind a scene of utter devastation and victims strewn along the roadside as frightened, but unharmed locals attempted to administer first aid amidst the confusion. “There was people kind of stumbling around, blood dripping down their legs looking confused not knowing what had happened, people screaming,” said 35-year-old Louisa Hodge, who was out enjoying the day on the Venice Beach boardwalk with a friend visiting from San Diego. Street furniture were also scattered around the incident zone.

Los Angeles police and local fire services attended the scene of the atrocity and the affected stretch of beach was closed until today.

Police have now apprehended the driver and have impounded the car after the killer fled on foot, according to another LAPD officer, Daniel Chun. No details are yet available on the driver’s identification or motive

The Venice Beach sidewalk draws in millions of tourists every year to California’s famed “Golden Coast”. It is renowned for its beachside cafes and restaurants. It is said to be the state’s most eccentric tourist hotspot, home to several tattoo parlours, skateboard parks and the legendary Muscle Beach, an outdoor weight-training gym. The beachfront runs for 2.5 miles along the town of Venice, in the Westside area of Los Angeles and it is normally a traffic-free zone.

VIDEO: The KTLA news report of the Venice Beach attack.

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SOURCES:
Half-Eaten Mind on Twitter LINK 
Straits Times on Twitter LINK 
“1 dead, 11 hurt as car turns LA seaside into chaos” – The Sunday Times/Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. (reporting by AP/Associated Press) (4 August 2013) LINK 
“Car ploughs into pedestrians at Venice Beach” – Bonnie Malkin and agencies, The Telegraph/Telegraph Media Group Ltd. (4 August 2013) LINK 
“Venice, Los Angeles” – Wikipedia LINK