No criminal motive in airport accident

Updated 08 April 2013
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No criminal motive in airport accident

The death of two Iranian pilgrims and the injuries that other passengers sustained at Haj Terminal’s Gate 13 on Thursday was an accident that did not involve criminal intent, said Khaled Al-Harbi, director of Haj and Umrah Affairs at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.
Two Iranian pilgrims were killed and four others were injured after a service truck crashed into the departure lounge of the international airport.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has set up a committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the tragic incident. Al-Harbi attributed the gate crash to a malfunction in the truck’s brakes.
A thick wall will be built between the passengers' lounge on the ground floor and the runway to ensure the security of passengers, he said.
“One of the injured pilgrims has left the hospital after receiving treatment and is presently residing at a hotel in Jeddah, awaiting a flight back to Tehran. Another injured pilgrim, Hadi Hasan Ali, is receiving treatment at a private hospital. Although he sustained head injuries, his condition is stable,” Muhammad Sitari, an official of the Iranian Haj and Umrah delegation, told a local daily.
GACA spokesman Khaled Al-Khaibari stated that any questions regarding the fatal accident should be forwarded to Saudi Airlines, as the truck involved in the accident belonged to the airline’s subsidiary for ground services. 
Abdullah Al-Ajhar, assistant director of public relations at Saudi Airlines, emphasized that the incident is under investigation by airport authorities. 
The truck driver, an Indian citizen, parked the truck close to the aircraft to perform maintenance services to the toilets. However, he did not apply the handbrake, which led to the collision of the truck into the aircraft stairs.
The impact of the collision was so powerful that the truck steered off-course, crashing into the glass wall of the departure lounge area and hurled into a crowd of pilgrims.  
The two injured Iranians were immediately taken to King Fahd General Hospital. 
According to Sami Badawood, director of the Health Administration in Jeddah, the Iranian consul general requested the hospital to transfer the injured pilgrims to a private hospital to receive medical attention under the consulate’s supervision, even though they were already being treated. One of the injured men, who suffered serious head trauma, required scanning and continuous medical monitoring, Badawood added.  
The bodies of the deceased are still being preserved at King Fahd General Hospital.


Saudi Arabia to impose fines for breach of new public decency laws

Updated 27 min 50 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia to impose fines for breach of new public decency laws

  • The list of offenses has been designed to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: People breaking any of 10 new rules on public behavior in Saudi Arabia face being fined up to SR5,000 ($1,333). A list of offenses relating to breaches of public decency came into force throughout the Kingdom on Saturday.

Cabinet members last month approved the regulations which aim to uphold the values, principles and identity of Saudi society in public places such as parks, beaches, malls, hotels and restaurants.

Shoura Council member Dr. Muadi Al-Madhhab told MBC channel: “The Kingdom isn’t the only country to implement such regulations. Many countries already have them, and the regulations apply to citizens and expatriates.”

With rising tourism, he said that the 10 provisions would help individuals to be aware of how they should behave in the presence of visitors to the country.

The list has been designed to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia, and the country’s interior minister will work with the chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and other relevant authorities to administer and enforce the rules and where necessary serve penalties.

BACKGROUND

The list of offenses has been designed to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia.

Each of the 10 regulations will carry a corresponding fine that will be issued by the minister. Under the rules, individuals will be expected to adhere to respectful dress codes and avoid taking photos or using phrases that might offend public decency.

The list covers graffiti and demolition of public property or transport unless authorized by Saudi authorities. Verbal and physical acts of violence or conduct that causes damage, fear or is deemed to be a threat to public safety will also form part of the crackdown.

Legal consultant Dimah Al-Sharif told Arab News: “I believe that the sanctions will play a major role in forcing the community to respect and commit to the regulations.”

She said the Ministry of Interior and SCTH could link the list of decency offenses to the Absher app in the same way as traffic crimes. “This would ensure that individuals treat the issue of public decency seriously and responsibly.” Anyone breaking one of the bylaws for a second time within the same year will face having their fine doubled.