Passengers leap from wing after Dallas-bound Southwest airline makes emergency landing

Southwest aircraft flight 3562 sits on the tarmac after making an emergency landing at Albuquerque International Sunport. (AP)
Updated 13 March 2018
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Passengers leap from wing after Dallas-bound Southwest airline makes emergency landing

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO: A Dallas-bound flight made an emergency landing at Albuquerque International Sunport, sending panicked passengers leaping from a wing onto the tarmac after crew members screamed at them to get away from the aircraft, passengers and officials said.
Southwest Flight 3562 took off from Phoenix on Sunday night and was headed for Dallas Love Field. About an hour later, the crew noticed an unusual smell in the cabin, the airline said in a statement.
Passengers said they could feel heat from the vents shortly before the crew said the plane was going to make an emergency landing. Passengers were told to brace as the plane landed.
“I sent a couple texts out to loved ones that you just don’t really want to have to send out,” Brandon Cox said.
He said it was an 8-foot (2.44-meter) jump to the tarmac from the wing.
“I hit the ground really hard and was just shell-shocked that I just had to jump off the wing of an airplane,” he said.
Video he posted on Twitter showed people using a slide connected to another emergency exit. A crewmember can be heard shouting, “Move away from the aircraft now!”
Passenger David Fleck said he was surprised to discover there were no emergency slides near the exit door over the wing.
“It felt wrong when you’re up there. It was dark, cold and rainy,” he said. “It was disorienting. (You think), ‘Do I really just jump down?’”
The Albuquerque Fire Department tweeted that two people were taken to hospitals. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.
A Dallas police officer aboard the flight tweeted that flight attendants “did a great job!”
Southwest said it worked to get passengers onboard another flight to Dallas, and aircraft will remain in Albuquerque where mechanics will inspect it.
Watch the video recorded by passenger Brandon Cox:


Own up to mass Muslim detentions, Amnesty tells China

Updated 10 min 23 sec ago
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Own up to mass Muslim detentions, Amnesty tells China

  • Beijing has tightened restrictions on Muslim minorities to combat what it calls Islamic extremism and separatist elements in Xinjiang
  • Critics say the drive risks fueling resentment toward Beijing and further inflaming separatist sentiment

BEIJING: China must come clean about the fate of an estimated one million minority Muslims swept up in a “massive crackdown” in its far western region of Xinjiang, Amnesty International said Monday.
Beijing has tightened restrictions on Muslim minorities to combat what it calls Islamic extremism and separatist elements in Xinjiang.
Critics say the drive risks fueling resentment toward Beijing and further inflaming separatist sentiment.
In a new report, which included testimony from people held in the camps, the international rights group said Beijing had rolled out “an intensifying government campaign of mass internment, intrusive surveillance, political indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation.”
Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are punished for violating regulations banning beards and burqas, and for the possession of unauthorized Qur’ans, it added.
Up to a million people are detained in internment camps, a United Nations panel on racial discrimination reported last month, with many detained for offenses as minor as making contact with family members outside the country or sharing Islamic holiday greetings on social media.
“Hundreds of thousands of families have been torn apart by this massive crackdown,” said Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s East Asia director, in a statement.
“They are desperate to know what has happened to their loved ones and it is time the Chinese authorities give them answers.”
Beijing has denied reports of the camps but evidence is mounting in the form of government documents and escapee testimony.
These suggest that Chinese authorities are detaining large groups of people in a network of extrajudicial camps for political and cultural indoctrination on a scale unseen since the Maoist era.
Amnesty’s report interviewed several former detainees who said they were put in shackles, tortured, and made to sing political songs and learn about the Communist Party.
The testimony tallies with evidence gathered by foreign reporters and rights groups in the past year.
Amnesty also called on governments around the world to hold Beijing to account for “the nightmare” unfolding in Xinjiang.
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced “awful abuses” of Uighur Muslims detained in re-education camps.
“Hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of Uighurs are held against their will in so-called re-education camps where they’re forced to endure severe political indoctrination and other awful abuses,” Pompeo said in a speech.
However Pakistan, China’s biggest Muslim ally, quickly denied reports last week that it had criticized Beijing — which is pouring billions in infrastructure investment into the country — over the issue.
Religious affairs minister Noorul Haq Qadri told AFP China has agreed to exchange delegations of religious students to help promote “harmony” between Muslims and Chinese authorities.
China’s top leaders recently called for religious practices to be brought in line with “traditional” Chinese values and culture, sparking concern among rights groups.
Earlier this month draft regulations suggested Beijing was considering restrictions on religious content online, such as images of people praying or chanting.
State supervision of religion has increased in a bid to “block extremism,” and authorities have removed Islamic symbols such as crescents from public spaces in areas with significant Muslim populations.
Christians have also been targeted in crackdowns, with a prominent Beijing “underground” church shuttered by authorities earlier this month. Churches in central Henan province have seen their crosses torn down and followers harassed.