Death toll from India building collapse hits 9

Members of the National Disaster Response Force carry out the body of a victim at the site of a collapsed building in Greater Noida. (AFP)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Death toll from India building collapse hits 9

NEW DELHI: The death toll from a collapsed apartment block outside Delhi rose to nine on Thursday as emergency workers pulled four more bodies from a huge pile of rubble and metal, India’s fire brigade said.
The six-storey building caved in late Tuesday and crashed into a neighboring building, trapping more than a dozen people, including laborers and two families in Greater Noida, a satellite city east of Indian capital.
Five bodies were pulled out on Wednesday as nearly 150 workers using steel cutters and drills and helped by sniffer dogs sifted through the tons of concrete and metal.
“We have found four bodies since last night. The operation will continue until the site is cleared,” regional chief fire officer Arun Kumar Singh said on Thursday.
Police have arrested four people, including the landowner, on charges of manslaughter and want to question 20 others.
Hundreds of low-budget residential complexes have sprung up in recent years in the many fast-growing satellite towns dotted around 20-million-strong Delhi, but construction firms often cut corners with cheap materials.
Building collapses are common across India, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September, although it was unclear whether this latest disaster was due to recent heavy rain.


EU slaps sanctions on Syrians, Russians over attacks

Updated 14 min 21 sec ago
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EU slaps sanctions on Syrians, Russians over attacks

  • EU foreign ministers slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center

BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on four Russians blamed for a nerve agent attack in Britain as well as a Syrian research center and its staff as the 28-nation bloc stepped up its action against the use of chemical weapons.
EU foreign ministers slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center.
Five of those targeted are linked to the Syrian center’s activities. Britain’s foreign office said they “have played a central role in the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against their own people.”
The four Russians on the list are the two men accused of planting the nerve agent in Salisbury last March, Anatoly Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, and their superiors, the head and deputy head of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence unit.
The ministers said in a statement from their meeting in Brussels that the sanctions move “contributes to the EU’s efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, which poses a serious threat to international security.”
It’s the first time the EU has imposed sanctions to combat chemical weapons.
“Today’s new sanctions deliver on our vow to take tough action against the reckless and irresponsible activities of the Russian military intelligence organization, the GRU, which put innocent British citizens in serious danger in Salisbury last year,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement.
“We will continue to show our willingness to stand up for the international rules that keep us safe, and which the Kremlin and the Assad regime seek to undermine,” he added.