Indian authorities say no survivors of air force plane crash

There were no survivors of a military transport plane crash last week in a mountainous area near the border with China. (File/AFP)
Updated 13 June 2019

Indian authorities say no survivors of air force plane crash

  • The AN-32 plane with five Indian air force officers and eight people of other ranks lost ground contact June 3 on its way to a high-altitude airstrip in Mechuka, 29 kilometers from the Chinese border
  • Even after deploying satellites and sensitive radars, it took nine days for air force and navy personnel to locate the wreckage because of the remoteness of the heavily forested area

GAHUATI, India: There were no survivors of a military transport plane crash last week in a mountainous area near the border with China, Indian authorities said Thursday.
A team of rescuers airlifted to a place lower on the mountain in Arunachal Pradesh, India's northeastern-most state, climbed up to the crash site on foot early Thursday and confirmed that none of the 13 people on board were alive, the Indian air force said on Twitter.
"Our rescue team reached the site at an elevation of 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) this morning and did not find survivors," said Indian Air Force Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh.
The AN-32 plane with five Indian air force officers and eight people of other ranks lost ground contact June 3 on its way to a high-altitude airstrip in Mechuka, 29 kilometers (18 miles) from the Chinese border.
Even after deploying satellites and sensitive radars, it took nine days for air force and navy personnel to locate the wreckage because of the remoteness of the heavily forested area.
The air force released a photo of a charred patch of land on a steep slope covered with evergreen trees, leading to speculation that the plane crashed just below the summit.
Officials have not said what caused the crash.


UK’s Johnson to visit European capitals seeking Brexit breakthrough

Updated 18 August 2019

UK’s Johnson to visit European capitals seeking Brexit breakthrough

  • Johnson will travel for talks with German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron
  • Johnson is expected to push for the EU to reopen negotiations over the terms of Brexit

LONDON: UK's Boris Johnson will visit European capitals this week on his first overseas trip as prime minister, as his government said Sunday it had ordered the scrapping of the decades-old law enforcing its EU membership.

Johnson will travel to Berlin on Wednesday for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and on to Paris Thursday for discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron, Downing Street confirmed on Sunday, amid growing fears of a no-deal Brexit in two and a half months.

The meetings, ahead of a two-day G7 summit starting Saturday in the southern French resort of Biarritz, are his first diplomatic forays abroad since replacing predecessor Theresa May last month.

Johnson is expected to push for the EU to reopen negotiations over the terms of Brexit or warn that it faces the prospect of Britain's disorderly departure on October 31 -- the date it is due to leave.

European leaders have repeatedly rejected reopening an accord agreed by May last year but then rejected by British lawmakers on three occasions, despite Johnson's threats that the country will leave then without an agreement.

In an apparent show of intent, London announced Sunday that it had ordered the repeal of the European Communities Act, which took Britain into the forerunner to the EU 46 years ago and gives Brussels law supremacy.

The order, signed by Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay on Friday, is set to take effect on October 31.

"This is a landmark moment in taking back control of our laws from Brussels," Barclay said in a statement.

"This is a clear signal to the people of this country that there is no turning back -- we are leaving the EU as promised on October 31, whatever the circumstances -- delivering on the instructions given to us in 2016."

The moves come as Johnson faces increasing pressure to immediately recall MPs from their summer holidays so that parliament can debate Brexit.

More than 100 lawmakers, who are not due to return until September 3, have demanded in a letter that he reconvene the 650-seat House of Commons and let them sit permanently until October 31.

"Our country is on the brink of an economic crisis, as we career towards a no-deal Brexit," said the letter, signed by MPs and opposition party leaders who want to halt a no-deal departure.

"We face a national emergency, and parliament must be recalled now."

Parliament is set to break up again shortly after it returns, with the main parties holding their annual conferences during the September break.

Main opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to call a vote of no confidence in Johnson's government after parliament returns.

He hopes to take over as a temporary prime minister, seek an extension to Britain's EU departure date to stop a no-deal Brexit, and then call a general election.

"What we need is a government that is prepared to negotiate with the European Union so we don't have a crash-out on the 31st," Corbyn said Saturday.

"This government clearly doesn't want to do that."

Britain could face food, fuel and medicine shortages and chaos at its ports in a no-deal Brexit, The Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing a leaked government planning document.

There would likely be some form of hard border imposed on the island of Ireland, the document implied.

Rather than worst-case scenarios, the leaked document, compiled this month by the Cabinet Office ministry, spells out the likely ramifications of a no-deal Brexit, the broadsheet claimed.

The document said logjams could affect fuel distribution, while up to 85 percent of trucks using the main ports to continental Europe might not be ready for French customs.

The availability of fresh food would be diminished and prices would go up, the newspaper said.