Hundreds pray in Malaysia for missing Franco-Irish teen

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Members of Malaysian rescue team prepare for a search and rescue operation for the missing the 15-year-old Franco-Irish girl Nora Quoirin in Seremban on August 8, 2019. (AFP)
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People attend the Friday prayer dedicated for the safety and recovery of the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish girl Nora Quoirin at a mosque near the search and rescue area in Seremban on August 9, 2019. (AFP)
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Royal Malaysian Police participate in a search and rescue operation for the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish, Nora Quoirin in Seremban on August 8, 2019. (AFP)
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People attend the Friday prayer dedicated for the safety and recovery of the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish girl Nora Quoirin at a mosque near the search and rescue area in Seremban on August 9, 2019. (AFP)
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A Royal Malaysian Police officer hands a poster to a motorist bearing a portrait of the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish girl Nora Quoirin during a search and rescue operation in Seremban on August 9, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2019

Hundreds pray in Malaysia for missing Franco-Irish teen

  • They have questioned around 20 people and are examining fingerprints found on a window pane

SEREMBAN, Malaysia: Hundreds of Muslims held a special prayer session Friday for a Franco-Irish teen who went missing from a Malaysian resort, as a massive search team scoured the jungle for a sixth day.
Nora Quoirin, a 15-year-old with learning difficulties, disappeared Sunday a day after checking into the resort with her London-based family.
They believe she was abducted, but police have classified it as a missing person case.
A search team of more than 260 people backed by helicopters, drones and sniffer dogs is poking through dense jungle next to the resort in southwestern Malaysia but have not found any trace of the teenager.
Some 300 people, many wearing Muslim prayer caps, knelt in prayer during a session dedicated to the teen at a mosque in a nearby town.
“What we’re doing today is to help our friends in the search effort,” said Mohamad Taufek Awaludin, who led the session.
“We hope that the family... will be patient. This is a test from Allah.”
Several police officers and firefighters were among the group. Roughly two-thirds of Malaysia’s 32 million inhabitants are Muslim.
Officials have played a recording of the girl’s mother, Meabh Quoirin, calling out “Nora, Nora darling, mummy’s here” through loudspeakers in the hope of drawing her out of the jungle, if she is still there.
Members of a special police commando unit arrived Friday to help in the search.
Senior police official Che Zakaria Othman conceded the search team had not uncovered any “concrete” clues about the girl’s disappearance.
But he added: “The security forces have not, to this day, given up.”
The daughter of a Franco-Irish couple, Nora went missing from the 12-acre (five-hectare) Dusun Resort, which lies near a forest reserve not far from Kuala Lumpur, in the foothills of a mountain range.
Her family says it would be extremely unusual for the reserved youngster to have wandered off on her own. While officially treating it as a missing person case, police say they have not ruled out other possibilities.
They have questioned around 20 people and are examining fingerprints found on a window pane.


Jet catches fire in northern California; 10 aboard unhurt

Updated 9 min 41 sec ago

Jet catches fire in northern California; 10 aboard unhurt

OROVILLE, California: All 10 people aboard a small jet escaped injury Wednesday after the aircraft aborted its takeoff at a small Northern California airport, went off the runway and burst into flames, officials said.
The pilot of the twin-engine Cessna Citation jet aborted its takeoff at Oroville Municipal Airport for unknown reasons shortly before noon, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The plane was carrying two pilots and eight passengers, and “all were accounted for, no injuries,” said Joe Deal, Oroville’s fire and police chief.
The jet had complications during takeoff that resulted in its catching fire, he said.
It slid off the end of the runway, sparking a fire in the dry grass. Photos and video from witnesses shows the jet’s door open and its landing gear apparently retracted. Officials briefly closed nearby Highway 162 before controlling the grass fire at less than two acres.
“They were out of the plane quickly,” said Rick Carhart, a spokesman the CalFire/Butte County Fire Department that assisted at the scene. By the time the first fire engine arrived, “the people had already gotten off and vacated the area very quickly.”
Carhart said he didn’t know if the jet caught fire before or after it left the runway.
The plane was flying from Oroville to Portland International Airport in Oregon, Gregor said.
An FAA website says the model 560XL jet was manufactured in 2003 and is registered to Jotts LLC, with an address that tracks to a firm based in Wilmington, Delaware, that provides registered agent services to multiple companies.
Deal said it was a personally chartered jet, and its corporate passengers had stayed overnight in Oroville.
“It was attempting to take off, but early reports show that it never made it off the ground,” Deal said. The jet slid off the northern end of the runway onto a grassy area, but it never left the airport property. It was fully engulfed by the time firefighters arrived.
Firefighters were able to quickly control the grass fire, but it took more than an hour to extinguish the jet, partly because it had just taken on 400 gallons of jet fuel, he said. A crash truck from nearby Chico sprayed the jet with foam to help extinguish the blaze.
The airport, which does not have commercial flights, remained open.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. It typically takes the NTSB a year or more to determine a probable cause of an accident, Gregor said.