Australian family of NZ mosques gunman devastated for victims

In this image made from a video, a woman and a man who Australia's Nine Network television says are a grandmother and an uncle of Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the Australian man accused of carrying out the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques, are interviewed in Grafton, New South Wales, Australia on March 17, 2019. (CHANNEL 9 via AP)
Updated 18 March 2019

Australian family of NZ mosques gunman devastated for victims

  • Tarrant’s grandmother said she was “gobsmacked” when she first saw the terror attack on television last Friday

MELBOURNE, Australia: A grandmother of the Australian man suspected of killing 50 people in two New Zealand mosques said she was “just devastated” for the dead and injured.
Speaking publicly for the first time in their home town of Grafton in the Australian state of New South Wales after the killings, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant’s grandmother Marie Fitzgerald expressed her sorrow, as did his uncle Terry Fitzgerald.
Tarrant, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday and is due back in court on April 5. Police said he was likely to face further charges.
“We’re so sorry for the families over there, for the dead and the injured. I can’t think nothing else,” his uncle said on Australia’s Channel Nine television late on Sunday.
Tarrant’s grandmother said she was “gobsmacked” when she first saw the news on television last Friday.
She said in high school, Tarrant had spent most of his time playing games on computers and learning the ins and outs of computers.
In a document published online, Tarrant said he received “little education during my schooling, barely achieving a passing grade,” skipping university to work and deal in cryptocurrency, which he said was profitable.
He then traveled extensively, including through Western Europe, Turkey and Bulgaria, between 2016 and 2018.
“It’s only since he traveled overseas I think that that boy has changed completely to the boy we knew,” she said.
He visited Grafton a year ago for his sister’s birthday celebration and was “his normal self,” she said, further adding “now everyone’s just devastated.”
Police on Monday said they had executed two search warrants in towns on the New South Wales mid-north coast related to the investigation into the mass shootings.


At least 14 dead as India airliner crashes on landing

Updated 44 min 27 sec ago

At least 14 dead as India airliner crashes on landing

  • The Air India Express plane from Dubai had 191 passengers and crew on board when it overshot the runway
  • There were 10 infants on board

NEW DELHI: At least 14 people were killed and 15 others were seriously injured Friday when an Indian passenger jet skidded off the runway after landing in heavy rain, officials said.
Air India Express said more than 190 passengers and crew were on board the plane, which left from Dubai and landed at Kozhikode airport in the southern state of Kerala.
Television pictures showed part of the fuselage of the jet ripped apart, although there was no sign of any fire.
"I can confirm at least 14 deaths overall. Another 15 passengers have critical injuries. It is still a developing situation," senior local policeman Abdul Karim told AFP.
"We have at least 89 people, many of them with serious injuries, admitted at different Kozhikode hospitals. The ambulances are still coming in," said Sujith Das, another senior police official.
"We have been told that all those who have survived the crash also have some form of injuries."
One of those killed was one of the two pilots, a Kerala state deputy said.
Aviation regulator DGCA said the plane skidded off the end of the runway and "fell down in the valley and broke down in two pieces".
An Air India Express spokesperson said the aircraft appeared to have overshot the runway.
One television channel reported there had been a problem with the jet's landing gear.
Air India Express said in a statement that there was "no fire reported at the time of landing."
It said there were 174 passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and five cabin crew on board the aircraft.
"As per the initial reports, rescue operations are on and passengers are being taken to hospital for medical care," it said.
An emergency services official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP: "Rescue operations are on but the rains are making it difficult."
Television pictures showed emergency services personnel working in the dark and spraying the wreckage with water.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences.
"My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest... Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected," Modi said.
The last major plane crash in India was in 2010 when an Air India Express Boeing 737-800 from Dubai to Mangalore overshot the runway and burst into flames.
The crash killed 158 people and left eight survivors.
Kerala has been battered by heavy rains in recent days.
At least 15 people were killed on Friday after a landslide triggered by heavy rains flattened a row of huts elsewhere in the state.
Around 50 other people were feared trapped in the debris. The dead included two children.