Passengers locked inside grounded jet

April 01, 2014 - 9:57:18 am


HONG KONG: Hundreds of passengers were locked inside a grounded Dragonair plane overnight when a massive storm prevented their landing in Hong Kong, the airline’s parent company confirmed yesterday.

Flight KA875 took off from Shanghai at 6.30pm on Sunday with 252 passengers on board but was diverted to nearby Shenzhen airport when Hong Kong was deluged by rain and hail. A power failure stopped the flight from continuing on to its intended destination when conditions improved, and passengers were forced to stay on the tarmac for seven hours, a spokeswoman for Cathay Pacific, which owns Dragonair, told AFP.

“The initial plan was to re-depart to Hong Kong as soon as the weather condition allowed... regrettably, the delay was further extended when there were technical problems with the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit,” the spokeswoman said in a written statement.

Shenzhen airport’s management could not be reached for comment.

UN court stops Japan whaling

AMSTERDAM: Judges at the highest UN court ordered Japan yesterday to halt whaling in the Antarctic, rejecting the country’s argument that the catch was for scientific purposes.

The International Court of Justice sided with plaintiff Australia in finding that the scientific output of the whaling programme was modest in comparison with the number of whales killed. 

It said no further scientific whaling licences should be issued. “In light of the fact the JARPA II (research programme) has been going on since 2005, and has involved the killing of about 3,600 minke whales, the scientific output to date appears limited,” Presiding Judge Peter Tomka of Slovakia said.

China storms leave 16 dead

BEIJING: At least 16 people were killed in rain and hailstorms that triggered flooding and landslides in southern China, officials said.

The severe weather, which began last Friday, has affected seven provinces and municipalities, China’s ministry of civil affairs said, leaving 16 people dead and two missing.

The storms are the first round of heavy rainfall this spring, the ministry said.

In Guangdong province, one of the hardest-hit areas, flights at major airports ground to a halt and classes in some cities were suspended yesterday. 

Rescuers in neighbouring Guangxi province have been searching since Sunday for a mine worker who was buried in a landslide, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Agencies