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News Making International Headlines: 16 December 2021

A Major Fire at HK’s World Trade Center Trapped Around 300


PHOTO: FIREFIGHTERS ON AERIAL LIFT AT BUILDING FIREFIGHTERS, RESCUERS AND POLICE AT SCENE OF FIRE SMOKE EMITTING FROM BUILDING EMERGENCY PERSONNEL TENDING TO PEOPLE NEAR AMBULANCE

INTERNATIONAL: Around 300 people were trapped on the roof of Hong Kong's World Trade Centre on Wednesday after a major fire broke out. The building is located in the bustling commercial and shopping district of Causeway Bay.

Police have said the fire started in the machine room and has moved to the scaffolding surrounding the building, which is currently under renovation. Hundreds of people were moved from a restaurant to the 39th floor when the fire broke out and smoke filled the dining area.

Firefighters stood on aerial lifts during the rescue operation, after having battled the blaze with two water jets. Emergency services personnel and ambulances were also deployed to the scene, with one person seen being transported away while holding onto a breathing apparatus.

It was reported that 13 people were injured and taken to hospital. Those who were injured are aged between 25 and 60. The 60-year-old woman is in a critical condition.

Those trapped on the roof have been all safely rescued, with more than 1,200 people in total evacuated from the building.

Boat Sinks Off Malaysia Kills 11 Indonesian Migrants


PHOTO: SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATION ONGOING ON THE BEACH, STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF CAPSIZED BOAT AND OFFICIALS INSPECTING BOAT

Eleven bodies have been found while 25 people remain missing on Wednesday after a boat carrying suspected undocumented migrants from Indonesia capsized off Malaysia, maritime authorities have reported.

There were 14 people reported safe among the estimated 50 aboard the boat, which capsized off southern Johor state around 4:30 a.m. The survivors and the boat were found on a beach in Tanjung Balau and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has said a search and rescue operations had been launched for those missing.

The boat was believed to have travelled from Indonesia and capsized after being hit by strong waves, Johor maritime operations deputy director, Captain Simon Templer Lo Ak Tusa has said.

Coast guard chief Admiral Mohamad Zubil Mat Som said soldiers on patrol discovered the bodies of seven men and four women on the shore.

The Indonesian consulate in Johor said its representatives were on location to help identify and manage the remains of the victims.

The 14 survivors were taken into custody. Those missing are believed to have either gone into hiding or drowned, and authorities have deployed boats and an aircraft to seek them out.

The accident is the latest in a string of disasters recorded in the waterways between Indonesia and Malaysia in recent years, often involving overloaded boats ferrying labourers seeking work in Malaysian factories and plantations.

Malaysia is home to millions of migrants from the poorer parts of Asia, many of them undocumented, and they work in industries including construction and agriculture. According to Migrant CARE, a Jakarta-based non-government organization, between 100,000 and 200,000 Indonesians travel illegally to Malaysia for work each year, many of them recruited by trafficking gangs and subjected to exploitation when they arrive.

Russian Tests Newest Anti-Submarine Missiles


PHOTO: RUSSIAN NAVY VESSEL MARSHAL SHAPOSHNIKOV LAUNCHING ANTI-SUBMARINE MISSILE AT UNDERWATER TARGET

And… Russia unveils its latest anti-submarine missile system, titled “Answer”.It’s the first cruise missile of the Russian fleet that shoots up into the sky and then dives into the sea searching for underwater targets, such as submarines.

On Wednesday, Pacific Fleet Frigates successfully tested the missile, with the projectile successfully hit an underwater target in the Japan Sea.The Russian Defense Ministry hasn’t yet revealed its plans for the missile system nor announced dates of its possible adoption to the country’s fleet.

But, it was revealed that the new projectiles can be used via already existing ‘Kalibr’ cruise missile launch pads. So, the new system might be added into the arsenal of the country’s most powerful Admiral Grigorovich- and Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates, as well as to the corvettes stationed in the Black Sea.

‘Answer’ consists of four parts - a new cruise missile, a launchpad, a hydroacoustic station that searches for submarines under the water and an on-board computer that uploads targets’ coordinates and flight path into the projectile’s “brains”.

The new missile can receive information about underwater targets through hydroacoustic stations on board, as well as from anti-submarine planes and sonar beacons.


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