WORLD

World news roundup: Man dies after turbulence; Iran funerals; Israel media law

May 21, 2024, 9:05 AM

Image: Ambulances are seen at the airport where a London-Singapore flight that encountered severe t...

Ambulances are seen at the airport where a London-Singapore flight that encountered severe turbulence was diverted to, in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. The plane apparently plummeted for a number of minutes before it was diverted to Bangkok, where emergency crews rushed to help injured passengers amid stormy weather, Singapore Airlines said Tuesday. (Photo: Sakchai Lalit, AP)

(Photo: Sakchai Lalit, AP)

Man dies, several passengers are injured when turbulence hits Singapore Airlines flight

BANGKOK (AP) — A Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean and descended 6,000 feet in a span of about three minutes, the carrier said Tuesday, leaving a British man dead and more than two dozen other passengers injured.

The flight was then diverted and landed in stormy weather in Bangkok.

Authorities said the 73-year-old British man may have suffered a heart attack, though that hasn’t been confirmed. His name wasn’t immediately released.

The Boeing 777 flight from London’s Heathrow airport to Singapore, with 211 passengers and 18 crew members aboard, landed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the airline said in a Facebook post.

British passenger Andrew Davies told Sky News that “anyone who had a seatbelt on isn’t injured.”

He said that the seatbelt sign was illuminated, but crew members didn’t have time to take their seats.

“Every single cabin crew person I saw was injured in some way or another, maybe with a gash on their head,” Davies said. “One had a bad back, who was in obvious pain.”

Emergency medical crews rushed to help the passengers. Videos posted on the LINE messaging platform by Suvarnabhumi Airport showed several ambulances streaming to the scene.

Kittipong Kittikachorn, general manager of Suvarnabhumi Airport, told a news conference on Tuesday night that the British man appeared to have suffered a heart attack, but medical authorities would need to confirm that.

He said that seven passengers were severely injured, and 23 passengers and nine crew members had what he described as moderate injuries. Sixteen other people with less serious injuries received hospital treatment, while another 14 were treated at the airport, according to Kittipong.

Kittipong said the sudden descent happened as passengers were being served their food. It was Suvarnabhumi Airport’s first time handling a midair turbulence related death, he added.

Thai airport authorities said that the passengers with minor injures, and those who are not injured, are being assisted at a specially assigned location inside the airport terminal.

Thailand’s transport minister, Suriya Jungrungruangkit, said Singapore was dispatching another plane to transport those who could travel to the city-state’s Changi airport.

Mourners begin days of funerals for Iran’s president, others killed in copter crash

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Mourners in black began gathering Tuesday for days of funerals and processions for Iran’s late president, foreign minister and others killed in a helicopter crash, a government-led series of ceremonies aimed at both honoring the dead and projecting strength in an unsettled Middle East.

For Iran’s Shiite theocracy, mass demonstrations have been crucial since millions thronged the streets of Tehran to welcome Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution, and also attended his funeral 10 years later. An estimated 1 million turned out in 2020 for processions for the late Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was slain in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

Whether President Ebrahim RaisiForeign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and others draw the same crowd remains in question, particularly as Raisi died in a helicopter crash, won his office in the lowest-turnout presidential election in the country’s history and presided over sweeping crackdowns on all dissent. Prosecutors already have warned people over showing any public signs of celebrating his death and a heavy security force presence has been seen on the streets of Tehran since the crash.

 

Image: In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, Revolutionary Guard members carry the flag-draped coffin of President Ebrahim Raisi during a funeral ceremony for him and others who were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in a mountainous region in the city of Tabriz, Iran, Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, Revolutionary Guard members carry the flag-draped coffin of President Ebrahim Raisi during a funeral ceremony for him and others who were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in a mountainous region in the city of Tabriz, Iran, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Photo: Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

But Raisi, 63, had been discussed as a possible successor for Iran’s supreme leader, the 85-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His death now throws that selection into question, particularly as there is no heir-apparent cleric for the presidency ahead of planned June 28 elections.

“Raisi’s death comes at a moment when the Islamist regime is consolidated,” wrote Alex Vatanka, an Iran expert at the Middle East Institute. “In short, there will be no power vacuum in Tehran; nonetheless, post-Khamenei Iran suddenly looks far less predictable than it did just a few days ago.”

A procession Tuesday morning led by a semitruck carrying the caskets of the dead slowly moved through the narrow streets of downtown Tabriz, the closest major city near the site of the crash Sunday. Thousands in black slowly walked beside the coffins, some throwing flowers up to them as an emcee wept through a loudspeaker for men he described as martyrs. On Wednesday, a funeral presided over by Khamenei will turn into a procession as well.

The caskets later arrived in Tehran to an honor guard at the airport and then went onward to the holy Shiite seminary city of Qom. There, a semitruck surrounded by soldiers in fatigues at one point was swarmed by a crowd of mourners. Some beat their chests and wailed. The truck later picked up speed while others stood alongside the road, watching.

Israeli officials seize AP equipment, take down live Gaza shot, citing new media law

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli officials seized a camera and broadcasting equipment belonging to The Associated Press in southern Israel on Tuesday, accusing the news organization of violating a new media law by providing images to Al Jazeera.

The Qatari satellite channel is among thousands of clients that receive live video feeds from the AP and other news organizations. The AP denounced the move.

“The Associated Press decries in the strongest terms the actions of the Israeli government to shut down our longstanding live feed showing a view into Gaza and seize AP equipment,” said Lauren Easton, vice president of corporate communications at the news organization. “The shutdown was not based on the content of the feed but rather an abusive use by the Israeli government of the country’s new foreign broadcaster law. We urge the Israeli authorities to return our equipment and enable us to reinstate our live feed immediately so we can continue to provide this important visual journalism to thousands of media outlets around the world.”

Officials from the Communications Ministry arrived at the AP location in the southern town of Sderot on Tuesday afternoon and seized the equipment. They handed the AP a piece of paper, signed by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, alleging it was violating the country’s foreign broadcaster law.

Shortly before, the equipment was broadcasting a general view of northern Gaza. The AP complies with Israel’s military censorship rules, which prohibit broadcasts of details like troops movements that could endanger soldiers. The live shot has generally shown smoke rising over the territory.

The seizure followed a verbal order Thursday to cease the live transmission — which the news organization refused to do.

“In accordance with the government decision and the instruction of the communications minister, the communications ministry will continue to take whatever enforcement action is required to limit broadcasts that harm the security of the state,” the ministry said in a statement.

Editors’ note: MyNorthwest editors constructed this roundup using material from The Associated Press.

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World news roundup: Man dies after turbulence; Iran funerals; Israel media law