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Two sailors killed as Mauritius oil spill clean-up boats collide | News

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Two crew members from a tugboat involved in cleaning up an oil spill off Mauritius were killed late on Monday when their vessel collided with a barge in bad weather, the island nation’s prime minister said.

“It is tragic that we lost two of the tugboat crew, while two others are still missing,” Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said on Tuesday.

Four other members of the crew were rescued by helicopter and two were still missing, Mahend Gungapersad, a member of parliament for the opposition Labour Party, told Reuters news agency.

“We are doing everything we can to locate them, with all our means and with the help of fishermen in the area,” the prime minister said as he extended his “sympathies to the family” of the slain sailors.

The MV Wakashio, a Japanese bulk carrier, struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island nation’s coast in July, spilling thousands of tonnes of crude oil into the sea and choking marine life in a pristine lagoon.

Residents gather near the scene while a search was under way for the missing crew [Reuben Pillay/Reuters]

According to Gungapersad, the tugboat and barge sent out distress signals between 7:30 and 8pm on Monday.

The tugboat capsized after the collision. Both ships were moving parts salvaged from the site of the oil spill into the port.

Jugnauth said the tug was transporting some fuel at the time “but there is no risk of a leak”. He promised an investigation into the accident.

The prime minister faces growing anger over his administration’s handling of the oil spill, which has caused untold ecological damage to a protected coastline that sustains the island’s economy.

“This incident is going to add to the prevailing anger,” Gungapersad said, referring to weekend protests over the handling of the operation to contain the oil spill and the deaths of dozens of dolphins in the area.

“We had the oil spill, then we had the deaths of the dolphins and now two people who have been killed.”

Apart from dolphin deaths, the spill has threatened decades of work to conserve local sea birds and plant species in a nearby protected reserve.

An estimated 75,000 people marched during the weekend in the capital Port Louis, many dressed in black and demanding answers from the government in the biggest public demonstration in 40 years.

A general view shows a coastguard search and rescue helicopter hovering near the scene where a tugboat involved in cleaning up an oil spill off from MV Wakashio, a Japanese bulk carrier

A general view shows a coastguard search and rescue helicopter hovering near the scene of the accident [Reuben Pillay/Reuters]



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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21 workers trapped in flooded mine in China’s Xinjiang | China News

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CCTV says rescuers have located 12 of the 21 trapped miners.

Eight miners have been rescued and 21 remain trapped in a coal mine in China’s Xinjiang region after flooding cut power underground and disrupted communications, according to state media.

The accident happened in Fengyuan coal mine in Hutubi County on Saturday evening, when staff were upgrading the site, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Rescuers had located 12 of the 21 trapped miners, broadcaster CCTV said, but it was unclear if they were all together.

Rescue personnel were trying to pump water from the flooded shaft and have been piping air into the mine.

Pipes were being laid but the pumping operation was going to be challenging, CCTV said.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and enforcement of regulations is often lax.

In January, 22 workers were trapped in a mine in east China’s Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance, leaving workers stuck underground for about two weeks.

Eleven men were pulled out alive, 10 died and one miner remained unaccounted for.

In December, 23 miners died after being trapped underground in the southwest city of Chongqing – just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning at another coal mine in the city.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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African Champions League: CR Belouizdad join Sundowns in quarter-finals

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Amir Sayoud in action for Algerian club CR Belouizdad
Amir Sayoud opened the scoring for Algerian club CR Belouizdad as they beat South African hosts Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0.

Algerian champions CR Belouizdad earned the win they needed over hosts Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa to clinch a place in the African Champions League quarter-finals.

Amir Sayoud took his tally in the competition to seven when he gave Belouizdad the lead over Sundowns in Pretoria on 29 minutes.

That advantage was doubled just before half-time as Ahmed Gasmi headed home a cross from Zinelaabidine Boulakhoua.

It was a measure of revenge for the Algerians who were embarrassed by Sundowns on home soil in the reverse fixture when the South Africans won 5-1 in February.

In Friday’s other Group B game DR Congo’s TP Mazembe, who were already out of contention to make the last eight came from behind to clinch a 2-1 win over Sudan’s Al Hilal.

The Sudanese club had needed a win to have any chance at all of progressing.

Al Hilal made the ideal start in their bid to win against former African champions Mazembe – Eid Mugadam gave them the lead after just two minutes in Lumbumbashi – but 16 minutes later Hilal contributed to their own downfall as Ivorian defender Mohamed Ouattara scored an own goal to level the game at 1-1.

Mazembe won the game thanks to a goal from Isaac Tshibangu, who scored just moments after he came on as substitute.

The draw for the quarter and semi-finals will be held on 30 April at the Confederation of African Football’s headquarters in Cairo.

Friday’s Group B results:

  • TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 2-1 Al Hilal (Sudan)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) 0-2 CR Belouizdad (Algeria)



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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Ghana's farmers eye sweet success from chocolate

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Ghana is the world’s second largest cocoa producer but sees little of the profits from chocolate – for now.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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