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‘Devil’s Curve’ accident: 48 dead in Peru as bus tumbles down cliff

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Lima: At least 48 people died when a bus tumbled down a cliff onto a rocky beach along a narrow stretch of highway known as the “Devil’s Curve,” Peruvian police and fire officials said.

The bus carrying 57 people was headed to Peru’s capital when it was struck by a tractor trailer shortly before noon and plunged down the slope, said Claudia Espinoza with Peru’s voluntary firefighter brigade.

The blue bus came to rest upside down on a strip of shore next to the Pacific, the lifeless bodies of passengers strewn among the rocks.

 

“It’s very sad for us as a country to suffer an accident of this magnitude,” Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said in a statement.

Rescuers had to struggle to rescue survivors and recover the dead from the hard-to-reach area in Pasamayo, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of Lima.

No road leads directly to the beach, complicating rescue efforts, Espinoza said. Police and firefighters used helicopters to transport six survivors with serious injuries to nearby hospitals. Col. Dino Escudero said 48 people were confirmed dead and at least three were missing.

Transportation Minister Bruno Giuffra said initial reports indicated both vehicles involved were traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash. Calls by the press to the company that owns the bus were not immediately returned.

As rescue operations continued late into the night, authorities announced a suspect had been detained for allegedly robbing belongings of victims.

Traffic accidents are common along Peru’s roadways, with more than 2,600 people killed in 2016.

More than three dozen died when three buses and a truck collided in 2015 on the main costal highway. Twenty people were killed in November when a bus plunged off a bridge into a river in the southern Andes.

The nation’s deadliest traffic crash on record happened in 2013 when a makeshift bus carrying 51 Quechua Indians back from a party in southeastern Peru fell off a cliff into a river, killing everyone on board.

Espinoza said the passengers in Tuesday’s crash included many returning to Lima after celebrating the New Year’s holiday with family outside the city.

The highway is known as the “Devil’s Curve” because it is narrow, frequently shrouded in mist and curves along a cliff that has seen numerous accidents. Police said the bus fell an estimated 80 meters (262 feet).

Miguel Sidia, a transportation expert in Peru, said that while road conditions in the Andean nation have improved in recent years, lack of driver education and little enforcement of road rules still lead to many fatalities each year.

He called on authorities to immediately conduct studies into building a new highway farther from the cliff where the accident occurred. “As a Peruvian, it’s shameful,” he said.


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JD(S) will support Congress in stopping BJP from coming back to power: Deve Gowda

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New Delhi:The former prime minister said that the results of Lok Sabha poll will be declared on May 23 and a clear picture will emerge before the entire country on that day.
Former prime minister and JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda on Saturday said that his party is standing firmly with Congress and he will not like to speak more this matter. Gowda said that the results of Lok Sabha poll will be declared on May 23 and a clear picture will emerge before the entire country on that day.
“We are with Congress, I don’t want to speak anything more. On 23rd results will come, clear picture will be known to the entire country & what further development takes place,” the JD(S) chief was quoted as saying by ANI.
JD(S) Chief and Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda: We are with Congress, I don’t want to speak anything more. On 23rd results will come, clear picture will be known to the entire country & what further development takes place. pic.twitter.com/sxbgQXwV2D
The former prime minister made the remarks after offering prayers at Lord Venkateshwara temple on the occasion of his birthday. Gowda was accompanied by his family members, including Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. The JD(S) supremo stressed that since his party is the coalition partner of the Congress in Karnataka and they have contested the Lok Sabha poll in alliance, his party would support the Congress in order to keep BJP away from power.
On the news that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had called a meeting of non-NDA party leaders on May 23, Gowda remarked that he has not received any invite from Sonia Gandhi yet but he would be happy to attend the meeting. He added that by calling the meeting, Sonia Gnadhi is showing her “political maturity”.
The JD(S) chief also said that it is impossible for regional parties to form a government at the Centre without Congress’ support. He added that many leaders want to become the PM and it is necessary that different parties need a consensus over the prime minister’s name.
Meanwhile, talking to media, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswsamy said that Congress and JD(S) alliance has performed well in the Lok Sabha election and the alliance would win at least 18-19 Lok Sabha seats out of total 28 from Karnataka. He added that JD(S)’ support to Congress will continue both at state as well as national level.

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Akhilesh tears into PM Modi’s press conference, calls it last episode of ‘Mann ki Baat’ on TV

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NEW DELHI: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden press conference, saying the media interaction looked “like last episode of ‘Mann ki Baat’ of the prime minister and the only difference was it was aired on TV and not on radio.
“Development is asking have you seen the first press conference of Pradhan ji. Seems like the last episode of Mann ki Baat has been aired on TV instead of radio. Media persons did not get to ask their questions and the disciplined soldiers remained silent,” tweeted the SP chief.
Loktantrik Janata Dal party chief Sharad Yadav also hit out at PM Modi, saying the press conference was the farewell press conference of the BJP. Yadav added that the prime minister remained at the helm of affairs for five years and yet he is not able to face media.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that PM Modi’s body language at the press conference showed that he had accepted defeat in Lok Sabha poll. “Today, the whole country saw Modi ji`s body language at the press conference. The world has seen that Modi ji has accepted defeat and he presented himself in the same way in front of the media. He did not answer any question. No one can ask him a question,” tweeted Gehlot.

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110 women candidates contesting Lok Sabha election declared criminal cases, 255 are crorepatis: ADR

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Mumbai :One hundred and ten women candidates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha election have declared criminal cases against themselves including those relating to murder and rape among other serious offences.
The data is based on a report by the National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in which the affidavits of 716 out of 724 women candidates were analysed. The affidavits of eight women candidates were not analysed due to unclear reports.
As per the report, 110 women candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, 78 have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to rape, murder, attempt to murder, crimes against women and two are convicted criminals.
Four women candidates have declared cases related to murder (IPC Section 302) while 16 have declared cases of attempt to murder (IPC Section-307).
Fourteen women candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women – causing miscarriage without a woman’s consent (IPC Section-313), assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty (IPC Section-354) and word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman (IPC Section-509).
Names of seven women candidates have come up in cases related to hate speech.
Partywise, 14 out of 54 women candidates are from Congress, 18 out of 53 are from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two out of 24 are from Bahujan Samajwadi Party, six out of 23 are from Trinamool Congress (TMC). 22 out of 222 Independent women candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Ten women candidates with serious criminal cases belong to the Congress party, 13 are from BJP, 2 from BSP, 4 out of 23 are from TMC and 21 are Independent women candidates.
Out of the 716 women candidates analysed, 255 are crorepatis. The average assets per women candidate contesting in the Lok Sabha election is Rs 5.63 crore.
BJP’s Hema Malini, DA Sathya Prabha from TDP and Harsimrat Kaur Badal from SAD are the three richest women candidates contesting in the Lok Sabha election.
Education details of women candidates: 232 of them have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass, 396 have declared having an educational qualification of graduate and above. 37 women candidates have declared themselves to be just literate and 26 women candidates are illiterates. Two candidates have not given their educational qualification details.
Age details of women candidates: 531 have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years, 180 have declared their age to be between 51 and 80 years and one candidate has declared she is more than 80-years-old. While three women candidates have not disclosed their age details and one has declared her age to be below 25 years.

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