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Russian helicopter crash in northern Siberia kills 18: ministry

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MOSCOW:  18 people were killed here today when a helicopter crashed on its way to an oil station in northern Siberia in the early hours of the morning.
The Russian Transport Ministry said the carrying three crew members and 15 passengers crashed when it collided with machinery carried by another helicopter soon after take-off.
It added that the second helicopter landed safely and that the accident took place in “normal” weather conditions.
“The first take-off was carried out by a Mi-8 with an external cargo suspension without passengers on board, the second take-off was performed with passengers who were workers on shifts at the oil station,” the ministry said in a statement.
“According to preliminary information, the Mi-8 carrying passengers for reasons unknown collided with the external suspension of the second helicopter after take-off. As a result, it fell, was destroyed and burned,” it added.
“Three crew members and 15 passengers died.”  The helicopter was operated by Russian national airline Utair, which has its head office in Khanty Mansiysk airport in western Siberia.
In a statement issued on its website, Utair said the crash took place at 05:43 Moscow time (0243 GMT) after taking off from a helipad at the Vankor oil and gas field, in the Turuhansk district of the Krasnoyarsk region.
The oil field is operated by Russian national oil company Rosneft through its subsidiary Vankorneft.  Utair said the helicopter was made in Russia in 2010.
It added that the pilot was born in 1985 and was trained at the Omsk Aviation School in southwestern Siberia.
“He flew 5,990 hours, 2,300 of which he was the helicopter commander,” Utair’s statement said.  The airline said it sent its specialists to the site of the crash.
Russia’s transport ministry said it created a commission to investigate the crash and that the vice director of the Federal Air Transport Agency was on his way to the site.
The country’s Investigative Committee said it opened a criminal investigation into the crash. Accidents involving helicopters and small planes are frequent in Siberia and far eastern Russia, where air transport is commonly used to cover vast distances.
In April, a Mi-8 helicopter crashed in far eastern Russia, killing six people. In November 2017, six people died when a small plane crash-landed in the Khabarovsk region.  In 2016, 19 people died when a Mi-8 helicopter carrying oil and gas field workers crashed in a remote area of Siberia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook says data breach affected 29 million users

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Cyber attackers stole data from 29 million Facebook accounts using an automated program that moved from one friend to the next, Facebook Inc (FB.O) announced as the social media company said its largest-ever data theft hit fewer than the 50 million profiles it initially reported.

The company said it would message affected users over the coming days to tell them what type of information had been accessed in the attack.

The breach has left users more vulnerable to targeted phishing attacks and could deepen unease about posting to a service whose privacy, moderation and security practices have been called into question by a series of scandals, cybersecurity experts and financial analysts said.

The attackers took profile details such as birth dates, employers, education history, religious preference, types of devices used, pages followed and recent searches and location check-ins from 14 million users.

For the other 15 million users, the breach was restricted to name and contact details. In addition, attackers could see the posts and lists of friends and groups of about 400,000 users.

Lawmakers and investors have grown more concerned that Facebook is not doing enough to safeguard data. Facebook cut the number of affected users from its original estimate after investigators reviewed activity on accounts that may have been affected. Still, cybersecurity experts warned that attackers could use stolen information in targeted phishing scams.

Facebook said it was continuing to investigate whether the attackers took actions beyond stealing data, such as posting from accounts but had not found additional misuse. Hackers did not steal personal messages or financial data and did not use their access to accounts to access users’ accounts on other websites, Facebook said.

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Jetliner lands in the US after world’s longest flight

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NEW YORK: An Airbus jetliner arrived in Newark on Friday after a nearly 18-hour trip from Singapore, completing the world’s longest commercial flight.
It marked the revival of a route that had been eliminated in 2013. Singapore Airlines Flight SQ22 arrived at 5:29 am (0929 GMT), having left Singapore’s Changi airport at 11:23 pm, the Newark Liberty International Airport website said. That made for a flight of 17 hours and 52 minutes. The flight had been scheduled to take 18 hours and 25 minutes.
The plane was carrying 150 passengers and 17 crew members as it traveled 10,250 miles (16,500 kilometers). “I feel perfectly well rested,” said Kristopher Alladin, a 37-year-old Canadian. “I’m lucky because I’m able to sleep on the plane.” Flying from New York to Singapore would be a longer journey, lasting an estimated 18 hours and 45 minutes. The first flight in that direction took off from Newark at 11:10 am Friday.
Singapore Airlines only offers premium economy and business seats on the flight – no regular economy seats. “Although you’re in premium eco, you feel like you’re in first class,” said Alladin, adding that he had taken the same flight in 2008. “The flight was very smooth, very quiet.”

 

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Air India jet hits wall on takeoff

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NEW DELHI: Air India today grounded two pilots after one of its jets carrying 136 people hit an airport perimeter wall on takeoff and then flew for almost four hours with a damaged body, officials said.


The Boeing 737 suffered the damage as it left Trichy in southern India bound for Dubai. Officials at the airport in Tamil Nadu state “observed that aircraft might have come in contact with the airport perimeter wall,” said an Air India statement.
“The matter was conveyed to the pilot in command. The pilot in command reported that the aircraft systems were operating normally. It was decided to divert the aircraft to Mumbai as a precautionary measure.”
The jet landed in Mumbai four hours later and pictures of the damaged aircraft went viral on social media soon after it landed safely. The 130 passengers were moved to a new flight to Dubai.

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