Categories
Headline USA New York

Passenger was pushed onto the rails on the Times Square Subway | The State

A man was pushed onto the New York Subway tracks at the central Times Square / 42 St station last night and miraculously managed to get to safety before being hit by a train. said the police.

The 32-year-old unidentified victim was pushed by another man onto the southbound N line tracks around 8:20 p.m., it reported. New York Post.

After safely re-climbing onto the platform, the victim refused to receive medical attention. While, the suspect fled the station on foot while the NYPD searched for him. He was wearing a black jacket and gray pants at the time of the attack, which is unclear if it was random or the product of an argument.

The city’s “mental health crisis” is wreaking havoc on the transportation system, recently denounced the city’s transit chief (NYCT), Sarah Feinberg, in a new letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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Categories
Headline USA New York

Subway passenger in Upper Manhattan was hit with a hammer on the head | The State

A passenger was hit in the head with a hammer on a New York City Subway platform, in an apparent new random attack.

The NYPD said the incident happened Sunday around 11 a.m. inside the 175th St station on line A, in Washington Heights.

The 46-year-old victim was waiting for a train on the southbound platform when an unidentified man approached him from behind and suddenly struck him on the back of the head with a hammer, authorities said.

The attacker fled in an unknown direction. The stunned victim sought the help of the booth clerk at the station, reported Pix11.

The city’s “mental health crisis” is wreaking havoc on the transportation system, denounced the city’s transit chief, Sarah Feinberg, in a new letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The NYPD released a surveillance image of the man they are searching in connection with Sunday’s assault. The suspect has not been detained. Who has information should call at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) and in Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Also via the crimestoppers.nypdonline.org page or by text message to 274637 (CRIMES), followed by TIP577. All communications are strictly confidential.

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Categories
Headlines UK

Boeing 737 passenger jet VANISHES over sea after ‘falling 10,000ft’

A Boeing 737 passenger jet with 62 people onboard has disappeared over the sea after plummeting 10,000 feet shortly following takeoff from Jakarta. 

The Sriwijaya Air plane took off from Soekarno-Hatta international airport on Saturday at 1.56pm for a 90-minute flight over the Java Sea between Jakarta and Pontianak in West Kalimantan – Indonesia’s section of Borneo island.

But at 2.40pm – just four minutes after takeoff – the Boeing B737-500 plane plunged nearly 11,000 feet in less than 60 seconds to an altitude of just 250 feet before vanishing.  

There are feared to be 62 people on the 26-year-old plane, including 56 passengers – seven of whom are children and three are babies – as well as two pilots and four cabin crew. 

And families are now fearing the worst after rescuers looking for flight SJ182 say they have discovered suspected metal debris in the ocean north of the capital.

The missing plane is an older model than the Boeing 737 MAX jet involved in two earlier fatal crashes – including the Indonesian Lion Air crash in 2018 which killed 189.

A Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 passenger jet carrying 62 people has disappeared over the sea after plummeting 10,000 feet shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, reports claim. Pictured: Some suspected debris from the plane found by fisherman

Families of the passengers and crew are fearing the worse after rescuers looking for the jet say they have discovered suspected debris in the ocean north of the capital.

 Families of the passengers and crew are fearing the worse after rescuers looking for the jet say they have discovered suspected debris in the ocean north of the capital.

The plane - believed to be a Boeing B737-500 - is understood to have fallen 10,000 feet in less than 60 seconds just four minutes after it took off

The plane – believed to be a Boeing B737-500 – is understood to have fallen 10,000 feet in less than 60 seconds just four minutes after it took off

Terrified relatives of the 62 people onboard the missing Sriwijaya Air flight wait for news at the Supadio airport in Pontianak - where the plane was expected to land

Terrified relatives of the 62 people onboard the missing Sriwijaya Air flight wait for news at the Supadio airport in Pontianak – where the plane was expected to land

Indonesian soldiers are seen at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta after the Sriwijaya Air plane vanished over the ocean

Indonesian soldiers are seen at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta after the Sriwijaya Air plane vanished over the ocean

Airport officials installed barriers at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 went missing

Airport officials installed barriers at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 went missing

Airport staff set up a crisis centre at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for families onboard the missing Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182

Airport staff set up a crisis centre at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for families onboard the missing Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182

Indonesian military is seen at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport today. The budget airline - which has about 19 Boeing jets that fly to destinations in Indonesia and Southeast Asia - said only it was investigating the incident

Indonesian military is seen at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport today. The budget airline – which has about 19 Boeing jets that fly to destinations in Indonesia and Southeast Asia – said only it was investigating the incident

Indonesia's search and rescue agency and the National Transportation Safety Commission were also investigating, Irawati said

Indonesia’s search and rescue agency and the National Transportation Safety Commission were also investigating, Irawati said

A spokesperson for Boeing said: ‘We are aware of media reports from Jakarta, and are closely monitoring the situation. We are working to gather more information.’

Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said the Boeing 737-500 took off from Jakarta at about 1.56pm and lost contact with the control tower at 2.40pm. 

She said: ‘A Sriwijaya (Air) plane from Jakarta to Pontianak (on Borneo island) with call sign SJY182 has lost contact.

‘It last made contact at 2:40 pm (0740 GMT).’ 

A statement released by the airline confirmed that the plane was on an estimated 90-minute flight from Jakarta to Pontianak with 56 passengers and six crew members onboard.  

A search and rescue operation is underway in coordination with the National Search and Rescue Agency and the National Transportation Safety Committee.

A search vessel has been deployed and paramedics are on hand to aid any survivors. 

Television footage showed relatives and friends of people aboard the plane weeping, praying and hugging each other as they waited at both Jakarta's airport and Pontianak's airport

Television footage showed relatives and friends of people aboard the plane weeping, praying and hugging each other as they waited at both Jakarta’s airport and Pontianak’s airport

The missing plane is an older model than the Boeing 737 MAX jet involved in two earlier fatal crashes - including the Indonesian Lion Air crash in 2018 which killed 189. Pictured: Police officers at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport today

The missing plane is an older model than the Boeing 737 MAX jet involved in two earlier fatal crashes – including the Indonesian Lion Air crash in 2018 which killed 189. Pictured: Police officers at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport today

There are feared to be 62 people on the 26-year-old plane, including 56 passengers - seven of whom are children and three are babies - as well as two pilots and four cabin crew. Pictured: Soldiers in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta after the plane lost contact

There are feared to be 62 people on the 26-year-old plane, including 56 passengers – seven of whom are children and three are babies – as well as two pilots and four cabin crew. Pictured: Soldiers in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta after the plane lost contact

The Sriwijaya Air plane (file image of a similar plane) took off from the Indonesian capital on Saturday and was heading to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province when it lost contact with the control room, according to local media reports

The Sriwijaya Air plane (file image of a similar plane) took off from the Indonesian capital on Saturday and was heading to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province when it lost contact with the control room, according to local media reports

Officials in Pontianak in West Kalimantan address the press after the flight - with 62 people on board - went missing over the Java Sea

Officials in Pontianak in West Kalimantan address the press after the flight – with 62 people on board – went missing over the Java Sea

Television footage showed relatives and friends of people aboard the plane weeping, praying and hugging each other as they waited at both Jakarta’s airport and Pontianak’s airport. 

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago nation with more than 260 million people.

Budget airline Sriwijaya Air has about 19 Boeing jets that fly to destinations in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. 

In October 2018, 189 people were killed when a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX jet slammed into the Java Sea about 12 minutes after take-off from Jakarta on a routine one-hour flight.

That crash – and a subsequent fatal flight in Ethiopia – saw Boeing hit with $2.5 billion in fines over claims it defrauded regulators overseeing the 737 MAX model, which was grounded worldwide following the two deadly crashes.

The reported disappearance comes just over two years after a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX plunged into the sea after taking off in Indonesia. Lion Air's flight JT-610 (stock photo) lost contact with air control in October 2018

The reported disappearance comes just over two years after a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX plunged into the sea after taking off in Indonesia. Lion Air’s flight JT-610 (stock photo) lost contact with air control in October 2018 

The crash (wreckage pictured) left all 189 people onboard dead and has been blamed on a combination of aircraft design flaws, inadequate training and maintenance problems

The crash (wreckage pictured) left all 189 people onboard dead and has been blamed on a combination of aircraft design flaws, inadequate training and maintenance problems 

However, Indonesia’s aviation sector has long suffered from a reputation for poor safety, and its airlines were once banned from entering US and European airspace.

In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing 162 people. 

Domestic investigators’ final report showed a chronically faulty component in a rudder control system, poor maintenance and the pilots’ inadequate response were major factors in what was supposed to be a routine flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. 

Categories
Headline USA Los Angeles

A passenger with Coronavirus can die in flight | The State

Flying with COVID-19 is risky for those who suffer from it and the rest of the passengers.

Photo:
Jorge Guerrero / Getty Images

The Travellers that they tackle planes and they have COVID-19, they don’t just expose their fellow travelers to contracting the disease. The low air pressure in the cabin is probably a factor in deaths related to coronavirus on airplanes, according to doctors.

Flying is a high-risk activity for people with positive coronavirus due to low air pressure in the cabin, and several passengers have even died from it, according to The Washington Post.

There have already been several cases of various people who have died in the aire, a man infected with the coronavirus died of acute respiratory failure on a United Airlines flight from Orlando to Los Angeles on December 14. In July, a Texas woman died of the disease on a Spirit Airlines flight that was diverted when it was discovered that she was not responding or breathing.

Specialists agree that low air pressure in aircraft cabins creates dangerously low oxygen levels in blood in people with respiratory conditions.

“If you get on a plane with covid, or anything else related to the airways, you will run a considerably higher risk when you go up. This is not exclusive to COVID-19; it’s true for anyone with an acute or respiratory condition. This change in oxygen from sea level can cause crises in the air, ”says Nicholas Hill, pulmonary chief at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

David Freedman, an epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, believes that patients infected with COVID-19 they have the same risk that people with apulmonary and heart fections not related to the coronavirus that affect your breathing.

“The oxygen concentration [en los aviones] its alot lower than on the ground, and all patients with severe lung or heart disease know this and know that they will need supplemental oxygen on board even if they do not normally need it. All the planes carry a oxygen tank on board for emergencies like this, “said Freedman.

Blood oxygen levels may be low in patients with COVID-19 They do not experience breathing problems, which makes getting on a plane with the virus, even if it is presymptomatic or asymptomatic, is already high risk.

“At the beginning of the pandemic there were descriptions of patients with‘ happy hypoxia, ’patients with“ covidity ”who arrived with fairly low oxygen levels but were not short of breath. Most of the people who have low oxygen levels they also complain about difficulty breathingBut at first you may not have these symptoms, ”Hill said.

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Categories
UAE

Now, children below 15 can be third passenger in regular Dubai taxis

RTA has increased the number of passengers in taxis. Now, a child below 15 can also travel with two adults. Photo for illustrative purpose only.
Image Credit: Gulf News/archive

Dubai: The number of passengers allowed in regular taxis in Dubai has been increased to three, if the third passenger is a child, up to 14 years old, of the passenger, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) tweeted on Saturday.

Also, due to precautions for COVID-19, the passenger seat next to the taxi driver must remain empty. “If you commute in taxis, you can now accompany your child (up to 14 years old) as a third passenger in the vehicle without using the seat next to the driver. The number of authorised passengers in the three-row family vehicle (Van) remains 4, as a maximum, until further notice,” the RTA tweeted.

In September, Dubai taxi vans were allowed to take a total four passengers if the travel is booked via Hala, the joint venture ride-hailing app between RTA and Careem. Each of the two rows of seats for passengers in the vans is allowed to take two passengers (a total of four for both rows) to maintain social distancing. The front row where the driver also sits has to be left empty. The price for the taxi van service is the same as the price for a regular taxi.

Previously, all taxi travel had been restricted to two passengers per vehicle because of the precautions.

Categories
Headline USA Los Angeles

Passenger seen performing CPR on man who died from COVID-19 on plane

New video footage has emerged showing passengers desperately trying to save the life of a man who died of COVID-19 on a United Airlines flight last week, as they reveal they are yet to be contacted by health officials nine days after the ordeal.

Isaias Hernandez, 69, died of coronavirus and acute respiratory failure on December 14, while traveling to LA from Orlando on UA flight 591, a coroner confirmed on Tuesday. 

Hernandez, who was from Los Angeles, went into cardiac arrest mid flight and died in a Louisiana hospital after the plane made an emergency landing in New Orleans. 

A new video of the incident shared on Wednesday shows fellow passengers risking catching the virus themselves as they desperately performed CPR on Hernandez for about 45 minutes. 

Passenger Steven Chang, who was one of three CPR-trained professionals onboard, was filmed giving chest compressions to the man as he lay on the aisle of the Boeing 737-900 in full view of other concerned travelers.  

According to TMZ, Chang has developed symptoms since the flight, but has tested negative for the virus.  

Scroll down for video 

Chang performing CPR

Video footage shared on Wednesday shows passenger Steven Chang performing CPR on Isaias Hernandez, 69, who died of COVID-19 on a United flight from Orlando to Los Angeles on December 14

Chang was one of three CPR-trained passengers on board who tried to save Hernandez's life by performing

Chang was one of three CPR-trained passengers on board who tried to save Hernandez’s life by performing 

It comes after another passenger, Tony Aldapa, an EMT who also helped perform the life-saving procedure on Hernandez, revealed he has also started showing symptoms of COVID-19. 

But neither of the men – nor any of the other nearby passengers – have been contacted by the CDC since, despite the health authority saying they would work with local health officials to reach out to those who may be at risk for possible exposure or infection.

Tony Aldapa was filmed desperately performing CPR for 45 minutes on a fellow passenger who had fallen unconscious on the United flight last week. He says he has been experiencing symptoms since the flight

Tony Aldapa was filmed desperately performing CPR for 45 minutes on a fellow passenger who had fallen unconscious on the United flight last week. He says he has been experiencing symptoms since the flight

United Airlines said it’s not responsible for soliciting health advice and confirmed A it had already given the names of all 179 passengers to the CDC. 

In a statement to DailyMail.com, the CDC said it has sent the contact information of passengers to state and local health departments where they live for public health follow-up and contact tracing. 

A spokesperson also referred to the CDC’s website on the process, which explains how these agencies then ‘try to locate these passengers and inform them about their exposure and what to do.’ 

But why those agencies are yet to contact passengers is unclear.  

United Airlines has also faced backlash from passengers who have questioned how Hernandez was allowed on board after showing symptoms of the virus. 

Some said Hernandez’s wife was also overheard on the flight saying he had lost his sense of taste and smell.   

TMZ reports that a spokesperson told the outlet they weren’t medical professionals and it is up to the CDC to contact those who may have been exposed.   

Aldapa told CBS he feels as if he got ‘hit by a train’ after developing symptoms. 

Aldapa was among the three passengers who helped perform CPR on the 69-year-old man during the flight. They are seen above in another video of the incident

Aldapa was among the three passengers who helped perform CPR on the 69-year-old man during the flight. They are seen above in another video of the incident 

Aldapa, who is a US Navy veteran, said the man's wife later told him that her husband had been suffering from COVID-19 symptoms prior to getting on the flight

Aldapa, who is a US Navy veteran, said the man’s wife later told him that her husband had been suffering from COVID-19 symptoms prior to getting on the flight

‘I had a cough, my whole body still hurts, I had a headache,’ he told the news station on Tuesday.

He was scheduled to get the COVID-19 vaccine this Friday given he is an essential health worker but is now quarantining awaiting the results of his coronavirus test.

Aldapa, who is a US Navy veteran, said the man’s wife later told him that her husband had been suffering from COVID-19 symptoms prior to getting on the flight. 

‘She told me he had symptoms, he was short of breath and she just wanted to get him home and they planed on getting tested this week,’ Aldapa said. 

Aldapa said he did not administer mouth-to-mouth when he was giving CPR.  

Passengers are asked before boarding a flight whether they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are suffering any symptoms. 

United has since said the man acknowledged United’s ‘ready to fly’ pandemic health checklist prior to boarding. 

Aldapa said he knew the risks when he started performing CPR but that his training kicked in and that he would do it again if needed. 

‘It was all kind of just second nature to see someone in a bad place, you try to bring them out of the bad place,’ Aldapa said. 

‘There were three of us that were essentially tag-teaming doing chest compressions, probably about 45 minutes.’ 

Aldapa, as well as another EMT and an ICU nurse, helped give the man during the flight. 

Footage filmed by fellow passengers showed the trio giving the man chest compressions in the aisle after he stopped breathing about an hour into the flight.

Passengers say the man was seen on the plane shaking and sweating and having a hard time breathing even before the flight took off.   

Once the plane landed, medics from the New Orleans fire department boarded the flight and the man was rushed to a nearby hospital. 

The flight continued on to Los Angeles shortly after. 

Aldapa said United contacted him several days ago to say they were providing the CDC with information about passengers on the flight.

United said they had been asked by the CDC to provide a list of passengers so the agency could work with local health officials on contact tracing.  

‘We are sharing requested information with the (CDC) so they can work with local health officials to conduct outreach to any customer the CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection,’ United said in a statement. 

Aldapa said the CDC has still not reached out to him yet regarding contact tracing, despite the coroner’s office revealing the man’s cause of death was related to COVID-19.

In a statement, the CDC said they were in the ‘process of collecting information and proceeding according to our standard operating procedures to determine if further public health action is appropriate. 

‘To protect the privacy of the individual, we aren’t providing this information to the public.’ 

Other passengers on board the flight have also said the CDC hasn’t yet contacted them. 

Categories
Headline USA New York

Delta passenger ‘who suffers PTSD’ escapes down a plane’s slide with his companion and dog

Delta passenger ‘who suffers PTSD’ pops the escape slide of a plane on the tarmac and escapes with his support dog and companion in New York

  • Antonio Murdock, 31, and Brianna Greco, 23, both from Florida, were arrested after opening a cabin door and activating the slide
  • Incident took place on Delta Flight 462 from La Guardia Airport in New York to Atlanta Monday morning 
  • Murdock ignored the flight attendant’s instruction to stay seated and said he suffered from PTSD, a witness said 
  • Murdock allegedly forced open a cabin door and activated the emergency slide
  • The couple and their service dog went down the slide and escaped 
  • Murdock was charged with criminal mischief in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the second degree and criminal trespass in the third degree
  • Greco was charged with criminal trespass in the third degree

Two passengers escaped an airplane down a slide with their service dog before it took off after one said he was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Antonio Murdock, 31, and Brianna Greco, 23, both from Florida were arrested after opening a cabin door and activating the slide on Delta Flight 462 from La Guardia Airport in New York to Atlanta Monday morning.   

The couple changed seats several times before the flight began taxiing out to a runway and Murdock stood up and said he had PTSD, another passenger said.  

He ignored the flight attendant’s instruction to stay seated and the plane came to a grinding halt when he forced open the door and went down the emergency slide with their service dog.

A source told NY Daily News Murdock told cops his PTSD stems from a jail stint on robbery charges and was triggered by the confined space in the plane cabin.

Two passengers escaped a Delta airplane down a slide with their dog before it took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York on Monday after one said he was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder. Pictured: A Delta plane sits on the tarmac at the airport

The Port Authority Police Department said Murdock was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the second degree and criminal trespass in the third degree.  

Greco was charged with criminal trespass in the third degree.  

Speaking about the man and woman, witness Brian Plummer told the New York Times: ‘They seemed really nice.’

Plummer said he was sitting toward the back of the plane which wasn’t completely full when he saw the couple and a large service dog.

Plummer said he saw them change seats several times and the man said he would ‘freak out’ if he was forced to sit down at the start of the flight because of his PTSD.

‘If I sit down, I’ll freak out,’ the man said, according to Plummer.

The attendant told the man to sit down twice before he stood up and walked towards the front of the plane as it started to taxi out to a runway.

Plummer told the Times he felt the plane shudder to a halt – which he later learned was because the man had reportedly forced open the cabin door before making their escape. 

The couple have been put into custody. Remaining passengers were 'deplaned normally' at LaGuardia (pictured) and taken on alternate flights

The couple have been put into custody. Remaining passengers were ‘deplaned normally’ at LaGuardia (pictured) and taken on alternate flights

Flight 462 was scheduled to depart shortly before 10am but was returned to the gate.

Remaining passengers were ‘deplaned normally and were accommodated on alternate flights’, Delta said.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesperson Lenis Valens said: ‘This doesn’t happen every day at the airport.’

Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant told CNN: ‘Maintenance technicians have evaluated the aircraft and is scheduled to return to service this evening.’

The flight finally left LaGuardia at 7.17pm, more than nine hours late.

The service dog was taken to Brooklyn Animal shelter and a receipt was given to Greco to pick up the dog.  

Incidents of people opening the cabin doors are rare but not unheard of.

Back in 2010 at Kennedy International Airport, a JetBlue flight attendant activated an emergency slide and slid down it before throwing his tie on the ground and storming away after an apparent altercation with a passenger.  

Categories
UAE

COVID-19: Meet Indian expat passengers from UAE who had entire passenger flights to themselves in 2020

K.S. Sasikumar, left and Thinley Youdin Bhutia on the flights that they had all to themselves
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The year 2020 saw many unexpected things happening in almost everyone’s life. For two Indian expats in the UAE, flying solo on a passenger flight was perhaps the most unexpected thing to happen in the year.

A 65-year-old man and a six-year-old girl, both hailing from the South Indian state of Kerala, were among those who  flew all alone on two separate flights shortly after flight services from India to the UAE resumed following the COVID-19-imposed air travel suspensions. Another Indian expat, Thinley Youden Bhutia, had just one co-passenger for company when she arrived on the first flight from India to the UAE after services resumed on July 12.

No, they were not among those people who opted to fly alone on private jets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their “solo” flights happened rather by a fluke. They were not as delighted as they would have been had the flights not happened during the peak of the pandemic when passengers were more worried about the spread of coronavirus during air travel.

K. S. Sasikumar found his flight from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala to Sharjah on July 14 all for himself, while Diya Mariya took the solo flight from Chennai in Tamil Nadu to Abu Dhabi on July 25.

Sasikumar, who runs a trading company in Sharjah, had been to his hometown on March 12 and had planned to return on March 26. However, due to the lockdown and flight suspensions he got stuck in India like tens of thousands of other UAE residents.

As his ICA approval was rejected twice and expired once, Sasikumar had contemplated taking a private jet along with some other passengers to get back to the UAE. He even thought of taking the long route via the US after reports about some flying from India to the US to get back to Dubai came out. However, to his luck, he had a valid ICA approval when the UAE and India made the “air bubble agreement” to resume flights from India to the UAE on July 12.

“I had a return ticket with me. But, I couldn’t use that. I kept a watch on the earliest possible flight to return and managed to book on the Sharjah-Thiruvananthapuram flight on July 14. I had also managed to get a valid negative COVID-19 test report, which was announced just a few days before,” Sasikumar told Gulf News. “The flight landed with 151 passengers. I was surprised when I was told I was the only one to fly back. I guess no one else could make it due to the issues related to travel permissions and COVID tests.”

NAT K.S Sasikumar-1608527922421
K.S. Sasikumar with his family
Image Credit: Supplied

Sasikumar said he had initially feared that the flight would be cancelled. “Still I stayed back and waited patiently as I was sure the aircraft would have to return to the UAE anyway.”

He said he was sad to see all shops and counters closed and curtained at the airport in Kerala’s capital city. “One staff member assisted me till the immigration. I got escorted by another airline staff till the flight,” Sasikumar recollected.

Special experience

A businessman in the UAE since 1979, Sasikumar had taken several flights to many countries (more frequently to India, Thailand and the US) for business and personal trips over the past four decades. But, the flight to Sharjah on July 14 was entirely different. “The crew sat on their seats. I was all alone in passenger seats. The take-off and landing were very smooth. During the flight it almost felt like I was driving alone in the air,” he explained.

The crew members were friendlier than usual and treated their solo passenger with extra snacks, said Sasikumar. “I had only booked a sandwich and water. They gave me chips, coffee, biscuits etc”

However, he couldn’t take a nap even when there was no one else to disturb. “As such, the tension about catching the virus during air travel was a big concern those days. On top of it, wearing the mask and face shield etc was indeed a hassle.”

On landing in Sharjah around 8.30pm, he said his heart sank to see a deserted airport with no hustle and bustle that existed during the pre-pandemic days. “I think I came out in five minutes. My 30kg baggage was kept on the floor outside the conveyor belt. On arrival, the COVID-19 test was done in a separate building where I had to go in a bus and the immigration clearance was done after that.”

He said he breathed a sigh of relief once he reached home where his wife had been unexpectedly separated from him for four months. “I suffered for four months. But, my return flight was a record. I appreciate the airline and the crew for the service. Usually I don’t take selfies. But, I took a couple of selfies aboard to keep memories of my solo flight,” said the grandfather of one.

Unaccompanied minor

In the case of Diya, the flight on July 25 was not meant to happen as the airline had already informed the passengers who had booked tickets that they could board the flight only with COVID-19 negative PCR test reports from Pure Health-approved labs as per a fresh announcement made that week. Diya was on vacation at her grandparents’ house and apparently, her grandmother had missed that call. Hence, they ended up reaching the airport to catch the flight.

NAT Diya Maria-1608527920125
Diya Maria, who flew solo from Chennai to Abu Dhabi, with her mother Sajitha Pauly after their reunion
Image Credit: Supplied

Though Diya’s journey seemed difficult initially, the family managed to discuss the issue with the officials of various departments. Diya was later allowed to fly considering the fact that the new rule would be implemented only from August 1, as against the previous announcement, and that children below 12 could fly without a PCR report by then.

Diya’s mother Sajitha Pauly was a member of the “#TakeMeToMom” social media campaign launched by Indian mothers in the UAE whose children were stuck back home during the pandemic. The grade one student in Bright Riders School in Abu Dhabi eventually flew all alone as an unaccompanied minor. After she landed in Abu Dhabi, Diya was escorted to her anxious mother.

Though Diya did not take any photos while inside the flight, a smiling photo of her with her mother after their happy reunion is something that the family would cherish forever.

“Diya was the face of children who got stranded in India during the pandemic. Her solo flight was historic. Mothers in our group were very happy when she reached,” said Dr. Nita Salam, a founder administrator of the #TakeMeToMom group.

One co-passenger for company

While Sasikumar and Diya had the luxury of having a whole flight all for themselves, another Indian expat, Thinley Youden Bhutia, had just one co-passenger for company when she arrived on the first flight from India to the UAE after services resumed on July 12.

NAT Thinley Youden Bhutia 1-1608527929644
Thinley Youden Bhutia aboard the New Delhi-Sharjah flight
Image Credit: Supplied

An emergency medical dispatcher in Sharjah, Thinley had been stuck in her hometown in the north eastern state of Sikkim after the flight suspensions. Following repeated flight cancellations, Thinley finally managed to book a return flight from New Delhi to Sharjah on July 12, which happened to be the first flight to land from India to the UAE.

“Upon arrival at the gate, I realised only me and one Punjabi brother were there to travel on that flight. It felt awkward, but at the same time I felt good that we are safer with very limited number of people in the entire plane,” said Thinely. “After facing numerous hurdles on the way from my hometown to Delhi, it was a miracle journey to the UAE for me. I felt very special at the Sharjah International Airport when staff got shocked to see only two of us in the entire plane … VIP feelings, you know,” she chuckled.

Thinley said her co-passenger had sat a few seats away to maintain social distance and hence he did not come in the selfie that she took on board. “I may not look great in that selfie, but that is an extra special one for me,” Thinley said about the selfie in which empty seats can be seen behind her just like in the one taken by Sasikumar.

Categories
Birmingham Headlines UK

Ranting woman bus passenger accuses Asian Bake Off contestant of ‘all these bombings’

A ranting woman accused an Asian Great British Bake Off contestant of ‘all these bombings’ before the ‘bus driver asked him to get off the bus’ miles from his stop.

Ali Imdad, 33, from Alum Rock, Birmingham, was travelling on the 94 National Express West Midlands service from the City Centre on Saturday 20 at 6.15pm. 

The owner of patisserie, Cocoa by Ali, described how he was ‘made to feel like a criminal’ when he claimed he was asked to get off the the bus by the driver.

Ali Imdad, 33, from Alum Rock, Birmingham, was travelling on the 94 National Express West Midlands service from the City Centre on Saturday 20 at 6.15pm

Mr Imdad shared the clip on Twitter, captioned: ‘Not only was I called a bomber and accused of ruining the country for being Asian, when I challenged the Karen, the driver threatened to throw ME off the National Express West Midlands bus. In a packed bus, no one said a thing.’ 

Ali, who placed ninth in the 2013 series of The Great British Bake Off, added: ‘No. Despite the undying urge to, I did not reply with: ‘I was on the Great British Bake Off b****, you can’t get any more British than that”. 

In the video, filmed by Mr Imdad, the woman is heard saying: ‘Fifty years ago – there was no Asians. Now it’s everywhere.’ 

The owner of patisserie, Cocoa by Ali, described how he was 'made to feel like a criminal' when he claimed he was asked to get off the the bus by the driver

In the video, filmed by Mr Imdad, the woman (pictured) is heard saying: 'Fifty years ago - there was no Asians. Now it's everywhere'

The owner of patisserie, Cocoa by Ali, (left) described how he was ‘made to feel like a criminal’ when he claimed he was asked to get off the the bus by the driver. In the video, filmed by Mr Imdad, the woman (pictured right) is heard saying: ‘Fifty years ago – there was no Asians. Now it’s everywhere’

Mr Imdad shared the clip on Twitter, captioned: 'Not only was I called a bomber and accused of ruining the country for being Asian, when I challenged the Karen, the driver threatened to throw ME off the National Express West Midlands bus. In a packed bus, no one said a thing'

Mr Imdad shared the clip on Twitter, captioned: ‘Not only was I called a bomber and accused of ruining the country for being Asian, when I challenged the Karen, the driver threatened to throw ME off the National Express West Midlands bus. In a packed bus, no one said a thing’

Mr Imdad responds: ‘So?’ 

The woman replies: ‘What have you done to the country? 

‘What have I done to the country? What have you done to the country? Mr Imdad asks. 

The woman states: ‘All these bombings.’ 

Mr Imdad responds: ‘Oh so I have done the bombings?’ 

'What have I done to the country? What have you done to the country? Mr Imdad asks the woman (pictured)

‘What have I done to the country? What have you done to the country? Mr Imdad asks the woman (pictured) 

She quickly adds: ‘Yeah you have.’ 

‘So I have done the bombings?’ 

Before stepping out of her seat, the woman adds: ‘Yeah, people like you.’ 

Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Imdad explained how he was listening to his music on the bus and looking out of the window when he heard the woman ‘muttering’ next to him.  

He said: ‘In the gaps of my music I could just hear stuff like: “This country has gone to s***. Boris is doing it all wrong he is not strict enough.” 

Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Imdad (pictured on The Great British Bake Off) explained how he was listening to his music on the bus and looking out of the window when he heard the woman 'muttering' next to him

Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Imdad (pictured on The Great British Bake Off) explained how he was listening to his music on the bus and looking out of the window when he heard the woman ‘muttering’ next to him

‘Then that caught my attention. I thought: “I am going to take my headphones out and try and pay attention to what she is saying.”’

He continued: ‘She was just rambling nonsense for about five minutes about the same sort of things. She was saying nothing clear until she said there are too many Asians here.

‘That is when I got my phone out and the first thing I did was press the record button and then I started sort of confronting her.’

The patisserie owner explained how he told the woman to ‘get off’ the bus but the man behind where he was sitting ‘defended her’ despite him being ‘victimised’. 

Mr Imdad added: ‘I guess what was really infuriating was that in a bus full of people – nobody spoke up.’ 

The patisserie owner (pictured on The Great British Bake Off) explained how he told the woman to 'get off' the bus but the man behind where he was sitting 'defended her' despite him being 'victimised'

The patisserie owner (pictured on The Great British Bake Off) explained how he told the woman to ‘get off’ the bus but the man behind where he was sitting ‘defended her’ despite him being ‘victimised’

He described how a couple of people offered kind words after the woman left the bus but said: ‘In the middle of that tirade of abuse I just felt so alone.’ 

Mr Imdad revealed how the bus driver stopped the bus shortly after the woman left at the stop in Nechells. 

He said: ‘The bus driver heard what was being said because a minute or two later he literally stopped the bus, pulled the keys out, stepped outside and said: “I need you to get off the bus.” He was talking to me.’ 

Mr Imdad claimed that the bus driver said it was because he was ‘shouting’ and told him if he wanted to complain he should get off the bus and call the police.     

Mr Imdad (pictured) claimed that the bus driver said it was because he was 'shouting' and told him if he wanted to complain he should get off the bus and call the police

Mr Imdad (pictured) claimed that the bus driver said it was because he was ‘shouting’ and told him if he wanted to complain he should get off the bus and call the police

Mr Imdad agreed to keep quiet until his stop, but added: ‘It was really weird because why didn’t he do that when she was shouting?’

Speaking about how he felt during the exchange, he said: ‘It is just so infuriating – I am just trying to get home. 

‘Just for existing, just because my skin pigments are slightly darker than hers, I am not only victimised I am made to feel like I am the criminal by being told to get off the bus because I am defending my human rights.’  

Mr Imdad said he reported the incident to West Midlands Police who are investigating the incident.   

Speaking about National Express West Midlands, Mr Imdad said he received a call from the bus company and he was told they would ‘be in touch’ adding they would ‘look into it’ and ‘it shouldn’t have happened’. 

A National Express West Midlands spokeswoman said: ‘National Express West Midlands takes strong action on racial abuse. 

‘We encourage anyone experiencing hate crime on public transport to report it to West Midlands Safer Travel police.

‘We have crystal clear CCTV on all National Express buses and we will make the footage available to the police to help with any investigation.

‘National Express West Midlands will also investigate this incident and take any action necessary in line with our staff disciplinary procedures.’ 

MailOnline has contacted West Midlands Police.  

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Frontier Airlines passenger is removed for not wearing a mask: “Bye, Karen” | The State

A passenger was taken from a plane from Frontier airlines who was heading to Tampa, Florida, for refusing to wear a mask against him coronavirus.

The incident reported Thursday before the plane took off from Cincinnati was recorded by other travelers.

The images circulating on networks show the moment from when flight personnel call their attention for not following the company’s protection policy until they are forced to leave the cabin.

“Madam, you have to put on the mask. You need to have the mask they provide ”, the airline employee is heard expressing in one of the videos.

But, the client ignores the call, so she insists on the request.

“Ma’am, I’m talking to you. Madam? ”He repeats. “You have to wear the mask during the entire flight. If she can’t do that, she will be removed from the flight. “

“Thanks, goat **”, snaps the traveler.

“Ok, up to here. Let’s go, ”the other woman replies.

“You get off the plane. This is how you came. You’re not going to talk to me like that. You have to comply. You agreed to this when you checked in for the flight and bought the ticket, so I need you to get off the plane now, ”continues the worker.

A second video shows a security officer reaching into the passenger seat to remove her from the plane. As the woman leaves the air transport, other passengers clap their hands and shout, “Bye, Karen.”

Frontier airline passengers and employees are required to cover their mouth and nose with a face mask not only during the flight, but also at access terminals and when boarding or leaving aircraft.

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