TIME swaziland

At Least 38 Women and Girls Killed in Swaziland Car Crash

The victims—young women and girls—were allegedly travelling on the back of an open truck

(JOHANNESBURG) — At least 38 girls and young women were killed in a crash while travelling to Swaziland’s most famous traditional festival, a rights group said on Saturday.

About 20 others were injured when the truck they were in collided with another vehicle on Friday, the Swaziland Solidarity Network said in a statement. The young women and girls were travelling on the back of an open truck, the rights group said.

The girls and young women were on their way to the Swazi king’s royal residence for the annual reed dance.

About 40,000 young women participate in the eight-day reed dance ceremony in which they sing and dance, usually bare-breasted, as they bring reeds to reinforce the windbreak around the royal residence. During the reed dance, the king often selects one of the young women to become one of his wives. Swaziland is polygamous and the king has more than a dozen wives.

“We all have heard about the dark cloud that has befallen the ‘imbali,'” said King Mswati III, using the Swati language word for flower, used to refer to the groups of women dancers. Speaking Saturday at the opening of an international trade fair in Swaziland’s economic center Manzini, the king promised that the affected families would be compensated. He added that an investigation into the accident was underway.

Police in Swaziland, a small mountainous country of 1.4 million people bordering northeastern South Africa and Mozambique, discouraged reporting on the accident, said the rights group. Press photographers were prevented from taking pictures at the scene, said a Swazi journalist who insisted on anonymity for security reasons. However some people managed to take photographs of the aftermath of the crash with their cell phones.

A high-ranking police officer contacted by The Associated Press refused to comment on the accident, saying the matter was related to the “highest authority,” and no details could be disclosed to the media.

“You don’t hide a death,” said Lucky Lukhele, spokesman for the Swaziland Solidarity Network. Members of the Swaziland Defense Force alerted the rights group to the accident, Lukhele said, adding that he expected the death toll to rise.

The females were travelling on a highway between the Swazi cities of Mbabane and Manzini, when the truck carrying them smashed into a vehicle and was then hit in the rear by a second truck, the Times of Swaziland reported.

“We were about 50 on board the first truck that smashed into the Toyota van,” said Siphelele Sigudla, 18, a survivor quoted by the Times of Swaziland.

Swaziland is Africa’s last absolute monarchy, ruled by King Mswati since 1986. Swaziland held parliamentary elections in 2013, but many international observers say the electoral process is manipulated to prolong the king’s hold on power. According to the king, Swaziland’s image has been damaged by misinformation.

The country has one of the world’s highest rates of HIV infection.

TIME Accident

Pilot Dead in New York Stunt Plane Crash

The pilot was practicing for the New York Air Show

A pilot was killed Friday after crashing during practice for the New York Air Show, according to state police.

The aircraft, a single-occupant propeller-driven stunt plane, crashed at 2 p.m. in New Windsor, N.Y., said Trooper Steven Nevel, a spokesman for the New York State Police Department. The pilot had been practicing for a demonstration at the airshow this weekend at Stewart International Airport.

No other injuries were reported, Nevel said.

Benjamin Granucci, a photographer and editor of nycaviation.com, said he saw the plane slow down during a corkscrew climb and then fly toward an off-limits area near spectators before it crashed. When he looked back at his photographs, he saw that the tail-section of the planed had twisted off mid-flight, the Associated Press reports. State police also said the crash was apparently caused by a structural failure.

The New York Air Show, taking place Aug. 29-30, features flight demonstrations from a range of planes, including vintage aircraft and current Air Force vehicles.

TIME Accident

2 Climbers Die in Fall at Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park

Alpenglow shining on the Grand Tetons is reflected in Jenny Lake June 4, 2015, in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. The park offers amazing scenery and hiking opportunities without the crowds of nearby Yellowstone National Park. (Erin Madison/Great Falls Tribune via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Erin Madison—Great Falls Tribune/AP Alpenglow shining on the Grand Tetons in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, on June 4, 2015.

The climbers fell 200 ft.

Two climbers died after falling 200 ft. while climbing Teewinot Mountain in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park on Saturday, according to the National Park Service.

Park responders received a call from Rebecca Anderson, 26, who said two other people she was climbing with, Tyler Strandberg, 27, and Catherine Nix, 28, had fallen and were not responding to her calls. Anderson was stuck on a ledge and could not see them.

When park rangers and medical personnel arrived, the two fallen climbers were unresponsive and were pronounced dead at the scene. Two rangers climbed for an hour to retrieve Anderson.

The three climbers were attempting to ascend the East Face of Teewinot Mountain, which the park says is the usual route and is frequently climbed without ropes, though the climb is still very steep and intended for experienced climbers. However, the climbers “were well off the East Face route and in much more difficult technical terrain when the fall occurred,” the National Park Service said.

TIME India

At Least 6 Dead as Runaway Truck Rams Into Train in India

Frequent mishaps highlight the lack of adequate infrastructure in India's rail network

Six people, including a state legislator, were killed in India early Monday morning after a truck transporting granite collided with a train.

The crash took place at a railway crossing in the southern town of Anantpur, the Indian Express newspaper reports.

The truck was unable to stop at the crossing because of a brake failure, local police said, and crashed through the gate into a carriage of the Bengaluru-Nanded Express. Three other carriages were derailed and five people inside the compartment — including Venkatesh Naik, a lawmaker from the southern state of Karnataka — were killed as a result of the impact. A passenger in the truck also died, while the driver narrowly escaped with his life.

“The truck driver jumped out seconds before the impact and fell unconscious but survived and he has been questioned,” a police official told reporters.

Monday’s incident is the third railway mishap in as many years at Anantpur as well as the second involving the Bengaluru-Nanded Express — a fire broke out on the train in December 2013, killing 26 people, while 25 passengers of another train called the Hampi Express died in 2012 when it jumped a signal and crashed into a freight locomotive.

It is also the second Indian railway disaster in two days, after three carriages of a goods train derailed in the northern region of Jammu and Kashmir. The derailment took place due to a “technical snag,” a local official told the Press Trust of India news agency.

One of the largest transportation networks in the world, the Indian railway system spans the length and breadth of the country and is a vital mode of connectivity. In the absence of modernization and adequate safety measures, however, tragedies like the twin train derailment that killed at least two dozen people earlier this month have become all too common.

Enhancing the structure and quality of India’s ailing rail network has been one of the main priorities of the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which announced in its rail budget earlier this year that it would invest $137 billion over the next five years to improve passenger safety and track quality, among other things.

India’s Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu called Monday’s crash an “unfortunate accident” in a post on Twitter, and announced that families of the victims and other injured passengers would be compensated.

TIME celebrities

Tracy Morgan Marries Megan Wollover in Small, Moving Wedding Ceremony

Spike TV's "Don Rickles: One Night Only" - Show
Kevin Mazur—Getty Images for Spike TV Meghan Wollover and Tracy Morgan attend Spike TV's "Don Rickles: One Night Only" on May 6, 2014 in New York City.

"We have been through so much and our love is stronger for it"

Comedian Tracy Morgan married his longtime partner Megan Wollover on Sunday night, a little over a year after he was severely injured in a near-fatal car accident.

The pair tied the knot in a small, emotional ceremony attended by close friends and family, including Morgan’s 2-year-old daughter Maven, the comedian’s representative told PEOPLE magazine.

“After almost losing Tracy last year, I am so grateful to finally be married to the love of my life,” Wollover told PEOPLE, referring to the June 7, 2014 accident when a Wal-Mart delivery vehicle crashed into Morgan’s limousine on the New Jersey Turnpike. “We have been through so much and our love is stronger for it.”

Read more at PEOPLE.

Read next: Tracy Morgan Will Return to Host Saturday Night Live

TIME celebrities

Sheriffs to Recommend Manslaughter Charges Against Caitlyn Jenner

Investigators found that Jenner was driving "unsafe for the prevailing road conditions"

(LOS ANGELES) — Sheriff’s investigators plan to recommend prosecutors file a vehicular manslaughter charge against Caitlyn Jenner for her role in a fatal car crash on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu last February.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida says investigators found that Jenner was driving “unsafe for the prevailing road conditions” because her SUV rear-ended a Lexus, pushing it into oncoming traffic.

The Lexus driver, 69-year-old Kim Howe, was killed when her car was struck head-on by a Hummer.

Nishida says the case will be presented for final review next week. The district attorney will determine what charges Jenner ultimately faces.

If convicted of such a charge, Jenner would face up to one year in county jail.

TIME Accident

2-Year-Old Apparently Shot and Killed His Dad, Police Say

Police are calling it a "horrible accident"

A 2-year-old boy may have accidentally shot and killed his father, police say.

A man was discovered Tuesday in an Alabama apartment with a fatal gunshot wound to the head, the Associated Press reports. The child was the only other person at the apartment, and police say they have ruled out suicide or an intruder among other possible scenarios and believe the toddler was the one who accidentally fired the weapon.

The AP reports that the child lived with his mother and another sibling in the apartment, and that the child’s father was often there during the day while the mother was at work.

Police are calling the incident a “horrible accident.”


TIME Crime

Officer Charged With Trying to Make Meth in Government Lab

National Institute Standards Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology

The officer resigned and is charged

A police officer working at a federal laboratory has been charged with trying to make meth at the lab.

Authorities learned of the police officer’s activities after an explosion at a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) lab in Maryland in July, the Washington Post reports.

The Post reports that the police supervisor, Christopher Bartley, has been charged with “knowingly and intentionally attempt[ing] to manufacture a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.” He resigned after the explosion.

His lawyer has said Bartley wanted to learn more about the drug by making it. He was acting alone and had no intention of selling it, the lawyer said.

[Washington Post]


TIME Accident

‘Batman’ Killed in Maryland Roadside Accident

In this Aug. 15, 2015 photo provided by Linda Weekley, Leonard Robinson performs at SummerFest in South Charleston, W.Va. The Maryland man who delighted thousands of children by impersonating Batman at hospitals and charity events died when he was hit by a car while standing in the fast lane of Interstate 70, checking the engine of his custom-made Batmobile, police said Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. (Linda Weekley via AP)
Linda Weekley—AP Leonard Robinson performs at SummerFest in South Charleston, W. VA, in this Aug. 15, 2015 photo provided by Linda Weekley, .

He often visited sick children in hospitals

The Route 29 Batman, who became a viral sensation thanks to a dash cam video of an encounter with the police, died Sunday after being struck by a car.

Lenny B. Robinson, the 51-year-old Marylander who dressed as Batman and often visited sick children in hospitals, died after a car hit his Batmobile—a custom-made black car—in Maryland, the Washington Post reports.

He was on his way home from a car show in West Virginia when his Batmobile broke down. As Robinson checked the engine, his Batmobile was struck by a Toyota Camry, and the Batmobile then struck and killed him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shortly before his death, Robinson had stopped at a gas station, where he met a family and gave the kids superhero paraphernalia.

[Washington Post]

TIME Accident

Army Parachutist Dies From Injuries in Chicago Stunt Show

This undated photo provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. 1st Class Corey Hood. A parachutist the Army Golden Knights, Hood died Sunday after suffering severe injuries from an accident during a stunt on Saturday at the Chicago Air & Water Show, the Cook County medical examiner's office said. (U.S Army via AP)
U.S Army/AP This undated photo provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. 1st Class Corey Hood, a parachutist who died after an accident during a stunt at the Chicago Air and Water Show on Aug. 16, 2015 .

The 14-year veteran was hurt in a midair collision

A U.S. Army parachute team member died Sunday after being injured at the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Sgt. 1st Class Corey Hood, of Cincinnati, the 32-year-old parachutist, was a 14-year veteran who served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hood and a Navy sailor collided midair at the Chicago Air and Water Show on Saturday, leading to both being hospitalized, and Hood died of his injuries one day later, ABC reports.

Hood received a number of awards for his service, including two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medal, the Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder, Air Assault and Combat Action Badges.

“Our focus right now is on supporting Corey’s family and grieving for our teammate,” USAPT commander Lt. Col. Matthew Weinrich said in a statement. “As soldiers, there are risks every day in what we do, but you do everything you can to minimize those risks and it is extremely hard when that is not enough.”

The injured sailor, whose name has not been released, was still in the hospital on Sunday but his prognosis was good, a Navy spokesman said Sunday evening.


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