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200 feared dead in tunnel accident at North Korea nuclear test site

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More than 200 people are feared to have died when a tunnel caved in at North Korea’s nuclear test site after its latest detonation.

A tunnel collapsed at Punggye-ri in early September, days after North Korea conducted its sixth and largest underground nuclear test on September 3, TV Asahi said, quoting unnamed North Korean sources.

Some 100 workers were involved in an initial collapse. Another cave-in occurred during rescue operations, leaving at least 200 people feared dead in total, the Japanese broadcaster said.

The accident was triggered by the test, TV Asahi added.

Experts have warned that the underground tests could cause the mountain to collapse and leak radiation into the atmosphere near China’s border.

The latest test — the sixth at the site since 2006 — triggered landslides in the detonation area and beyond, according to satellite pictures taken the day after.

The images published by the 38 North website showed changes in the surface at Punggye-ri where the ground had been lifted into the air by the tremors. Small landslides followed the course of stream beds.

The blast caused a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey, followed a few minutes later by another with a magnitude of 4.1.

Japan assessed the yield from the test of what the North said was a hydrogen bomb at 120 kilotons, eight times the size of Hiroshima in 1945.

It is very unusual for North Korea to acknowledge any major accident, especially anything that involves its nuclear programme.

Lee Eugene, a spokeswoman at South Korea’s unification ministry, said: “We are aware of the report but do not know anything about it.”

The report came ahead of US President Donald Trump’s first presidential visit to South Korea next week amid an escalating war of words between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The reclusive country has made significant strides in its atomic and missile technology under Kim, who took power after the death of his father and longtime ruler Kim Jong-Il in 2011.

Since then he has overseen four of the country’s six nuclear tests and hailed atomic weapons as a “treasured sword” to protect the nation from invasion by the United States.

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Burkina Faso Enhance Army with New Cobra Armoured Vehicles

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The Burkinabe Army paraded four Otokar Cobra armoured personnel carriers (APCs) during Burkina Faso’s 11 December Independence Day parade in Manga, making it the latest known user of the Turkish-made vehicle.



A Burkinabe military source told newsmen that an undisclosed number of Cobras have been delivered since September, with several currently deployed in the East Region, where counter-terrorist operations are ongoing.

Cobra 2

Cobra 3

The source added that the first Cobras are operated by Commando Infantry Regiments (RIC) of the Burkinabe Army, but additional vehicles are expected to be delivered to the Combined Regiments (RIA). Burkina fields two such units, which combine armoured cavalry squadrons and motorised infantry companies.

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-Janes

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Important Steps to follow in case of vehicle accidents

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It’s important to know and understand how to prevent motor vehicle accidents. However, if the worst happens, would you know what to do? This equally important aspect of understanding road safety is often overlooked.

Thankfully, not all car accidents are fatal. And whatever the degree of damage, while it may not lessen the shock of a collision, it can ease the frustration of both parties if they know what steps to follow to make insurance claims easier.



Know the law

Section 61 of the National Road Traffic Act of 1996 states that in the event of an accident, where: a person or an animal was killed or injured, or any property like a vehicle was damaged, certain steps must be taken in line with the law.

The driver must:

    • Stop the vehicle and ascertain if there are any injuries;
    • Offer the assistance to injured persons;
    • Ascertain the nature and extent of damage sustained;
    • Request the name, address, vehicle registration and driver’s licence details, as well as the identity number of the other party; and
    • Report the accident to the relevant police station within 24 hours.

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Credible evidence

According to the act, there are important other rules that must also be observed. The law further specifies that the driver may not take any intoxicating liquor or drug that has a narcotic effect, unless he or she has reported the accident to a police officer

Moreover, no person may remove any vehicle involved in an accident – in which another person was killed or injured – from the position in which it came to rest, until a traffic officer has given permission for it to be removed.

Only if the accident causes total obstruction of a public road can the vehicle be moved, and only after its position has been clearly marked on the surface of the roadway.

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Possible pitfalls

You should also take pictures of the accident scene.

Further penalties during the claim process could come due to driving under the influence of alcohol, without a valid driver’s license for the vehicle being operated, driving an unlicensed or unroadworthy vehicle and not paying your insurance premium, says Tshifularo.

Tshifularo also cautions that you should not let a tow-truck driver coerce you into towing your car without making sure that it is a tow truck authorised by your insurance company.

“Otherwise you could be liable for the costs and have to spend a lot of time and energy trying to track your vehicle down.”

“After an accident, it’s very important to stay calm and rational.

“Arguing over whose fault the accident was or panicking is not going to help the situation. Instead, take charge and follow the procedure in as calm a manner as possible,” Tshifularo says.

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-Soweto Live

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