2 Gulf Daily News Friday, 30th January 2015 Babies killed n Rescue workers battle a fire at the maternity hospital after the explosion MEXICO CITY: Four babies and three adults were killed when a gas tank truck exploded outside a Mexico City children’s hospital yesterday. lMaternity hospital destroyed in deadly gas blast Injured and bleeding, mothers carrying infants fled from the hospital, and rescuers swung sledgehammers to break through fallen concrete in hunt for others who may have been trapped. “For the moment, there are seven people dead, four of them babies, two women and a man, said Mexico City’s civil defence agency spokeswoman Claudia Dominguez. Thirty-five-year-old Felicitas Hernandez wept as she frantically questioned people out- side the mostly collapsed building, hoping for word of her month-old baby, who had been admitted to hospital since birth with respiratory problems. “They wouldn’t let me sleep next to him,” said Hernandez, who had come to the city-run Maternity and Children’s Hospital of Cuajimalpa because she had no money. City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said 58 people were transferred to other hospitals, while the Red Cross said nine babies were tak- en to three hospitals in the capital. Around 40 per cent of the hospital was destroyed. Some 100 people were believed to be inside the building at the time of the explosion. Most of the injuries were relatively minor, many caused by flying glass, officials said. The explosion occurred when the tanker was making a routine, early morning delivery of gas to the hospital kitchen and gas started to leak. The explosion sent a column of smoke bil- Saudi king reshuffles cabinet RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman or- dered a lavish payout to all state employees yesterday and reshuffled some top government jobs while keeping in place the oil, foreign, finance, defence and interior ministers. The top oil exporter will pay two months of bonus salary to all state employees and pension to retired government workers, he said in a series of decrees read aloud on state television a week after Salman succeeded his brother Abdullah as king. He removed two of the late king’s sons from big jobs, making Faisal bin Bandar Riyadh governor instead of Turki bin Abdullah and reinstating Khaled Al Faisal as Mecca governor less than two years after he was replaced by Mishaal bin Abdullah. The two jobs are usually held by senior princes and have sometimes been stepping stones to higher positions. In a possible indication of King Salman’s approach to social reform, he also replaced several top religious officials, removing two clerics, known as comparative liberals who headed the Justice Ministry and Religious Police. He also appointed Mohammed Jadaan, a lawyer, as the new head of the Capital Market Authority, the state regulator for the stock market, which will open to direct foreign participa- tion later this year. He kept in place veteran Oil Minister Ali Al Naimi, Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal. The labour, commerce, transport and economy and planning ministers were also kept unchanged. He appointed new ministers of agriculture, education and information and a new head of the intelligence services. He also merged the education ministry and higher education ministry and abolished the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals Affairs, replacing it with a new body, according to the text of a royal decree read out on state television. The council was led by the king and includes senior royal family members, ministers including Al Naimi and top industry executives. The Supreme Council, however, hasn’t issued any statement on oil prices for months and key decisions have recently been made by the oil minister, with the backing of the late King Abdullah. The king, who took power a week ago after Abdullah’s death early on Friday morning, also kept in place the late king’s son Miteb as Minister of the National Guard, an important strategic post. lowing over the area and television images showed firemen trying to extinguish fires throughout the collapsed hospital building. Dominguez said the truck must have had some failure, the hose and that’s what caused the explosion. She said fire continued burning because firemen recommended that they allow the truck’s remaining gas to burn off. There was no risk of another explosion. Iran leader hits back at Nejad n The pilots of a helium-filled balloon on a daring flight across the Pacific Ocean are making a last-minute course change towards a planned landing in Baja California, Mexico. According to the mission control for the Two Eagles balloon flight, pilots Troy Bradley of New Mexico and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia, who set off from Japan in a bid to reach North America and break two major records, are changing course because weather changes have placed a highpressure ridge off the US West Coast. TEHRAN: Former vice-president Mohammad Reza Rahimi has written an open letter to his former boss Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for distancing himself from charges against him. Rahimi, who has been found guilty of bribery and corruption, sent the letter to ILNA news website on Tuesday. In his letter, Rahimi revealed the involvement of 170 MPs in corruption and embezzlement cases. He also disclosed the names of the MPs – from the conservative movement – who he said “received about half a million dollars during Ahmadinejad’s tenure. The letter came in reply to a statement issued by Ahmadinejad recently, saying the charges against Rahimi had nothing to do with the previous administration and that all accusations against his deputy dated back to the period before his appointment as first vice-president. Rahimi said that Ahmadinejad should have testified that his deputy “did not betray the public purse” and that he never amassed wealth through unlawful ways. Rahimi, who served as first vice-president under Ahmadinejad during 2009-2013, has been sentenced to five years in prison and also fined.
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