Toxic gas kills nine in China

Beijing : Toxic gas following a mine blast has killed nine people and injured 12 others in China's Yunnan province, authorities said on Sunday.

The accident happened at around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in Lianmeng village, Kunming city, when 21 people were trapped under a mine filled with carbon monoxide after a blast, government officials said, Xinhua reported.

Two people were killed on the spot, while seven died after medical efforts failed. The injured are receiving treatment in hospital.

An investigation into the incident has been launched.


UN chief condoles deaths in Nepal quake

United Nations : UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday condoled the deaths in Nepal after a major quake hit the Kathmandu Valley causing wide-scale destruction.

Ban, on behalf of the UN, conveyed the condolences in a specially issued statement. "Our thoughts are with the people of Nepal and neighbouring countries today in the aftermath of the earthquake that has struck the Kathmandu Valley," Xinhua quoted Ban as saying in the statement.


Indian Air Force plane fetches 55 people back from Nepal

New Delhi : A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft of the Indian Air Force landed in New Delhi around 11 p.m. on Saturday, fetching some 55 civilians, including four infants, from Kathmandu where they were stranded due to the devastating earthquake in the country just before noon.

This was the first of the air force planes to return from Nepal with Indians. A defence ministry spokesperson said another air force aircraft, C-17, would be landing around midnight with another 200 stranded passengers.

India sends 'Rail Neer' water to quake-hit Nepal

New Delhi : Indian Railways, which produces its own packaged drinking water to serve its passengers, dispatched some 100,000 bottles of 'Rail Neer' to quake-hit Nepal on Saturday night through a special Indian Air Force aircraft that also carried other relief operations.

"Arrangements being made for further dispatch of 100,000 bottles per day to supplement the rescue efforts of the Government of India," Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

Rail Neer is produced by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd.

250 killed as Kathmandu's iconic tower collapses

Kathmandu: A total of 250 people were killed when the 183-year-old iconic Dharahara tower, which gave visitors a panoramic view of Kathmandu, collapsed on Saturday due to the massive earthquake that jolted Nepal.

The nine-storey tower, built in 1832 and nearly 63 meters tall, was a historic monument erected by Nepal's first prime minister Bhimsen Thapa. It was built as a military watch tower but became one of Kathmandu's key landmarks.

According to Nepal Police headquarters, 250 people were killed when the tower collapsed.


13 killed in Tibet earthquake

Beijing: At least 13 people were killed and four others went missing in Tibet after a powerful earthquake struck neighbouring Nepal on Saturday, officials said.

A massive 7.9-magnitude quake, followed by a second 7.0-magnitude quake left over 1,500 people dead in Nepal, Xinhua news agency reported.

The quake also strongly jolted the neighbouring regions in Tibet.

Seven of the 13 people killed were from Nyalam county and the rest six were from Gyirong. Four residents in Nyalam were missing. Both counties are about 40 km from the epicentre.


Ramdev safe in Kathmandu, expresses grief over destruction

New Delhi: Yoga guru Ramdev, who is in Kathmandu for a yoga camp, is safe, his spokesperson said on Saturday after a massive earthquake shook Nepal and parts of India on Saturday morning, causing widespread devastation.

Ramdev had gone there to conduct a five-day session being organised by Patanjali, Nepal chapter.

"Our sessions were from 5 a.m to 7.30 a.m. He then went to a different camp and at the time of the earthquake he was coming out from that session," Ramdev's spokesperson S.K. Tijarawala told IANS.

Kathmandu airport shut, flights from India cancelled

By Sharon Thambala ,

New Delhi: The Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu was indefinitely shut on Saturday after a massive earthquake rocked Nepal just before noon, resulting in the cancellation of all the eight subsequent return flights from India bound for the capital city.

The airport, according to aviation officials here, was opened in the evening, but only for non-commercial and relief operations. Some airlines like SpiceJet said they had been asked by Indian authorities to keep an aircraft ready to lift supplies from here and bring back stranded passengers.

Nepal quake: Avalanche kills 10 climbers on Everest

Kathmandu: A total of 10 people, including foreign climbers, were reportedly killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest which was triggered by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday, a Nepal tourism ministry official said.

However, BBC quoted officials and reports as saying that the quake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least eight people, and another five in Tibet.

An 11-member mountaineering team from the Indian state of Assam on an expedition to Mount Everest in Nepal was reportedly safe.


Death and destruction as quake ravages Nepal, rocks India

By Anil Giri and Aroonim Bhuyan,

Kathmandu/New Delhi : Over 1,500 people were killed and thousands were injured when a massive earthquake - lasting about 20 frightening seconds - and several strong aftershocks caused widespread destruction in Nepal. India too was affected.

In Nepal, buildings were flattened, roads cracked, telephone connectivity snapped and hospitals grappled with a large number of injured who were extricated from the rubble after the country was hit by the temblor at 11.41 a.m. India time.