A driver had to be airlifted to hospital yesterday after their car plumeted down a steep revine.
The car, a white Volkswaken Scirocco was travelling along the Rhigos mountain road from Hirwaun towards Treherbert with then incident happend at approximately 7:05pm on Thursday.
The incident resulted in a multi agency response including the Welsh Ambulance Service, South Wales Police and the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
Support was also provided by the South and East Wales Air Support Unit, Wales Air Ambulance and a Royal Air Force Search and Rescue helicopter from Chivenor, Devon however the later was stood down once arrived on scene.
A spokesperson for the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Appliances from Treorchy and Hirwaun attended a Road Traffic Collision on the Rhigos mountain road and supported by specialist crews from Ebbw Vale, Merthyr, Aberdare and Barry.”
A spokesman for South Wales Police said: “The vehicle has left the road and plummeted down a steep ravine to the right hand side before coming to rest.
“The driver of the vehicle was extricated from the vehicle by the South Wales Fire and Recuse Service before being airlifted by Air Ambulance and taken to University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.”
The road was closed for around four hours to allow the police to conduct initial investigations. It was also closed this morning to allow specialist recovery of the car to take place.
The Police would like to speak to any person who witnessed the incident, or any person who was in the area at the relevant time and may have seen the vehicle in question.
The spokesman added: “Police would also like to speak to any person who may have seen the vehicle between 3pm and the time of the collision either being driven or stationary.”
Anyone with information, should call the South Wales Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Gwaelod y Garth on 016565 655555 ext 42339, or contact 101.
Search teams have begun using a towed pinger locator to hunt for the black box of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Two ships with locator capabilities are searching a 240km (150 mile) underwater path, in the hope of recovering the plane’s data recorder.
Up to 14 planes and nine ships were due to take part in Friday’s search.
The plane disappeared on 8 March en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It was carrying 239 people.
It is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, although no confirmed debris has been found from the plane.
The search is being co-ordinated from the city of Perth in Western Australia.
The battery-powered pingers on the plane’s black box stop transmitting about 30 days after a crash, giving the searchers now perhaps only a few days to locate it.
Angus Houston, head of the Joint Agencies Coordination Centre (JACC) leading the search, said that two ships had “commenced the sub-surface search for emissions from [the] black box pinger”.
Australia naval vessel Ocean Shield was using a towed pinger locator from the US Navy, while HMS Echo, which had similar capabilities, was also searching.
“The two ships will search a single 240km track converging on each other,” Air Chief Marshal Houston, who is retired, said.
ACM Houston said that the area had been picked on the basis of analysis of the satellite data.
It was based on work regarding “how the aircraft might have performed and how it might have been flown”, to choose the “area of highest probability as to where it might have entered the water”.
He pointed out that this data was continuing to be refined, but the current search was based on the “best data that is available”.
Given the progress in data evaluation and calculation, “there is some hope we will find the aircraft in the area we are searching”, he added.
The two ships will be moving at reduced speeds, of around three knots, in their attempt to detect any signal from the pinger.
Commodore Peter Leavy, Commander of Joint Task Force 658, said that search operations generally preferred to use “physical evidence” and “drift modelling” to locate a plane.
However, “no hard evidence has been found to date so we have made the decision to search a sub-surface area on which the analysis has predicted MH370 is likely to have flown,” he said.
In a statement, JACC said up to 10 military planes, four civilian planes and nine ships would be deployed in Friday’s search efforts.
The focus is on a search area of about 217,000 sq km (84,000 sq miles), 1,700 km (1,000 miles) north west of Perth.
Fair weather was forecast for Friday, with visibility of around 10km (six miles), JACC said.
Meeting staff involved in the search on Friday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: “It is probably the most difficult search that’s ever been mounted.”
“A large aircraft seems like something that would be easy enough to locate – but a large aircraft that all but disappeared and disappeared into inaccessible oceans is an extraordinary, extraordinary challenge that you’re faced with.”
ACM Houston said there was still a “great possibility of finding something on the surface [of the ocean]“.
“There’s lots of things in aircraft that float,” he said, citing previous searches where life jackets from planes were found.
Sourced by BBC News
Two men have died when a light aircraft crashed into a field and burst into flames, police have said.
The YAK 52 aircraft crashed at 14:55 GMT in a field near Cooksmill Green on the A414 west of Chelmsford in Essex.
Firefighters called to the scene reported that “the plane was completely alight” when they arrived.
The plane had taken off from the nearby North Weald airfield. Both victims’ next of kin have been informed, police said.
Rebecca Larsen told BBC News: “I witnessed the plane go up in flames. Cars pulled up on the left lane and everyone ran towards the burning plane.”
Police closed a section of the A414 between Chelmsford and Ongar while emergency services attended.
Alison Hodgkins-Brown, at the scene for BBC Essex, said: “I can see the plane has come down in the middle of an oil seed rape field next to the A414.
“It’s completely covered by tarpaulin and there are about eight police officers in attendance.”
Sam Gildersleeve, from Ongar, was having lunch with friends when he saw the plane flying low.
“At this point we all looked at the sky and the plane attempted to do a somersault unsuccessfully, we heard a popping sound and noticed the plane did not re-emerge,” he said.
“We then noticed smoke coming from the site in the field where the plane had crashed. Shortly after the emergency services appeared.”
The Air Accident Investigation Branch has sent a team to investigate the crash.
Sourced by BBC News
Angry relatives of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines plane have clashed with police outside Malaysia’s embassy in the Chinese capital, Beijing.
It came after Malaysian PM Najib Razak said a new analysis of satellite data showed the plane had ended its journey in remote seas south-west of Australia.
China has asked to see the data on which Malaysia’s conclusion was based.
The search for missing flight MH370 has been suspended because of bad weather.
A multinational search effort has focused on seas some 2,500km (1,500 miles) to the south-west of the Australian city of Perth.
Flight MH370 disappeared on 8 March as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It was carrying a total of 239 people, including 153 Chinese nationals.
In Beijing, relatives of passengers on board the plane released a statement accusing the Malaysian government of trying to “delay, distort and hide the truth”.
Dozens of them then left their Beijing hotel on a protest bound for the Malaysian embassy, carrying banners asking Kuala Lumpur to be truthful with the relatives.
Police stopped their buses from leaving, so they left the buses and walked there themselves, with scuffles then erupting outside the diplomatic mission.
The protesters threw water bottles at the embassy and tried to storm the building, demanding to meet the ambassador.
There was a heavy police presence at the embassy, and there was a brief scuffle between police and a group of relatives who tried to approach journalists, according to the Associated Press news agency.
The protest in Beijing came a day after the Malaysian leader said it had to be concluded “with deep sadness and regret” that according to new data “flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.
Mr Najib said the conclusion the plane was lost was based on new satellite analysis by British firm Inmarsat and information from the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).
But Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng issued a statement saying: “We demand the Malaysian side state the detailed evidence that leads them to this judgement, as well as supply all the relevant information and evidence about the satellite data analysis.
“The search and rescue work cannot stop now. We demand the Malaysian side continue to finish all the work including search and rescue.”
Acting Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has revealed that the latest analysis of satellite included a final electronic signal that was still being investigated.
“There is evidence of a partial handshake between the aircraft and ground station at 0019 UTC (GMT),” he told a news conference on Tuesday. “At this time, this transmission is not understood and is subject to further ongoing work.”
He said that as a result of the latest analysis, the area of search operations had been narrowed from 2.24m sq nautical miles to 469,407 sq nautical miles, and an international working group had now been convened to try to further narrow the search area.
Operations in the “northern corridor” – one of two large areas where the plane might have ended its journey – had been completely called off to concentrate on the southern part of the “southern corridor” in the Indian Ocean west of Perth, he added.
Malaysia Airlines has said it will make arrangements to fly relatives of those on board MH370 to Australia.
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said his department was working with the airline and Beijing to arrange visas.
In a BBC interview, Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya defended his company against criticism from the families, saying the situation was far from a normal aircraft tragedy.
“I think it’s unfair,” he said. “I think we’ve done all we can within our means to help them.”
Planes from several nations, supported by an Australian warship, have been scouring waters far off Perth for signs of the missing plane, in a search co-ordinated by Australia.
There have been several sightings of debris, but none has yet been confirmed as being linked to the plane.
In a statement announcing the suspension of search operations on Tuesday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said it had undertaken a risk assessment “and determined that the current weather conditions would make any air and sea search activities hazardous and pose a risk to crew”.
Australia’s Defence Minister David Johnston said search efforts were unlikely to start again for “at least another 24 hours”.
He described the search as a “massive logistical exercise” in an “extremely remote” part of the world.
Mark Binskin, vice-chief of the Australian Defence Force, said: “We’re not searching for a needle in a haystack. We’re still trying to define where the haystack is.”
An Australian navy support vessel, Ocean Shield – equipped with US acoustic detection equipment in an attempt to detect the plane’s “black box” flight recorder – is expected to be deployed to the search zone next week.
Six Chinese ships are also being deployed to the region to assist with search operations.
Sourced by BBC News
An Australian plane has spotted two objects in the hunt for the missing Malaysia plane, and a ship has arrived in the area to find them.
The objects could be picked up in the southern Indian Ocean in a few hours, Malaysia’s transport minister said.
One object was circular and grey or green, and the other rectangular and orange, Australian PM Tony Abbott said.
Mr Abbott said it was not known whether the objects were from flight MH370, and could be flotsam.
The two objects were different, he said, from several white, square-shaped objects spotted earlier by Chinese military planes.
Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein: “An Australian search aircraft has located two objects”
“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has advised that objects have been located by a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion. And I can advise the House that HMAS Success is on scene and is attempting to locate and recover these objects,” Mr Abbott told the Australian parliament.
Investigators could be closer to resolving “one of the great mysteries of our time”, he added.
Speaking at a daily news briefing in Kuala Lumpur, Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein confirmed the missing airliner had been carrying wooden pallets, but said there was no connection yet to a reported Australian sighting of pallets floating in the search zone.
Sourced by BBC News
Australia is investigating two objects seen on satellite images that could potentially be linked to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, officials say.
A Norwegian ship joined planes from Australia, New Zealand and the US in searching the area 2,500km (1,550 miles) from Perth.
As night fell, the air search ended for the day, with teams saying bad weather conditions had hampered their efforts.
Flight MH370 was carrying 239 people when it disappeared on 8 March.
It was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it lost contact with air traffic controllers and disappeared from radar.
At a news conference on Thursday, Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein described the possible sighting of debris on satellite images as a “credible lead”.
The largest object appeared to be 24m in size, authorities said, but warned they could be unrelated to the plane.
A number of sightings of possible debris have been investigated since the plane went missing but so far none have proved to be linked.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the latest discovery based on satellite images taken on 16 March.
“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) has received information based on satellite information of objects possibly related to the search,” Mr Abbott told parliament.
“Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified.”
Two Australian Orion aircraft searching the area on Thursday were joined later by aircraft from the US and New Zealand.
Amsa said the aircraft had covered an area of 23,000km² (14,000 square miles) but confirmed that they had found no debris. It said the search would resume on Friday.
The captain of the first Australian air force AP-3C Orion plane to return from the search area described the weather conditions as “extremely bad” with rough seas and high winds.
David Wright, an ABC News reporter who was on the P-8 Poseidon, said all the sophisticated plane had spotted was “a freighter and two pods of dolphins”.
A Norwegian merchant ship, the St Petersburg, has also arrived in the area after responding to a shipping broadcast issued by Australia’s rescue co-ordination centre.
It will be joined by an Australian naval vessel, HMAS Success, which is on its way to help with the search and Britain has also deployed HMS Echo, a coastal survey ship, to aid the operation.
The objects identified in the images were of a “reasonable size”, Amsa’s general manager John Young said. The largest object appeared to be about 24m (78ft) in size, he said.
“This is a lead, it is probably the best lead we have right now. But we need to get there, find them, see them, assess them, to know whether it’s really meaningful or not.”
He warned the objects spotted in the sea could turn out to be unrelated to MH370, such as containers that had fallen from ships.
“On this particular occasion the size and the fact that there are multiple [objects] located in the same area really makes it worth looking at,” Mr Young added.
Michael Daniel, a former US Federal Aviation Administration official, told Singapore’s Straits Times: “If they have a strong feeling or indication that the debris belongs to the aircraft, one of the first things authorities will do is drop sonar buoys in the water.
“If the black box is there, the buoys should be able to pick up the signals. This could take up to 48 hours but it all depends on how near or far the ships and other assets are.”
Australia informed Malaysian authorities of the development on Thursday morning.
Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on the new “credible” lead
Malaysia’s transport minister told reporters that while the debris sighting was a “credible lead” it needed to be verified and corroborated.
Investigators had identified two corridors of territory – one to the north and one to the south – spanning the possible positions of the plane about seven hours after take-off.
This was based on its last faint signal to a satellite – an hourly “handshake” broadcast even when the main communication systems are switched off.
Malaysia says search efforts are continuing in both corridors, involving a total of 18 ships, 29 aircraft and 6 ship-borne helicopters.
Meanwhile, relatives of those on board are still waiting for concrete news.
Bimal Sharma, a merchant navy captain whose sister Chandrika was on the plane, told the BBC he had experienced “hope and then despair and then hope and then despair”.
“I have been very hopeful because it was intentionally diverted, so I don’t believed it was crashed,” he said. “It’s been a very, very difficult time, and very emotionally stressing.”
“The area where Australia is looking – I was a captain at sea – I have been through that area several times. This area has got a concentration of garbage – plastics and wood. I don’t know, I don’t want to believe it as yet.”
Sourced by BBC News
China says it has started searching its territory for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, while Australia has narrowed its search area in the south.
Efforts to find the aircraft are focusing on two vast air corridors north and south of the plane’s last known location.
China said no evidence of terror links had been found in Chinese passengers.
The plane went missing on 8 March with 239 people on board. Some 26 countries are involved in search efforts.
Malaysia says the plane was intentionally diverted and could have flown on either a northern or southern arc from its last known position in the Malacca Straits.
Search efforts are focused on two corridors – one stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and another from Indonesia to the Indian Ocean.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that the aircraft’s crew – or other individuals on the plane – were involved in its disappearance.
A total of 153 Chinese nationals were on board the missing aircraft, which was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said that search and rescue operations in the Chinese territories of the northern corridor had begun, Xinhua news agency reported.
Based on background checks, there was no evidence to suggest that the mainland Chinese passengers on the plane were involved in hijacking or launching a terror attack, Mr Huang added.
China said it had also deployed 21 satellites to help with the search.
‘Needle in a haystack’
Meanwhile, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said it had narrowed down its search area in the southern Indian Ocean based on satellite data and analysis of the aircraft’s possible movements.
However, Amsa said the search area was still vast.
“A needle in a haystack remains a good analogy,” Amsa Emergency Response General Manager John Young said, adding that there was a “difficult” task ahead.
“The sheer size of the search area poses a huge challenge – the search area is more than 600,000 square kilometres (230,000 sq miles),” he added.
Late on Monday, US officials said the US navy ship USS Kidd had been taken off the search because the enlarged search area meant that “long-range patrol aircraft” were “more suited” to the mission.
The move was made “in consultation with the Malaysian government”, officials said in a statement. USS Kidd had searched the Andaman Sea but found “no debris or wreckage associated with an aircraft”, they added.
The US says it is using patrol aircraft including the P-8A Poseidon and P-3C Orion to continue search efforts, with the P-8 taking part in search efforts in the south corridor.
The Malaysia Airlines plane left Kuala Lumpur at 00:40 local time (16:40 GMT) on 8 March. The last transmission from the plane’s Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was received at 01:07.
A transmission expected 30 minutes later did not come through, Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahy told reporters. Officials believe the communications systems were deliberately disabled.
The last words from the plane – “all right, good night” – were believed to have been said by co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid to air traffic controllers at 01:19 as the plane left Malaysian airspace.
It then disappeared from air traffic controllers’ screens at 01:21, when it was over the South China Sea, but was last spotted by military radar at 02:15 over the Malacca Straits – the opposite direction from its planned flight path.
Satellite communication at 08:11 showed that the plane could have continued flying for a further seven hours in a northern or southern arc.
Several countries have already rejected the suggestion that their airspace might have been breached, the BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Kuala Lumpur reports.
After 11 days of a huge multinational investigation and search, almost all options for the fate of flight MH370 are still being considered, our correspondent adds.
Sourced by BBC News
A light aircraft pilot has been forced to crash land near Swansea after hitting a flock of birds.
The pilot, who was alone in the plane, suffered slight concussion when the aircraft flipped over during the emergency landing at Grovesend.
South Wales Police said the man was a local farmer and took off and landed at his own airstrip, and had been taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
The alarm was raised on Sunday shortly after 0700 GMT.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch is being informed of the incident.
Insp Andy Walbeoff of South Wales Police said the pilot had collided with a flock of birds after taking off.
“He had to make an emergency landing on his own private airstrip at Grovesend,” he said.
“On landing the aircraft flipped upside down. The pilot managed to exit the aircraft with only minor injuries and he went to hospital suffering from slight concussion.”
Insp Walbreoff said the pilot had intended on taking a leisure flight around the Gower.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service sent two fire engines from Gorseinon and Pontarddulais to the scene.
Sourced by BBC News