KINGDOM : News Roundup

Gyrocopter crash leaves two dead

JEDDAH — Two people aboard a gyrocopter were killed Sunday when the light aircraft crashed here, aviation authorities said.

The “gyrocopter crashed and caught fire near the runway at Sama aviation club in Jeddah… killing two people on board,” the authorities said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The statement did not identify the victims or provide their nationalities. Gyrocopters have grown in popularity among Saudis in recent years.

The authorities began investigating the crash, and issued an advisory “to raise the safety level of aviation and limit accidents,” the statement added, without giving further details.

Gyrocopters or gyroplanes, a single-person rotorcraft that is a cross between an airplane and a helicopter, have become popular among Saudi youth who are keen to use the contraptions to take to the skies. Gyrocopters, the latest hobby, are attracting people of various backgrounds.



Income gap between Saudis, Gulf citizens widens

RIYADH — The jump in oil prices since 2011 has resulted in a proportionate increase in per capita income in oil-exporting countries, but the gap between the incomes of Saudis and citizens of neighboring Gulf states has increased tremendously.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the per capita income of Saudis last year was $8,939 last year, a decline from $9,705 in 2012.

The per capita income of Saudis and Gulf citizen has widened in 2013, where the per capita income of Kuwaitis was $29,949, which is around 3.4 times more than that of Saudis.

The EIA did not give specific reasons for the widening gap, but said it may be the result of the increased rate of population growth in the Kingdom.



Ebola may disrupt pilgrimage plans

MAKKAH —The head of the coordination committee of mutawifs, Abdulwahid Saifuddin, said the spread of Ebola virus might prevent pilgrims from affected countries from performing Haj this year. He noted that no instructions have so far been issued in this regard but concerned bodies may decide on this soon. He explained that this would not be the first time pilgrims are prevented from Haj due to the spread of diseases. Meanwhile, the head of Jeddah Health Affairs, Dr. Sami Badawood, said all necessary precautions and procedures are place to monitor possible Ebola cases at all ports of entry.



71% certified firms ‘violate standards’

RIYADH — The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) said 71 percent of companies who were issued a quality standards mark are found to be in violation of those standards. SASO has issued its quality standard mark to 21 companies during 2013-2014, and the inspection rounds conducted by SASO have shown that 15 of these companies are in violation of the standards. SASO has approved 28,259 quality standards, of which the most important were standards for car brakes, collision tests, engine oils, water tanks and the operation and maintenance of amusement parks.



SFDA cautions against using liquid pumps

MAKKAH — The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has cautioned against the use of liquid pumps in ambulances due a defect that could release liquids at a higher dose. SFDA said these pumps are manufactured by Baxter Healthcare and are mostly used in ambulances to pump necessary liquids into human bodies. “Higher doses may poison patients that will necessitate medical intervention,” SASO added. SASO noted that the pumping speed might increase by 15 percent of the normal rate and cautioned paramedics to be careful when using these pumps. SASO has also asked the public to report any problem they face with medical equipment to the National Center for Medical Devices Reporting through its website



Saudia blamed for wastewater lake

JEDDAH — Saudi Arabian Airlines has been blamed for a wastewater lake that has formed near its compound in the Al-Khaldiyah neighborhood of Jeddah. Residents of the neighborhood have filed many complaints with the city council, saying the lake represented a serious health hazard as it has become a source of foul odor and a breeding ground for insects and rodents. The head of Jeddah city council, Dr. Abdulmalik Al-Jenaidi, said the council has sent a letter to the Saudia management regarding residents’ complaints, but is still awaiting a response. Saudia spokesman Abdullah Al-Ajhar said that the airline management would reply to the complaint after investigating the situation.



Domestic worker kills child, injures another

JEDDAH — A domestic worker allegedly stabbed and killed a 6-year-old girl and injured her 7-year-old sister and then stabbed herself in an attempt to commit suicide. Makkah Police spokesman Lt. Col. Ati Al-Qurashi said the Sharafiyah police station received a notification saying two Arab children were stabbed in a household. He added that security teams attended the site and found one child was already dead, while the other child and the domestic worker, an African national, were critically injured. He noted that the injured were transported to a local hospital and were in a stable condition. The case was referred to concerned bodies.



Two women, child ran over

DAMMAM — Two women and a child were killed when they were crossing Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Road in Dammam. Witnesses said the victims were crossing the road to a shopping mall on the other side, when a speeding car ran them over. All three died on the spot. Eastern Province Red Crescent spokesman Fahd Al-Ghamdi said a citizen notified the Red Crescent of the accident and three ambulances were dispatched to the site to take the bodies to hospital. In another accident on Friday, a vehicle overturned in Rafha, killing a woman passenger and injuring four of her family members. Northern Borders Red Crescent spokesman Musaed Al-Enezi said three ambulances dispatched to accident scene transported the victims to Rafha General Hospital. He added that the woman died of her injuries later in hospital. Other victims sustained various injuries but they are reported to be in a stable condition.



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