April 28, 2008 in Nation/World

World in brief: Owner questioned after fire kills 55

The Spokesman-Review
 

Police detained the owner and manager of a Casablanca mattress factory that went up in flames, killing at least 55 people, a police official said Sunday amid accusations of poor safety standards and locked doors that trapped workers.

Rescue workers found one more body Sunday, and a search dog was seen uncovering body parts a day after the blaze at the factory, located in a poor industrial neighborhood on the edge of Morocco’s sprawling economic capital.

Large piles of mattresses could be seen across the street from the plant on Saturday, and workers alleged this was because the owners had focused on saving products rather than people.

BEIJING

Dozens dead in train collision

A pre-dawn collision today between two passenger trains in eastern China killed at least 43 people and injured 247, a state news agency reported.

Witnesses said a train traveling from Beijing to coastal Qingdao city derailed and hit a second train at about 4:40 a.m., Xinhua News Agency said.

The crash happened in the city of Zibo in Shandong province. The second train had been traveling from Yantai to Xuzhou.

News photos showed the derailed train lying at the bottom of a ditch, with rescuers removing passengers from a carriage that had fallen onto its side.

The head of the Ministry of Railways, Liu Zhijun, was headed to the site to oversee rescue efforts, the Web site of the Shandong government said.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti

President taps banker for PM

President Rene Preval on Sunday chose an international banking official to be the country’s next prime minister, Haitian radio reported.

Radio Metropole said that Preval has designated Ericq Pierre, a senior official with the Inter-American Development Bank, to succeed ousted Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis.

Alexis was ousted following riots over food prices and shortages earlier this month that left seven people dead. Haitian lawmakers fired the prime minister for failing to boost food production.


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