February 14, 2009 in Nation/World

Jet’s front wheel fails on landing


The nose wheel of a British Airways passenger jet collapsed with a loud bang as it landed Friday evening at London City Airport, sending the plane scraping across the tarmac with 71 people aboard, officials and witnesses said. All aboard escaped by emergency slides, but one person was taken to a hospital with a minor injury.

The plane was arriving from Amsterdam about 8 p.m. when the front landing gear failed and the front of the plane slammed onto the runway and skidded, officials and firefighters said.

The airline said it did not yet know what caused the landing gear problem on the Avro 146 RJ100, which had been carrying 67 passengers and four crew members. The government sent three investigators to the scene.

Murrieta, Calif.

Polygamist gets seven life terms

A self-proclaimed polygamist was sentenced Friday to seven consecutive life prison terms for torturing some of his 19 children and falsely imprisoning two of his three wives.

Mansa Musa Muhummed, 55, also was sentenced to additional terms totaling 16 years and eight months by Riverside County Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson III, who said Muhummed’s treatment of his family amounted to “a reign of terror over defenseless children.”

At his trial, several of Muhummed’s children and stepchildren testified against him, telling jurors they had been beaten, starved, strung up by their feet and forced to eat vomit and feces.

Muhummed – whose given name was Richard Boddie – denied the charges and blamed one of his wives for the alleged abuse. He was a convert to the Muslim faith, which he said gave him the right to have multiple wives.

“They need to adjust their lives as they see fit and hope and pray God has mercy on them,” he said of his children. He also told the court that he accepted he may have made mistakes as a father.


Military bomb runs trigger mass panic

A military exercise in southern China set off mass panic among local residents who thought an earthquake had struck with about 100,000 people fleeing their homes, state media reported Saturday.

Frightened residents slept outdoors following the live-fire exercise Wednesday by an air force brigade near the city of Hengyang in Hunan province, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Pressure waves from exploding bombs shook homes and rattled windows, and rumors of an earthquake spread quickly by phone and over the Internet, the report said.

Earthquake fears spread throughout China after last May’s massive temblor in Sichuan province that left about 90,000 people dead or missing. The 7.9 magnitude quake rocked buildings in Beijing and other cities thousands of miles from the epicenter.

From wire reports

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