F-15 crashes; pilot rescued
TOKYO (AP) — A U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter crashed off the southern Japan island of Okinawa early today after the aircraft developed problems in flight. The pilot ejected and was recovered safely.
The F-15, flying out of Kadena Air Base, went down in the Pacific about 70 miles east of Okinawa, the military said in a statement.
Lt. Col. David Honchul, the chief spokesman for the U.S. Forces, Japan, said the pilot was recovered safely after a search by U.S. and Japanese rescue crews. After he ejected from the plane the pilot remained in contact with the rescuers. He was rescued by a Japanese air force helicopter.
The cause was under investigation. The pilot’s name has not been released. The U.S. military said he was in stable condition and being evaluated at a military hospital on Okinawa.
Malaysian river ferry capsizes
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — An overloaded ferry capsized after hitting rocks in a remote river in Malaysia’s part of tropical Borneo island today, leaving an unknown number of people missing, police said. Some survivors swam ashore, and a search was under way.
The vessel was believed to be carrying much more than its recommended limit of 74 passengers, said Bakar Sibau, a district police chief in Malaysia’s Sarawak state.
Bakar said there appeared to be dozens of survivors, but he did not have exact numbers. Some people swam ashore, and police divers, fire department officers and villagers were searching for the missing passengers.
“We hope they will be OK,” Bakar said.
The boat was packed because many people are heading to their home villages for a harvest festival holiday that Borneo’s indigenous tribes will celebrate later this week.
Police unhurt in bomb attack
DUBLIN (AP) — Northern Ireland police say two officers have escaped injury after two pipe bombs were thrown at their vehicle after they responded to a bogus emergency call.
No group claimed responsibility for today’s ambush in an Irish Catholic part of north Belfast. But Irish Republican Army splinter groups regularly target police as part of their efforts to undermine Northern Ireland’s peace process.
A senior policeman, Chief Inspector Andy Freeburn, says it was “sheer good fortune” that both officers were not killed or wounded.
The officers reported two distinct blasts as they stepped out of their vehicle shortly after midnight.
Police sheltered local residents overnight in a nearby gymnasium.
Gunmen kill polio worker
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Police say gunmen in Pakistan have shot dead a female polio worker and wounded another in the northwest.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for slaying the vaccination workers, who have become frequent targets of attacks.
Some Pakistani militants allege that polio workers are U.S. spies and that the vaccine makes people sterile.
Police officer Mushtaq Khan says the two women were attacked today in Kaggawala village where they went as part of a U.N.-backed anti-polio campaign.