Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Divers Find Remains of Finnish WWII Plane That Was Shot Down by Moscow With US Diplomat Aboard

A diving and salvage team in Estonia said this week that it had located well-preserved parts and debris from the Junkers Ju 52 plane operated by Finnish airline Aero - The AP
A diving and salvage team in Estonia said this week that it had located well-preserved parts and debris from the Junkers Ju 52 plane operated by Finnish airline Aero - The AP
TT

Divers Find Remains of Finnish WWII Plane That Was Shot Down by Moscow With US Diplomat Aboard

A diving and salvage team in Estonia said this week that it had located well-preserved parts and debris from the Junkers Ju 52 plane operated by Finnish airline Aero - The AP
A diving and salvage team in Estonia said this week that it had located well-preserved parts and debris from the Junkers Ju 52 plane operated by Finnish airline Aero - The AP

The World War II mystery of what happened to a Finnish passenger plane after it was shot down over the Baltic Sea by Soviet bombers appears to finally be solved more than eight decades later.

The plane was carrying American and French diplomatic couriers in June 1940 when it was downed just days before Moscow annexed the Baltic states. All nine people on board the plane were killed, including the two-member Finnish crew and the seven passengers — an American diplomat, two French, two Germans, a Swede and a dual Estonian-Finnish national.

A diving and salvage team in Estonia said this week that it had located well-preserved parts and debris from the Junkers Ju 52 plane operated by Finnish airline Aero, which is now Finnair. It was found off the tiny island of Keri near Estonia's capital, Tallinn, at a depth of around 70 meters (230 feet), The AP reported.

“Basically, we started from scratch. We took a whole different approach to the search,” Kaido Peremees, spokesman for the Estonian diving and underwater survey company Tuukritoode OU, explained the group’s success in finding the plane’s remains.

The downing of the civilian plane, named Kaleva, en route from Tallinn to Helsinki happened on June 14, 1940 — just three months after Finland had signed a peace treaty with Moscow following the 1939-40 Winter War.

The news about the fate of the plane was met with disbelief and anger by authorities in Helsinki who were informed that it was shot down by two Soviet DB-3 bombers 10 minutes after taking off from Tallinn’s Ulemiste airport.

“It was unique that a passenger plane was shot down during peacetime on a normal scheduled flight,” said Finnish aviation historian Carl-Fredrik Geust, who has investigated Kaleva’s case since the 1980s.

 

 

 

 



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : 3 Hikers Die in Utah Parks as Temperatures Hit Triple Digits

(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)
(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)
TT

3 Hikers Die in Utah Parks as Temperatures Hit Triple Digits

(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)
(FILES) The view from the Grand View Point Outlook in the Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Mark Ralston / AFP)

Three hikers died over the weekend in suspected heat-related cases at state and national parks in Utah, including a father and daughter who got lost on a strenuous hike in Canyonlands National Park in triple-digit temperatures.
The daughter, 23, and her father, 52, sent a 911 text alerting dispatchers that they were lost and had run out of water while hiking the 8.1 miles (13 kilometers) Syncline Loop, described by the National Park Service as the most challenging trail in the Island in the Sky district of the southeast Utah park. The pair set out Friday to navigate steep switchbacks and scramble through boulder fields with limited trail markers as the air temperature surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
Park rangers and a helicopter crew with the Bureau of Land Management began their search for the lost hikers in the early evening Friday, but found them already dead. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office identified them on Monday as Albino Herrera Espinoza and his daughter, Beatriz Herrera, of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Due to the jagged terrain, safety officials used a helicopter to airlift the bodies out of the park and to the state medical examiner on Saturday morning, according to the sheriff's office. Their deaths are being investigated as heat-related by the local sheriff and the National Park Service, The Associated Press reported.
Later Saturday, first responders in southwest Utah responded to a call about two hikers “suffering from a heat related incident” at Snow Canyon State Park, which is known for its lava tubes, sand dunes and a canyon carved from red and white Navajo Sandstone.
A multi-agency search team found and treated two hikers who were suffering from heat exhaustion. While they were treating those individuals, a passing hiker informed them of an unconscious person nearby. First responders found the 30-year-old woman dead, public safety officials said.
Her death is being investigated by the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department. She has not been identified publicly.
Tourists continue to flock to parks in Utah and other southwestern states during the hottest months of the year, even as officials caution that hiking in extreme heat poses serious health risks.
A motorcyclist died earlier this month in Death Valley National Park in eastern California, and another motorcyclist was taken to a hospital for severe heat illness. Both were part of a group that rode through the Badwater Basin area amid scorching weather.
The air temperature in Death Valley reached at least 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius) for nine consecutive days July 4-12 — the park’s longest streak at or above that temperature since the early 1900s, the National Park Service announced Monday. Now, parts of the park are experiencing a multiday power outage triggered by a thunderstorm as temperatures continue to linger just above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius).
Late last month, a Texas man died while hiking in Grand Canyon National Park, where summer temperatures on exposed parts of the trails can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Elsewhere on Monday, authorities said a 61-year-old man was found dead inside his motor home in eastern Washington state. The man likely died Wednesday when the temperature in the area reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius), Franklin County Coroner Curtis McGary said.
Authorities also suspected heat in the death of an 81-year-old man Saturday in Oregon but have released no further details. His death brings the state's tally of suspected heat-related deaths to 17 since the July 4 weekend, The Oregonian/Oregonlive.com reported.