Helicopter crash in Port Hills

Updated less than a minute ago

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Fire fighters and helicopters fight the blaze on the Port Hills Christchurch. Photo / Martin Hunter - Christchurch Star
Fire fighters and helicopters fight the blaze on the Port Hills Christchurch. Photo / Martin Hunter – Christchurch Star

A helicopter has crashed in Christchurch’s Port Hills, where authorities are battling a huge fire.

Police say emergency services are at the scene, near Sugar Loaf, with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

A statement sent out just after 3pm said: “Police are attending a helicopter crash in Port Hills, Christchurch.

“Emergency services are at the scene and further information will be released when it becomes available.”

A Fire Service spokeswoman said they were still waiting to get more information about the crash and would release a statement then.

Twelve helicopters have been in the Port Hills since Monday night fighting two wild fires.

St John communications advisor Ian Henderson said it was alerted at 2.16pm.

It has sent an ambulance and first response unit, he said.

Through tears, a woman who answered the phone at Christchurch Helicopters, where former All Black captain Richie McCaw is a shareholder and worked for the past two years, said it was not one of their choppers.

However, she referred all calls to police.

More to come.

– Additional reporting Christchurch Star

Source : New Zealand Herald

Calwell woman settles lawsuit against Canberra Hospital and doctors for $12m

FEBRUARY 13 2017 – 9:41PM

Alexandra Back

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A Calwell woman who was suing the Canberra Hospital and two doctors over alleged failures stemming from migraine drug treatment has settled the case for $12 million.

It had been alleged that as a result of the alleged failures, Stacey Louise Cave, 40, suffered a stroke and brain damage, and was left dependent on a wheelchair.A Canberra woman has settled a lawsuit against the Canberra Hospital, a general practitioner and a neurologist for $12 ...

The case stemmed from Ms Cave’s use of the drug Deseril over many years to treat migraines, which the former teacher had suffered since she was a teenager.

Since the late 1990s, she had been taking the drug under the supervision of a consulting neurologist and her Woden general practitioner Brenda Jean Tait.

During that time, she took regular “Deseril holidays”. The holidays, for four weeks roughly every five months, were designed to reduce the known circulatory risks associated with taking the drug non-stop.

It had been alleged that when a different neurologist, Deakin’s Colin James Andrews, took Ms Cave on as a patient in October 2007, he and Dr Tait failed to ensure she continued to take “Deseril holidays”.

It was alleged that in July 2011, Dr Andrews advised Dr Tait to prescribe another drug, Maxalt wafer, which she did, when they both should have known it should not be given to patients already taking Deseril.

It was alleged that by September 2011, Ms Cave, who was a teacher at Garran Primary School, had been taking Deseril for four years without a break.

Over a week in October that year, Ms Cave went to Dr Tait and the hospital emergency room several times complaining of blurred vision, pounding in the ear and weak limbs.

It was alleged the hospital and Dr Tait missed the signs Deseril was a possible cause of Ms Cave’s symptoms.

On October 11 that year, Ms Cave had a stroke in hospital.

It was alleged she suffered permanent brain injury, limb weakness, blurry vision, and psychiatric injury, and was wheelchair dependent and needed 24-hour care as a result of the hospital and doctors’ alleged failures.

The doctors and hospital had largely denied the alleged breaches of duty of care, except for Dr Tait who had made certain admissions, including in relation to Deseril holidays.

The matter went to full hearing before a dozen barristers and lawyers in the ACT Supreme Court last week. On Monday, they told the court a settlement had been reached.

It is common in medical negligence lawsuits for insurers and indemnity protection societies to indemnify doctors and make decisions in relation to such cases.

Of the $12 million to be paid, the hospital will contribute $3 million and each doctor will contribute $4.5 million.

In a handwritten statement provided by Ms Cave’s lawyers outside court, Ms Cave’s family said she had had “her dignity, her every day function, her ambitions, her goals, her dreams and her hopes stolen from her”.

“Stacey spent 50 weeks in the Canberra Hospital in the most extreme vulnerable state imaginable. It was a terrifying, traumatic and horrific experience.”

They said while they were all deeply affected by the “living nightmare”, the family remained “united through it all; such is the heart, spirit and character of Stacey.”

Also in the statement, Ms Cave implored and encouraged “every single person requiring medication to learn as much as possible about a drug before they take it.”

“Be very clear about which medications must not be taken together. If symptoms or side effects are experienced, seek medical help immediately and without delay.

“Stacey will continue to heal, rebuild her life, contribute to the community and enjoy life as best as she can, with continued love and support of family and friends.”

On Monday, the parties’ barristers also argued about costs, both as between Ms Cave and the defendants and among the three defendants themselves.

Justice John Burns has reserved his decision on costs.


Source : Canberra Times

Russian Government Mulls Alcohol Monopoly on Perfume and Pharmaceuticals

February 13, 2017 — 18:26
— Update: 20:27
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Marina Lystseva / TASS

A top Russian government health official has announced that a state monopoly on alcohol could begin with the country’s perfume and pharmaceutical industries.

Evgeny Bryun, chief psychiatrist for the Russian Health Ministry, warned that any move would be unpopular, but said the proposals would “make a good start.”

Russia’s cosmetics industry has already been left reeling after the government’s temporary ban on selling products with more than 25 percent alcohol in December 2016. Russia’s Drugstore Union told the government that their businesses were suffering amid the ban, which is set to last until March 2017.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev first brought in the restrictions on Dec. 26, 2016 after almost 80 Russians died of alcohol poisoning in the Siberian city of Irkurtsk. The victims had drunk a bath lotion often used as a low-priced “substitute vodka” for its high percentage of alcohol. The product which the victims had consumed was instead found to contain poisonous methyl alcohol.

Consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor claims that the restrictions reduced deaths related to alcohol poisoning by 65 percent over the January holidays.

While alcohol consumption has plunged in Russia in recent years, the amount of spirits consumed by Russians each year remains well above limits set by the World Health Organization. The average Russian adult consumes 10 liters of alcohol in a year, 2 liters more than government guidelines.

Source : Moscow Times

Tausende wollen am Dienstag streiken

Öffentlicher Dienst

Kurz vor neuen Verhandlungen mit den Bundesländern erhöhen die Gewerkschaften den Druck. Am Dienstag wollen Tausende Beschäftigte des öffentlichen Dienstes in den Warnstreik treten.

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Warnstreik in Hamburg (am 9. Februar)


Warnstreik in Hamburg (am 9. Februar)

Am Donnerstag beginnt die dritte Verhandlungsrunde im Tarifkonflikt des öffentlichen Dienstes der Bundesländer. Kurz davor wollen die Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW) sowie die Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft Ver.di den Druck durch Warnstreiks erhöhen. Sie haben Tausende Beschäftigte zu Warnstreiks aufgerufen.

Am Dienstag soll nach Angaben der GEW in Bayern, Bremen, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg, Sachsen-Anhalt und Berlin gestreikt werden. Aufgerufen zu dem Warnstreik sind unter anderem die Landesbeschäftigten von Autobahnmeistereien, Hochschulen, Regierungspräsidien sowie von Sozial- und Erziehungsdiensten und die angestellten Lehrer. Jedes Land organisiere die Proteste eigenständig und setze eigene Schwerpunkte, sagte eine Ver.di-Sprecherin.

Am Mittwoch sind der GEW zufolge Warnstreiks in Thüringen und nochmals in Berlin geplant.

Die Gewerkschaften fordern im aktuellen Tarifkonflikt Verbesserungen mit einem Gesamtvolumen von sechs Prozent. Seit Ende Januar haben bereits Tausende Landesbeschäftigte die Arbeit bei Warnstreiks niedergelegt. Die Arbeitgeber – die Tarifgemeinschaft der Länder (TdL) – lehnen die Forderungen der Gewerkschaften als viel zu hoch ab. Sie selbst haben aber noch kein Angebot vorgelegt.


Der Spiegel

Aeroporto da Portela terá novo terminal para voos internacionais

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ANA vai investir mais em Lisboa do que no Montijo. Obras começam na capital, onde a pista secundária dará lugar a uma nova infraestrutura. São 400 milhões de investimento.

O esgotamento da Portela e a sua extensão para o Montijo tem reunido toda a atenção do setor. Mas é em Lisboa que a ANA – Aeroportos mais vai investir. Ao todo, a gestora aeroportuária deverá aplicar 400 milhões de euros no Aeroporto Humberto Delgado, reservando uma fatia que não deverá ir além dos 250 milhões para o aeroporto complementar, no Montijo.

O maior investimento, apurou o DN/Dinheiro Vivo, será na construção de um novo terminal no aeroporto da Portela, que será uma espécie de ilha no centro da pista. Esta infraestrutura satélite, a construir completamente de raiz, estará ligada por túnel ao atual terminal de passageiros, e servirá os voos internacionais.

O desenho ainda não está totalmente fechado – havendo estudos pela frente -, mas cumpre um projeto já antigo da Vinci que pressupõe o encerramento da pista secundária do aeroporto de Lisboa (13/35) para melhorar os espaços de circulação e escoamento de passageiros. A pista mantém-se em funcionamento por ser a única opção que garante a operação da Portela sempre que existe um fenómeno de “ventos contrários”, mas com o Montijo, que acrescenta duas novas pistas a Lisboa, ganha-se nova margem.

Estas obras em Lisboa, sabe o DN/Dinheiro Vivo, estão previstas arrancar mais cedo do que as que serão efetuadas no aeroporto complementar. No entanto, não deverão criar constrangimentos à operação normal em Lisboa.

No Montijo, tudo deverá ser mais lento, desde logo porque o arranque das obras está dependente da realização de um estudo de impacto ambiental – já anunciado pelo primeiro-ministro aos deputados. “É uma viabilidade que está condicionada ainda a dados que só poderemos ter no final do ano, designadamente sobre o impacto de ser uma zona de migração de pássaros”, disse António Costa, acrescentando que este tipo de estudos pode demorar vários meses.

No entanto, a meta do governo há muito que está traçada: o Montijo deverá abrir a civis no final de 2018, o mais tardar no arranque de 2019. Até porque o setor tem alertado que, com o tráfego a crescer ao ritmo atual, com recordes de passageiros atrás de recordes, será difícil garantir a operacionalidade da Portela. O limite de tráfego estabelecido no contrato de concessão da ANA era de 22 milhões ao ano; em 2016, o limite já foi foi ultrapassado, graças a um crescimento de 12% no número de passageiros.

Amanhã à tarde, o governo e a concessionária dos aeroportos nacionais assinam o memorando que põe a andar os projetos de estudo para a abertura da base militar a civis. Só quando assinar o acordo que estabelece o Montijo como local para instalar o aeroporto é que a gestora avança com os primeiros desenhos para o terminal. Com este plano diretor ainda por fazer, fontes próximas ao processo admitem que entre os mil hectares de base há um local privilegiado para esta instalação – a antiga base da NATO que ali operou, numa unidade separada à da Força Aérea, antes dos desmantelamentos que foram gerais às várias bases da organização. Como está, o edifício não chega, mas o espaço é visto no setor como um dos mais adequados para a instalação do terminal.

Esta construção será o grande investimento da ANA. Mas o aeroporto no Montijo será sempre visto como uma solução de baixo custo, já que ao nível das pistas há pouco a fazer. Cá fora, e para garantir os acessos, a câmara do Montijo estima que sejam necessários 15 milhões de euros.

Esta questão só ficará totalmente assumida no memorando de amanhã, ainda que o presidente da câmara tenha já adiantado, ao DN/ /Dinheiro Vivo, que o documento não passa ao lado das acessibilidades rodoviárias, ao contrário daquele que foi enviado ainda por Sérgio Monteiro, há dois anos.

Diário de Notícias

A killer virus is spreading through Chile’s rats

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A killer virus is spreading through Chile’s rats

With three deaths, Chile’s Hanta virus outbreak continues to play havoc.

Hantavirus can be transmitted by inhaling tiny droplets contaminated with the virus from deer-mouse droppings and urine

By Mohsin Abbas / The Santiago Times Staff

SANTIAGO —Two students are in serious condition in the Chilean capital after being infected with Hanta, a rodent-borne virus that has so far caused five deaths this year in the country.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is an acute, usually severe, infectious disease that can be fatal, present in Chile since the 1990s.

The two boys, a man and a woman, whose identities are kept in reserve, are in a private clinic in capital Santiago, connected to mechanical ventilation and receiving intensive therapy.
This week, in a message on Facebook, the College Institution Teresania of the area of Las Condes requested with “urgency donors of platelets type A, in addition to blood donors of any kind.”
The contagion came after teenagers visited the town of San Carlos in the southern region of Biobío last month.

This year, three fatalities are reported in the country, who were reported to have been infected while working on weed removal in the southern region of Los Ríos.
A 69-year-old man from Arauco, Bío Bío region in west-central Chile was the first hantavirus death recorded in 2017, according to a Bio Bio Chile report.

The last death was a man of 41 years, who was infected while doing his agricultural work in the sector of Punucapa, Valdivia.

Deadly Hanta outbreak linked to rodent-borne virus.

More than 18 cases of Hanta virus infection have been registered so far in 2017 in Chile, with the Ministry of Health reiterating its call to prevent Hantavirus contagion.

“Basically, risk behaviors should be avoided, such as going into scrub or collecting wild fruits; as well as take precautionary measures, such as ventilating warehouses, sealing houses to prevent mice from entering, racking enclosures, keeping trash well covered, trimming grasslands, keeping food well-guarded, using tents with flooring, among others,” the Health ministry said in a statement.

During 2016, a total of 51 cases were registered, with a mortality rate of 21.6%; while in 2015, there were 58 cases with a fatality rate of 43.1%. This means that this year, the disease has a lethality of 27.8%.

A similar virus outbreak has also spread across several US states, and Taiwan, where dozens of people have been diagnosed with hantavirus hemorrhagic fever.

What is Hantavirus?

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is an acute, usually severe, and deadly infectious disease that has been present in Chile since the 1990s.

Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice that shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. The virus can be transmitted to people when nesting materials or dust contaminated by infected rat or mouse urine, droppings and saliva are stirred up, allowing the virus to be breathed in by humans.

The spring and summer season is conducive to the development of the disease, due to the increased circulation of visitors in fields and forests.

The advance of the virus can cause “pulmonary syndrome” and lead to death.

Studies have allowed to establish in Chile a hundred varieties of the virus present in the field mouse or “colilargo” (Oligoryzomis Longicaudatos).

The disease is spread by

– Breathing small fresh or dry drops, or air contaminated by saliva, urine or excrement of an infected mouse.
– Ingestion of food or water contaminated with urine, feces or saliva of these rodents.
– Direct contact with excrements or secretions of infected mice (eg, touching mice, alive or dead, with bare hands, direct contact of wounds with mice or their urine, saliva or feces).
– Touch any object where the virus has been deposited (tools, utensils, furniture, clothes) and then bring the hand to the nose, eyes or mouth.
– Being bitten by an infected mouse.
– There is no evidence of virus transmission by insects, domestic animals or livestock. In Argentina, a case of possible person-to-person transmission has been reported, although the mechanism of this transmission is unknown.
– Respiratory infection occurs in closed places with recent presence of mice, so transmission is rare in open places, exposed to wind and sun.

Hanta virus has already killed three people in Chile in 2017.

The Symptoms of Hantavirus

The initial symptoms of Hantavirus are very similar to a common cold, which are fever, muscle aches, acute headache and gastrointestinal disease. But later on, kidney and lung complications appear, which in 40% of cases cause death.
Fatigue, fever and muscle aches may be accompanied by headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Later symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath. If hantavirus is suspected, people should contact their health care provider immediately and mention any potential exposure to rodents, their nests or their waste.

How to prevent it?

Faced with this new diagnosis of the disease, authorities have reiterated calls for the population to take preventive measures. And although its lethality has fallen during the last decades in Chile, the disease – transmitted by air, when inhaling the aerosols of feces, urine or saliva of the wild mouse colilargo – continues to cause the death to about a third of the infected.

During the summer, the Ministry of Health conducts a strong campaign aimed at people who go on vacation and spend the night outdoors or homes that have been abandoned during the year, so that they take the greatest precautions in order to avoid contact with stool or mouse urine.

Patients with confirmed infections should be admitted to hospitals with ICU beds and often supported with mechanical ventilation between other types of support, while their body fights the virus, as there is no specific treatment.
If the people who present these symptoms are in places of vegetation and wild fauna without having the minimum precautions of protection, they must immediately go to an enclosure of assistance.

Campaign for Camps

As the summer holidays have begun, thousands of people are travelling to rural areas of the country, where historically the greatest number of Hanta Virus in Chile has been concentrated, due to the presence of the so-called “colilarga mouse”, which transmits the disease when inhaling aerosols Of their feces, urine or saliva.
For this, the Chilean health ministry gives a series of recommendations that must be taken into account when they are in these places outdoors:

If you go to the countryside:

– Maintain a sanitary strip of 30 meters around the houses or enclosures, where it is kept clear of garbage and weeds that can be used as food or shelter by the mice. With short grass and holds or sheds outside that perimeter. Also leave out the straw clusters and place them on platforms 20 centimeters high.
– Keep the trash in closed containers and resistant material, as well as drinking water and food not yet consumed.
– If it is necessary to weed, to apply rodenticide products seven days before.
– Seal the possible routes of entry of rodents to buildings with resistant materials (steel, cement), but with systems that facilitate their permanent ventilation.
– Prior to entering places that have been closed, it is recommended to ventilate for 30 minutes, opening doors and windows.
– In enclosed spaces with dust accumulation, a disinfectant solution must be sprayed before cleaning to avoid the formation of aerosols. Surfaces should be wiped with a cloth moistened with this solution: a dilution of 30 ml (two tablespoons) of 10% chlorine in five liters of water is recommended.
– During grooming activities, thick rubber gloves should be worn. Once the work is finished, it is recommended to wash the hands with the gloves placed in a solution detergent or disinfectant, then remove them and wash the hands with abundant water and soap.
– Food or other elements with evidence of having been contaminated by rodents, should be removed in double plastic bag, after spraying with disinfectant solution, and buried no less than 60 centimeters deep.
– Always camping in authorized camping, open places and where there is no evidence of rodents.
– Use tents with floors, completely sealed and clean the area where you want to camp.
– To transit by paths or enabled paths and not to go in places with abundant vegetation.
– Avoid collecting wild fruits or firewood.

Environmental Epidemiological Surveillance

Based on the five confirmed cases in the Bíobio Region, the Seremi de Salud instructed an environmental epidemiological investigation to accurately verify the sites of contagion. This was done through a fieldwork that involves the review of exposed contacts, where it is requested that the risk areas are free from the traffic of people, and it is evaluated if there are residents and focus control is carried out, corresponding to sanitary education to the inhabitants.
One of the first results was the beginning of a sanitary summary against a private individual who disposed of his property as a camping area, without the minimum sanitary conditions for its operation.

Source : Santiago Times

9,700 bone fragments found in Coahuil

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Sifting for bone fragments in Coahuila.

Parents’ organization has helped locate nearly 38,000 fragments in Laguna region

Volunteers continue to find human remains in the Coahuila municipality of San Pedro de las Colonias.

In the last four days, members of Grupo Vida, an organization of parents whose children have disappeared, have turned up more than 9,700 bone fragments in the ejido of Santa Elena.

The group has been working in the municipality and other parts of the Laguna region since 2015, during which time they have discovered at least 37,900 bone fragments in four different ejidos. One of those was El Patrocinio, where 14,000 fragments were found.

The most recent finds consist of fragments of skulls, vertebrae, femurs and even teeth, said Grupo Vida president Silvia Ortíz de Sánchez Viesca, who said that although the number of fragments is large, they cannot tell if it is a hidden grave they have found because so far they have not come across an entire body.

One challenge facing investigators at this point is the absence of genetic profiles for many of the people who have disappeared in the state. The Coahuila Attorney General has a registry of 1,800 people missing but there is genetic information for only half of them.

Ortíz is urging families of the victims to come forward and provide DNA samples to the Attorney General’s office. She said Governor Rubén Moreira and Attorney General Homero Ramos Gloria have agreed to launch a campaign to that end.

About 20 people are working on the Santa Elena site, including personnel from the Federal Police scientific division and stage agencies. Ortíz said they are accompanied by Grupo Vida members, who spend seven hours a day searching for burial sites.


 Source : Mexico Daily News

Bafut Fon Hails Solar Energy

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The Fon of Bafut, Abumbi III, has praised Bafut sons and daughters in the diaspora for bringing solar energy to Bafut.

Speaking recently at the inauguration of the first-ever solar panel in Bafut, Fon   Abumbi said; “I am humbled by my children in the diaspora for bringing to Bafut for the first time something we have been hearing happening in other towns.  They have brought development in Bafut, because from Agyati neighbourhood the solar panel will extend to other villages and the noisy generators that have scared wild animals and birds will cease to exist.

The Fon said the youths are going to engage themselves in commercial activities because the [solar] panel is cheaper, reliable and environmental friendly.

The initiators of the project, Dr. Stephane Ngongalah, CEO of Peacemakers, Fube Ngwa, CEO of Gumption Music Group, and Walters Ntumngia, CEO of Project New Bamenda told the people of Bafut to make good use of the solar panel, which carries the name “Back Home Solar”.

“Solar Energy for Cameroon is offering clean, efficient and reliable electricity. Our goal at Back Home Solar LLC is to provide you with the best solar products for your electricity needs at affordable prices. Our USA trained engineers can also design custom solutions for your home business and village installation projects.  Our packages cost only FCFA 25,000 and you will have constant electricity supply for your mobile charging, TVs and more,” the trio declared.

Dr. Ngongalah, said Back Home Solar is coming to facilitate entrainment, reduce rape and other crimes.

The engineer of Back Home Solar, Mrs. Fese Epie, said the entire system of the solar panel that each home will buy has a duration of more than 25 years.

“You can take the solar panel to your farms and even where you rare cattle and you will enjoy our products,” Fese Epie noted.

The population was assured that with the branch office of Back Home Solar at Mile 4 in Limbe in the Southwest, their worries will be tackled speedily.


Source : Cameroon Post Line

Cameroon may double its cocoa production via whole crop processing

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On May 5, 2015, Cameroonian Minister of Agriculture, Essimi Menyé, launched the whole crop processing campaign for 2015. “Previously, we only processed 20% of the crop. From now on, we will be processing all the nation’s production basins,”stated Minister Essimi Menyé.

According to Ministry of Agriculture, although the aging of plantations and farmers alike is a hindrance to improving cocoa production, the bad processing of Cameroonian cocoa has reduced current yield by 40 to 50%.
More appropriate processing methods would therefore help to reduce the above-mentioned losses and also substantially increase national production.
Indeed, Cameroun could quickly achieve 400,000 tonnes of annual production. The average yield over the last five seasons was 200,000 tonnes. Cameroon is aiming to produce 600,000 tonnes by 2020.
Source : Cameroon Daily Net

Cartel chiefs arrested in Cancún and Playa de Carmén

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Security forces at work in Quintana Roo.

Some drug cartel bosses were picked up on the weekend by federal security forces in the Quintana Roo cities of Cancún and Playa del Carmen.

Federal Police arrested two presumed leaders of the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación while they were traveling in a luxury sport vehicle, in which police found firearms.

In Playa del Carmen it was the Army that captured four presumed members of Los Zetas as they were collecting extortion money from a bar, according to state officials.

The Army wasn’t alone: it was aided by federal, state and tourism police, a force that was about 80-strong.

Violence flared in the city January 16 when gunman began firing during a music festival at the Blue Parrot bar, in which six people were killed and 15 wounded.

Source : Mexico Daily News