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Russia: Helicopter Crash in Northwestern Siberia Kills Nineteen people

It took a rescue team hours to find the crash site due to fog and poor visibility

FILE - A Russian military Mi-8 helicopter. VOA

Russia, October 23, 2016: Nineteen people were killed Saturday when a helicopter carrying oil workers crashed in northwestern Siberia. Weather may be to blame, the Russia aviation agency reported.

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Russian officials said the Mi-8 helicopter carrying 22 people was flying from Vankor to Staryi Yrengoi in the Yamalo-Nenets region when the incident happened 45 kilometers from Staryi Urengoi.

According to a preliminary investigation, all three crew members and 16 of the 19 workers onboard died at the scene. The helicopter was taking workers from a subcontractor of Russian oil giant Rosneft, TASS state news reported.

It took a rescue team hours to find the crash site due to fog and poor visibility.

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Emergency workers found the helicopter lying on its side, but they were still able to save three people from the wreckage.

The three passengers are reported to have suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. They were able to call rescuers on the phone from inside the helicopter after it crashed, saying the aircraft “flew into strong winds and fell.”

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Russia’s civil aviation authority has opened an investigation, but said “based on preliminary data, the incident could be linked to unfavorable weather conditions.”

Officials said a special commission will investigate the crew’s decision to fly during adverse weather.

President Vladimir Putin extended his condolences to the victims’ relatives and loved ones.(VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?