Daily News Roundup

May 22, 2018

Woman dies in Brisbane CBD after being hit by a bus

A WOMAN has died after she was hit by a bus in the centre of Brisbane.

Police confirmed this morning the female pedestrian has died on the corner of Ann and Wharf streets in the CBD.

Paramedics and police officers rushed to the scene just after 7am to find the female with serious injuries. She has since died.

It’s believed the woman was crossing the road when she was struck by the bus.

Senior Sergeant Simon Taylor advised early morning commuters to avoid the area.

“It will cause enormous delays for traffic in and around the city so we’re asking people to please avoid the area for a while so we can conduct our investigation,” he told Today.

Former Queensland premier Campbell Newman is drawing online criticism after he took aim at the state’s police, who closed the road for a number of hours to investigate the incident.

The incident occured in one of the busiest areas of the Brisbane CBD and caused traffic chaos for early morning commuters.

“There must be a better way for the Qld Police to deal with a tragic pedestrian death than to shut down the entire northern side of Brisbane and create total and utter chaos extending more than 5km from the CBD,” Mr Newman tweeted.

 Buses were delayed for up to half an hour and the road was closed for up to two hours by forensic crash investigators.

The former premier has drawn the ire of a number of his Twitter followers.

Police are now in the process of collecting CCTV from nearby buildings to try and figure out exactly what happened.

The bus involved in the accident is believed to be a Brisbane City Council vehicle and the driver is currently speaking to police.

A woman, who works nearby, told the Courier Mail the crash was completely silent.

“There was no yells, no screams,” she said. “I just saw people run over.”

Ann Street was closed for several hours as forensic crash officers investigators.

Hawaii lava nearing geothermal power plant

Lava from the erupting Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island is flowing towards a geothermal power plant as workers scrambled to shut it down to prevent the uncontrollable release of toxic gases.

It was the latest danger from Mount Kilauea’s eruption, which geologists say is among the worst events in a century from one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

The Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) plant, which provides about 25 per cent of power on the Big Island, has been closed since shortly after the eruptions began on May 3 and about 227,124 litres of flammable pentane used in the plant’s turbines have already been relocated.

Workers were now trying to shut down the plant’s three wells, which at 1,829 to 2,438 metres underground, tap into extremely hot water and steam used to run turbines and produce electricity.

A berm was holding back lava flowing northwest towards the PGV plant and crews expected to cap two of its three wells, but were having difficulty with a third, the County of Hawaii said.

The state said last week it was pumping cold water into the wells and would cap them with iron plugs. Authorities are looking at alternative measures to kill the third well, Snyder added.

About 5 kms to the east of the plant on the coast, deadly clouds of acid and glass particles billowed into the sky as lava fell into the ocean from two flows blocking Highway 137, one of the main exit routes from the volcano area.

Another hazard is methane explosions as lava comes close to pockets of decaying vegetation that created the flammable gas.

Geologists say Kilauea’s eruption, which has already produced around two dozen lava-spewing cracks, has now entered a more violent phase, in which larger volumes of molten rock are streaming out of fissures and travelling further than previous flows.

At least 44 homes and other structures have been destroyed in the Leilani Estates and Laipuna Gardens area of the Puna district, and a man was seriously injured on Saturday when a plate-sized chunk of rock shot out of a fissure.

Police, border cops hunt Games overstayers

Border Force officers have teamed up with state police to hunt 50 people in hiding after overstaying visas they were given to attend the Commonwealth Games.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says officers have launched an operation to find the athletes and officials who disappeared after the Gold Coast event last month.

“Border Force is working on that at the moment, but if people go to ground they are difficult to find,” he told the Nine Network on Tuesday.

“There will be a lot of work done with the state police forces to try and identify where these people are. Yeah, it won’t be easy, but they will pop up.”

A Senate committee on Monday heard 205 people had been given temporary bridging visas after those they entered on to attend the Games expired.

Mr Dutton said 190 of those had applied for asylum in Australia, with 15 applying for other types of visas.

One person issued a visa to attend the Commonwealth Games has been taken into immigration detention.

Mr Dutton expressed frustration at the bridging visa system, which allows applicants to remain in Australia while their cases are assessed and appealed.

“If you are on a bridging visa there are benefits available, and some of the cases can go on for a period of time,” he said.

“This is one of the great frustrations that I have.

“We are looking at the way we can restrict some of the benefits and the AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) is looking at that, the legal process; people should get their day in court, but at the moment it is dragging out.”

The number of Commonwealth Games visa “overstayers” is far greater than first expected.

Initially, it was believed just 11 participants had not returned home, including five boxers and three wrestlers from Cameroon, two athletes from Uganda and a Rwandan Para-sport powerlifting coach.

Home Affairs deputy secretary Malisa Golightly said the department would assess the 190 claims for protection as quickly as possible.

However, Ms Golightly would not give a guarantee on timing, saying it would depend on how complete each person’s paperwork was.

“They will be assessed according to the standard criteria – that part of the process will be the standard process,” she told senators.

“We will give them priority as far as we can.”

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