NEWS

In Brief

CHILD DIES

Tonsil operation proves fatal for boy in Iraklion after heart problems A nine-year-old boy died yesterday after suffering heart complications following an operation to remove his tonsils at a private medical clinic in Iraklion, Crete, doctors said. After the operation, he was rushed to the intensive care unit of the island’s university hospital but died soon afterward. The local coroner is due to conduct an autopsy to establish the exact cause of death. EKAB CRASH Prosecutor calls for 19 to face trial An Athens prosecutor yesterday called for the indictment to trial of 19 people linked to the crash of a helicopter belonging to the National First Aid Service (EKAB) in January 2001 which killed all five people aboard. The 19 – including officials of EKAB, the Civil Aviation Authority and the manufacturing firm of the Agusta Bell helicopter – face the criminal charge of exposing human beings to danger with possible malice aforethought as well as charges of violation of duty and making a false statement. Helios probe The chief investigator looking into the Helios Airways crash on August 14, Akrivos Tsolakis, yesterday refused to rule out the possibility of some type of human error contributing to the accident, which he called «the most complicated in the history of civil aviation.» Tsolakis said there were still some key facts missing from his investigation. He is due to fly to the UK later this week to interview two British Helios engineers. Faster trains Transport Minister Michalis Liapis yesterday inaugurated two new trains that are to be used on the Athens-Thessaloniki route and will take travelers between the two cities in 4 hours and 15 minutes. The trains will be air-conditioned and will travel at 200 kilometers per hour. Liapis added that by 2010 the journey time will be slashed to about 3 hours as the train network switches to being electric-powered. Dangerous pens The sale and distribution of Chinese-made pens containing a toxic gelatinous ink has been banned after being deemed unsafe by the Development Ministry’s Consumer Protection Directorate. The gel pens, which have been retailing in sets of 12, were withdrawn from the market after a child swallowed the gelatinous ink – made of the toxic compound diethylen glycol – and had to have his stomach pumped, the directorate said. Forged notes A 26-year-old Rhodes woman who allegedly deposited nine photocopies of 50-euro notes in her account via an ATM machine before trying to withdraw them the next day from a teller has been arrested, local police said. Officers, briefed by bank officials, were waiting for the woman when she turned up to try and collect the money. Firms fined The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) yesterday slammed a total fine of 61,000 euros on nine food producers for failing to meet health standards, selling foreign sugar with a Greek label and doctoring honey. Food for thought The Greek Consumer Center (ELKEKA) yesterday called for strict checks on school canteens as part of an effort to improve children’s eating habits. ELKEKA claims that four in 10 Greek schoolchildren aged between nine and 18 are overweight. The consumer watchdog called on parents and school officials to tackle the problem. Hash swoop Officers from the Special Inspection Service (SIS) arrested a 65-year-old man, his 57-year-old wife and his son, 37, after they found 45 hashish plants growing among an olive grove in the Peloponnese owned by the farmer, the Finance Ministry said yesterday.