This Week Around the World

Feb. 2 Bir al-Abd, Egypt: A group of at least six masked individuals planted several explosive devices and exploded a natural gas pipeline that connected Israel to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The pipeline, which began importing Israeli gas in January, provides electricity to homes and factories throughout central Sinai. Authorities temporarily paused the flow of gas in order to extinguish the fire that began after the explosion, but have reported that the gas flow was quickly resumed and no significant loss was caused by the attack. The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack. “Caliphate soldiers targeted…the natural gas line linking the Jews and the apostate Egyptian government,” an IS statement said on the group’s Telegram group chat, according to The Middle East Eye.


Feb. 4 San Andres, Tuxtla, Mexico: A medium-sized truck carrying over 80 migrants from Central America flipped on Feb. 4 while on its way to the United States-Mexico border. At least one person died in the accident, and an additional 81 were injured. The injured passengers were taken to two local hospitals to receive treatment, and the more seriously injured were treated at a temporary shelter set up by officials after the crash. The Mexican National Guard has begun to crack down on migrants on their way to the U.S. border, causing many refugees to rely on smugglers or other dangerous means of transport, according to TeleSUR


Feb. 5 Istanbul, Turkey: A Boeing 737 owned by low-cost Pegasus Airline skidded over 150 feet off the runway before crashing into a 98-foot high ditch. The plane, which was attempting to land in dangerous weather conditions, broke into three pieces after crashing. At least 3 people died in the incident, while 179 were injured. The airport rerouted incoming flights, but resumed air traffic on Feb. 6. The plane’s co-pilot was seriously injured and is receiving treatment at a local hospital. “We are deeply saddened… [But] we are happy that we escaped a greater accident,” Istanbul’s Governor Ali Yerlikaya said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera


Feb. 5-6 Kwekwe, Zimbabwe: At least 20 miners were trapped after a gold mine shaft collapsed on Feb. 5. Mine operators did not discover the collapse until the following morning on Feb. 6 when the miners did not return to the surface after their shift. The rescue operation recovered two bodies by the end of Feb. 6, but authorities believe there are many more to be found in the collapsed mine. “The rescue operation has been going on and we are yet to identify any more miners,” Civil Protection Unit chairman Fortune Mupungu said in a press statement, according to Reuters


Feb. 6 Lodi, Italy: Going over 180 miles per hour, a train was derailed and crashed into a nearby railroad building, injuring 31 people and killing both train drivers. No life threatening injuries have been reported by authorities, and the train drivers are the only deaths as of Feb. 9. “I thought I was dead,” an unnamed survivor told BBC. “I closed my eyes and prayed. The train was going really fast…suddenly I felt a violent blow.” Officials are investigating the accident in an attempt to determine what caused the high-speed train to derail. All trains along the route were suspended or redirected along other rail lines


Feb. 7 Bangui, Central African Republic: A CAR court sentenced five leaders of a Christian militia group to life in prison. The five leaders were accused of leading the mass murder of dozens of Muslims in CAR throughout May 2017, and were found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. “It’s the first time that a sentence for crimes against humanity has been handed down by a CAR court,” Justice Minister Flavien Mbata said in a statement following the convictions, according to Al Jazeera. An additional 28 individuals who were involved in the 2017 killings were sentenced to 10–15 years of forced labor after the court found them guilty of murder and illegal posession of weapons.