Good Samaritans help tow Montreal transit bus stuck on slippery slope – Montreal

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A winter storm that slammed into Montreal Sunday made for difficult driving conditions.

And when roads become slippery, no vehicle is immune to the perils of driving — not even city buses.

A video making the rounds on social media shows a Société de transport de Montréal (STM) bus being towed up a slippery street in a somewhat unconventional manner.

READ MORE: Winter storm slams Montreal, hampering travel, causing power outages

Three SUV-type vehicles, each strapped to the other, can be seen towing the bus up Pie-IX Boulevard.

Mathieu Grenon was one of the good Samaritans who stopped to help out, with two of his friends.

“We’re equipped to pull people,” he said, adding that when they saw the bus was stuck, they asked the driver if he needed help.

“He told us to go for it,” Grenon said.

WATCH: Winter storm making travel difficult in Montreal

Passengers on the bus were grateful for the help.

“Everybody was happy and they were cheering,” Grenon said.

He did, however, express worry that the good deed might backfire.

“We’re a bit afraid that we will get a ticket,” he said. “But all we wanted to do was help people.”


READ MORE:
Blowing snow could reduce visibility in Montreal and parts of Quebec

In an email, STM spokesperson Isabelle Tremblay said she had been unaware of the video prior to being contacted by Global News.

She wouldn’t comment on whether the bus driver could face sanctions, only confirming that the weather did make for difficult driving conditions.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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United Airlines plane diverted to Goose Bay leaves passengers stuck on board for 16 hours

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Passengers travelling from Newark, N.J. to Hong Kong weren’t expecting to stop off in Goose Bay, N.L. for 16 hours this weekend. (@sonjaydutterson/Twitter)

A United Airlines plane diverted to Goose Bay Airport in Labrador Saturday night resulted in a lengthy stay on the tarmac, according to passengers who were stranded on the aircraft.

After a wait of about 16 hours, a rescue plane touched down around noon local time, and travellers reported they were transported to the alternate plane by bus after 2 p.m. AT. 

The plane took off for Newark Liberty International Airport shortly before 4 p.m.

In a statement to CBC News, the airline says United Flight 179 travelling from Newark, N.J., to Hong Kong was originally diverted to Goose Bay, N.L., due to medical emergency, where medical personnel met the plane and brought the passenger to hospital.

However, a mechanical issue prevented the plane from taking off again. Passengers were not able to leave the aircraft because customs officers were not available overnight, United said.

The airline told CBC News 250 passengers were on board.

Paramedics responded to a medical emergency on the plane that required crew to make an unplanned landing at the Goose Bay airport. (Submitted by Sonjay Dutt)

The airline believes cold weather caused a door on the plane to malfunction, preventing takeoff. Happy Valley-Goose Bay is currently grappling with an extreme cold warning issued by Environment Canada, with temperatures dipping below -30 C.

Communication poor, passenger says

Temperatures on the plane quickly plummeted to « uncomfortable » levels, said passenger Sonjay Dutt, a professional wrestler en route to Hong Kong for a show.

Crew handed out blankets, but according to Dutt, they were able to offer little else to assuage mounting anger from passengers.

« Communication could be better, » Dutt said in a phone call from the plane. Passengers were told at the start of the delay that a rescue flight had already departed to return them to Newark. An update wasn’t announced until about five hours later, he said.

They were also told the airport didn’t have the customs capacity to handle hundreds of passengers, Dutt added.

Dutt also said food and water was running low until about 10 hours into the delay, when officials delivered Tim Hortons to hungry travellers.

Most appreciated the gesture, Dutt said, but reaction to the offering was muted.

« I think people are so fed up, and so at their wits’ end, that even the sight of food didn’t get everyone up and cheering. »

Other passengers on board tweeted out complaints to United, wondering why they had been told a replacement plane was in the air and were not informed of further delays. Dutt said a pilot told passengers to email United’s CEO with complaints about communication practices.

A Twitter account sprang up Sunday morning poking fun at the situation.

In its statement Sunday morning, United said an alternative aircraft had been sent to Goose Bay to fly passengers back to Newark if mechanics are unable to fix the malfunctioning door.

Passengers reported that rescue plane touched down around noon and they waited another two hours to be transported to the alternate plane by bus.

The airline said it had food delivered to the plane and the second aircraft would provide more meals for passengers.

United said it apologizes to its customers and and would do everything possible to assist them during the delay.

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Woman dies after found stuck partially inside a clothing donation bin

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A woman found partially inside a west-end clothing donation bin and without vital signs was pronounced dead early Tuesday morning.

Emergency crews were called around 1:30 a.m. ET to the Dovercourt Road-Bloor Street area after receiving reports that a woman was inside the bin.

Paramedics performed CPR on her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, Toronto EMS told CBC Toronto.

The circumstances surrounding the incident do not appear suspicious and the death is likely accidental, police told CBC video producer Tony Smyth at the scene.

Last week, The Canadian Press reported at least seven Canadians have died after getting stuck in clothing donation bins, leading one advocate in B.C. to call them « death traps. »

Late last month, a 34-year-old man died in a West Vancouver donation bin, while a 32-year-old man was found dead inside a bin in Cambridge, Ont., last November.

The bins’ hatches are designed to prevent theft of donations. But they can also trap someone leaning in too far.

The spate of deaths has led some to call for the bins to be redesigned or removed.

Loretta Sundstrom, whose 45-year-old daughter died in 2015 after getting stuck in a bin, told CBC’s World Report last week that she cried at news of the man’s death in West Vancouver. She said something must be done about the bins’ safety risk.

« Shut them all down, » she said. « Shut them all down and get a designer and redesign these things. »

In the wake of the man’s death, West Vancouver closed all of its bins.

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‘I will always be the man who was stuck at the airport’: Refugee wants to help others

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The transition from living in an airport to freedom in a new country has not been as easy as expected for Syrian refugee Hassan Al-Kontar, who arrived in his new home in Whistler, B.C., a little more than a month ago.

But amid the challenges of a new life, a purpose is taking shape: He wants to help people who are trapped in similar  circumstances.

« I will always be the man who was stuck at the airport — that’s the reality, that’s what the rest of my life is, so better to use it to help others, » Al-Kontar said.   

Al-Kontar spent seven months living in limbo in the transit area of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, followed by two months in an immigration detention centre after being deported from the United Arab Emirates when his work visa expired 

After a group of Whistler residents and the B.C. Muslim Association lobbied on his behalf and sponsored his move to Canada, Al-Kontar landed in Vancouver at the end of November.

But soon after he arrived in Whistler he realized he needed to find a new purpose.

« When I was back at the airport, I knew what I was looking for: to be safe, to be legal, to have a place where I can call home, » Al-Kontar told Laura Lynch, guest host of CBC Radio’s The Early Edition.

« I thought Canada was the end of the story. »

Instead, it’s proven to be a « new beginning » with equally new challenges, Al-Kontar said.

« I still feel the pressure a little bit, » he said.

« I’m still having an amazing time here in Whistler and in Canada in general — people are amazing. » But the challenges are « something personal, » he said.

Al-Kontar arrives in Vancouver International Airport on Nov. 26, 2018. (Ben Nelms/Canadian Press)

‘I feel that responsibility’

Al-Kontar, who saw snow for the first time in Whistler, was planning to work at a hotel in the resort town, but now hopes to use his experience as a stranded refugee to help others in a similar position.

« I receive a lot of messages from other people all around the world asking for help, » he said.

« I’m still an individual at the end of the day who doesn’t know what to do exactly, but I feel that responsibility. »

Al-Kontar said his story is both personal and a reflection of the reality of war in Syria.

He was recently in Toronto, giving a talk to students about his experiences and answering « deeper questions » about the Syrian conflict and refugee crisis.

He said he hopes to continue raising awareness about the conflict and to advocate for other refugees.

« Things are not that clear that in my mind, but I have a lot on my list, » Al-Kontar said.

The transition from living in an airport for months on end to normal life has not been as easy as expected for Syrian refugee Hassan Al-Kontar, who arrived in his new home in Whistler, B.C. just over a month ago. 9:00

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Man dies after getting stuck in clothing donation bin in West Vancouver

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A man is dead after he was found stuck in a clothing donation bin in West Vancouver on Sunday morning.

First responders received a call just before 8:30 a.m. from an off-duty physician who discovered the man near Ambleside Park at the intersection of 13th Street and Bellevue Avenue, according to Const. Jeff Palmer, spokesperson for the West Vancouver Police Department.

Palmer said the man was unresponsive and stuck partway in the opening of the bin. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Donation bins are found in parking lots and along roadsides across Metro Vancouver. The hatches are designed to keep goods inside and protected, but if a person gets trapped in the mechanism, they can be constricted and killed.

The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death, but Palmer said there is no indication of any foul play.

« It does appear this is a very tragic but accidental death, » said Palmer.

The family of the 34-year-old Vancouver resident has been notified of his death, but his identity has not been released.

Palmer said there have been no other clothing bin injuries or deaths in West Vancouver

In July, a woman in her 30s died after being stuck in a clothing bin on Vancouver’s West Side, and a man was found dead in Surrey after getting caught in a clothing donation bin near Guildford in 2016.

‘Change needs to happen now’

Sunday’s death renewed the call for change from a Vancouver-based charity that works with the homeless on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Union Gospel Mission (UGM) spokesperson Nicole Mucci said the death is « absolutely gut-wrenching » and added that donations bins need to be removed from the streets until they are safe.

« If UGM had bins like this, we would have taken them off the streets long ago. We have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members in our population, » said Mucci.

« If one life has been lost, that’s one life too many. Change needs to happen now. »

As of Monday evening, the donation bin had been cordoned off with police tape but had not yet been removed from its location.

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B.C. mother stuck in Africa with newly adopted son because of Canadian red tape is hospitalized

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A B.C. mother who is stuck in Ghana, Africa as she awaits Canada to approve her newly adopted son’s immigration papers has been hospitalized.

Kim Moran, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, is being kept overnight for assessment after her husband, Clark Moran, told Global News she has been struggling to walk.

Kim and her husband travelled to Nigeria on Aug. 1 where they met their two-year-old son Ayo for the first time.


READ MORE:
Canadian government ‘red tape’ holding up B.C. family’s adoption of Nigerian toddler

“Ayo fit in right away … He is so sweet and has the biggest smile,” Clark said.

Kim has been stuck in Africa for the past four months waiting for Ottawa to process documents.

She said the adoption is complete, but that the government is failing in its responsibility to bring them home.

“Everything they have asked for we have given them. We’ve had all the forms authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all the forms are in order … This is a process that in most places would have only taken a week,” she told Global News through Skype in early November.

“We had been told it was basically a stamp and we would be on our way,” Clark added.

After thinking the adoption was ready to proceed, he flew back to Abbotsford for work.

“I thought they were just a few days behind … maybe that was foolishness,” he said.

“But it was kind of what we were led to believe.”

Almost four months later and the family is still separated and the situation is now dire, Kim’s family said.

Clark and Kim Moran along with their adopted son Ayo.

Kim Moran/Facebook


READ MORE:
Ontario couple forced to return daughter to Nigerian orphanage because Canada refused to help

“[Her multiple sclerosis] needs to be monitored every month,” Cindy Jeans told Global News from her home in Port Hope, Ont.

“She needs to get home to see her specialist to get the proper care that she needs.”

Clark said Kim called Global Affairs emergency hotline to see if they could get a temporary visa for Ayo, but was told there is nothing that could be done.

He said he is extremely worried about his wife’s health, adding it has been a “tearful” day.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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