Archive for 2018

Preliminary report on the INEM helicopter accident investigation

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Preliminary report on the INEM helicopter accident investigation

Following the accident with the INEM helicopter on December 15, which killed four people, the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) has presented the preliminary report of the investigation process determined by the Minister of Internal Administration.

The report points to flaws in NAV and 112 in INEM helicopter crash

According to the preliminary report of the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) the response time following the accident last Saturday, may have been compromised by delays in communication by NAV and 112.

According to the document, both NAV Portugal and the Operational Center of Norte – 112 (CONOR) did not make contact with the coordination centre of the Portuguese Air Force “with the necessary timing, and this could have compromised the response time of the search response and rescue”

The report published today (18th December 2018) by the ANPC emphasizes that this was “an absolutely exceptional occurrence”. The report points to several flaws in the way the various authorities reacted to the accident that resulted in the death of the four occupants.

From the outset, NAV Portugal for 20 minutes, from 19.20 to 19.40 hours, developed its own procedures, “to the detriment of compliance with the provisions of the National Operational Directive.” The report also points the finger at CONOR (112) who, “after contacting citizens, did not warn the CDOS of Porto, giving preference to the dispatch of means of the security forces and did not initiate proceedings with the ANPC to restrict the search area “.

It concludes that “contact with the Rescue Coordination Centre of the Portuguese Air Force to identify a possible accident with an aircraft, both by NAV Portugal and CONOR (112) was not carried out with the necessary timing and could have compromised the response time of the search and rescue means “.

The preliminary report of the ANPC also stresses that the weather conditions and the terrain were determining factors for carrying out the searches

In view of the conclusions of the 15 page preliminary report, the Minister for Home Affairs stated the following actions will be taken:

  • sending the report to the Prime Minister;
  • sending the report to the Minister of National Defence and to the Minister of Planning and Infrastructures to clarify the circumstances of non-compliance with the procedures set forth in Operational Directive No. 4 – Air Force Integrated Accident Response Device by the Air Force and NAV;
  • sending the report to the Minister of Health;
  • sending the report to the Attorney General of the Republic for the proper investigation

The Minister of Internal Administration also directed the ANPC, in coordination with the Air Force, NAV, PSP, GNR, the Porto Civil Protection District Commission and the Valongo City Council, to thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding the communication of the occurrence and the mobilization of resources aimed at fully clarifying the facts and the presentation of proposals for correction of applicable procedures and norms.

The preliminary assessment of the wreckage that has been possible so far indicates that the aircraft crash occurred following a collision with an existing broadcasting antenna in the area,” he revealed in a note sent to Lusa, the Office for the Prevention and Investigation of Accidents with Aircraft and Railroad Accidents (GPIAAF).

“This collision may have been caused by a number of possible causes, which can be duly clarified only after all necessary information has been gathered and in the course of further investigation.”

Public who took pieces of the helicopter may have harmed investigation

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

According to the air accident investigations office, the public who removed pieces of helicopter from the National Institute of Emergency Medical (INEM) helicopter that fell on Saturday in Valongo municipality, causing four deaths, “may have hampered the investigation.”

Since Sunday, when a team from the Office of Aircraft Accident Prevention and Investigation (GPIAAF) initiated the expertise and data collection on the spot, those responsible were visible in television reports, in newspapers and in the media online, showing them taking pieces of debris from the helicopter.

“If they were taken [pieces of the wreck] while the perimeter was established, i.e. on day 16 [Sunday], it could have hampered the investigation.” If it was later, all relevant wreckage had already been recorded and collected by investigators, which in this case does not, “explains the GPIAAF, in a written response sent today to the Lusa agency.

The wreckage was scattered over the mountain range where the helicopter crashed for several hundred metres. The GPIAAF recalls that this action, in addition to being able to call into question the investigation, such removal is prohibited by law.

“In general, the information that can be extracted from the wreckage of an accident is fundamental to the investigation of the causes that gave rise to it and may even, in certain situations, be evidence of a crime, so that until the wreckage is properly registered and selected by investigators, nothing should be moved, except as strictly necessary for the relief of victims, “emphasizes the GPIAAF.

The office says that “upon arrival at the site, asked the PSP created two security perimeters in accordance with the applicable rules” in these cases.

“One around the main area of ​​the wreckage and another outside, covering all the wreckage, considering that the necessity of presence of resources in each one of them is different.” The PSP established the said security perimeters accordingly. The topography of the terrain and configuration of access, these perimeters will have proved difficult to control completely, “adds the GPIAAF.

Lusa questioned the Metropolitan Command of the PSP of Porto at what time the security perimeter was set up and how it was possible for the public to access the site and take pieces of the helicopter that could be important for the investigation.

In response, the PSP Command of Porto reported that “communication management” regarding the helicopter crash “is being carried out by the National Civil Protection Authority”, who replied that “a minister of Internal Administration “, reason why” does not grant interviews on the subject “.

The Office of Prevention and Investigation of Accidents with Aircraft and Rail Accidents leaves an appeal to the population.

“In general, we appeal to people to not only to comply with the Law, but to apply common sense by those who are tempted to change the evidence of an accident, albeit unconsciously, which may obstruct the prevention of future accidents. Such actions may also put those involved at risk as the wreckage may be contaminated with hazardous substances or biological waste, “said the agency.

Brexit: No visa but Britons will pay €7 to travel to EU countries

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

Britons will have to pay €7 (£6.30) every three years to travel to EU countries, as a consequence of Brexit.

The European Commission has confirmed that while UK travellers will not need a visa, they will need to apply for and buy another document.

It is called an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), a completely electronic system which allows and keeps track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. In a way, it resembles the U.S Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which serves a similar purpose. The legal procedures to pass the ETIAS have started in 2016, and the system is expected to be in place by 2021.

The ETIAS will undergo a detailed security check of each applicant to determine whether they can be allowed to enter any Schengen Zone country. Since citizens of countries who do not need a visa for travel purposes of up to 90 days in the EU do not need to go through a long process of applying for the visa, the ETIAS will make sure that these people are not a security threat. This travel authorization system will gather, keep track of, and update necessary information regarding visitors to determine whether it is safe for them to enter Schengen countries.

The travel requirement is not just for the UK but for many non-EU countries.

Citizens of EU countries – which currently includes British people – are able to travel anywhere in the EU.

But anyone from a non-EU country has to apply for a visa – unless they are from a special list of 61 countries, which also includes the US, Japan and Australia.

Nationals from these 61 countries can travel within the EU’s Schengen zone – the area where people can travel without border checks – for up to 90 days without a visa.

However, because of the migrant crisis and security concerns over terrorism, the EU has decided to bring in more controls over the countries on this special list.

So it is introducing the ETIAS – an electronic application form – which is Europe’s version of the United States’ $14 ESTA, although as the EU Commission points out, it is “way cheaper”.

What will UK travellers to the EU have to do?

Under the Brexit deal, EU citizens and UK nationals will continue to be able to travel freely with a passport or identity card until the end of the transition period in 2020.

After this period ends, the European Commission has offered visa-free travel for UK nationals coming to the EU for a short stay, as long as the UK offers the same in return.

But although they do not need a visa, UK nationals will need an ETIAS – deal or no deal.

The form – which the EU describes as a “necessary and small procedural step” – will take no more than 10 minutes and anyone between the ages of 18 and 70 must pay the fee, the EU says.

The details needed for the application form will include passport information as well as background questions about criminal records or medical conditions.

Most people will find out if their application has been successful within minutes, the EU says, with more than 95% of applications approved automatically.

Applications can also be denied or take up to four weeks to process.

If successful, the ETIAS will last for three years and allow an unlimited number of entries. The document will be checked by border guards when crossing the EU border.

96-year-old woman assaulted and robbed in her home in Valado dos Frades, in Nazaré

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

On 25th November the woman aged 96 years, who was bedridden and unable to leave, was surprised by the thief, who took advantage of the key being in the door of the room to enter. The culprit punched the old woman’s left eye with a lighter, set fire to the ends of the duvet and blanket, and threatened to set the bed on fire and burn it.

However the daughter of the victim and hers son-in-law, who live in the house next door and who were going to change a light bulb, arrived and confronted the suspect. A neighbour alerted the GNR, whose barracks are 400 meters away, and military officers from the Valado dos Frades and São Martinho do Porto posts responded to the incident.

While the assailant was detained the elderly woman was taken with slight injuries to the hospital in Alcobaça and then to the University Hospitals of Coimbra for examination. She returned home, but was traumatized by the incident, said the officials who provide home support.

The 48-year-old assailant, who lives in the same locality, has criminal records for petty theft and robbery, and was sentenced to four years suspended for pimping. He is now in custody, after having been present the first judicial interrogation on the 27th November, in Leiria. He is accused of committing a crime of aggravated robbery, in the manner attempted, and of four crimes of aggravated threats.

Caldas da Rainha – Four detained for kidnapping and attempted extortion and robbery.

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

Four individuals who tried to extort money from a business man in Caldas da Rainha, forcing him to make a transfer at an ATM, were detained by police late Thursday morning 13th December, near Expoeste, in Caldas da Rainha.

The businessman, about 50 years old, was approached by the four to provide a locksmith service at a construction site in the industrial area of ​​Gaeiras, Óbidos municipality, but when he arrived he was coerced to use a firm’s ATM card and transfer money to the suspects.

The man was taken in a jeep accompanied by two of the men, while the other two followed in another car. They went to Caldas da Rainha, where the businessman tried to prolong the trip to the ATM.

In the meanwhile a relative of the victim, who knew about the service, was able to contact the businessman by mobile phone and realized that something was wrong. He alerted the police, giving the possible destination location that was transmitted to him by the victim using his mobile phone.

Near to the ATM, next to the exhibition centre Expoeste, the police interception was mounted. PSP and GNR military officers arrived and gave orders for the suspects to lie on the ground.

The suspects, aged 30 to 50 from the Lisbon area, are charged with kidnapping and attempted extortion and robbery.

They were present at the first judicial interrogation in the court of Caldas da Rainha, and despite having a criminal record, they were given a term of identity and residency until trial.

According a media report this displeased the police authorities, especially since the individuals were caught in the act.

Judicial Police apprehends three persons suspected of control of women for prostitute

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

Three men, two of them Romanians, were detained by the Judiciary Police on suspicion of forcing women to prostitute themselves in the Bombarral, Lourinhã and Leiria areas.

According to the board of the Center of the PJ, the trio is charged with trafficking in human beings, in ​​sexual exploitation and also the crime of aggravated pimping.

The investigation was initiated following a complaint lodged by a victim, who escaped control of the defendants. At the beginning of December a number of domestic and non-domiciliary searches were carried out and the suspects were arrested, the two Romanian citizens aged 30 and 33 and 80-year-old Portuguese.

According to the PJ, “foreigners recruited the victims in their native country, being brought to Portugal with the false promise of working on farms, very well paid. Instead, they were forced to engage in activities related to the practice of prostitution on the public highway, and the proceeds were intended for the perpetrators.

The victims had their personal documents confiscated and were subject to control both on the public highway and in the homes intended for them, said the PJ, who found and seized “various objects and documents correlated with the crimes committed”

The detainees were subjected to a first judicial interrogation, and the two Romanians required to make presentations at the police station in the area of ​​their local residence was applied to the two foreigners.

Three arrested for thefts of tobacco machines and religious items from cemeteries

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

A trio who was involved in the theft of tobacco machines were apprehended up by the GNR, one of the detainees being sent to the Caldas da Rainha Prison as a subject of an arrest warrant.

The operation of the GNR, triggered by the Criminal Investigation Nucleus of the Territorial Detachment of Torres Vedras, culminated on December 4 with the arrest of two men and a woman, aged between 25 and 59 years, for theft of in the districts of Lisbon and Santarém.

The investigation took place about six months ago and aimed at the commission of crimes of qualified theft, in which the group acted in an organized way pre-selectiing commercial establishments, proceeding to break in the doors, taking the tobacco machines and other articles and equipment. Subsequently the individuals dismantled the machines and sold their pieces, distributing the tobacco to several private vendors in the district of Lisbon.

This group operated in the municipalities of Torres Vedras, Lourinhã and Cadava. The police operation was carried out in the cities of Torres Vedras, Alenquer and Santarém, with 14 searches conducted, of which 12 were domiciliary and two in vehicles, resulting in the seizure of 84 packets of tobacco, seven firearms, an extendable baton, an automatic flick knife (tip-and-spring type), nine televisions (LCD, plasmas), 12 gas cylinders, three tablets and a laptop, two game consoles, a moped, 19 mobile phones, a camera and a Bluetooth speaker, various household appliances and power tools used in the practice of theft, various articles and parts of machines dismantled, and 1810 euros.

The group is also suspected of stealing religious articles in cemeteries, seizing dozens of religious figures and ornamentation.

This operation involved 80 soldiers from the various branches of the GNR and was supported by the PSP

Social-Democratic deputy in the Madeiran parliament caught drink driving – shots fired during car chase.

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

During a routine traffic control operation mounted on one of the accesses to the city of Funchal, on the dawn of Sunday, December 2, a car driven by the 39-year-old Social Democrat deputy, serving his first term in the Madeiran parliament, was ordered to stop by a PSP transit brigade, but allegedly ignored the order. Reported by PSP 12th December.

Instead of stopping, Luís Miguel Calaça accelerated and drove off. On the way, he almost hit a police officer, who fired two warning shots into the air.

The deputy finally intercepted later in the moening, after a police chase in downtown Funchal, where PSP reinforcements were deployed. Detained and taken to the police station, he was later released with a term of identity and residence.

In addition to the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol (a blood alcohol level of 1.87 g / l was recorded), there is a crime of disobedience of a police order and another of attempted injury of the police officer.

In a statement Luís Miguel Calaça, stated he was “fully available to collaborate with the justice system”



Policia Florestal Corps rescues tourist who was lost in the mountains of Madeira

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

The Forest Police Corps was yesterday activated by the Regional Civil Protection Service to rescue a tourist who was lost in the mountains after having started the PR2 Curral das Freiras – Lombo do Urzal, in Boaventura.

Immediately the members of the Forest Police began searches in the area of ​​Boaventura, eventually finding the tourist in the Fajã do Penedo.

The 74-year-old tourist of British nationality is well and has been accompanied by members of the Forest Police to the hotel unit where he is staying.

Read about safety when hiking in Madeira by downloading our guide here.

Easy Jet makes an emergency landing

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Automated news-feed website has picked up on a story that an easyJet plane from Manchester heading for Madeira yesterday evening had to make an emergency landing at the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto.

The Diario reports that after a change of plane, the passengers were able to continue their journey. Flight U2 1971 should have landed at Madeira Airport at 18:55, but eventually arrived on the island at 22.16.