1997 At least 28 Indian crew members of a cargo ship were missing after it sank in a collision with another cargo vessel in the busy and smog-covered Strait of Malacca. “It’s because of the haze,” said a spokesman at the Malaysian Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre. The incident occurred off Tanjung Tuan near the central Malaysian town of Port Dickson. The Vickraman, registered in Madras, India, sank in the collision, with only five of the 33 crew rescued, Deputy Transport Minister Ali Rustam said. The Saint Vincent-registered cargo vessel Mount 1 was slightly damaged and no injuries were reported among its crew. Ali said he did not know whether the smog was the cause of the accident. “It is not known whether it is due to the haze because every precaution has been taken to inform passing ships of the haze,” he said. The five crew of the Vickraman were rescued by Thai merchant vessel Laemthong Glory and the Royal Malaysian Navy’s K.D. Lekir, which went to the scene on receiving a distress call, Ali said.
Other important events
1772 The first US law to license medical practitioners is passed in New Jersey.
1777 British troops occupy Philadelphia during the American Revolution.
1789 Thomas Jefferson is appointed America’s first Secretary of State and John Jay, the first chief justice of US.
1850 France restricts press freedom.
1907 New Zealand becomes a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth.
1918 Allies launch offensive that eventually breaks Germany’s Hindenburg Line in First World War.
1950 United Nations forces recapture Seoul.
1954 An estimated 1,168 people die when the ferryboat Toya Maru capsizes off Hokkaido Island near Japan.
1959 Sri Lankan Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike succumbs to bullet wound.
1962 Imam Badr is driven from power in Yemen, ending a more than 1,000-year-old dynasty.
1965 Former president Juan Bosch returns to Dominican Republic from exile in Puerto Rico.
1969 Leftist military junta overthrows government of Bolivia.
1983 Australia II wins America’s Cup yachting series off Newport, Rhode Island.
1984 Britain and China ink agreement that will return Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997.
1985 Britain clinches one of the biggest arms sales in its history, signing a memorandum of understanding to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia.
1988 Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is stripped of his gold medal in the 100 metres at the Seoul Olympics after failing a drugs test.
1990 Italian author Alberto Moravia dies at the age of 83.
1991 Romanian Prime Minister Petre Roman is forced to resign after miners riot.
1997 An Indonesian airliner crashes as it approaches an airport on the smog-hit island of Sumatra and bursts into flames, killing all 234 people on board.
1999 Explosions rip through a busy shopping area in the central Mexican city of Celaya, killing 61 people and injuring more than 300 others.
2002 An ocean ferry capsizes off the coast of Gambia in the Atlantic Ocean, en route to Dakar, Senegal, killing about 1,034 people.
2003 A series of powerful earthquakes shook the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
2006 Romania and Bulgaria win clearance to join the European Union in 2008.
2011 Emirati footballer Diab Awana is killed in a road accident in Abu Dhabi.
2014 India and China agree to end border face-off.