10 years ago - The Times

Monday, February 16, 2009

Soldier loses battle for life

Matthew Psaila, 19, who lived and breathed the army, succumbed to the injuries he sustained during a military exercise on Friday, which left him underwater at Chadwick Lakes for about 10 minutes before his colleagues noticed and found him. 

Private Psaila has since been in a highly critical condition at MaterDei Hospital’s intensive care unit but lost his fight for life at 1.05 a.m., a close relative told The Times. 

Until yesterday, the soldier was being kept alive with the help of sophisticated medical equipment after no sign of a pulse was registered for almost 20 minutes in the ambulance which took him to hospital after the accident. 

The soldier’s condition took a turn for the worse on Saturday night, as his family kept vigil by his bedside, tormented by unanswered questions about the circumstances of his death. 

They said on Saturday they were still in dark over what happened to their son, who was unable to swim and feared the water since childhood, but was wading through Chadwick Lakes, which can reach depths of nearly two metres, against the current on a cold winter’s day.

“When he was young, Matthew would remain on the sand playing. He’d wet his feet but he never went in... For some reason, water was never his friend,” his brother was quoted as saying on Saturday.


25 years ago - The Times

Sunday, February 16, 1994

Small charges hold up court’s work

Hundreds of negligible charges are hindering the court’s ability to deal with serious traffic offences, Magistrate Carol M. Peralta has complained.

He spoke out during a sitting of some 300 cases of traffic offences yesterday morning.

Dr Peralta said it was not up to the magistrates’ court to decide whether people were guilty of smoking on public transport, entering the capital without a licence, driving without lights, the right use of indicators or unclear number places.

This should be the job of the court’s assistant commissioners, tailor-made tribunals or constituted bodies, he stressed.

Elderly man mugged

A 74-year-old resident of St Vincent de Paul Hospital was mugged by two hooded men on his way from a nearby bus stop to the hospital at noon yesterday.

Mr Manuel Zammit claimed the men jumped on his back and robbed him of Lm800 in cash. His trousers were badly ripped in the attack.

After his ordeal he went to hospital and was treated for shock.


Half a century ago - Sunday Times of Malta

Sunday, February 16, 1969

Young worker electrocuted 

Carmelo Camilleri, aged about 20 of Paola, was electrocuted while repairing an electric motor yesterday morning at the Malta Rubber Factory at Marsa, where he was employed for some two months.

Camilleri was given mouth-to-mouth respiration and rushed to St Luke’s Hospital where he was found to be dead.

Vagrant hedgehog in Malta 

Mr Guido Lanfranco, a keen student of local natural history, has just discovered the existence in Malta of the vagrant hedgehog.

Mr Lanfranco said that this hedgehog’s occurrence in Malta must have been overlooked by previous observers as this is not a case of importation.

There’s more ‘flu about

There has been a marked increase in severe cases of influenza in the past few days.

The symptoms at the early stage are coughs, shivering, headaches and a temperature rising to 104 or even 105 degrees with a characteristic flush, laboured breathing and pain in the side. Some cases have developed into pneumonia.


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