The United States Chemical Safety Board and Hazard Investigation Board, an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that investigates the cause of chemical accidents (About the CSB Video
(14 minutes), website
) has released a well-made animated video
(11 minutes) detailing the root cause of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in conjunction with a two-volume draft report
about the disaster. This is just the latest in a series of informative and fascinating safety videos released by the CSB. [more inside]
Ferry with 470 Passengers Sinks off Korea Scores still missing,
many of them high school students on an excursion. According to comments on the Marmot's Hole
Korea blog, passengers were told to wait in their cabins rather than gather on deck. Video from Japanese Fuji television.
A few weeks ago, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano
) almost drowned during a spacewalk when his helmet started uncontrollably filling with water, possibly from a leaky spacesuit cooling system
. (See previous MeFi discussion
on the incident.) A week later, his fellow ISS astronaut Chris Cassidy posted two videos
online showing the actual spacesuit and using it to illustrate the problem. All future US and European spacewalks have been halted
while the incident is being investigated, although the Russian ones are continuing
, as they use different suits. Yesterday, Luca published a scary new entry on his in-orbit blog
, where he not only gave all the horror-movie details, but also revealed that he nearly chose to depressurize his suit
outside the ISS in order to survive.
A Life-Or-Death Situation. "As a bioethicist, Margaret "Peggy" Pabst Battin fought for the right of people to end their own lives. After her husband’s cycling accident, her field of study turned unbearably personal." Via
A truck carrying 119 gas cylinders caught fire after colliding with a bus
carrying 28 people on Moscow's Ring Road. The truck driver had minor injuries and everyone else escaped
unharmed. Then the cylinders began exploding
in February, 1996, a rocket launch at Xichang failed.
Smithsonian Air & Space publishes first-hand account. Xichang Satellite Launch Center
at Wikipedia. Previously
(comprehensive, highly reccommended).
died Thursday night, Dec. 27., at a residence in Trotwood, OH. The cause of death, as of now, is unknown. On May 30, 1973, he survived a crash that no one thought could be survived. His life was changed forever
. (YT: warning: carnage, no fatalities) [more inside]
The festive season is approaching, so it's time for everyone's favorite giant Swedish straw caprid to suffer from repeated attacks. Already ("The front hoof smells of petrol") this year's goat at Gävle
has been attacked. Of the 76 goats to date
, 33 have been burnt (includes goats burnt down more than once and goats only partially burnt), 7 vandalised (includes goats thrown in the river), 1 run over and 1 stolen, giving a survival rate of 45%. The goat attracts international attention and attacks; in 2001 a tourist from Cleveland, Ohio was jailed for 18 days [Swedish
] for igniting the goat. Last year's goat survived to December 2nd (traumatic video
). Gävlebocken is 13 metres tall and consists of 3.6 tonnes of straw. While intact it tweets
, and blogs in Swedish and English
. [more inside]
"The Wenzhou crash killed forty people and injured a hundred and ninety-two. For reasons both practical and symbolic, the [Chinese] government was desperate to get trains running again, and within twenty-four hours it declared the line back in business. The Department of Propaganda ordered editors to give the crash as little attention as possible. “Do not question, do not elaborate,” it warned, on an internal notice. When newspapers came out the next morning, China’s first high-speed train wreck was not on the front page." [How a high-speed rail disaster exposed China's corruption
Recommended procedures in the event of being propelled through the windshield of your truck, exhibit A
A fellow tried to impress his friends by fitting a billiard ball in his mouth - he died.
A young woman laced her corset too tightly - she died.
A woman fell down the stairs, which caused one of her hairpins to penetrate her skull - she died.
And, of course, many people had horrible encounters with mill and farm machinery. Predictably, they died.
(warning-occasionally graphic descriptions of death and dismemberment, mostly from the late 19th century). [more inside]
My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court:
After a Baltimore car accident between an insured and an underinsured driver left the insured driver dead, Progressive Insurance
took up the defense of the underinsured driver against their own policy-holder. [more inside]
"This is unprecedented footage of a small airplane crash from inside the cockpit
from two different views. Miraculously, everyone survived. The pilot will make a full recovery and the rest of us escaped with superficial injuries and feel very lucky to be alive." (Graphic accident footage, injuries are shown) [more inside]
The BBC has put up a page
presenting statistics dealing with deaths on British roads between 1999 and 2010. A slightly older page presenting mostly the same statistics (up to 2008) can be visited here
; this earlier version was published in conjunction with several other articles, including one
looking in-depth at a single crash and its aftermath in Stevenage in 2007.
"Flashy sports cars valued at as much as $4 million became a mangled mess in a matter of minutes on Sunday when a Ferrari leading a pack of exotic sports cars on a trip from Japan’s southern island of Kyushu to Hiroshima skidded as it tried to change lanes.
How do people die in motor "accidents"?
I'll tell you.
With the Christmas "Silly Season" is upon us, the Age has republished And this is how you die
by journalist Roger Aldridge.
A warning - it's pretty graphic. Scroll up for the rest of the article.
21 year old Brandon Wright found himself trapped under a burning BMW
after his motorcycle collided with it on a highway outside Salt Lake City. What happened next
has to be seen to be believed.
How Fast Can China Go?
On June 30, China had the first official run of a $32 billion high-speed train line between Shanghai and Beijing. "Faster (820 miles in 288 minutes) and sleeker than any other, the needle-nosed CRH380A symbolizes China’s accelerating pace, even as it faces questions about safety, and taps into an ancient rivalry with Japan." On page four, the article discusses what happened less than a month afterwards on July 23rd: the country's first accident involving a bullet train that killed 40 people near Wenzhou.
As a result, 54 high speed trains were recalled, train speeds were reduced
and an overhaul of the high-speed rail system
by Chinese authorities. [more inside]
OSHA's 1984 Fatal Facts
report comes illustrated with surprisingly sangfroid cartoons
of workplace accidents.
Your Sweet Justice story for the day: In February, K.C. was riding her bike home from work. While waiting at a stop light, she felt a slight bump from the car behind her, followed by laughter from within. K.C. wasn't looking for a fight, and did her best to ignore this. Disappointed with his failure to elicit a response, the driver bumped her again, this time a bit harder. This is when K.C. pulled out her police badge, and things started to get weird...
Reactor shutdowns nine months away:
Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced Sunday that it will take six to nine months to complete a cold shutdown of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, while the United States proposed a daring plan to use a remote-controlled helicopter and cranes to pluck out their spent fuel rods... If all goes well, displaced residents from the evacuation zone should know within six to nine months whether they will be able to go home, trade minister Banri Kaieda said. [Previously] [Open MeFi pro vs. con nuclear policy thread] [more inside]
Approximately 40 books
dealing with LGBT issues were vandalized with what appeared to be urine in Lamont Library on the Harvard campus on November 24, according to a report filed Friday by the library security staff to the Harvard University Police Department. Something similar (minus the peepee) happen in San Francisco
, where they took the books and made Art
On Friday, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released their preliminary report
regarding the Qantas Flight 32 in-flight engine failure. [more inside]
This past week
: in D.R. Congo, an MD-80 strikes a lava field at the end of a runway
; earlier over Iran, a medical emergency diversion frightens a passenger
; the day prior, an LA-Sydney flight diverts to Honolulu to drop off a new mother and her child born en route
. Also medical emergencies
, unruly passengers
, and unruly medical emergencies
. It's avherald.com
, your daily source for pretty much every incident occurring on an airliner.
Stick with 'er Wiener! On March 9, 1987, a well-known derailment occurred here when a runaway CN train journeyed from Brunswick Mines to just short of the wye. There was a mixup in communications and engineer Wesley MacDonald ended up with more cars on his train than he thought, and the brakes on the engine alone were unable to hold the consist on the grade in the Brunswick Mines yard.
Great radio show about the accident that we previously discussed here
Late last night, a cyclist was killed in Toronto.
"Ontario's former attorney general Michael Bryant
... will be charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death, a police source tells the Globe, after a collision left a 33-year-old cyclist dead." Accounts vary, but the sequence appears to be 1) Some collision and argument between the cyclist and the driver; 2) The cyclist grabs the driver's door and hangs on (or he may have been caught on the car accidentally) while the Saab convertible drives on; 3) The car drives into the opposite lane, across a construction zone, and the cyclist is battered against mailboxes and light posts; 4) The cyclist falls under the car's back wheels and is killed. [more inside]
A week ago, when Oscar F. Mayer, retired chairman of the Oscar Mayer meats company and grandson of the Original Oscar, passed away at 95
, he left instructions that the Wienermobile NOT appear at his funeral
because "it would be too much of a spectacle." Well, today, there was a bit of a spectacle as one of the iconic vehicles crashed into the side of a house
in Racine, Wisconsin. There is a Wienermobile Blog
written by the team of drivers but they have no statement there on this incident (yet). Previ-ously
Early this morning, Two monorail trains collided at Walt Disney World
, causing the death of one of the drivers. The Walt Disney World Monorail System
first opened in 1971 with two routes servicing The Magic Kingdom, and then expanded to a third line servicing Epcot in 1982. This is the first incident resulting in a fatality in 38 years of operation. The most serious incident previously was a fire in 1985 caused by tire failure in which two cars were burned badly, but there were no injuries. The monorail trains have numerous safety features
, including a "Moving-blocklight anti-collision system"
, referred to as MAPO (the term was coined by Walt Disney himself, who formed a new company to deal with Disneyland's transportation system directly from the profits made by Mary Poppins). As of this morning, the monorail system at Walt Disney World is out of service pending investigation.
A lot of people have nightmares about showing up to school or work naked. But hey, how about this one
? Brrrrrrrrr. (nsfw)
A tower on the Excalibur gondola at Blackcomb Mountain
north of Vancouver collapsed yesterday
. Early speculation centres around the possibility of the tower filling with water and freezing. The Excalibur gondola is built by the same company who recently finished constructing the record-breaking Peak2Peak
gondola. This is not the first lift incident
at the resort, which is set to host alpine events for the 2010 Winter Olympics
A Review of Criticality Accidents (3.7 MB pdf)
Do you like reading comp.risks
, or CVR transcripts
from famous plane crashes? Then you may enjoy this technical analysis of 60 accidents where improper handling of fissile materials led to unexpected critical mass. [more inside]
JS (Aged 5)
She can't wake up.
No? Is she breathing? Can you see her chest go up and down?
I can see her shoulders going ... I can see her doing [Makes breathing noises]
She's breathing, is she? But you think she's having a fit.
Yeah, I think she is and ... I don't know what to do.
6 transcripts of 999 operators
helping people cope with emergencies: a mother giving birth alone
, a 5 year old whose mother is fitting
, a mother and son trapped in a house fire
, a brother and sister resuscitating their father
, a husband saving his choking wife
, and a neighbour saving his friend with an amputated arm
I watched man burn to death, heard others screaming in the fog.
A massive, 50-car pileup, the result of three or more crashes on I-4, has led to at least 3 fatalities and 82 injuries in central Florida near Orlando. The smoke and fog
were so bad that rescue efforts were hindered. Drivers with no visibility did not know whether to stay in their burning cars or risk running out onto the highway for help.
Pilot tells of hairy near miss at Las Vegas airport
A post on Airliners.net telling, in some detail, of a near miss between an America West Airbus A320 (piloted by the author) and an Air Canada plane at Las Vegas airport.
And if that puts you off flying, to calm down, another pilot's account
, of a less hair-raising flight.
An unintentional disruption pre-empted morning radio and television throughout Illinois this week when a FEMA contractor mistakenly sent the highest level of alert codes (Presidential) through the Emergency Alert System during the installation of an upgrade.
(A year to the day after the upgrades were ordered
It's not the first time
false warnings have been sent.
Apparently (before the upgrades
) the EAS data headers had no authentication and someone could have hacked a t.v. or radio station
using a Mr. Microphone.
The old Emergency Broadcast System had an authenticator word list
, like the tone, and the voice, the words themselves were slightly unsettling
I know the old EBS tests
used to scare the hell out of me.
The 1971 false alarm
was initiated with the code word: HATEFULNESS.
and skeptic Phil Plait
posted a rant last week about a supposed miracle
– a woman, who survived a car accident against all odds. After being deluged by comments from irate readers, including the accident victim
, he issued an apology
, contacted her directly and is collecting donations to fund her medical bills
. Phil writes, “Science, skepticism, and critical thinking are all about admitting when you’re wrong, and taking action to correct them.”
We regret to inform you
that we your husband's submarine
is missing, and possibly sunk
. Oh, wait. Never mind[pdf]
Paraglider survives 32,000ft fall.
A German paragliding champion named Ewa Wisnierska
was "sucked into a storm that pulled her higher than Mount Everest." She "soared skywards," and was soon "covered in ice" as she "battled hailstones the size of oranges," becoming one with the weather. "I could see the Earth coming," she later said, "wow, like Apollo 13
– I can see the Earth."
Court Decision, re: Fisher v. Lowe, Feb. 1999.
Car ends up in man's yard. Man sues driver. Judge administers poetic justice. [via]
"Famous people who died in aviation accidents"
-- notables and not-so-notables who have perished in crashes in the last 100 years.