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Dramatic Safety Videos from the US Chemical Safety Board

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]
posted by Small Dollar on Jun 6, 2014 - 18 comments

Ferry with 470 Passengers Sinks off Korea

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.
posted by KokuRyu on Apr 16, 2014 - 59 comments

Just another day at the office...

A few weeks ago, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano (@astro_luca) 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.
posted by Asparagirl on Aug 21, 2013 - 49 comments

"I didn’t die?"

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.
posted by zarq on Jul 19, 2013 - 26 comments

ring of fire

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.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 15, 2013 - 58 comments

The Most Canadian Story Ever

Truck carrying fireworks hits moose on Trans-Canada Highway, shuts down road for 5.5 hours and lights up the sky. (pictures and video, driver and passenger unharmed.)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 8, 2013 - 61 comments

Baltimore Train Derailment

A train derailed after hitting a truck near Baltimore yesterday. TV news / Raw helicopter footage and citizens on the scene. (NSFW Audio and explosion is about a minute or so in)
posted by josher71 on May 29, 2013 - 43 comments

Everybody was dressed in his or her best clothes.

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).
posted by mwhybark on Jan 24, 2013 - 8 comments

"... given a five percent chance to live. Twice he was given last rites."

Salt Walther 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]
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks on Dec 29, 2012 - 18 comments

The arsonists who stare at goats

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] [English] 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]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 3, 2012 - 30 comments

Boss Rail

"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]
posted by vidur on Oct 15, 2012 - 22 comments

Truck crash landing

Recommended procedures in the event of being propelled through the windshield of your truck, exhibit A. Youtube.
posted by Anything on Sep 27, 2012 - 53 comments

The Baby Died - Morbid Curiosities found in Old Newspapers

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]
posted by cilantro on Sep 21, 2012 - 59 comments

Buying a Kick in the Face

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]
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on Aug 14, 2012 - 251 comments

Rollin' rollin' rollin'...

"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]
posted by heyho on Aug 10, 2012 - 79 comments

Blame it on the ADD

Grounded. Jeb Corliss pays the price. [more inside]
posted by Manjusri on Feb 23, 2012 - 38 comments

Every death on every road in Great Britain 1999-2010

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.
posted by Dim Siawns on Dec 28, 2011 - 13 comments

Eight Ferraris and one Lamborghini ... in a $4 million pileup

"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."
posted by woodblock100 on Dec 4, 2011 - 79 comments

And this is how you die

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.
posted by mattoxic on Dec 2, 2011 - 95 comments

Man Made Beauty, By Accident

"They look as if they were taken on another planet, or at least on the set of a new and very expensive science fiction movie. Yet these pictures are of the Fly Geyser which is very much of planet earth."
posted by Splunge on Oct 15, 2011 - 26 comments

Oh my gosh

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.
posted by scalefree on Sep 14, 2011 - 183 comments

High Speed Rail in China

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 was launched by Chinese authorities. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 13, 2011 - 25 comments

There is no number 63

OSHA's 1984 Fatal Facts report comes illustrated with surprisingly sangfroid cartoons of workplace accidents.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 19, 2011 - 99 comments

Criminals are dumb.

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...
posted by schmod on Jun 14, 2011 - 94 comments

"The Russian people felt that 'we can believe these guys'."

The True Battle of Chernobyl (SLYT)
posted by mexican on Apr 27, 2011 - 20 comments

Japan's Nuclear Crisis Keeps Going

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]
posted by KokuRyu on Apr 17, 2011 - 501 comments

LGBT Books At Harvard Vandalized

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!
posted by Blake on Dec 13, 2010 - 69 comments

"Aircraft is flying safely and we'll get back to you very shortly with further information. Thank you for your patience."

On Friday, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released their preliminary report regarding the Qantas Flight 32 in-flight engine failure. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Dec 6, 2010 - 30 comments

I'm afraid I can't do that.

The ISS Progress 38 cargo carrier was launched to bring supplies to the International Space Station. The unmanned Russian vessel has experienced problems attempting to dock with the station and has now disappeared from view, spinning uncontrollably.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jul 2, 2010 - 43 comments

How was your flight?

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.
posted by tss on Nov 22, 2009 - 33 comments

The Story Of The 1987 CN Nepisiguit Sub Runaway Train

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.
posted by srboisvert on Oct 21, 2009 - 7 comments

Former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant involved in death of Toronto cyclist

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]
posted by maudlin on Sep 1, 2009 - 574 comments

The Best Phallic Image You Will See in the News Today

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
posted by wendell on Jul 17, 2009 - 30 comments

Walt Disney World Monorail Collision Leaves 1 Dead

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.
posted by Lokheed on Jul 5, 2009 - 66 comments

Skier Suffers Exposure! Get it?!?

A lot of people have nightmares about showing up to school or work naked. But hey, how about this one? Brrrrrrrrr. (nsfw)
posted by miss lynnster on Jan 6, 2009 - 77 comments

Olympic Crash

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.
posted by vansly on Dec 17, 2008 - 27 comments

A Review of Criticality Accidents

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]
posted by ikkyu2 on Dec 10, 2008 - 36 comments

999 Call Transcripts

JS (Aged 5) She can't wake up.
Operator No? Is she breathing? Can you see her chest go up and down?
JS I can see her shoulders going ... I can see her doing [Makes breathing noises]
Operator She's breathing, is she? But you think she's having a fit.
JS 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
posted by roofus on Nov 29, 2008 - 43 comments

That's a good name - ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me?

Unplanned Freefall? Some Survival Tips [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Jun 1, 2008 - 32 comments

Emilio

Emilio Navaira is a Grammy-winning Tejano and country singer. Navaira's tour bus was traveling north along west 610 Loop near the Southwest Freeway when it crashed into a set of freeway barrels shortly before 4 a.m. He is clinging to life in a Houston hospital. His fans are praying for him. Doctors say he is now stable, but he faces a difficult recovery at best, and may never perform again. [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac on Mar 26, 2008 - 5 comments

Fifty car pileup closes 1-4 in Florida

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.
posted by misha on Jan 9, 2008 - 59 comments

Near Miss in Las Vegas

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.
posted by jontyjago on Jul 30, 2007 - 55 comments

Zzzzap! Zzzzap!

Weather shock horror! Survivors live to tell the tale!
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 12, 2007 - 11 comments

Hey Good lookin'! I'll be back to nuke you up later!

AHHHH!!! 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.
posted by Smedleyman on Jun 27, 2007 - 31 comments

Science, skepticism, and critical thinking are all about admitting when you’re wrong, and taking action to correct them.”

Bad Astronomer 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.”
posted by grateful on May 17, 2007 - 44 comments

Lost sub?

We regret to inform you that we your husband's submarine is missing, and possibly sunk. Oh, wait. Never mind[pdf].
posted by ctmf on Mar 15, 2007 - 34 comments

The last thing I remember it was dark, I could hear lightning all around me

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."
posted by BLDGBLOG on Feb 16, 2007 - 57 comments

His object all sublime / He will achieve in time

Court Decision, re: Fisher v. Lowe, Feb. 1999. Car ends up in man's yard. Man sues driver. Judge administers poetic justice. [via]
posted by Smart Dalek on Jan 30, 2007 - 40 comments

Reqiescat in Pace, Vaquero

"I have an agenda." Luis Jimenez, a Latino sculptor who worked primarily in fiberglass, portraying Latin themes, died last month in an accident in his art studio.
posted by John of Michigan on Jul 19, 2006 - 20 comments

Famous people who died in aviation accidents

"Famous people who died in aviation accidents" -- notables and not-so-notables who have perished in crashes in the last 100 years.
posted by persona non grata on Jul 16, 2006 - 46 comments

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