Experienced and Reported on July 22, 2013

© Researched and Written By Starfire Tor



Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Flight #345 Crash
La Guardia Airport July 22, 2013


LaGuardia Landing Gear Fails On Southwest Airlines Flight

The Huffington Post/AP: Posted: 07/22/2013 | Updated: 07/23/2013

A Southwest Airlines plane's front landing gear collapsed during its arrival at LaGuardia Airport in New York Monday night. According to a statement from Southwest, of the 150 people on board, five passengers and three flight attendants reported injuries. Following the incident, passengers were transferred from the plane to the terminal:

Southwest Airlines flight 345 landed at New York's LaGuardia at 5:40 PM Eastern

Monday evening from Nashville. The aircraft is a Boeing 737-700. Eyewitness reports indicate the aircraft's nose gear collapsed upon landing.

Following the landing, WNYW reports, "[t]he emergency chutes deployed, and first responders guided the passengers off and away from the aircraft."

According to the Associated Press, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey temporarily closed the airport, with one of runways later reopening. In a press conference, the Port Authority said they hoped to have everything reopened Tuesday. 


Southwest Airlines plane skidded 2,175 feet on LaGuardia runway after nose gear ‘collapsed’

Updated July 24, 2013 FoxNews.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report

The National Transportation Safety Board says the nose gear of a Southwest Airlines jet collapsed backward and into the body of the aircraft following a hard landing at New York's LaGuardia Airport.

The NTSB found the landing gear "collapsed rearward and upward into the fuselage, damaging the electronics bay that houses avionics."

The agency said on its Twitter feed the plane skidded 2,175 feet before stopping at the edge of the runway Monday.

It posted a photo showing the jet's electronics bay penetrated by the landing gear with only the right axle still attached.

Investigators recovered cockpit voice recorders on Tuesday. They'll be analyzed by the NTSB.

Sixteen passengers suffered minor injuries during Flight 345's landing. The plane was coming from Nashville, Tenn.

Richard Strauss, who was on a nearby plane waiting to take off for Washington, said the nose of the plane was "completely down on the ground. It's something that I've never seen before. It's bizarre."

A rear stairwell or slide could be seen extending from the Southwest flight, said Strauss, who owns a Washington public relations firm. His plane, which was about 100 yards from the Southwest flight, wasn't allowed to taxi back to the gate, he said.

Bobby Abtahi, an attorney trying to catch a flight to Dallas, was watching from the terminal and heard a crowd reacting to the accident.

"I heard some people gasp and scream. I looked over and saw sparks flying at the front of the plane," he said.

The incident came 16 days after Asiana Flight 214 crash-landed at San Francisco's international airport on July 6, killing two Chinese teenagers; a third was killed when a fire truck ran over her while responding to the crash, authorities said. Dozens of people were injured in that landing, which involved a Boeing 777 flying from South Korea.


NTSB: Southwest jet's nose gear landed first

Updated July 26, 2013 AP News

NEW YORK (AP) — A Southwest Airlines jet that made a hard landing at New York's

LaGuardia Airport touched down on its front nose wheel before the sturdier main landing gear in back touched down, federal investigators said Thursday.

The nose-pointed-down landing described by investigators violated the airline's normal procedures, Southwest said.

Flight 345 from Nashville, Tenn., skidded off the runway Monday and came to rest on its nose after the front landing gear crumpled. About 150 people were aboard the Boeing 737, and 16 passengers suffered minor injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board released preliminary information about the accident late Thursday. The finding was based on video and other evidence, it said.

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss would not say whether pilot error contributed to the hard landing or if the nose gear should have been able to withstand the impact.

"That's something we're going to look at during the investigation," Weiss said.

Whitney Eichinger, spokeswoman for Dallas-based Southwest, said the "landing scenario that the NTSB described is not in accordance with our operating procedures."

She provided no further details.

About 4 seconds prior to touchdown, the plane's pitch was about 2 degrees nose-up, the NTSB revealed. When the plane touched the runway, it was pitched down about 3 degrees, it said.

Pilots are trained to land on the main landing gear, which are much sturdier than the nose wheel, and then gently ease the nose of the plane down until the nose wheel is on the runway.

Denny Kelly, a retired airline pilot and now a consultant and private accident investigator in Dallas, said that if the Southwest plane was pointing nose-down 3 degrees when it touched the runway, "That's a problem."

"If you are pitched down at all, you will land on the nose wheel. At touchdown, the nose should be pointed up at 3 to 5 degrees," Kelly said.

The NTSB had said Wednesday that the landing gear "collapsed rearward and upward into the fuselage, damaging the electronics bay that houses avionics."

It posted a photo showing the jet's electronics bay penetrated by the landing gear with only the right axle still attached.

Investigators recovered the flight data and cockpit voice recorders on Tuesday. They'll be analyzed by the NTSB

Train Car Incident
Saitama, Japan train station July 22, 2013


Passengers push train to free woman stuck in gap

July 22, 2013 Associated Press

As onlookers applauded, passengers pushed a 32-ton train car to free a woman who had fallen into an 8-inch gap between the train and the platform in Japan.

TOKYO — Dozens of Japanese train passengers pushed a 32-ton train carriage away from the platform to free a woman who had fallen into the 8-inch gap between the train and the platform during the busy morning rush hour Monday. The act of heroism was captured by a newspaper photographer, whose photo of the rescue ran in the Yomiuri daily's evening edition.

A public announcement that a passenger was trapped prompted about 40 people to join train officials to push the carriage, whose suspension system allows it to lean to either side, according to the Yomiuri newspaper, Japan's largest daily.

The unidentified woman in her 30s was then pulled out uninjured to applause from onlookers at JR Minami-Urawa station, just north of Tokyo. After just an eight-minute delay, the train continued on its way.

Renfe Train Crash
In North-West, Spain July 24, 2013


Spanish Train Crash: Driver 'Had Joked About Speeding'

Updated July 25, 2013

One of the drivers of a Spanish train which derailed killing at least 80 people allegedly joked on Facebook on a previous occasion about speeding past police, according to reports. 

With the official death toll still rising and more than 32 passengers including children in critical condition after yesterday's crash near the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela, it is the country's deadliest rail disaster in almost 70 years.

Early investigations into the crash have suggested the train was travelling at 190 kmh (118 mph) - more than twice the speed limit - when it derailed heading into a sharp curve.

One Briton has been confirmed by the Foreign Office to be among the total of 168

injured passengers, with a full list of those who died expected to be made public at 10pm local time.

As the country mourned, Spanish media named one of the train's drivers as Francisco Jose Garzon Amo and reported boasts he allegedly posted on Facebook about how fast he was driving a train in 2012.

The 52-year-old, who together with a second driver survived the crash and is being treated in hospital for minor injuries, is now reportedly under investigation.

He allegedly posted a picture of a train speedometer at 200kmh (124mph). His Facebook page has today been blocked.

"What a blast it would be to go parallel with the Guardia Civil (Spanish police) and go past them triggering the radar. Haha what a fine for Renfe (the Spanish train operator) haha," he allegedly wrote in March 2012.

According to reports, one of the two drivers at the helm of the train realised what was about to happen before the crash and made a desperate call to Renfe ahead of taking the bend, saying: "I'm going at 190kmh, I'm going to derail."

In a second call to Renfe after the accident, he explained that he was trapped in the train's loco.

"We are human, we are human," he is reported to have said.

"I hope there are no dead because they would fall on my conscience."

Mr Garzon Amo is not believed to be under arrest but is expected to give evidence to a judge with access to the train's data recording "black box".

Many of those on the Madrid to Ferrol service would have been pilgrims travelling to today's St James' Day festivities, Santiago's festival to celebrate the disciple of Jesus whose remains are said to rest in a shrine.

The full horror of the disaster was revealed today in harrowing video footage of the moment the high-speed train derailed.

Posted on YouTube, the security camera footage shows the middle carriages of the Class 730 train smash into a wall before the loco careens onto its side.

With the dead being taken to a makeshift morgue set up in a Santiago indoor sports arena, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in the city, visited the crash scene and declared three days of national mourning.

"For a native of Santiago, like me, this is the saddest day," Mr Rajoy said.

He added that judicial authorities and Spain's Public Works Ministry had launched parallel investigations into what caused the crash.

Spanish officials said the speed limit on the section of track where the accident happened was 50mph.

Professor Roger Kemp, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: "The big question is why the train was (reportedly) running at more than twice the speed limit.

"As the driver was leaving the high-speed line to join a much slower route before entering the station, there must have been at least prominent visual warnings to reduce speed, if not audible warnings and an electronic speed supervision system."

Prime Minister David Cameron wrote to Mr Rajoy today, saying: "People in Britain have been greatly saddened by this tragedy. Please pass my deep condolences to those who have lost loved ones and my thoughts and prayers to all those who have been injured."

The derailment left a scene of devastation, with toppled and smashed carriages lying alongside the track, bodies being laid out beside the line, and bloodied survivors being carried to safety.

Alberto Nunez Feijoo, president of the regional government of Galicia, described the scene as "Dante-esque".

Lidia Cannon, who previously lived in the city and was visiting for the local fiesta, said she saw a woman who had lost a foot as a result of the train crash.

She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "We heard a big bang, like, we thought it was an air crash, I thought it was a car crash, other people thought it was a bomb. It was very, very loud, the noise."

Ms Cannon said people went to help and told of one man's experience of visiting the crash site.

She said: "He couldn't cope with it. He said he was there 20 minutes but he took out a man that was asking for his wife and his wife was inside, dead. A boy was looking for his girlfriend and she was inside the train, dead."

Yesterday's train crash is the worst Spain has experienced since a three-train accident in a tunnel in the northern Leon province in 1944.

Due to heavy censorship at the time, the exact death toll for the Torre del Bierzo disaster has never been established.

The official figure was given as 78 dead, but it is thought that as many as 250 may have been killed.

There was another serious accident in Spain in 1972 when a Madrid to Cadiz express collided head-on with a local train on the outskirts of Seville in the south west of the country. A total of 77 people died, with more than 100 injured.

The Madrid train bombings of March 2004 produced a death toll of 191- but this was a terrorist outrage and not an accident. There were 10 explosions aboard four commutertrains, with the attacks being directed by an al Qaida-inspired terrorist cell.

The latest incident comes less than two weeks after six people were killed and scores injured in a train crash just south of Paris.

Canyon Coach Lines Bus Crash
Northern Arizona July 28, 2013


Tour bus swept away by Arizona floodwaters

July 28, 2013 AP

DOLAN SPRINGS, Ariz.A Las Vegas-bound tour bus carrying 33 people was swept away in northern Arizona by floodwaters Sunday and turned on its side as it tried to cross a wash amid heavy rains.

No one was injured. The bus was pushed down the wash for an estimated 300 yards before it turned on its side around 1:50 p.m. near Kingman, Ariz., said Patrick Moore, chief of the Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District, which had firefighters at the scene.

People inside the bus, which had left the Grand Canyon Skywalk glass bridge, climbed out the driver's side windows and walked onto the shore.

On Sunday evening, as a tow truck was preparing to take away the bus, it was lying on its side and had grass and other debris hanging from it. Two escape hatches on its roof were opened. Writing on the side of the bus said: "C.H. Destination" and "DBA: Canyon Coach Lines"

The passengers were no longer at the scene. The company had sent another bus to pick them up.

The crash happened as northern Arizona was hit with a second day of heavy rain.

Kingman is near the Arizona-Nevada stateline and about 100 miles southeast of Las Vegas.

The area where the bus accident occurred received 0.75 inches of rain in about an hour on Sunday afternoon, said Chris Stumpf, a National Weather Service forecaster in Las Vegas.

A flash flood warning was in effect when the accident occurred, he said, and the bus driver shouldn't have been driving through the area at the time.

"It was a really strong storm dumping quite a bit of rain ... and it caused flash flooding,"

Stumpf said. "They were driving on a portion of the road where they shouldn't have tried to drive across. They should not have been driving through there."

There were some swift-water rescues of stranded motorists Saturday night after a storm dropped nearly 2 inches of rain in about 90 minutes around Kingman, Stumpf said.

The flash flood warning around the accident scene has expired, he said, but there's a chance for more heavy rain and another similar warning on Monday.

The crash happened as Northern Arizona was hit with a second day of heavy rain.

The Arizona Department of Transportation closed an 18-mile stretch of Interstate-40 Saturday night between Flagstaff and Kingman because of the flash flooding.

Tour Bus Crash
Avellino Province, Italy July 28, 2013


At least 38 die after bus plunges from bridge in southern Italy

From Barbie Nadeau and Livia Borghese, CNN

updated 8:39 PM EDT, Mon July 29, 2013

Rome (CNN) -- A bus returning pilgrims from a weekend visit to a Catholic shrine went off a bridge in southern Italy on Sunday, leaving at least 38 dead -- including some children, officials said.

The death toll rose by two after one person who was hospitalized died, and the body of another victim was found under the bus, fire brigade commander Alessio Barbarulo said Monday.

Ten people survived, Barbarulo said.

The bus was traveling east of Naples in Avellino province, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

More bodies could be found in the wreckage, Avellino police official Pasquale Picone said. Picone did not have an exact figure for the number of passengers on the bus, though reports indicate as many as 50 may have been on board.

The passengers had participated in a weekend pilgrimage to the Padre Pio shrine in Pietrelcina.

Andrea Regione, a photographer for the Corriere dell'Irpinia newspaper, told CNN that the bus went off a bridge and fell roughly 30 meters (almost 100 feet) into a heavily wooded area below.

Photos from the scene showed a broken guardrail and the bus laying on its side.

Another photo appeared to show a line of bodies -- each covered in a white sheet.

Picone said the bus struck 11 cars on the road before falling off the bridge, leading police to suspect the bus had brake problems. But the exact cause of the accident remains unknown.

New York Wedding Party Crash

Hudson River July 26, 2013


Authorities want answers in boating accident that kills bride-to-be, best man

By Ed Payne and Alina Cho, CNN

updated 9:04 PM, Mon July 29, 2013

Piermont, New York (CNN) -- Autopsy results were released on Monday for a brideto-be and best man who were killed in a boating accident last weekend on the Hudson River.

Lindsey Stewart died "as a result of drowning and severe head injuries" and Mark Lennon died "as a result of drowning" and "suffered only minor bodily injuries," according to a press release from the Rockland County Medical Examiner's office.

Lennon and Stewart disappeared late Friday when a 21-foot Stingray power boat they were passengers on slammed into one of three construction barges strapped together near the Tappan Zee Bridge, 25 miles north of Manhattan. Lennon was to be the best man in Stewart's wedding to Brian Bond on August 10.

Both deaths are being certified as "vehicular homicide," according to the release.

Post mortem toxicology tests for drugs and alcohol are pending and expected to take several weeks for completion, the release says. Stewart and Lennon were thrown from the boat.

Stewart's body was recovered Saturday. But the search for Lennon continued until Sunday morning, when a Jet Skier called police to report a body in the river.

"We're looking into every single thing," Rockland County, New York, Sheriff Louis Falco said. "What we're going to do is bring in an accident reconstruction team."

It was supposed to be a short boat ride up the Hudson River from the village of Piermont in Rockland County to Tarrytown

The couple had just dined at a restaurant with friends when Stewart and Bond boarded the power boat, along with three friends.

Potential alcohol use and poor lighting are key points of interest as authorities look into the deadly crash.

The barge the power boat crashed into had been anchored in the river since April, according to Robert Van Cura, undersheriff of the Rockland County Sheriff's Office.

"The barge had some lights on it; whether or not it was properly lighted is part of the
investigation," Van Cura said.

"On a clear, moonlit night, with the bridge lights on, you can see pretty well," said Tom Sobolik in a telephone interview from aboard his sailboat near the accident site.

The moon was last full on Monday.

But Craig and Celeste Kmiecik said they were boating in the area Friday night, and it was dark.

"There was a moon last night, but you really can't see anything," said Craig Kmiecik.

"The barge was not lit up," said Celeste Kmiecik. "We saw that last night coming back to the marina."

Another area resident, Anthony Fowler, said having barges on the waterway is

"If you put an immovable object that's dark in the path of recreational boaters, you have a recipe for disaster."

Meanwhile, boat operator Jojo K. John, 35, has been arrested.

"We have probable cause to believe that he operated the boat while intoxicated," Van Cura said.

John was arraigned at an area hospital on one count of first-degree vehicular manslaughter and three counts of second-degree vehicular assault. More charges are possible, Van Cura said.

John, along with the others who were not thrown from the boat, suffered head injuries.

Bond, the groom, was hospitalized at Westchester Medical Center, said Stewart's stepfather Walter Kosik, who visited him Saturday. "He was in no condition to talk."

A spokesman for the medical center said Bond was in fair condition, with serious head injuries. He was the one who called 911 from the boat, reporting the accident.

For the families, the tragedy was magnified by the pending nuptials.

"She's supposed to be married two weeks from today," said Carol Stewart about her daughter. "It just can't end like this." 

Trains Head On Crash
Near Granges-pres-Marnand, Switzerland Station July 29, 2013


Head-on train crash in Switzerland kills driver, injuries passengers
Rescue workers find body in driver's cabin after separating trains

The Associated Press

Posted: Jul 30, 2013

Last Updated: Jul 30, 2013

Authorities say they have recovered the body of the driver of one of two trains that collided on a regional line in western Switzerland.

Police in Vaud canton said rescue workers found the body of the man, whose name wasn't released, in the driver's cabin early Tuesday after they managed to separate the front of the two trains.

The collision on Monday near the Granges-pres-Marnand station left the trains locked together, partly lifted off the tracks by the force of the collision.

In all, there were 46 passengers on board; 26 of them were taken to hospitals, none of them in life-threatening condition. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the collision.

Switzerland's rail system is considered among the best and safest in the world.


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