Monday, December 2, 2013

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: New York Train Derailment - Four Killed, 63 Injured!

December 02, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A suburban New York train derailed on Sunday, killing four people and injuring 63, including 11 critically, when all seven cars of a Metro-North train ran off the tracks on a sharp curve, officials said.


Emergency workers work at the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of
New York December 1, 2013.  Credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer


The crash happened at 7:20 a.m. about 100 yards (meters) north of Metro-North's Spuyten Duyvil station in the city's Bronx borough, said Metro-North spokesman Aaron Donovan.

A Fire Department spokesman confirmed the number of dead and said 11 people had been sent to the hospital in critical condition and six in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries. Another 46 people suffered minor injuries.

The train, headed south toward Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal, was about half full at the time of the crash with about 150 passengers and was not scheduled to stop at the Spuyten Duyvil station, said the state's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), parent company of Metro-North.

"On a work day, fully occupied, it would have been a tremendous disaster," New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Joseph Cassano told reporters at the scene.

The derailment happened in a wooded area where the Hudson and Harlem rivers meet. At least one rail car was lying toppled near the water and others were lying on their sides.

There was no official word yet on possible causes of the accident.

"That is a dangerous area on the track just by design," Governor Andrew Cuomo told CNN after touring the site. "The trains are going about 70 miles per hour coming down the straight part of the track. They slow to about 30 miles per hour to make that sharp curve ... where the Hudson River meets the Harlem River and that is a difficult area of the track."

Cuomo said it appeared that all passengers had been accounted for.


Emergency workers gather at the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of
New York December 1, 2013.  Credit: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Emergency workers examine the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of
New York December 1, 2013.  Credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer

A woman is taken to an ambulance at the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx
borough of New York December 1, 2013.  Credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Emergency workers examine the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of
New York December 1, 2013. Credit: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri


He said recovery of the train's "black box" - a data-recording device similar to those on airplanes - would reveal more about the train's speed, possible mechanical issues and whether brakes were applied.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would be on the scene investigating the accident for at least the next week and would focus on track conditions, signaling systems, mechanical equipment and the performance of the train crew.

Passenger Frank Tatulli told television station WABC he had been riding in the first car and the train had been traveling "a lot faster" than usual.

"The guy was going real fast on the turns and I just didn't know why because we were making good time. And all of a sudden we derailed on the turn," he said.

Joseph Bruno, who heads the city's Office of Emergency Management, told CNN it appeared that three of the four people killed had been ejected from the train. The MTA and the fire department both said that could not immediately be confirmed.

Michael Keaveney, 22, a security worker whose home overlooks the site, said he had heard a loud bang when the train derailed.

"It woke me up from my sleep," he said. "It looked like (the train) took out a lot of trees on its way over toward the water." - Reuters.



GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Heavy Torrential Rainfall Spurs Landslide In Western Indonesia - 9 Dead!

December 02, 2013 - INDONESIA - Landslides triggered by torrential rain buried houses near a rumbling volcano in western Indonesia and searchers found nine bodies in the mud and water, a disaster official said Sunday. Four of the dead were children.


File photo.

Several houses were buried when mud gushed down the surrounding hills late Saturday into Gundaling village, about 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) east of Mount Sinabung volcano in North Sumatra province.

He said the bodies of a mother and her 2-year-old son were retrieved from a mound of mud just before midnight Saturday. Six victims were found early Sunday, including two children, followed by the body of a 10-year-old boy drifting in a river.

Authorities struggled to get tractors and bulldozers over washed-out roads hours after the landslides.

Hundreds of police, soldiers and residents were digging through the debris with their bare hands, shovels and hoes near a temporary shelter that houses hundreds of villagers who evacuated from the perimeter of the volcano.

Mount Sinabung has sporadically erupted since September, and its alert status was raised to the highest level last week.

Recent eruptions have been smaller, but villagers are waiting until it's safer to return home.

Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, a vast chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or fertile flood plains. - NZ Herald.