Category: Man-Made Disasters

There has always been a fascination between children and trains? How fast is it going? How much does it weigh? Will it really flatten a penny? The answer is simple. Trains go fast, they weigh a lot and they will flatten a penny.

As we get older our questions change to, ‘What if’s.’ What would happen if the tracks froze? What would happen if a car where on the tracks? How about a tire? Would that be a problem? If the tracks freeze the train goes on, if it hits a car it’ll spin the vehicle and stop when it can but it’ll stay on the tracks.

Unlike the penny that simply gets flattened, a tire on the tracks is an entirely new deal. If it hadn’t been proven before, it was a few months ago when a Chicago train encountered just such an issue. The Blue Line train left the city headed to Forest Park. At approximately 7:40 p.m ., they left the West Side station at Cicero Avenue. Shortly there after, the train encountered a very out of the ordinary problem.

There on the tracks was a semi trailer truck tire. With the tire suddenly in the driver’s vision there was no time to stop. Only Superman could see a tire a mile away and it takes a mile for a train to stop completely. With nothing to do but move forward train and tire hit head on. The result? The front car of the train derailed! The score? Tire 1, Train 0. The tire won.

As of the source date there were no injuries reported. The passengers were shuttled to the next station and the tale of the tire had come to a full circle. Pun intended.


Source: Chicago Tribune, Friday April 11, 2014 – Section 1, Page 9

Ahmad Ali Karim's Weblog

At least 44 people were injured when two commuter trains collided head-on near the station of Granges-pres-Marnand, about 8 km (5 miles) south of Payerne in Switzerland at around 6:45 p.m. on Monday evening, July 29, 2013.

5 of them were critically injured.

The trains were on a route between Payerne and Lausanne.

One locomotive’s driver was missing after the crash.

Authorities are still investigating the caused the crash.

This train accident came just days after 79 people were killed in a high-speed train derailment in Spain and 17 days after another train accident in France killing 6 people.

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130718024608-india-school-children-story-body qh63 NTSB_twitter_investigators_asiana_crash_jt_130707_16x9_992 A firefighter works on the scene of a train derailment in Lac Megantic

Many of us are probably wondering what is going on in this crazy whacked out world we live in. Every day we pick up the paper, turn on the TV or tune into the radio and hear the latest in a slew of bad news.

For instance at the present moment we have multiple forest fires that threaten to turn many of our citizens into dried out tinder. Their homes are being erased. Dreams that they worked so long for are disappearing. We lost 19 men to a forest blaze simply because the wind turned and there wasn’t enough time for them to hide beneath their insulated blankets or run for cover. Cover? Where? The fire was surrounding these brave souls.

Perhaps you wanted to travel. Air travel has gotten much safer in the last few decades. Few accidents happen these days, right? Most of the time that is true, especially if you look at the number of flights versus the number of accidents. However we have two investigations going on at the same time. One plane crash-landed after hitting a sea wall in San Francisco. Bad judgement? Faulty equipment? It could be one, both or a combination of those two things plus other outside sources that caused the wreck that killed three. How about the plane that just caught fire as it sat motionless? What caused that to happen? At first worry was that the batteries were no good. Again! But, no, it was decided that wasn’t it. It was a safety devise that possibly overheated.

If you work or ride a train you know of their sizes. If you live in a city or town that has rail traffic chances are you see a freight train every now and again. It carries everything from new cars to tractors. Coal and other fuels are highly likely to be aboard as well. It’s ironic how a good day can suddenly turn into a bad one so quickly. The same day the plane crash-landed in San Francisco, a freight train parked outside a small town on the Maine/Canadian boarder broke free from where it was sitting and became a runaway. It reached full speed and then the thing left the tracks. Crude oil quickly spilled all over and a fireball explosion flattened the area. Forty-five are thought to be dead, though many of these haven’t been confirmed. They are still missing.

Haven’t’ had enough yet? Did you hear about the poor little children in India? They were simply sitting down to eat their noon meal. There were no gunmen. No explosion rocked the building. Nothing could have looked less sinister than the food placed before them. Yet just eating lunch killed 22 of these children. More may follow. What happened? They ate their lunch. The problem was that it was poisoned with insecticide. Where is the principle? No one knows. She ran away and hasn’t been seen.

The world we live in can be cruel. No matter where we live disasters can strike. When common sense is missing, mistakes happen. It doesn’t have to always be purposeful. Lives have been lost at times for the most insanely dumb and thoughtless reasons. Be careful. Make sure you know what you are doing and double-check everything not once or twice but half a dozen times. You never can check too many times and you don’t know when that final check can save your life.

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