Category: Disasters


The Missing Hawaii Clipper

image

As our attention is drawn in by the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 it brings thoughts of another missing plane that still hasn’t been found to this day. On July 28, 1938 the Pan Am Hawaii Clipper, a giant sea plane took off from Guam. Everything went along as usual with its normal island hopping flight.

The Hawaii Clipper took off from Hawaii for Manila. At 12:11 p.m. the captain radioed Manila to say he was about two hours away. He reported smooth sailing and good weather. A minute later Panay Island an island south of Manila radioed back. They were not answered. They radioed again several times but nothing was on the airways but static. There was no one there. The Hawaii Clipper had vanished.

Unlike most planes that have trouble and need assistance in case of a crash, the sense of urgency was not here for this plane. It was a water plane after all and if something happened over water it could simply land and remain afloat thanks to four watertight bulkheads. Because of this, the search team was not sent out right away. Those in charge of sending out help didn’t see the need. These pilots knew the area well and all such planes were equipped for any unforeseeable accident.

Inside, these planes carried rubber inflatable boats, balloons to drop outside that would show her course on the sea and kites to be used for an emergency radio aerial. They wouldn’t be hungry either. Each plane carried a shotgun and fishing tackle along with enough food for fifteen people to last a month.

Perhaps one of the greatest mysteries in history began when the rescue party set out to find this missing plane. It wasn’t what they found that made the news, it was what they didn’t find. There was no plane, debris, oil or any sign there ever was a plane. The Hawaii Clipper and all fifteen of the lives aboard her were gone. They never were found.

The only thing that we do know was that for one reason alone this was not an ordinary flight. Aboard the plane was one Wah Sun Choy, a New Jersey Chinese-born restaurateur. On his person he carried three million US dollars (Over forty-five million today) to be used for the Chinese War Relief Fund. As President of the Committee, Choy was bringing this money, fundraised by American’s, to the Chinese government. Like the plane, this money was never seen again.

One can only hope that the fate of the Hawaii Clipper is not a mirrored reflection of the missing Malaysia Airline. It would be horrifying to think that history could be so cruel as to repeat herself with the lives of 239 people. The mysterious loss of 15 lives should be enough. No matter what, both of these incidents have our full attention.

To see an informative article regarding other planes that have vanished and never been found please visit:

http://m.theepochtimes.com/n3/551448-missing-planes/

To read another article that relates to mine please go to:

http://lostclipper.com/2014/03/14/malaysia-airliner-hijacked/

1200

“Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse.” Yes, we’ve heard these words before but this time they were more than true. Remember that cruise ship, the Carnival cruise liner Triumph which had to be towed due to a fire in the engine room on February 10, 2013? You know the one. The one with the passengers who had no air conditioning, hot water or working bathrooms for five days. Well, let’s just say that the story didn’t end there.

You see, they did finally get off that ship but getting off wasn’t, shall we say any better. What’s worse than being trapped on a dung smelling ship? How about being in the dung! You think I’m joking? I wouldn’t do that to you. At least, not about this.

On February 15, 2013 those some of those same passengers who got off the ship in Mobile, Alabama go onto a charter bus. They were headed to New Orleans. Several hours into their bus trip the next phase occurred and not to anyone’s liking. They went off the road and where they landed was one of the most distasteful and unhappy places they could find themselves.

They had landed in a local sewage treatment plant. Their bus found itself over seventy percent inside the concrete sewage tank. Passengers, who had only had to put up with the smell of sewage on shipboard, now found themselves covered in it.

Their reward for being in the thick of it, an apology from Carnival and the offer of 100 Loyalty Club points to use on a future cruise. One would have to be loyal to use those points. While it is cold here in the Chicagoland Midwest, I think I’ll brave it and stay out of Carnival’s business. I’m sure they are a fine cruise line with many wonderful places to go and have just hit a rough patch like most of us do in our lives but for now I’ll be me and stay on land. You?

Imagine yourself relishing the thought of a wonderful vacation on a cruise ship. All the comforts of home but you don’t have to work for them. Imagine all the food you normally couldn’t afford and wouldn’t know how to make if you did. Now imagine entertainment every night with live shows and movies. There will be new people and new faces everywhere and not an enemy in sight. That is what you think of when you think of a cruise but for those on the Carnival cruise liner Triumph it just wasn’t an average cruise. It was the cruise from hell!

To these passengers, their vacation was anything of a triumph. They dreamed of warm sunny days in the Gulf of Mexico. When they were too hot, there was always air conditioning, a far cry from the normal frigid winters in many areas of the U.S. Then, the unexpected happened to change everything.

On February 10, 2013 a fire broke out in one of the engine rooms. Since it was quickly extinguished and no one was hurt, the 4,200 passengers and crew probably thought there wouldn’t be a whole lot of difference to their cruise experience, especially since there were two engines. Their assumptions soon proved to be wrong as there was shared cabling to the two engines and the fire had put that out of commission. The ship was left crippled with only its emergency backup power. They were adrift.

To reach shore, Triumph had to be towed. For five days these once happy passengers were without air conditioning, hot water and possibly more importantly – working bathrooms. Their trip could only be described as an ordeal.

Source Sited: The Onion, Tuesday,  February 15, 2013

Carnival Cruise Mental Disasters

Imagine yourself relishing the thought of a wonderful vacation on a cruise ship. All the comforts of home but you don’t have to work for them. Imagine all the food you normally couldn’t afford and wouldn’t know how to make if you did. Now imagine entertainment every night with live shows and movies. There will be new people and new faces everywhere and not an enemy in sight. That is what you think of when you think of a cruise but for those on the Carnival cruise liner Triumph it just wasn’t an average cruise. It was the cruise from hell!

To these passengers, their vacation was anything of a triumph. They dreamed of warm sunny days in the Gulf of Mexico. When they were too hot, there was always air conditioning, a far cry from the normal frigid winters in many areas of the U.S. Then, the unexpected happened to change everything.

On February 10, 2013 a fire broke out in one of the engine rooms. Since it was quickly extinguished and no one was hurt, the 4,200 passengers and crew probably thought there wouldn’t be a whole lot of difference to their cruise experience, especially since there were two engines. Their assumptions soon proved to be wrong as there was shared cabling to the two engines and the fire had put that out of commission. The ship was left crippled with only its emergency backup power. They were adrift.

To reach shore, Triumph had to be towed. For five days these once happy passengers were without air conditioning, hot water and possibly more importantly – working bathrooms. Their trip could only be described as an ordeal.

Source Sited: Chicago Tribune, Tuesday,  October 8, 2013

What Happened Two Years Ago This Week:

It was an ordinary routine. Load the propane tank onto the truck and watch it drive down the road to its designated clients. It was 11 A.M., almost lunch time. The men loaded the tank capable of a capacity of 1,000 gallons of propane onto the truck. Everything was fine until it shifted.

When the tank rolled over, a valve was severed. Realizing their eminent peril, the truck driver gave a shout and yelled that everyone get back. Seconds later, the tank and the truck carrying it exploded. Five workers found themselves burnt. All went to a local hospital and as of later that day one had already returned home. Three others were in good condition. The fifth was in critical condition but would recover.

Firefighters continued to douse the tank and its truck for much to the afternoon. They also found themselves containing a portion of the fire that had spread to a construction trailer and two other buildings on the make. At the time of the explosion, the plant was under a $90 million dollar expansion. Firemen also had to combat brush fires that sprung up every now and then in the nearby woods.

The tank only carried 300 gallons at the time of the explosion. Can you guess what the outcome would have been had it carried the full load of 1,000 gallons? Much worse, that’s for sure.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

 

tollway29n-1-web

We already have too many laws and some are overkill, that say the same thing using different words. Yet there are a few new ones that really were needed. Semi drivers follow rules others on expressways don’t. They have a limited amount of hours they can drive. Going over the allotted amount becomes dangerous. When they weave in their lanes, drivers around them worry the semi will leave its lane and crash into them.

Another rule Semi drivers must follow has to do with the presence of emergency vehicles. When one is present on the side of the road, truckers must slow down dramatically or switch lanes if possible. That said, these particular rules are very much needed as evidenced by Monday night’s I-88 Wreck.

Renato Velasquez was in a hurry to get his load wherever it was headed. Time to him was of the essence and stopping meant lost time. He was tired but onward he trekked. When he saw the emergency vehicle on the side of the road he didn’t yield to the next lane but kept on.

Suddenly his cab jumped as the impact of a collision occurred. He’s rammed into three vehicles on the side of the road. A fiery inferno erupted as a car burst into flames. Tollway worker Vincent Petrella was killed and state trooper Douglas Balder was left critically injured from the accident. Petrella and Balder had stopped to help a broken drown semi driver when the Velsquez found them around 9:45 that night. The driver of the broken down semi was not harmed. Velsquez himself did go to the hospital but he was later released.

Today Renato Velasquez had his bond hearing. Velasquez was charged with four felony counts including:

1.) Driving a commercial vehicle while impaired/fatigued
2.) Driving over the hour limit
3.) Failing to yield to parked emergency vehicles
We shall see what the outcome will be.

As for the sad passing of Vincent Petrella, the state flags were flown at half-staff in his honor at Gov. Pat Quinns orders. His wife, 7-year-old daughter and 4 year old son will miss him, as will the village of Wheeling. The police issued a statement Tuesday to the effect that they expected state trooper Douglas Balder to survive.

Driving can be dangerous at any time and anywhere. What’s the worst is when people purposely decide to disregard the facts in front of them. There really are reasons for these laws. They might not be evident to us, since we were not in the boardroom or in the law office where the work was researched to begin their writing, but they are needed just the same. They protect us each and every day. We should protect them and ourselves by following them. Perhaps if we all do, the number of people killed on our nation’s roads will go down. Wouldn’t that be a nice beginning for this New Year?

Source Info. Came From:
Chicago Tribune Wednesday 1-29-14 Section 1, Page 5

Fire Changes Train Schedule

Fires happen every day. What they don’t do every day is make a train wait or not go at all. Late Wednesday night a 5 alarm fire began in the vacant Aqua Aqua Inc. warehouse building in the 1800 block of 54th Avenue jn the Cicero neigborhood of Chicago.

The origin of the fire continues to be a mystery. What is not a mystery was the lengths it would take to bring its presence to attention.  The war on human endurance began around 6pm and didn’t hold up until around midnight as 120 firefighters from over 30 communities battled the blaze along with constantly freezing hydrants and the slippery ice it created.

The fire itself wasn’t content to take just one building with it as it spread to the Central Steel Fabricators building that packs and ships telecommunications  products. To be doublely sure that it was noticed, the fire gave such intense heat that the nearby Pink Line of the CTA train west of Pulaski found its service disrupted.

There is now talk of domolishing these buildings as the fear of hot spots springing up enters the minds of firefighters.

Source Cited:
Chicago Tribune Wednesday January 22, 2014 Section 1, Page 12
Chicago Tribune Thursday January 23, 2014 Section 1, Page 11

As we grew up many of us had fun playing cops and robbers. We got out our guns and had a ball switching it up; some times we played the cop, other times the robber. The more real looking the gun the more envied we were by the other kids in the neighborhood. Today playing with our toys can get us killed.

The family of a boy in Santa Rosa, California found this out October 22, 2013 when their 13-year-old was killed by Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies. The boy had a replica assault rife in his hands when the officers shot him. With all the children these days shooting up schools, these men didn’t stop to ask questions. They shot first and now their office has declined answering questions.

It is sad to think that our children can not grow up in the same safe and natural manner that we did. We knew right from wrong and many of us who played cops and robbers became cops while very few became robbers. Perhaps someday this gentle innocence will return where children will again be safe to play without fear that their play-acting will be taken as true actions.

I weep for this child and his family who lost their child to the terror of modern day living. Children should be allowed to be children. They should grow up gradual and enjoy being outside making up their own games and roll-playing to their hearts contents versus living in the darkness of a house staring at a computer or television screen playing video games.

Source Used:
Chicago Tribune Thursday October 24, 2013 Section 1, Page 22

This time of year we envision hazards coming from traveling on icy roads. What we don’t think of is the danger of what happens once we get inside. For workers at the International Nutrition Plant in Omaha, Nebraska they discovered being in jeopardy was not being outside but inside the building. Monday morning found 38 workers scurrying about their jobs.

Kendrick Houston, a forklift operator and Nate Lewis, a production line worker gave readers of the Omaha World-Herald a good picture of that day’s surprise visit of an explosion and its ensuing fire. The first sign of a problem was when the floor began to tremble. With this odd sensation came a loud crackling sound and then the lights went out. There was a spark and then a ball of flames as the building caved in from 3rd floor down.

Intense heat and smoke hampered rescue as 50 Omaha firemen attempted to do their duty. They were able to rescue 5 people and as of Tuesday, January 21, 2014 there are two dead (1 body recovered,) as well as 10 workers injured (4 in critical condition.) At present everyone is accounted for but it remains uncertain at this time whether there were any visitors to the animal feed plant at the time of the explosion. If there were, those people have yet to be discovered. Part of the plant was flattened by the incident, which is being called an industrial accident. Investigators say it may take weeks before the answers of why the explosion and fire happened become clear.

Source Used:
Chicago Tribune Tuesday 1-21-2014 Section 1, Page 10

The New Year has begun much like the old year ended, with trains having problems. Monday, 1-20-2014 we saw another train figuratively hit the dust. Chugging down the Philadelphia track it reached a bridge and instead of going forward, it went sideways and tumbled off the tracks. Thankfully no one was hurt and the potentially dangerous crude oil cargo stayed where it ought to stay, in its oil cars.

Setbacks, well there are always setbacks with something of this type and drivers on the Schuylkill Expressway found their way barred with its closing. The Coast Guard reported that the nearby Schuylkill River was also safe. Reports say it will be a day or two before the rail cars and the various cargoes, including the crude oil can be removed and life in the area returned to normal.

Source Used:
Chicago Tribune Tuesday January 21, 2014 Section 1, Page 13

Imagine being all alone and falling 100 feet into Box Canyon? That happened to a 69-year-old woman. She fell on Saturday and it wasn’t until a hunter heard her calls on Monday that help came. She was hoisted up by helicopter and by Tuesday she was recovering in a hospital. Falling into a canyon outside Tucson Arizona wasn’t her idea of fun. Without the hunter who came to her aid, where would she be today?

Source:
Chicago Tribune Tuesday, September 10, 2013 Section 1, Page 17

%d bloggers like this: