Archive | May 20, 2014

40-foot wide sinkhole swallows part of college football field, USA

A large sinkhole has been discovered at Austin Peay State University’s Governors Stadium, complicating the project underway already to replace the main stadium building.
The hole, which extends into the north endzone, started out only about 3 feet by 5 feet and no more than 5 feet deep when it was discovered where the football field meets the track.
But workers have had to dig it out to be much larger, about 40 feet wide and 40 feet deep, in search of stable bedrock.
“We actually put a line item in the budget for sinkhole remediation,” said Mike Jenkins, superintendent for Nashville-based Bell & Associates Construction. “You never know to what extent you’re going to run into them, but we know that Montgomery County, and Austin Peay State University specifically, is famous for sinkholes.”
Last August, a 5-foot sinkhole opened on Ford Street, near the university’s Maynard Mathematics Center.
Underground limestone caves create the area’s unique karst topography, and digging for installation of electrical wires or pipes can accelerate the flow of water that leads to the erosion of the rock.
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Jenkins said officials met with a geotechnical engineer Monday as construction workers continued to excavate dirt and expand the hole, which was discovered nearly a month ago. It will be filled by several layers of rock, separated by concrete and topped off by 2 feet of subgrade asphalt beneath the track and turf.
That should be completed by the end of the week, and Jenkins said they delayed the process in order to have it coincide with the scheduled demolition of the existing track and turf. New surfaces will be laid sometime in June.
Renovations to the stands on the west side are being treated as a separate project, and Jenkins said the sinkhole shouldn’t affect the budget or schedule for either one.
Crews will also have to fix multiple smaller sinkholes in the parking lot in the final part of the project, which should be finished in time for the Govs’ home opener vs. Chattanooga Sept. 13.

Freak hail storm strikes World Cup 2014 host city Sao Paulo, Brazil

Hail Formation Alert

A hail storm covers streets in ice in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo which will host the opening match of the football World Cup in less than a month

A storm has brought marble-sized hail to the city of Sao Paulo, leaving some streets coated in white ice in Brazil’s largest city, which will host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup on June 12.

The Centre for Emergency Management said Sunday’s storm broke a dry spell that caused historically low levels at the main dams that supply water to Sao Paulo.

Many Sao Paulo residents struggled to keep their balance on the ice and the storm stranded cars in some neighbourhoods.

Sunday’s game between Corinthians and Figueirense at the Itaquerao Stadium, which will host the first match of the World Cup, was also affected by the rain and hail storms.

Severe storm causes devastation yet again in the Nizamabad district, India

Breaking News

Would-be bride among three killed in lightning. The tragedy left the families on both sides shocked as she was to get married on Tuesday evening

Soaked bags of grain at the agriculture market yard in Nizamabad on Tuesday. - Photo: K.V. RAMANA

Three persons, including a bride, were killed in separate incidents of lightning in Warangal district, while standing and harvested crops in a large extent were damaged in different parts of Telangana in the untimely rains/hailstorm across the region on Tuesday.

Heart-rending scenes were witnessed across Warangal district as the farmers lost standing and harvested crops in a sudden hailstorm that lashed late on Monday night and on Tuesday.

Bhanoth Uma (20), a would-be bride belonging to Khambalapalli thanda in Mahabubabad mandal, lost her life when a thunderbolt struck her.

The tragedy left the families on both sides shocked as she was to get married on Tuesday evening.

Two other persons – K. Kondaiah, 38, of Salakapur in Maddur mandal, and E. Govardhan, 26, of Gangapur village in Bachannapet mandal, were also killed by lightening.

Heavy winds that blew across the district left many trees and electricity poles uprooted and broken. Power supply was snapped in several mandals due to the gales. Inclement weather also prevented the officials reaching out to the victims to provide relief and assess the damage.

Farmers in Kesamudram, Mahabubabad and surrounding mandals suffered heavy loss as their paddy bags kept under the open sky in market yards were soaked in the rain. In Pandikunta, standing banana crop was damaged due to gales.

District Collector G. Kishan said the crop damage would be enumerated at the earliest. This is the second time the hailstorm has lashed the district in less than a month. Chilly, paddy, maize, cotton and other crops brought to market yards by farmers for sale were damaged due to the slow process of procurement.

In Nizamabad, the untimely rain caused heavy damage to paddy and turmeric in the market yard there and to the standing paddy crop at several places. About 5,000 bags of paddy and an equal quantity of turmeric and ‘aamchur’ (dried mango peels) were soaked in the heavy rain.

Paddy bags were also damaged in the market yard at Banswada. Farmers belonging to Mylaram and Nusrullabad staged rasta-roko on Varni-Nizamabad road in Beerkur mandal demanding procurement of the soaked grain. The details of standing paddy crop damaged in the rain is yet to be assessed.

In Nalgonda, untimely rain coupled with gales damaged paddy and horticulture crops in a large extent. Gales that swept the district hurt the crops in Nalgonda mandal, Bhongir division and parts of other places. Horticulture Officer P. Ananta Reddy said sweet lime and mango crops were badly hit.

Plane crashes & catches fire in Masterton, New Zealand

Plane Crash Alert

A Wairarapa pilot walked away unscathed from the burning wreckage of a $95,000 training plane he crash-landed during take-off at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton yesterday.

Masterton Fire Station Officer Garry Nielsen said two fire engines and an ambulance were scrambled soon after 2.30pm yesterday to the scene, where the blazing microlight aircraft was doused and the middle-aged pilot checked and cleared of injury.

“We assume he’s probably stalled it or lost control somehow and crash-landed it,” Mr Nielsen said.

“He was quite lucky.

“It’s hit the ground pretty hard but he’s bounced it off and managed to get out before the thing caught fire.”
WRECKAGE: The remains of the light plane that crashed at Hood Aerodrome come under careful scrutiny. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA

The pilot was the only occupant of the Italian Tecnam aircraft, Mr Nielsen said, and the blaze was extinguished using water carried aboard the fire engines.

The cockpit and central structure of the aircraft had been destroyed in the blaze, which Mr Nielsen said had failed to ignite the petrol tanks before firefighters arrived at the scene.

“It was no different from a car fire really. The petrol wasn’t burning. It was only the plane. He’s a lucky man. He may be sore but he walked away from it.”

Airport manager Tony Heyward said Hood Aerodrome had been closed to air traffic while the wreckage was cleared from the runway, where the aircraft had caught fire.

Wairarapa Ruahine Aero Club president Alex McLeod said the plane had been crash-landed soon after take-off. He and the chief flying instructor had helped to clear the crash scene.

He said the pilot was a Wairarapa man and the club had bought the training aircraft for $95,000.

“He’d just taken off and he was just at about 50 feet. It was one of our two training aircraft but our main concern, of course, was the safety and well-being of the pilot.”

It is understood the other aircraft was undergoing routine maintenance and the hangar at the aerodrome clubrooms was empty yesterday afternoon.

Plane Crash kills two in Lusaka West, Zambia

Plane Crash Alert

About two people believed to be Zambia Air force staff have died after a plane they were in crashed in Lusaka west.

Details regarding the cause of the crash and the type of plane involved remain scantting as ZAF personnel have condoned off the area.

Eye witness say the bodies and plane have been extensively damaged.





Moscow Train Collision Leaves ‘Several Dead’

Breaking News

At least one carriage from a passenger service is “crushed” by a derailed freight train outside Moscow, rescue officials say

Scene of the crash

At least five people have been killed after a freight train crashed into a passenger train near the Russian capital, Moscow.

According to a preliminary report from Russia’s Interior Ministry, another 15 were seriously injured in the collision on the Bekasovo-Nara line, near the town of Naro-Fominsk and 24 miles from central Moscow.

Several of the goods train’s carriages derailed immediately before the crash, Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported.

In a statement, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said: “Keep calm, do not panic.”

An Emergencies Ministry member speaks on a phone in front of a freight train after a collision with a passenger train in Moscow region

Itar-Tass reported that police had said 16 carriages on the freight train derailed and smashed into the passenger train.

Three carriages holding people on the passenger train, which was en route from Chisnau to Moscow, reportedly overturned in the crash.

Rescue co-ordinator Vadim Andronov told Itar-Tass that the death toll was likely to rise.

“One of the carriages of the passenger train was crushed by the freight train wagons,” he said.

“Rescuers are working to pull out injured people being crushed by the wagon.”

Service on the line has been suspended.

Massive explosion at oil refinery in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria

Breaking News

SEVEN people were feared dead on Sunday morning during a fire explosion which occurred at the Okrika, Port Harcourt jetty of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

 This was as scores of others were said to have suffered severe degree of burnt during the fire incident, which occurred when oil pipeline vandals were siphoning oil from pipelines belonging to NNPC at the jetty, near Okrika, in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State.


Chairman of the local government area, Tamunu Williams, who confirmed the incident, said “the fire incident is as a result of oil thieves, who were siphoning oil from NNPC pipelines.

He appealed to the management of NNPC to provide adequate protection and security for their pipelines and equipment so as not to endanger the lives of the people of the community.

Reacting, the NNPC Executive Director (Services), Mr Ralph Ugwu, while admitting that there was, indeed, a fire incident, said nemesis caught up with the pipeline vandals, as their boat exploded and caught up in fire.

“The incident has no impact on our operations whatsoever and, on our own side as NNPC, there is no casualty and the incident has no impact on our refining operations or on our jetty operations,” he said.

Ugwu said there were, indeed, some casualties but he could not ascertain the exact number, stressing that none of the victims was on the staff of the corporation.

The state police command confirmed the fire explosion, attributing it to activities of oil pipeline vandals, even as it was disclosed that those who were burnt had be taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.
Also, Mr Umesi Emenike, the South-South zonal coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),  confirmed the fire incident.

Emenike told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Sunday that  the fire did not affect the main refinery before it was put out by  fire service officers.

He said NEMA officials were still assessing the situation to ascertain whether there was  loss of  life and property.