Archive | June 27, 2014

Plane crashes & pilot miraculously walks away in Maryland Heights, USA

Plane crash on 364

A twin-engine airplane developed trouble shortly after takeoff from Creve Coeur Airport and crashed during the pilot’s attempt to return to the runway, authorities said.

The first 911 calls from motorists on Missouri 364 were recorded at 4:53 a.m. Thursday. The crash site is just west of the highway. The airport is across the road to the east.

The pilot managed to get out of the wreck of the Cessna 414 and made a 911 call to alert authorities that he had been the only person in the plane.

Maryland Heights Police Chief Bill Carson said the pilot, James Turner, 48, of Chesterfield, told investigators he had just taken off for a flight to Kentucky when he noticed a warning light about the cargo door. As he was looping back to return to the runway, his left engine failed.

Debris from small plane crash

“He said the plane descended immediately and he couldn’t keep it from going down,” Carson said.

Corey Irelan, a battalion chief for the Pattonville Fire Protection District, said of the pilot’s condition, “As he was being transported, he was breathing fine and able to talk.”

The airplane crashed near a bicycle trail just west of the highway and probably clipped a power line and trees, he said. The site is west of a standard flight approach to the airport runway.  

The crash and fire destroyed the airplane. Missouri Highway 364 was closed during the emergency response.

Assisting Pattonville Fire were the Maryland Heights, Monarch and Central County fire districts, and the St. Charles County Ambulance district. Irelan said his department led the response because it covers the Missouri 364 river bridge. The first 911 calls put the crash near the bridge.

Plane crash on 364

Plane crash-lands at Indy International, USA

A small, single-engine plane crash-landed at the Indianapolis International Airport just after noon on Friday, leaving one passenger injured, officials confirmed.
No one was killed in the crash, and Indianapolis Airport Authority spokesman Carlo Bertolini said airport operations were unaffected.
The plane is a single-engine Cessna owned by Erie, Colorado-based Aero Systems Inc., according to the Federal Aviation Administration Registry. Burtolini said it crash-landed at around 12:20 p.m. and came to rest in a grassy area near an old terminal.
Bertolini said the cause of the crash is still under investigation, and likely won’t be known for some time.
One passenger was injured in the accident, and taken by ambulance to receive medical treatment, according to police scanner traffic. The only other person on board was uninjured, Bertolini said.
The names of the two passengers have not been released.

Plane crash kills pilot in Halifax County, North Carolina, USA

Halifax County plane crash

The pilot was killed Friday morning when a single-engine plane crashed in a Halifax County field, authorities said.

The single-engine Cessna 182 departed from the Sabot Airport, which is west of Richmond, Va., and was en route to the Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport when the pilot reported engine problems, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The pilot was diverted to the Hanover County Municipal Airport north of Richmond but decided to head to the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport for an unknown reason, the FAA said.

The plane crashed about 10 a.m. off Andrew Hale Road near Littleton, about 5 miles southwest of the airport.

The pilot’s name hasn’t been released, and authorities said no one else was aboard the plane.

A search of the aircraft’s tail number shows it was manufactured in 1977. It is registered to Poe Inc. in Manakin Sabot, Va.

The FAA sent a team investigators to the crash site.

Jamaica On High Alert For Chikungunya Virus

Chikungunya Virus Alert

Although there are no reported cases of chikungunya in Jamaica, the Ministry of Health remains on high alert as the mosquito-borne virus continues to spread across the Caribbean

The country has beefed up its surveillance and vector-control measures amid reports that there are now some 5,000 confirmed cases across 24 countries and territories in the Caribbean.

“At this time, we continue to prepare and watch, with our people trained and ready to respond, if necessary,” Neville Graham, director of communications at the Ministry of Health, told The Gleaner yesterday.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Public Health (BOG) in Suriname confirmed 17 cases of the virus in that country, with widespread infection expected.

Officials from the BOG, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organization warned that if precautionary measures were not taken, the virus could affect thousands.

Maureen Van Dijk-Wijngaarde, deputy director of BOG, revealed that the first chikungunya case in Suriname was confirmed on June 7, after a man who returned from vacation in St Martin developed symptoms of the illness. Last week, a second case, a woman who returned from Guyana, was confirmed, while the remaining 15 were confirmed on Wednesday.

“Chikungunya is a new virus for Suriname. Since there is no resistance as yet, everyone here is vulnerable. Therefore, in the coming months, we may expect thousands to be infected by the virus,” CARPHA’s director, James Hospedales, warned.

Health officials across the Caribbean are urging everyone to take the necessary precautions, as well as to safeguard against containers and areas with water that could be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Major power outage leaves commuters scrambling, silences president in Venezuela

Power Outage Alert

A blackout cut power to much of Venezuela on Friday, snarling traffic in the capital Caracas and other major cities as authorities scrambled to restore electricity after the outage, which twice interrupted a presidential broadcast.

Pedestrians streamed into the streets of Caracas as the blackout shuttered the underground metro trains and left frustrated drivers honking in the chaos without stoplights.

Government ministers in the late afternoon said they expected power would be restored shortly. It was the second nationwide major electricity outage in less than a year.

“How am I going to get to my house? By the grace of God,” said Pedro Mayora, 58, an accountant who was waiting outside the Metro to see how he would reach his home on the poor west end of the city.

Workers stood in groups outside evacuated buildings, some complaining of difficulty in communicating over congested cellular phone lines.

An outage at a power station in the center of the country led to other generation centers going offline, halting service in that region and in the Andes region in the west, Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon told state television.

The problems extended to Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second city, and the industrial center of Valencia.

The OPEC nation has suffered an increasing number of power outages in recent years, which critics have attributed to low electricity tariffs and limited state investment following the 2007 nationalization of the power sector.

Television screens froze for several seconds as Maduro was speaking during a broadcast of the awards ceremony for a national journalism prize. The words “It looks like the power went out” were audible in the background.

“Traffic normally flows fine, but with the power out it’s complete chaos,” said Carlos Pena, 58, a fuel station worker.

A representative of state oil company PDVSA said there were no reports of the oil industry being affected.

President Nicolas Maduro in December blamed a similar power outage on opposition saboteurs who attacked a transmission line with a firearm.

Critics call the power problems a symptom of 15 years of socialist policies that have left the country without a steady supply of energy despite having the world’s largest oil reserves.

Late socialist leader Hugo Chavez in 2007 nationalized the country’s power sector as part of a broad wave of state takeovers.

Maduro this year weathered three months of often violent opposition demonstrations demanding his resignation that were in part motivated by complaints over shoddy public services. He said the protests were a U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow him.

A freak hailstorm in Southern Sweden; young Swedish boy builds a snowman

Swedish boy builds snowman in late June
A freak hailstorm in southern Sweden prompted a young Swedish boy to get creative and build a snowman with a little help from his dad, who told The Local all about their feat

Sweden’s meteorological agency SMHI warned of storms hitting the south on Thursday and the town of Mörrum wasn’t spared.

“The hailstorm must have lasted about ten minutes and it was absolutely crazy. There was several inches of it on the ground,” Göran Odenhammer, father and occasional snowman builder, told The Local.

Odenhammer and his seven-year-old son David ventured outside to inspect the hail and did what comes naturally – have fun in the snow/hail during the Swedish summer.

“At first we were making snowballs but then I said to myself ‘let’s try to make a snowman’ so David and I got to work.

“It felt a bit strange to be making a snowman during the summer as we were wearing shorts but I have to say it came out pretty well,” said Odenhammer senior.

The father-and-son team didn’t just build any old snowman. Oh no indeed. It was a pretty decent-sized one at 1.2 metres, measuring up well to the younger Odenhammer, who turns eight next week.

“I took the picture so you could see just how big the snowman was. It was a real local storm as the town just ten kilometres away just experienced normal rain while we got the severe hailstorm,” said Odenhammer.

But all good things and snowmen don’t last forever. Once the hail subsided and the sun came out again the June snowman started to melt away.

“There’s about half of it left and the rest will probably melt soon. But it was fun while it lasted and we certainly made the most of it,” concluded Odenhammer.

Severe hailstorm leaves piles of ice in Tokyo, Japan

Japan’s Kanto region, which includes the capital Tokyo, was hit by volatile weather Tuesday, including heavy rain and thunder, with hail piling up as high as 10 centimeters in some parts of the capital.

“There was cold air in the upper atmosphere over the city yesterday, which isn’t rare for this time of year. But it remained at the same spot because it was blocked by a front,” a spokeswoman at the weather information provider Weathernews Inc. told JRT on Wednesday. “This caused the heavy and concentrated downpour of ice particles, some as big as 10 millimeters in size.”

Weathernews said the hailstorm peaked around 3 p.m. (0600 GMT), mainly hitting areas in western Tokyo, including the towns of Chofu and Mitaka. Users of the social network Twitter sent out photos of dented cars and broken windows caused by hail.

“Evacuating into a building is recommended whenever thunder or dark storm clouds are approaching,” the spokeswoman said. The weather is expected to improve but remain unpredictable until the weekend, Weathernews said. The Japan Meteorological Agency said Tokyo could get more hail and thunder until late Wednesday.

Tornado touches down in Rome

A man in East Rome unexpectedly snapped the only known photo of the tornado that hit Verona last Tuesday while testing out the settings on his new point-and-shoot camera.

Daniel Mizer, 53, said that he purchased his new camera while it was on sale, urged by his son to pick up new equipment. Mizer said that he picked up the camera to test some settings and try to capture a few shots of the lightning outside of his fifth-story apartment and didn’t even realize that he had captured to the funnel cloud forming.

It wasn’t until the next day when he was freeing up space on the device that he saw the tornado, which he initially thought was part of a tree.

“I thought it was a tree branch, but then I realized I was way too high up to get one in the shot,” Mizer said.

Mizer recently settled into what he considers an early retirement after he injured his back during a construction incident. Mizer said that doctors have told him he cannot return to work without extensive surgery. For years, he has worked as a caregiver, moving from the ARC to a maximum security hospital in a local correctional facility. He spent several years as a drug and alcohol abuse counselor in Florida before moving back to New York.

Mizer’s interest in photography is nothing new.

“I always liked taking pictures,” Mizer said. “From throw-away cameras to Polaroids, I’ve always taken pictures of fishing trips and other outings. I like to keep memories of things.”

Mizer said that he considers the picture a “stroke of luck” and does not consider himself a photographer. He spends his time behind the camera taking photos of wildlife around his apartment complex and neighborhood, in between coffee breaks and visits with neighbors. He used to hunt, but he said he can’t sit for prolonged periods of time anymore because of his back.

“I was just so excited,” Mizer said. “I was messing with different timing settings and other features and I got a picture of a tornado.”

Mizer said that he plans on spending more time developing his photography skills. His most recently accomplishment, however, was becoming a grandfather– he said that he is looking forward to making a trip to Tennessee soon to meet the newest member of his family and make some new photographic memories.

Tornado Hits Trailer Park in Galveston, Texas, USA

A Galveston, Texas man is counting his blessings after riding out a tornado in his RV.
“I really didn’t know what was happening at first,” Buzz Zetka said. “But once it started I knew it was a tornado. You just have to hold your breath. It was a rough shake. That trailer was going every which way. I was holding on. I was afraid it was going to topple over.”
Zetka, 75, and his dog weathered the storm unharmed. His RV, however, was damaged and knocked off its jacks.

Severe flood & landslide leaves 3 missing & 100’s displaced in West Java, Indonesia


An official said Friday that flash floods and landslides caused by Thursday’s heavy downpours have left three people missing and hundreds of others displaced in Sukabumi district of West Java.

Mud rushed down from a 40 meter-high hill in Purabaya sub- district, hitting houses and burying three people, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of national disaster.

“Until today (Friday) the three persons still could not be found,” he told Xinhua via phone.

A total of 14 houses were damaged and one bridge collapsed, said Sutopo, adding, “As many as 500 people flee homes and take shelters at relatives’ houses and school buildings.”

Soldiers, police, government officials and volunteers have taken part in the emergency relief works, according to him.

Seasonal downpours often incur floods and landslides each year in Indonesia, a chain of 17,500 islands.