Archive | August 3, 2016

Indian Bridge Collapses; 2 Dead; 20 People Missing

The collapsed bridge
The collapsed bridge over the rain-swollen Savitri River
Two people have died and at least 20 others are missing after a bridge collapsed into a flooded river in western India.
 
Two state-run buses plunged into the fast-flowing water when the bridge was washed away near Mahabaleshwar, south of Mumbai, around midnight on Tuesday.
 
Large chunks of the single-lane bridge, built in the British colonial era, fell into the Savitri River, which was swollen by days of torrential monsoon rains.
 
Emergency workers have pulled two bodies from the river, but they were still searching for the others feared swept downstream following the accident.
 
More than 100 rescuers, including divers, rushed to the area, but their efforts were being hampered by heavy rains, said the head of the National Disaster Response Force, OP Singh.
 
“The flow of currents is very strong, making it difficult to launch a full-scale search operation,” he said.
 
The air force, navy and coastguard have also deployed helicopters to search the river.
 
Maharashtra state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the bridge appeared to have collapsed after being pounded by the flooded river.
 
“The primary reason seems to be the high pressure caused due to flooding of river Savitri due to heavy rains in catchment of Mahabaleshwar,” he said on Twitter.
 
The bridge, constructed in the 1940s, was the older of two parallel bridges which are on a highway connecting India’s financial capital with the tourism state of Goa. 
 
The collapse is the latest in a string of deadly accidents in India where safety rules and regulations may not be enforced and poor building material is used. 
 
Twenty-six people were killed in the eastern city of Kolkata in April after an under-construction flyover collapsed.
 
Scores of people also die each year in India and the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bangladesh a result of flooding and landslides during the monsoon season.
Courtesy of Sky News

Passenger Jet On Fire At Dubai Airport

Plane crash lands at Dubai airport
Plane crash lands at Dubai airport. Pic: Scott Macpherson
A plane has crash-landed at Dubai International Airport, before bursting into flames on the runway.
 
Emirates airline has confirmed that a jet carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew was “involved in an accident”.
 
The flight was EK521 coming from Kerala, India.
 
Twenty four Britons and four Irish passengers were among those on board.
 
Footage from the airport posted online showed flames bursting out of the front of the Boeing 777-300.
 
Clouds of black smoke could be seen billowing from the plane, in other pictures posted to social media.
 
Those on board said that the pilot told them there was a problem with a landing gear and that he would be making the emergency landing, according to Indian media reports.
 
A spokesman for Dubai Airport said that all passengers and crew had been evacuated. Emirates confirmed that everyone who had been on board is now safe.
 
It said on Twitter: “We can confirm that there are no fatalities among our passengers and crew. All passengers and crew are accounted for and safe.”
 
India’s ambassador to the UAE says that many passengers are in shock, adding that a crew member had been taken to hospital for treatment.
 
An aviation expert has told Sky News that a wind shear warning was in place in Dubai at the time of the crash.
 
The Dubai government has suspended all takeoffs and landing until further notice, with flights being diverted, while Emirates said it expected a network wide delay for four hours.
 
Passenger Alby Wilson, who was waiting in the airport lounge, told Sky News: “There was a loud noise outside. People ran to the windows and we saw the plane about 500 metres away.
Courtesy of Sky News

GEOMAGNETIC STORM IN PROGRESS Kp Index is at level 5

***ALERT***

GEOMAGNETIC STORM IN PROGRESS
Kp Index is at level 5
Scale of G1

Minor

Power systems: weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft operations: minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Other systems: migratory animals are affected at this and higher levels

Kp Index NOAA 03.08.16  03.30 hrs UTC