Archive for the ‘safety’ Category

Death On The Rails: Text Messaging, Poor Signals Played A Role

December 3, 2008

The train engineer was text messaging just seconds before a deadly crash.  Now it seems the traffic signals he saw could have been missed too….

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Investigators find the station’s red signal was not as clear as the yellow and green ones, and continue probing whether the engineer and conductor followed communication rules.
By Rich Connell and Robert J. Lopez
The Los Angeles Times
A critical red light that a Metrolink train ran just before slamming into a freight train in Chatsworth was not as visible as green and yellow signals displayed by the same trackside warning device, investigators probing the disaster have found.

The clarity of the stop light, as well as possible violations of communication rules by the commuter train’s crew, have become key focus points in the federal inquiry into the deadliest rail accident in modern California history.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-
metrolink3-2008dec03,0,1876430.story

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Russia’s roads most dangerous in Europe

November 29, 2008

People die at a higher rate traveling Russia’s roads than in any country in Europe, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgalieve says.

 

Nurgalieve said Thursday that 32,000-35,000 people die and about 285,000 are injured in more than 200,000 traffic accidents in Russia each year, Kommersant reported Friday. That’s the highest traffic accident mortality rate of any European state, he said.

About 70 percent of all traffic deaths occur at the accident site or en route to the hospital.

Nurgaliev said, however, accidents blamed on drunken driving are down this year, as are accidents caused by pedestrians and children.

Still, he said, there is a need for a systematic and gradual buildup of efforts to reduce traffic fatalities.

–UPI

Obama doesn’t worry about threats against him

November 27, 2008

Soon-to-be president Barack Obama said he is not worried about his own security, despite a higher level of threats against him than any other president-elect in history.

Since Obama’s election, law enforcement officials have seen potential threatening writings, racist Internet postings and other troubling activity popping up. But Obama said in an interview with Barbara Walters that he never thinks about his safety.

By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writer

President-elect Barack Obama greets school children after making ... 
President-elect Barack Obama greets school children after making a surprise visit to St. Columbanus Catholic School on the South Side of Chicago, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“Part of it because I’ve got this pretty terrific crew of Secret Service guys that follow me everywhere I go, but also because I have a deep religious faith and faith in people that carries me through the day,” he said. “And my job is just to make sure I’m doing my job, and if I do, I can’t worry about that kind of stuff.”

In all the stress of the transition, Obama said he’s trying to eat healthy food, work out regularly and refrain from smoking now that the campaign is over, but he did not say he has quit cigarettes entirely.

Obama, a smoker who has quit but admitted occasional relapses, said in the interview that he fell “off the wagon during the campaign” a few times.

He did not directly answer her question about whether he is sneaking an occasional cigarette now amid the intense pressure of building his administration and the countdown to his swearing-in on Jan. 20.

“Part of what I think comes with this role as president is that you’re not perfect but hopefully you’re trying to set a good example for people, and that starts with my two kids,” Obama said in the interview that aired Wednesday on ABC-TV.

He said he’s been trying to stay healthy since the days of burgers on the campaign trail. The president-elect works out nearly every day, and says he’s watching his diet too.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081127/ap_on_go_pr_wh/oba
ma_security_health;_ylt=Ao4.HJIS3djygTtNWF5VBH.s0NUE

For U.S. Marines: Motorcycles Deadlier Than Iraq

November 1, 2008

More Marines have died on motorcycles than in Iraq so far this year. Just under 10 percent of Marines own high-speed sport bikes, and no one knows why the corps is so plagued by serious accidents. The military brass is so concerned that officials have scheduled a meeting to address the issue.

From Larry Shaughnessy
CNN Pentagon Producer

Twenty-five Marines have died in motorcycle crashes since last November — all but one of them involving sport bikes that can reach speeds of well over 100 mph, according to Marine officials. In that same period, 20 Marines have been killed in action in Iraq.
The 25 deaths are the highest motorcycle death toll ever for the Marine Corps.
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Gen. James Amos, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, told CNN that commanders are trying to drill down on what “we need to do to help our Marines survive on these sport bikes.”
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“The Marines are very serious about it,” he said.
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Marine Gunnery Sgt. Art Tucker knows all too well about the dangers of sport bikes. An owner of a Kawasaki Ninja, Tucker has had two crashes, and the second one nearly killed him.

Despite crashes, Gunnery Sgt. Art Tucker rides a sport motorcycle. "I enjoy it. ... It relaxes me," he says.

Above: Despite crashes, Gunnery Sgt. Art Tucker rides a sport motorcycle. “I enjoy it. … It relaxes me,” he says.
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“I sustained a broken collar bone, I tore the shoulder out of the socket, I tore three ligaments in the shoulder, the rotator cuff, I broke three vertebrae,” said Tucker, a drill instructor for new officers.
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“The worst was a head injury I received: a bruised brain. And it caused hemorrhaging, and from that I had partial paralysis of the left leg, full paralysis of the left foot and toes, and that was for approximately six months.”
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Amos said he and other top Marine officials will spend half the day Monday “focusing on nothing but motorcycle issues.” The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Conway, and other senior leadership will attend the meeting at the Quantico, Virginia, Marine base, he said.
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About 18,000 of the nearly 200,000 Marines are believed to own motorcycles, Amos said.
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The Marines have taken some measures. The Marine Corps has had a long-standing policy for all Marines who ride motorcycles to take a mandatory basic riding course. More recently, it added a second training course specifically designed to train Marines who ride sport bikes.
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Any Marine caught riding, even on leave, without going through the training courses faces Marine Corps punishment, officials say.
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On a recent day at the Quantico training track, Marines whizzed by on their bikes.

Bush defiantly defends war in Iraq

March 20, 2008
By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Bush defiantly defended the Iraq war Wednesday as U.S. troops began a sixth year of combat in the long and costly conflict that has dominated his presidency. Bush conceded the war has been harder and more expensive than anticipated but insisted it has all been necessary to keep Americans safe.
President George W. Bush speaks at the Pentagon in Washington ... 

President George W. Bush speaks at the Pentagon in Washington March 19, 2008 on the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion in Iraq.(Jason Reed/Reuters)

Protesters marked the anniversary of the U.S. invasion with demonstrations near the White House and in other cities, though they seemed to lack the fervor of those that preceded the war.

Bush, in a speech at the Pentagon, offered some of his boldest assessments of progress and said the war’s legacy is absolute: “The world is better, and the United States of America is safer.”

A war-weary country isn’t nearly so convinced.

The majority of people think the invasion was a mistake, polls show. However, Americans are more split about how the war is going and when U.S. troops should be pulled home, as reduced violence in Iraq has begun to influence the public view.

Almost 4,000 U.S. military members have died, and more than 29,000 have been wounded. The cost is $500 billion and counting.

“No one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure,” Bush said. “But those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in Iraq.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080319/ap_on_go_
pr_wh/bush_iraq;_ylt=Ase..mDR
G96rh2pHAdMWvgis0NUE

Vietnam Boosts Seafood Exports To EU Through Italy

March 18, 2008

HANOI, March 18 Asia Pulse Vietnam and Italy will cooperate to boost the export of seafood and agricultural products to the European Union (EU).

To this effect, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on food quality control has been signed by Nguyen Tu Cuong, Head of the National Fisheries Quality Assurance and Veterinary Directorate (Nafiqaved), and Romano Marabelli, General Director of the Italian Ministry of Health’s Department of Food, Nutrition and Public Health.

Marabelli said Vietnam should increase food exports to Italy, especially seafood such as shrimp, tra and basa catfish.

He also warned that Vietnam’s food exports must meet hygiene safety standards in order to protect consumers health.

To do this, the Vietnamese representative emphasised the need to raise producers awareness of food safety and increase the control of functional agencies.

To date, 269 Vietnamese enterprises have been permitted to export their products to the EU and Italy.

(VNA)

China Says Security Not A Worry After Plots Foiled

March 10, 2008

BEIJING (Reuters) – China insisted on Monday it will be able to hold a safe Summer Olympics after officials said they had foiled two terrorist plots, while activists expressed skepticism about the extent of any threat.

Paramilitary and uniformed police stop and search a man in a ...
Paramilitary and uniformed police stop and search a man in a wheelchair (L) in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. China has repeatedly warned of the terrorism threat ahead of the Olympics posed by its Muslim-populated far northwest, but analysts questioned Monday the true extent of the danger.(AFP/Peter Parks)

Wang Lequan, Communist Party boss in Xinjiang, where the largely Muslim, Uighur minority has agitated for greater autonomy and rights, told reporters police had shot dead two members of a “terrorist gang” in a January raid and rounded up 15 others whose aim was to disrupt the Games.

Other officials from the far-northwestern region said a passenger jet originating in Xinjiang was forced to halt on Friday after the discovery of what the state-run Xinhua news agency called a “planned terrorist attack.”

“From the very beginning we have attached great importance to Olympic security,” said Sun Weide, a spokesman for Beijing’s Olympic Organising Committee. “We are confident that we will be able to have a safe Olympic Games.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-olympics-security.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

China Concerned for Mine Safety

February 18, 2008

BEIJING – China‘s work safety agency warned Monday that a new wave of accidents could be triggered as coal mines shut by the wintry weather resume operations.

The State Administration of Work Safety warned on its Web site that the buildup of deadly gases, flooding and unstable power supply at the mines could all cause problems.

Nearly 1,800 mines in the southern provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan — all hit hard by freak snowstorms — have accumulated gases because they were forced to shut down because of power cuts, it said. Another 600 mines have been flooded.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080218/ap_on_re_as/china_coal_mines_2

 
China’s Mines Killed More Than 3,700 Last Year: Corruption a Problem

By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, February 18, 2008; Page A10

LINFEN, China — Mining has resumed in the frigid shafts, and long lines of 18-wheelers laden with coal once again clog the twisty mountain roads leading out of Linfen. This grime-covered city, where the packed snow long ago turned black and carbon-colored dust hangs in the air, has reclaimed its role as the capital of coal.

A gas explosion in December threatened Linfen’s boom ways. The accident, at a suburban mine, killed 105 workers and led authorities to halt this region’s production of the coal so badly needed to fuel China‘s roaring economy. The businesses in Linfen, in Shanxi province 400 miles southwest of Beijing, were hit hard. “They wouldn’t let anybody work,” complained Liu Wancong, who runs a small grocery in the city center.

The toll from the explosion ranked as the year’s second-worst. The government reported 3,786 miners killed in 2007, a 20 percent drop from 2006 but still making the country’s mines the most dangerous in the world.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/17/AR2008021702229.html

China closes 11,000 mines in safety crackdown

January 13, 2008

BEIJING, China (AP) — China has closed more than 11,000 small coal mines as part of a two-year-old safety crackdown aimed at stemming the industry’s high death toll, the government reported Sunday.
art.china.mines.afp.gi.jpg

Chinese mining claimed 3,786 lives in 2007, an improvement on 2006 but still the worst record globally.
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The total of 11,155 represents 45 percent of all small mines slated for closure, according to a report on the central government’s official Web site.

Reasons cited for closure include failure to obtain proper permits or safety equipment, causing undue damage to the environment, and exclusion from government economic plans.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/01/13/china.mines.ap/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Related:
China’s coal mines kill 3,786 in 2007

China’s coal mines kill 3,786 in 2007

January 12, 2008

BEIJING (AP) – Accidents in China‘s notoriously dangerous coal mines killed nearly 3,800 people last year, state media reported Saturday — a toll that is a marked improvement from previous years, but still leaves China’s mines the world’s deadliest.

In this file photo originally released by China's official Xinhua ...
In this photo released by China’s official Xinhua news agency, a trapped miner is taken to ambulance at the Yangchong Iron Mine in Fanchang County, east China, on Sunday Dec. 16, 2007. Six trapped miners were rescued after the mine collapsed in east China’s Anhui Province earlier in the week, Xinhua said. Accidents in China’s notoriously dangerous coal mines killed nearly 3,800 people last year, state media reported Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008, a toll that is a marked improvement from previous years, but still leaves China’s mines the world’s deadliest.
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A total of 3,786 were killed in mining accidents in 2007 — 20 percent lower than the 2006 toll, indicating the effectiveness of a safety campaign to shut small, illegal mining operations and reduce gas explosions, the Xinhua News Agency quoted the head of China’s government safety watchdog as saying.Coal is the lifeblood of China’s booming, energy-hungry economy. The mining industry’s safety, which has never been good, has often suffered….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080112/ap_on_re_
as/china_deadly_mines;_ylt=ApV_nhEfFAyrZhRw
SdLV3eas0NUE