TIME Accident

24 Rescued From Six Flags Rollercoaster

Firefighters rescuing 24 riders stuck atop the Joker's Jinx roller coaster at Six Flags theme park in Prince George's County, Maryland on August 10, 2014.
Firefighters rescuing 24 riders stuck atop the Joker's Jinx roller coaster at Six Flags theme park in Prince George's County, Maryland on August 10, 2014. Marc Bashoor—Prince George's County Maryland Fire/EMS/EPA

It took rescuers about 5 hours to remove 24 passengers from the Joker's Jinx ride

A rollercoaster at a Maryland Six Flags amusement park stopped on its tracks Sunday, stranding passengers the park’s Joker’s Jinx ride.

It took about five hours to rescue the ride’s 24 passengers, each of whom were rescued one-by-one, WJLA reports. Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor tweeted the rescue Sunday, sharing photos and information as it happened. None of the passengers reported injuries.

Six Flags spokesperson Debbie Evans said in a statement that the theme park is unsure why exactly the ride stopped, but that “the ride performed as it’s designed to.” WJLA reports the ride stops when its computer system detects a problem.

Joker’s Jinx is a 60 mile-per-hour ride with “over 55 twisting curves,” according to the Six Flags America website.

TIME Accidents

CDC: Anthrax Scare Caused by Lack of Oversight

Anthrax
BSIP/UIG—Getty Images/Universal Images Group

Another incident occurred after the anthrax exposure

Last month’s anthrax accident was caused by scientists’ failure to follow an appropriate study plan, a lack of standard procedures for documenting when biological agents are properly inactivated and a lack of oversight, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

The report, called for by the CDC’s director, reviewed the June incident in which researchers were exposed to potentially viable anthrax. It includes information about what went wrong and details actions the agency is taking to address the incident and prevent similar ones from happening again.

Not only did scientists at the Atlanta lab not follow an approved written study plan when handling the anthrax, but they also used a procedure that may not have adequately inactivated the samples of B. anthracis. The procedure the scientists used inactivates B. anthracis cells after 10 minutes, but the researchers were dealing with spores, which are more resistant to chemical inactivation and so a small percentage remained viable.

While the agency was conducting its internal review, another CDC lab had a separate incident in which a culture of non-pathogenic avian flu was unintentionally cross-contaminated with the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain. It was then shipped to a Level 3 select-agent United States Department of Agriculture lab. No one was exposed, but the lab is closed pending a review.

Due to the anthrax and the cross-contamination incidents, the CDC has placed a moratorium on the movement of all biological materials, active and inactive, from Biosafety Level 3 and Biosafety Level 4 facilities. These facilities handle microbes that can cause fatal infections that are transmitted easily by inhalation.

The review initiated an investigation in to the H5N1 incident, reported the incident to the proper channels, took personnel action, and established several groups to review CDC lab safety. One review group, which sits under the CDC’s Associate Director for Science, will look at the systems, procedures, and personnel issues leading to the anthrax event. A separate working group will report to the CDC director and serve as the point of accountability on lab safety for the time being.

TIME olympics

Olympic Swimmer Amy Van Dyken Rouen Severs Spine in ATV Accident

Denver Broncos side line reporter for 850 KOA Amy Van Dyken. Reporting on the Broncos vs the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, October 7th, 2007 at Invesco Field. Andy Cross / The Denver Post
Amy Van Dyken reporting on the Broncos vs the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, October 7th, 2007 at Invesco Field. Andy Cross--Denver Post via Getty Images

The six-time Olympic champ was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Friday and was airlifted to a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken Rouen was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident in Arizona on Friday that severed her spine.

The champion swimmer was airlifted to Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center after the ATV she was driving hit a curb in a parking lot and threw her down a drop-off that was thought to be between 5 to 7 feet. She reportedly told paramedics that she couldn’t move her toes or feel anything touching her legs. Van Dyken Rouen’s husband — former Denver Broncos player Tom Rouen — was with her at the time of the accident and told authorities that his wife hadn’t been drinking.

According to the Associated Press, a letter from the Van Dyken and Rouen families said that the 46-year-old swimmer had severed her spinal cord at the T11 vertebrae and that the broken vertebrae had come within millimeters of piercing her aorta.

Van Dyken Rouen made her name at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where she became the first U.S. female athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympic Games. (She snagged the top prize in the 50-meter freestyle and 100 butterfly events and was part of the winning relay teams in the 400 free and 400 medley.) Four years later in Sydney, Van Dyken Rouen won two more gold medals when she competed with the winning U.S. relay teams for the 400 free and 400 medley.

“The USA Swimming family is devastated to learn of Amy Van Dyken’s unfortunate accident this weekend,” said the national governing body for competitive swimming in a statement on their website. “We’re happy to hear that she escaped and is now in great care. That she is already ‘acting like her typical spunky, boisterous, ebullient self’ shows she’s on a great path. Amy is a champion who has proven throughout her life that she is a fighter who takes on challenges and comes out on top. We know Amy will tackle her rehabilitation with vigor and be back on her feet sooner rather than later.”

Despite the severity of the accident, Van Dyken Rouen has been posting photos to social media from her hospital bed, including a snap of artwork made by her niece and nephew, along with the hashtag #hostpitalsSuck.

 

TIME Accident

2 Kids Injured After Another Bounce House Gets Blown Away

A bounce house with two children inside flew across a field in Colorado just a few weeks after a similar incident in upstate New York

+ READ ARTICLE

A young girl was thrown about eight feet into the air and another boy was injured after an inflatable “bouncy house” started to blow away in the wind during a lacrosse game in Colorado on Saturday.

Witness Desiree Hunter described watching the structure tumble across the field “like a bag in the wind” in Littleton, Colo., KUSA reports.

The incident marks the second time in the past month that a bounce house has caused injuries after getting picked up by a gust of wind. Two young boys were injured in upstate New York in mid-May when they fell 15 feet out of an inflatable attraction that reached a height of 50 feet in the air.

Local officials said the girl was released on site while the boy, who was trapped in the bounce house as it traveled 200 to 300 feet, was taken into an ambulance. Police do not believe he suffered serious injuries.

Airbound, the company that manufactured the bounce house, did not respond to KUSA’s request for comment.

Similar incidents in the past few year have prompted Jim Barber, a National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials spokesman, to call bounce houses “probably the most dangerous amusement devices they have” in 2011.

[KUSA]

TIME Accidents

Wind Gust Sends ‘Bounce House’ 50 Feet High, Injuring 2 Kids

poststar.com

Two of three children playing inside an inflatable "bounce house" in upstate New York on Monday were seriously injured when a fierce gust of wind launched it 50 feet into the air and led them to fall out onto the asphalt about 15 feet below

Two young boys were seriously injured Monday in upstate New York when an inflatable “bounce house” they were playing in was launched fifty feet into the air by a strong gust of wind.

Three children were inside the bounce house when it flew into the air, and two boys aged 5 and 6 were seriously injured after falling onto asphalt nearby from a height of 15 feet, The Post-Star of Glenn Falls, N.Y. reports. A 10-year-old girl who was inside suffered minor scrapes.

Police said the house blew more than 50 feet into the air.

Numerous accidents involving bounce houses have occurred in recent years as they have increased in popularity. Jim Barber, a spokesman for the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, said in 2011 the inflatable playthings were “probably the most dangerous amusement devices” commonly available.

[Post Star]

TIME Accidents

2 Dead in West Virginia Mine Collapse

Authorities in Boone County have identified two of the miners who were killed after a roof collapsed on Monday night at their Patriot Coal-owned mine, which reportedly has a record 250 safety violations ranging from roofing hazards to methane leaks

Two miners have died after a roofing collapse at a West Virginia coal mine, police confirmed on Tuesday.

Local TV station WBOY-TV reports that emergency crews responded to the accident at the Boone County mine on Monday night at 10:30 pm EST. Families of the miners were seen gathered at the entrance gate shortly after news of the collapse had spread.

The state Mine Safety Office has identified the victims as Eric Legg, 48, of Twilight and Gary P. Hensley, 46, of Chapmanville. No other miners are believed to be trapped or injured, investigators said. Preliminary reports suggest the collapse may have been caused by a “coal outburst,” in which geological pressures cause a sudden explosion of coal and gas.

U.S. Representative Nick Rahall released a statement in the wake of the accident, saying, “My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the miners who were taken too early from this life.”

The mine is owned by Patriot Coal and reportedly has a record of 250 safety violations for risks ranging from methane leaks to roofing hazards.

[WBOY-TV]

TIME Accidents

Colorado Woman Survives 5 Days in Car After Crash

Kristin Hopkins, 43, was discovered five days later in her crashed car, badly dehydrated and injured, but alive

A Colorado woman has survived five days stranded in her car after a crash.

Kristin Hopkins of Highlands Ranch, Colo. was discovered Sunday by hikers near the state’s Highway 285 about 90 miles southwest of Denver, the Associated Press reports. Hopkins had been in a crash on Tuesday that resulted in her car going off the road and down an 80ft embankment, rolling many times and landing on its hood.

The 43-year-old was injured and dehydrated when she was discovered five days later, according to the Denver Post, and she was sent in a helicopter to St. Anthony Hospital. She had been reported as a missing person on April 29.

[AP]

 

TIME Accidents

Circus Accident Caused by Snapped Clamp, Official Says

Authorities say a snapped clamp caused eight hanging acrobats to plunge during a "Legends" show of the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus on Sunday, leaving three in critical condition. The accident was witnessed by an audience of thousands, many of them children

Authorities have determined a snapped clamp caused eight arial hair-hanging performers to plummet to the ground Sunday in a Rhode Island circus accident.

“We have identified a clamp that snapped that held them to the rafters, and it failed,” Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare told WPRO-AM. Three of the acrobats are still in critical condition, but none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening, the Associated Press reports.

“Unfortunately this particular clamp failed,” Pare said. “It snapped off. We have it, we’re analyzing it, we’re seeing why it happened to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future. That’s all part of our focus.” The performers fell 25 to 40 feet onto another dancer on the ground.

The act was part of the “Legends” show of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, during which the performers hang “like a human chandelier” using their hair. The accident was witnessed by an audience of about 3,900 people, which included many children.

[AP]

TIME Accidents

9 Acrobats Seriously Injured in Circus Accident

An injured female performer is lifted onto a stretcher and is taken out of the building at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, May 4, 2014, in Providence, R.I.
An injured female performer is lifted onto a stretcher and is taken out of the building at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, May 4, 2014, in Providence, R.I. Bob Breidenbach—Providence Journal/AP

At least three performers remain in critical condition after a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus act on Sunday went awry, injuring nine people

Updated: Monday, 7:24 a.m. ET

At least three performers remain in critical condition after an aerial platform collapsed and injured nine people during a circus routine in Providence, Rhode Island, on Sunday.

Eight female performers fell some 25 to 40 ft. to the ground, injuring another dancer below, the Associated Press reports, during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ Legends act that has performers twirling by the hair “like a human chandelier.”

A spokesman for the circus’ parent company said the metal structure from which the acrobats were suspended broke free from its truss, although Providence’s public-safety commissioner said authorities have not officially determined the cause of the accident.

Earlier, the commissioner said none of the injuries appeared life-threatening. A spokesperson for the Rhode Island Hospital in Providence told the AP on Sunday the hospital admitted 11 people with varying injuries, with one person in critical condition.

The Dunkin’ Donuts Center, where the performance was taking place, put two additional shows scheduled for Sunday on hold as well as the two planned for Monday.

An audience member apparently captured footage of the accident on a cell phone, which was later published on YouTube. The video isn’t graphic, but it does contain some strong language:

[AP]

TIME Accidents

Feds: FedEx Truck Wasn’t on Fire Before Crash

Bus Crash Kills 10 In Northern California
A bus involved in the deadly crash is loaded on to a truck at the scene on April 11, 2014 in Orland, California. Elijah Nouvelage—Getty Images

NTSB investigators had initiated a probe to verify the claims of a driver who witnessed the fiery crash, who said that the FedEx vehicle was on fire before it hit a bus, killing 10. But officials said Sunday afternoon that the truck was not already on fire

Updated 4/13 at 3:45 p.m.

Federal officials said Sunday afternoon that a FedEx tractor-trailer was not on fire when it veered across a highway meridian and struck a bus, killing 10 people.

Investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board had initiated a probe to verify the claims of a driver who witnessed the fiery crash and had said the FedEx vehicle was on fire before it hit the bus. The NTSB also tested blood samples of the FedEx driver to see if he inhaled smoke before the collision, the Associated Press reports.

Investigators found Sunday afternoon that the truck was not already on fire.

The FedEx truck driven by Tim Evans, 32, of Elk Grove, Calif. veered across the meridian of California’s Interstate 5 before colliding with a bus carrying 48 high school students and chaperones to a college tour. Evans, along with five students, three adult chaperones and the school bus driver were killed in the crash. Dozens of other students had various injures, including burns.

Federal officials are investigating whether more fire safety measures could have prevented injuries to those on board the bus and whether there should be a barrier at Interstate 5’s meridian.

[AP]

MORE: Deadly Bus Collision Update

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