Archive for the ‘Catastrophes’ Tag

The Crash of National Airlines Flight 102 in Afghanistan   Leave a comment


National Airlines Flight 102 was a cargo flight operated by National Airlines between the British military base Camp Bastion in Afghanistan and Al Maktoum Airport in Dubai, with a refueling stop at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. On 29 April 2013, a Boeing 747-400 operating the flight crashed moments after taking off from Bagram, killing all seven people on board.

The aircraft involved was a Boeing 747-428BCF, registration N949CA, S/N 25630. It was manufactured in 1993 as a passenger aircraft and later modified for service as a freighter. At the time of the crash, the aircraft was flying on behalf of the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command.



National Air Cargo, also operating as National Airlines, is an American airline based in Orlando, Florida. It operates on-demand cargo and passenger charter services. Its main base is Orlando International Airport, Orlando.


At the time of the crash the airline had been operating between Camp Bastion and Dubai for a month. The airline said that the accident aircraft had originated in Camp Bastion, and then refueled at Bagram. The aircraft had taken off from Bagram’s runway 03 at 15:30 local time (11:00 UTC) and was climbing through 1,200 feet (370 m) when its nose rose sharply. According to an unconfirmed claim, a crew member was heard on VHF air-band radio reporting that some of the load of five heavy military vehicles in the cargo hold had shifted; the aircraft then stalled and crashed. The crash site was off the end of runway 03, within the perimeter of the airfield. All seven crew, all of whom were U.S. citizens, died: four pilots, two mechanics and a loadmaster.


Posted December 3, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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All-Star Sinkholes   1 comment

In the last few years, news of unexpected sinkholes swallowing cars, houses and people have made headlines with disturbingly high frequency. These reports are mainly coming from Florida, the U.S., where almost the entire state is karst terrain (made of limestone), which means it has the potential for sinkholes. Mexico, Belize and parts of Italy and China are also karst area, but the phenomenon of sinkholes suddenly appearing in apparently stable grounds is mostly American. Experts estimate thousands of sinkholes form every year in Florida alone.

Sinkholes form when water flowing underground has dissolved rock, mostly limestone and sometimes clay, below the surface, leading to the formation of underground voids. When the surface layer can no longer take the weight of whatever that’s above, it collapses into the void forming sinkholes. These sinkholes can be dramatic, because the surface land usually stays intact until there is not enough support. Then, a sudden collapse of the land surface can occur.


A giant sinkhole caused by the rains of Tropical Storm Agatha is seen in Guatemala City on May 31, 2010. More than 94,000 people were evacuated as the storm buried homes under mud, swept away a highway bridge near Guatemala City and opened up sinkholes in the capital. (Casa Presidencial / Handout / Reuters)


An aerial view of the damaged Gran Marical de Ayacucho highway in the state of Miranda outside Caracas December 1, 2010. Thousands of Venezuelans fled their homes after landslides and swollen rivers killed at least 21 people and threatened to cause more damage. (Photo by Miranda Government/Reuters)


A construction vehicle lies where it was swallowed by a sinkhole on Saint-Catherine Street in downtown Montreal, August 5, 2013. (Photo by Christinne Muschi/Reuters)


Pamela Knox waits for rescue after a massive sinkhole opened up underneath her car in Toledo, Ohio in this July 3, 2013 handout photo provided by Toledo Fire and Rescue. Toledo firefighters later rescued Knox without major injuries. Fire officials told a local TV station that a water main break caused the large hole. Picture taken July 3, 2013. (Photo by Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld/Toledo Fire and Rescue/Handout via Reuters)


A stranded car is hoisted from a collapsed road surface in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, September 7, 2008. The road collapsed on Sunday afternoon and trapped the car in a hole, which measured 5 meters (16.4 feet) in depth and 15 meters (49.2 feet) in diameter, local media reported. Further investigation is underway. Picture taken September 7, 2008. (Photo by Reuters/China Daily)


An aerial view shows the debris of a residential building and a destroyed road in the village of Nachterstedt, July 18, 2009. Three residents were missing in the eastern German village of Nachterstedt after their lakeside home and another building suddenly collapsed early Saturday into the water. A 350-metre stretch of shoreline gave way next to an old open-cast coalmine converted to a lake, about 170 kilometres south-west of Berlin. (Photo by Reuters/Gemeindeverwaltung Nachterstedt)


Rescue workers remove a bus with a crane from a Lisbon street hole November 25, 2003. The bus was parked on a Lisbon street when the ground began to open up and gobble it. No casualties were reported. (Photo by Jose Manuel/Reuters)


A truck is seen in a hole after part of the structure of a bridge collapsed into a river in Changchun, Jilin province May 29, 2011. Two truck passengers were injured, while the cause of the accident is still under investigation, local media reported. (Photo by Reuters/China Daily)


Cars lie in a sinkhole, caused when a road collapsed into an underground cave system, in the southern Italian town of Gallipoli March 30, 2007. There were no injuries in the overnight incident, according to local police. (Photo by Fabio Serino/Reuters)


A giant sinkhole that swallowed several homes is seen in Guatemala City February 23, 2007. At least three people have been confirmed missing, officials said. (Photo by Reuters/Stringer)


A large sinkhole opened on East Monument Street in Baltimore in summer 2012. The sinkhole appeared above a 120-year-old drainage culvert after heavy rains, causing evacuations and closing the road. (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun Photo)

Posted October 29, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Fukushima Five Years after the Disaster   Leave a comment



The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was an energy accident at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Japan, initiated primarily by the tsunami that was triggered by the Tōhoku earthquake on 11 March 2011. The damage caused by the tsunami produced equipment failures, and without this equipment a loss-of-coolant accident followed, resulting in three nuclear meltdowns and the release of radioactive material beginning on 12 March. It is the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 and the second disaster (after Chernobyl) to be given the Level 7 event classification of the International Nuclear Event Scale.

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Stacked bags filled with contaminated topsoil.





















Posted February 26, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Mayday Mayday   Leave a comment




Taiwan TransAsia plane crashes into river

Footage of the crash appeared to show the plane clipping a road bridge. A plane carrying mostly Chinese tourists has crashed into a river in Taiwan, killing at least 23 people.

Dramatic video footage emerged showing the TransAsia Airways plane clipping a bridge as it came down shortly after take-off from a Taipei airport.

The plane, carrying 58 people, has broken up and the fuselage is lying half-submerged in the Keelung River. Rescue efforts are ongoing. At least 15 people have been pulled out alive, with 20 still missing.

Television footage showed some passengers wading clear of the sunken wreckage and a toddler being pulled out alive by rescuers.

The dramatic moment a toddler was rescued from the sunken wreckage of the jet.

Emergency teams have cut the plane open to gain access, attempting to reach the remaining passengers trapped in the front section of the fuselage.

Posted February 4, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Los Angeles experiences Tornado, Sharks spotted in the funnel   Leave a comment


Los Angeles (CNN) — Just when you thought the nation’s entertainment capital couldn’t deliver a new surprise ending, a camera-wielding resident reveals how this week’s Pacific storm sent Los Angeles a tornado.

The rare twister was captured on tape: roofs obliterated, shingles hurled like leaves, and the amateur videographer gasping in profane disbelief. Friday’s melee even damaged the steel of a billboard.

“It was crazy. It was crazy,” Jamie Mena told CNN affiliate KABC after shooting a video of bent-over palm trees and his rooftop flying off. “I am shaken up.”

According to other eyewitnesses, sharks were attacking from the top of the funnel. Jose Elfederalez said he was doing yard work in Beverly Hills when out of nowhere a Great White Shark slammed into the owners $300,000.00 doghouse.  El Carumba said Jose, “how in the name of the Holy Mary do dees sharks fly?”




Aerodynamics engineer Rush Legenbloom who teaches at the University of Southern California, Bakersfield, stated that the sharks are sucked into the vortex of the tornado as it passes over the ocean . This pisses the sharks which then want revenge, the sharks attack the first things they see. Which are the citizens of L.A.

Fox News has made this mini-documentary on the Los Angeles sharknado catastrophe. Warning: Adult content.


Posted December 13, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Afghan Landslide Buries Hundreds   Leave a comment

The Afghan government has declared a day of national mourning for hundreds of people killed when a mudslide engulfed their village on Friday.

Badakhshan provincial governor Shah Waliullah Adib told the BBC there was now no hope for more than 2,000 people believed buried in their homes.

Officials formally ended the search for survivors on Saturday.

This unfortunate country has been at war for 35 years. Then Mother Nature lays a big hit on it.

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People living in mud huts. The world is vast and varied. No trees to be seen anywhere, perfect for mass erosion when heavy rains occur.  Giant mountains in the background. Amazing.


Posted May 7, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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South Korean Ferry Disaster Photos   Leave a comment


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea’s southern coast on Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured.

















Posted April 18, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Amazing Helicopter Rescue in Kingston, Ontario   Leave a comment


The Star

Kingston crane rescue: Helicopter team has ‘never done anything like that’



A helicopter rescue team had to be careful it didn’t fan the flames of a massive construction fire Tuesday as they dropped down from the sky to pluck a man from a crane over a burning building in downtown Kingston.

“It’s a particularly unique rescue,” Major Colin Duncan of CFB Trenton said in an interview Wednesday. “We’ve never done anything like that.”

It took less than an hour from the time a call for help was received at the 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at CFB Trenton until Adam Jastrzebski was rescued from the crane.

Considering the half-hour flight from Trenton to Kingston, that’s a fast response, Duncan said.

One challenge for the five-person rescue team was convincing the workman to let go of a beam high over the fire so that Sgt. Cory Cisyk could secure a “horse collar device” around him and lift him to safety.

Understandably, the man was not eager to let go of the beam and the loud noise of the helicopter’s propellers made it difficult for Cisyk to communicate with him.

Jastrzebski, 68, suffered burns to his hands, legs, back and buttocks and was recovering in hospital Wednesday, said his employer at Canadian Professional Crane Inc.

“He’s in severe pain right now in the hospital and they’re giving him morphine,” said Aram Malek, who had been to visit Jastrzebski.

Another challenge was for the pilot of the Griffin CH-146 helicopter to find a visual reference point to focus upon, as he hovered above the fire in a vacant student housing complex under construction near the 600 block of Princess St.

“All they have is the boom itself,” Duncan said.

“He (Jastrzebski) found it somewhat challenging,” Duncan said.

Teams routinely pull people from cliffs and the water and it’s particularly tough to pull someone from the water in the night, Duncan said.

“There are a lot more challenging missions,” Duncan said.

He said that officers are continually training to maintain and upgrade their skills.

“All of the training that we do prepares us to adapt,” Duncan said.

“Everybody clicked into operational mode,” he said. “It’s just following the drills.”

A day after the blaze, the fire smouldered and the construction crane was still standing.

Firefighters worked throughout the frigid night and early morning, trying to quell remaining hot spots.

There was no immediate explanation for the cause of the blaze, which forced more than 150 people from their homes. Many of them were allowed to return to their houses by Wednesday morning.


Kingston Fire 20131217.


Kingston Fire 20131217.



Posted December 18, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Syrian Chemical Attack: Who did It?   Leave a comment


The Americans are going to have to present their evidence.  It better be very good evidence that the Assad regime perpetrated the attacks.  If Obama believes Assad did it, he must have that very good evidence.  After all, the United States has satellites that can listen and watch real time events, and the NSA is always listening and monitoring communications, including electronic digital communications as Mr. Snowden revealed. On the other hand Russian president Putin is just as adamant that the Syrian military did not do it.




The 2013 Ghouta attacks were a series of alleged chemical attacks that occurred on Wednesday, 21 August 2013, in the Ghouta region of the Rif Dimashq Governorate of Syria.

Opposition and medical sources gave a death toll of 355 to 1,729, and said that none of them had physical wounds. According to the activist network Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which estimated 502 killed, 46 of the dead were rebel fighters. The attacks were launched on opposition-controlled areas, with the Syrian government and the Syrian rebels blaming each other for the attack. If the death toll is confirmed, the attack would be the deadliest chemical attack since the March/April 1988 Halabja poison gas attack and Second Battle of al-Faw of the Iran–Iraq War.

The alleged attack came almost exactly one year after U.S. President Barack Obama’s”red line” speech, in which he warned that chemical weapons use in Syria, which is one of five non-signatories to the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, would trigger American intervention. Since his speech, and prior to the chemical attacks in Ghouta, chemical weapons were suspected to have been used in at least four attacks in the country.

On 21 August 2013, the Syrian government launched an offensive to capture opposition-held Damascus suburbs.

The alleged chemical attacks reportedly occurred around 03:00 in the morning on 21 August 2013, in the rebel-held and mostly Sunni Ghouta agricultural area, just east of Damascus. The area had been under an Army siege backed by Hezbollahfor months. The towns attacked were: Hammuriyah, Irbin, Saqba, Kafr Batna, Mudamiyah, Harasta, Zamalka and Ain Terma. An attack was also reported in the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Jobar.

Doctors Without Borders said three hospitals it supports in the eastern Damascus region reported receiving roughly 3,600 patients with “neurotoxic symptoms” over less than three hours on after the morning, when the attack in the eastern Ghouta area took place. Of those, 355 died. The Local Coordination Committees of Syria claimed that of the 1,338 victims, 1,000 were in Zamalka, among which 600 bodies were transferred to medical points in other towns and 400 remained at a Zamalka medical centre. At least six medics died while treating the victims. The deadliness of the attack is believed to have been increased due to Syrians fleeing the regime bombardment by hiding in basements, where the heavier-than-air chemical agents sank to these lower-lying, poorly ventilated areas. Some of the victims died while sleeping.

The day after the alleged chemical attacks, 22 August, the Syrian army bombarded the Ghouta area.

Abu Omar of the Free Syrian Army stated to The Guardian that the rockets involved in the attack were unusual because “you could hear the sound of the rocket in the air but you could not hear any sound of explosion” and no obvious damage to buildings occurred. Human Rights Watch’s witnesses reported “symptoms and delivery methods consistent with the use of chemical nerve agents.”

Activists and local residents contacted by The Guardian said that “the remains of 20 rockets [thought to have been carrying neurotoxic gas were] found in the affected areas. Many [remained] mostly intact, suggesting that they did not detonate on impact and potentially dispersed gas before hitting the ground.”

On 23 August, US officials stated that American intelligence detected activity at Syrian chemical weapons sites before the attack on 21 August. Foreign Policy magazine’s The Cable, citing unnamed sources, reported that: “US intelligence services” intercepted communications, hours after a attack, between an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defence and the leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike. According to the report, American officials believe that the attacks were the work of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime based on the content of the calls, although they are unsure who ordered the attacks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of the Syrian government, told United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron that there was no evidence that the chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regime. An Iranian Foreign Ministry official claimed that Russia submitted evidence to the U.N. Security Council, including satellite images, purporting to show that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian rebels and not by the Administration.


Why Assad would not be motivated

Some have questioned the motive and timing behind the alleged Syrian government involvement, since the hotel in which the team of United Nations chemical weapons inspectors were staying was just a few miles from the attack. A CNN reporter pointed to the fact that government forces did not appear to be in imminent danger of being overrun by rebels in the areas in question, in which a stalemate had set. He questioned why the Army would risk such an action that could cause international intervention. The reporter also questioned if the Army would use sarin gas just a few kilometers from the center of Damascus on what was a windy day.

A reporter for The Daily Telegraph also pointed to the questionable timing given government forces had recently beaten back rebels in some areas around Damascus and recaptured territory. “Using chemical weapons might make sense when he is losing, but why launch gas attacks when he is winning anyway?” The reporter also questioned why would the attacks happen just three days after the inspectors arrived in Syria.

Why Assad would be motivated

Columnist Jeffrey Goldberg argued that the Assad would use chemical weapons because nobody “will do a damn thing to stop him.” Syrian human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh also argued that the Assad government would launch a chemical attack because “it knows that the international community would not do anything about it” as for “previous crimes.” Israeli reporter Ron Ben-Yishai stated that the motive to use chemical weapons could be the “army’s inability to seize the rebel’s stronghold in Damascus’ eastern neighbourhoods,” or fear of rebel encroachment into Damascus with tacit civilian support, an argument backed by declassified intelligence reports from the United States, which is considering military strikes on Syria.

Why the rebels would be motivated

According to military experts, the Syrian rebels can not win the ongoing civil war without foreign military intervention. Using terror against civilians has brought international media attention and sympathy in other regional conflicts and wars, resulting in military intervention like the 2011 military intervention in Libya.

Boston Globe



UNASUR Outlook

The Globe and Mail

Austrian Foreign Ministry

Radio New Zealand

Today’s Zaman

Posted August 31, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Mine Avalanche in Utah   Leave a comment


Mine in 2003



SALT LAKE CITY  — Kennecott Utah Copper has suspended mining inside one of the world’s deepest open pits as geologists assess a landslide the company says it anticipated for months. Shovel and haul operators were pulled back earlier Wednesday before the landslide tore loose around 9:30 p.m. inside the nearly mile-deep Brigham Canyon Mine, Kennecott spokesman Kyle Bennett said Thursday. “This slide was self-contained within the mine,” he said. The outside walls of the mining pit, which stretch 2 ½ miles from rim to rim, are holding with no danger to housing developments several miles away, he said. For more than a century, miners have reduced a mountaintop about 20 miles southwest of Salt Lake City to a deep hole. Kennecott, the latest in a succession of owners, is digging into a tooth-shaped volcanic core that has yielded millions of tons of copper and small amounts of gold and silver. Normally, Kennecott operates the mine all day, every day, with electric-powered shovels capable of scooping up 98 tons of crushed rock at a bite. Bennett said the company continues to operate a copper concentrator, refinery and smelter. The landslide tore loose not far from a visitor center on the rim of the pit that was closed earlier this month as a precaution. The first sign of a possible slide was detected in February, when sensors measured ground movement at fractions of an inch. That increased to up to 2 inches a day earlier this week. Then, in rainfall Wednesday night, the slide broke loose. Kennecott couldn’t immediately provide details about its size or dimensions. “We had anticipated this slide and were carefully monitoring that area for some time,” Bennett said. “We re-routed roads, utilities and even buildings out of way.” Mining operations have been suspended indefinitely as geologists assess the stability of the step walls in the pit. “Movement like this slide we saw last night is very infrequent, but it’s something we monitor every day” with special instruments, Bennett said. –



Posted July 15, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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