Who shall we call now? Firefighters need emergency services after their engine falls into huge hole in the ground
9th September 2009
They normally respond to emergency calls, but these fireman were the ones that needed help when their truck tipped head first into a giant hole.
The crew in Los Angeles had been summoned to help deal with a flood from a burst water pipe in a quiet residential street. But the weight of their large engine caused the sodden ground to collapse, and the vehicle slowly tipped into the muddy water-filled hole. Luckily the two firefighters escaped without injury as the cabin slowly rolled forward.
The captain and engineer had received an emergency call at about 5.20am and saw running water on the street in the Valley Village neighbourhood of San Fernando Valley, fire department spokesman Rich Matheney said. Worried the ground was unstable, the men were backing the 22-ton engine out when its front end fell into the sink-hole. The two then climbed out of the windows as water and mud began to fill the vehicle's interior, Matheney said.
Department of Water and Power spokeswoman Kim Hughes said water in the area was turned off while tow trucks prepared to pull the engine out of the hole. Last weekend another pipe breakage two miles away from this one swept cars down streets, forced people out of their homes and flooded a section of a major road. The broken main was part of the city's original water system, dating to 1914, and was scheduled for repair.
A Russian man survived after downing three bottles of vodka and leaping from a fifth floor balcony - twice. Alexei Roskov says he jumped the second time because he couldn't take his wife's nagging about the first time.
Wife Yekaterina had watched in horror as her drunken hubsand opened the kitchen window of their Moscow apartment, and hurled himself out. Astonishingly Mr Roskov, 22, survived and managed to stagger back upstairs with barely a scratch after the 50ft fall. But while his wife called for an ambulance and began to scold him, he jumped again. Amazed medics treated Mr Roskov for minor cuts and bruises before releasing him.
Mr Roskov says he is now teetotal after giving up drinking, and added: "Now I can say just one thing - I was very lucky. I have no idea why I jumped the first time but when I came back up and I heard my wife screaming angrily at me I thought it was best if I left the room again - out of the window."
How to destroy five million roubles of vodka and cognac in just five seconds
2nd November 2009
If you've already been yelled at by your boss today, this is likely to make you feel a whole lot better. For it's not many workers who can say they destroyed an entire warehouse full of alcohol in just a few seconds. Yet that is just what this poor forklift driver in Russia did in a video that emerged on the internet on Friday.
it's funny and sad at the same time! happy face, frown, happy face, frown.
Man accidentally ejects himself from plane Passenger survives incident while flying with pilot from South Africa's Silver Falcons' air display team Mark Tran
2 November 2009
It probably is best not to fiddle with switches or controls when riding in the back seat of an air force plane. A man who failed to obey that principle found himself hurtling out of the cockpit, smashing through the Perspex canopy and into space after grabbing the black- and yellow-striped handle between his legs. He had inadvertently pulled the eject lever and found himself blasted 100 metres into the sky on his rocket-powered seat.
The South African air force has confirmed the incident that took place last Wednesday, when the passenger took off for a flight with an experienced pilot from South Africa's Silver Falcons air display team. Investigators are assuming that the passenger tried to steady himself while the pilot was putting the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II through its paces by grabbing the eject lever.
"Much of the information has yet to be tested, but it is confirmed that a civilian passenger unintentionally ejected from a Silver Falcons Pilatus PC-7 Mk II Astra during a general flying sortie out of Langebaanweg air force base this week," a South African air force spokesman said. "The passenger was recovered [by helicopter] unharmed, and returned to Langebaanweg. The aircraft landed safely." The spokesman said the flight had been cleared and all procedures adhered to "prior to the passenger boarding the aircraft", making it unlikely charges would follow.
A retired SAAF instructor pilot said the passenger was extremely lucky to have survived the ejection with barely a scratch. "We train for this and if you don't get it right, and are not in the correct ejection posture, you can sustain severe spinal cord injuries or even worse," he told South Africa's Sunday Times. He discounted the possibility that the seat fired of its own accord, as too many safety features were built into the system. "All it takes is for the firing handle [the rubbery black- and yellow-striped loop] to be pulled up about 2.5cm and you're on your way out."
He said the ejection would have been dramatic. "You get one almighty kick under the backside and then you're gone. The seat separates from the pilot automatically and the chute opens," he said. "This is in case the pilot is incapacitated during the ejection."
Passengers would have been briefed on the ejection sequence and warned that the "loop" between his legs was not to be touched unless the pilot called "Eject, eject, eject" during the flight. Such a briefing is done routinely, even when two qualified pilots are involved in the flight. It is likely the rear cockpit was extensively damaged by the firing of the cartridges and rockets during the ejection.
The Silver Falcons are the SAAF's aerobatic team that perform precision formation and aerobatics displays at airshows around the country. The five pilots are all serving instructors at Central Flying School, Langebaanweg. As one observer said: "What a trip. That guy took off in an Astra, came down in a parachute, and landed back at base in a helicopter. Not bad for a for a single flip."
CCTV captures the moment a drunk woman falls into the path of an oncoming train... and walks away uninjured
This is the chilling video that captures a drunk woman's brush with death after she fell on to the tracks of an underground station into the path of an oncoming train. CCTV images capture the woman falling off the platform onto the tracks before horrified bystanders at Boston's North Station shortly before 11pm on Friday night. As the lights of a train can be seen approaching, the bystanders can be seen frantically waving to the driver in a desperate attempt to get her to stop.
The woman lies motionless on the tracks, apparently having temporarily passed out. But the female driver of the train reacts instinctively, wrenching her emergency hand brake. The train comes to a sickening halt - partly over the motionless body of the drunk woman. Half a second later she leaps out from underneath the train and clambers up the side of the platform.
Train driver Charice Lewis, 27, said that, incredibly, the woman was smiling. 'I'm like, Oh my God, you really scared me,' she said as she recounted the chilling moments for reporters. It was so close, I thought it was not good.'
Incredibly, the woman escaped with just scraped knees. Not only did she narrowly escape being run over, she also narrowly escaped being electrocuted, as CCTV footage showed her foot coming dangerously close to the electrified third rail of the tracks. The woman, who has not been identified, told police she had been drinking for several hours before. She was taken to hospital for evaluation.
Ms Lewis was honoured for her quick thinking in the drama yesterday, receiving an award from Boston transport officials and a congratulatory phone call from the governor. One bystander told the Boston Globe she had locked eyes with the woman as she fell onto the tracks. 'It looked like it was not going to end well,' she said.
Man sits on a dead whale in the middle of shark feeding frenzy An Australian man has been photographed sitting on a dead whale while it was being eaten by tiger sharks in an attempt to dispel myths about the predators.
11 Dec 2009
Leon Deschamps, 32, said he wants to show that the sharks are not merely blood thirsty killing machines and was prepared to put his own life at risk to prove it. The conservationist from Shark Bay in Western Australia - said people perceive all sharks to be the same and that tiger sharks are victims as a result.
"We fear tiger sharks because we do not understand them," he said. "They are lumped into the same group as great whites and bull sharks, just because they are a type of shark, but their feeding and predation habits are completely different. We must be more species specific when we talk about sharks. I want to bring the animals into the public arena, educate people so that they know they are not blood thirsty killing machines. Tiger sharks are not constantly aggressive. And now people can see that, after I threw myself into the middle of a feeding frenzy.
He added: "Feeding is a time when they are supposed to be at their most ferocious. But I think they quite enjoyed me stroking their noses. They are like a pet dog. You can share beautiful, incredible interaction with them, but if you do not show them respect, even a pit bull can rip you to shreds.
Deschamps insists the stunt was spur of the moment and strongly warns people not to attempt the same feat. He said: "I heard about the whale carcass from fishermen coming back to shore. Me and some friends travelled through the night on a Catamaran and arrived early the next day. We were the first to arrive and saw the sharks in a eating frenzy. It was totally spur of the moment but I knew it was incredibly safe. It was because it was not a planned event that made it so special. You must remember the whale was grounded, beached in about one metre of water. I was stable. Great whites can jump and will do so to get their prey. Tiger sharks don't. It was the safest time I would ever get to touch these animals during feeding. I wasn't scared because I have educated myself about the animal. It was an amazing experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity and wild horses would not have stopped me from doing it."
A spokesman for Australia's Department of Environment and Conservation warned that touching whales was illegal and people were not to interfere with sharks because of the risk of attack. He said of the stunt: “This is highly irresponsible and dangerous behaviour and puts people’s lives at risk.”
Spur of the moment? Last time I did something on the spur of the moment it was to decide between a peperoni and a quattro formaggio pizza (I picked the peperoni).
Three men dodge death after their helicopter crash lands on the edge of a canyon ridge... two feet from a one mile drop
By Richard Shears
28th January 2010
Just a few more yards and a helicopter which crashed on the edge of a cliff would have plunged a mile into a canyon killing the three men on board. But they survived the ridge-top crash and were more than grateful that they had come down where they had, rather than toppled over to what would have been certain death.
The crew of an ambulance helicopter which arrived at the scene, on the border of New South Wales. The ambulance helicopter had been on a call to a remote area following erroneous reports that another chopper had crashed in the area. To their amazement, they saw a helicopter right on the edge of the precipice.
The three men, aged in their 30s and 40s, were spotted alive and uninjured near the helicopter which had come down in the Mount Barney National Park. They had to be winched from the crash site and were then taken to a police station to give officers an account of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The Chopperline flight training company said later that one of its helicopters with three people on board had been involved. 'No-one was injured in the incident,' the company said in a statement. 'Authorities are investigating and we can make no further comment.'
Mr Innes Larkin, co-owner of a nearby mountain lodge, said he heard the helicopter flying around during the morning but thought it was an official aircraft being used by authorities as they planned to burn off surplus vegetation in the area. 'But then it disappeared and then we heard more choppers buzzing,' said Mr Innes. 'I thought that maybe it was the same chopper back again. I didn't hear a crash but heard them buzzing around.'
He said Mount Barney National Park was a beautiful area and popular with bushwalkers and nature-lovers. 'It's spectacular from a helicopter, but not one that crashes. It would have been a tricky rescue.' Martin Hanna, the pilot of the rescue helicopter, said: 'I thought it was quite amazing the helicopter stayed perched where it was. They've landed on rock on the side and walked away almost without a scratch. If they had been another ten yards to the north they would have gone straight down,' he said. 'It wouldn't have taken much for severe injuries or death if they had gone down either side of that ridgeline.'
The pilot of the crashed helicopter told rescuers that they had been conducting some kind of mountain training. 'He thought there was some sort of mechanical problem and all he could do was put it down on the right side,' said Mr Hanna. 'The pilot had done everything right. I was quite amazed. I have never seen anything like that and had people with virtually no injuries.'
Why the headline says '2ft' from disaster I've no idea... but still, quite a story!
Nature lover lost in North Sea saved by woman who spotted his camera flashing... 350 miles away
3rd February 2010
A German man owes his life to a woman who rescued him from 350 miles away – thanks to his camera. The man lost on a frozen stretch of the North Sea was facing almost certain death when he flashed his camera in the hope that someone might be out watching the same beautiful sunset he had set out to witness. Luckily the camera flash off the coast of St. Peter-Ording near the Danish border was witnessed by a female nature lover sitting in front of her computer in the Westerwald region near the Rhine hundreds of miles away in southern Germany.
She was monitoring a camera set up on the beach to record the vivid sunset. Seeing the camera flashes she alerted local police who in turn sent through an emergency call that resulted in a patrol rescuing the man as temperatures plunged to -20c. Police spokeswoman Kristin Stielow said: 'He was walking on the ice, got disoriented and would probably have either fallen through the ice or succumbed to the cold. He was very lucky that this lady was sharing the same natural phenomenon but from the warmth and safety of her own home.'
The man in his 40s was treated for mild exposure after his ordeal. He is planning a visit to the woman he owes his life to when he has recovered.
Huge Waves Wipe Out Crowd At Surf Contest
February 14, 2010
Sky News Online
Two huge waves hit spectators at the world's most lucrative surfing competition, leaving some in hospital with serious injuries. More than a dozen spectators were bowled over by the sea surge onto the rocky shore at the Mavericks competition in Half Moon Bay, a California harbour town 25 miles south of San Francisco.
Scores had gathered to watch the world's top surfers battle it out for a $150,000 (£96,000) prize. The injuries included broken limbs and a punctured lung. Waves up to six feet high also knocked over barricades, a spectator stand and scaffolding holding loudspeakers that were broadcasting the contest. Nobody was injured or swept out to sea in the second bout of tidal chaos, but spectators did lose cameras, mobile phones, and backpacks.
Firefighters had been about to clear the beach due to the wild weather but arrived too late to prevent the spectators being swept under. Authorities had been pleading with bystanders to move away from the shoreline, but could not properly address the public because the speaker system had already been washed out to sea. Before the competition had started, those attending were warned of "record-breaking tall waves" and "dangerously strong winds".
The show went on, however, and some volunteers even reportedly posted a makeshift leader board to keep up with scorekeeping. South African Chris Bertish won this year's competition.
SHOPPERS fled in terror today after a giant aquarium filled with 400 SHARKS and stingrays cracked and began gushing torrents of water. Horrified holidaymakers were among those left fearing that they were about to be engulfed by 10MILLION gallons of water — holding 33,000 sea creatures.
Engineers in the Middle East battled to shore-up the aquarium. But the break in the 30-inch thick acrylic viewing panel managed to hold and prevent certain disaster. Authorities later claimed the problem had been fixed, but were not allowing anyone near to see and anyone with photos of the drama were ordered by cops to delete them.
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo opened in 2008 at the foot of the Bhurj Khalifa — the world's tallest tower — and is itself one of the biggest aquariums on the planet. It contains hundreds of sharks from the reef, nurse, sand tiger and leopard families as well as giant stingrays and fish from Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
A break appeared in the tank's walk-through area where visitors to the 1,200-store shopping centre are virtually surrounded by the water. Video footage shot by an eye-witness showed panicking shoppers hoisting their clothes and hastily retreating as the cascade got worse.
A 27-year-old secretary named Ranjin said: "I saw a small crack in the aquarium glass and there was a little water coming out and a lot of water on the floor. The police came and evacuated the area around the aquarium." A shoe shop worker who did not want to be named said when the evacuation order was given they were told: "The aquarium has exploded."
Six frogmen entered the tank to co-ordinate the repair with workmen on the other side as staff mopped-up the flood. Dubai's civil defence department initially confirmed a crack, but mall owner Emaar Properties later played it down. Chairman Mohammad Alabbar said: "There was a technical fault in the operating device. A leakage was noticed at one of the panel joints...and was immediately fixed by the aquarium's maintenance team. The leakage did not impact the aquarium environment or the safety of the aquatic animals."
Emaar Properties, the Arab world's largest developer, also built the flagship Bhurj Khalif but had to close the 124th-storey observation deck after a month because of lift problems.
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