Archive for the ‘accident’ Category

Lance Armstrong fractures a collarbone in a cycling race in Spain

March 23, 2009

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong joined Spain’s Vuelta of Castilla and Leon, a race held on March 22, 2009, but was tossed in a bike pile-up which caused him injury—- a fracture on right collar-bone. Falling from his bike about 12.5 miles from the first stage finish, the 37-year old cyclist was helped by an ambulance which brought him to the hospital.

“The collarbone is broken, and I have a little bit of road-rash abrasions,” Armstrong said as he left Valladolid University Hospital. “I’ve never had this happen before; it’s pretty painful. I feel really miserable.”—Lance Armstrong. AP (03/24/409)

The clavicular bone fracture raises the question whether the champion will be well enough to compete in the Tour de France from July 4 to 26. The acclaimed cyclist and cancer survivor said he’ll need to go back to the United States to consult with his doctors. =0=


Broadway star Natasha Richardson died of brain injuries in a ski accident

March 19, 2009

Forty-five year old Natasha Richardson, daughter of well-known actress Vanessa Redgrave died on March 18, 2009 in Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York following a ski accident in Montreal Canada. The acclaimed movie personality was with her husband Liam Neeson and two children in the resort.

“Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha,” the statement said. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”—- Yahoo News/ AP (03/18/09, Italie, H)

The star of the Tony award-winning Broadway revival Cabaret, Natasha apparently suffered head injuries during a ski training fall in Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec.

Richardson was not wearing a protective headgear during the accident last Monday. The movie celebrity was initially asymptomatic, but was admitted at a local hospital in Canada after complaining of headaches. She was later flown to New York City for further treatment, but died not long after hospital confinement. The granddaughter of reknown British actor Sir Michael Redgrave and the niece of actress Lynne Redgrave, her death was announced by Alan Nierob, her husband’s publicist. (Photo Credit: AP/ Joel Ryan) =0=


11 die in Cavite firecracker factory blast & 100+ Kenyans perished as they tap fuel from a truck

February 3, 2009

There is a horrid parallel between the fire cracker factory blast in the Philippines and the conflagration following an explosion of a gasoline truck in Kenya.

In the Cavite, on Jan 29, 2009, a firecracker factory suddenly exploded killing 11 workers and injuring 60 others. Though the cause of the blast wasn’t immediately known, faulty electrical wiring was suspected. By all probability, there could have been a breach in the safety measures in the production or handling of pyrotechnics. Accidental fires continually burned down similar factories before. The loud blast and ensuing inferno damaged nearby houses and commercial buildings.

The tragedy had been made worse by another blast which occurred the next day in Molo, Kenya. More than 100 people perished and greater than 300 more were either burned or reported missing. A fuel truck caught fire along the road when people tried to scoop free gasoline from the overturned vehicle on January 30, 2009.

“Everybody was screaming and most of them were running with fire on their bodies, they were just running into the bush,” said Charles Kamau, 22, who was driving through Molo, on Saturday night when he saw the road blocked by hundreds of people with gerry cans, plastic bottles and buckets — anything to siphon some free fuel. As he waited for the crowd to disperse, the gasoline ignited with a blast that was felt miles away. Prime Minister Raila Odinga said someone’s cigarette might have caused the explosion.”—-GMA News TV/ AP (02/01/09)

Hundred of miles apart, the two fire incidents speak of the dangers poor people face in order to survive. In the Philippines, the firecracker production is fraught with dangers, but people still do it for the job—so they can earn some money. Current government regulations fail to control the accidents that occur every year in these fireworks production facilities.

In Kenya, the pilferage of fuel from pipes and tanks has resulted to deadly accidental explosions. In 2006, about 200 people died in a gasoline blast. These incidents show how desperate people can go in order to survive. Without improvement of their working and living conditions, more of these accidents are bound to be repeated in the future. Burn injuries are among the most difficult to treat in medical practice. (Photo Credits: Blue_fam; Reuters/ Ranoco,R) =0=

Emergency landing on icy Hudson River in NYC after birds knocked down plane’s engines

January 16, 2009

On my way for a doctor’s visit this Thursday afternoon, January 15, 2008, I wondered why my usual route in Manhattan was closed to traffic. Noisy police horns and ambulances blared for some emergency that I couldn’t understand. Yet, when I entered the phlebotomy room in NYU Clinical Cancer Center at 34th Street, my pals in that office were talking about a plane which plunged in the frigid Hudson River, just a few blocks from were we stood. Our surprise and concern could just be felt by the momentary silence.

I could see alarm on the faces of the phlebotomists and a few patients inside the room. Blood drawing temporarily stopped. There were those who instinctively opened their cell phones to call friends and relatives to ask what was going on. After 911, most of us felt trauma each time news of this nature crossed our lives. We thought of the passengers’ condition and we hoped that the incident wasn’t terror-related.

Only a little later that we learned of the 150 passengers and 5 crew of US Airways Airbus A320— all survived, but about 78 passengers suffered body injuries of varying severity. Some were rushed to nearby hospitals to be treated for hypothermia. We were relieved to know the rescuers were on top of the situation. The passengers were reportedly calm and didn’t show panic as they abandoned the sunken plane.

According to the information, the plane en route to Charlottesville, NC went down upon bumping on a flock of Canadian geese soon after take-off which caused both engines to stop a few minutes upon leaving La Guardia airport. The astonishing “miraculous” survival was mainly attributed to divine providence, the help of rescuers, the quick-thinking and skill of pilot Chelsey B. Sullenberger III and his crew who steered the plane into the ice-cold river. Many are overjoyed that no one died in this scary brush with eternity. (Photo Credits: Freeman; NYC Travis; Freeman) =0=


23 drown in another ferry boat mishap

December 15, 2008

The storyline is similar for many ill-fated boats in the Philippines. It’s often a passenger ferry which comes out in a stormy weather then keeling over, causing the deaths of innocent passengers. Disregard of travel advisories, overloading, failure to follow typhoon warnings, inaccurate passenger manifests, and lack of common sense are among the reasons why many of these boats sink.

The tragic tale had been repeated in M/B Mae Jan— the inter-island vessel which sank on Sunday, December 14, 2008 in Aparri, Cagayan. The ill-fated ferry which killed at least 23 people left port in inclement weather with about 80 passengers. Fifteen (15) were reportedly missing and 43 were rescued alive. Overloading was suspected.

Alex De los Santos of the Ballesteros Police Department named 11 identified fatalities as follows: Amy Arellano, Wilfredo Agatao, Angel Suarez, Kristine Cangas, Eva Llopis, Leonardo Llopis, Ofelia Balmes, Paz Escalante, Karen Fadero, Angela Tabo, Abella Arellano. Their bodies and that of 11 other victims were taken to funeral parlors in Aparri for identification.—Inquirer (12/15/08, Kwok, A)

Last month, on November 6, 2008, nine (9) people drowned with Rolly IV, the passenger vessel which sank in Iloilo. The dangerous maritime record of the Philippines will continue so long as no significant government action is done to curb the recurrent sea mishaps. =0=

UPDATE: December 17, 2008. As of presstime the death toll rose to 45 and 8 individuals are still missing. The boat’s owner was reported to be among the dead.

RELATED BLOGS: “RP’s maritime disasters: a harvest of blame and shame” Posted by mesiamd at 11/08/2008; “Ferry boat sinks in Masbate killing 40” Posted by mesiamd at 11/04/2008; “Boat mishap in Iloilo, 9 dead” Posted by mesiamd at 11/06/2008; “The need for witnesses in the Princess of the Stars toxic chemical recovery” Posted by mesiamd at 9/25/2008; “Endosulfan safely retrieved: where are the other toxic chemicals?” Posted by mesiamd at 10/07/2008; “Toxic Cargo” Posted by mesiamd at 6/28/2008; “A Sorry Maritime Safety Record Indeed In The Philippines” posted by myty555 at 11/09/2008


May barko na naman na lumubog!

November 26, 2008

Paano naman di mawawalan ng tiwala tayo sa ating sarili kung panay na lang masamang balita ang nasa diaryo. Kung minsan ang ibang mga manunulat ay gusto ng maka-iwas sa mga negatibong mga balita. Nguni’t kadalasan, di pe-pwede, gaya ng malimit na pagkalubog ng ating mga barko sa Pilipinas.

Me nagsasabi na ang mga usaping nakaka-rinde gaya ng barkong lumubog ay hindi makakabuti sa lipunan. Tama, kung meron tayong ginagawa sa problema. Pero kung wala, ang pag-kukunwari na OK lang (walang masamang nangyayari) ay di mabuti! Lalo na kung tayo ay nag-aasa na ang problema ay papawi na di tayo kumikilos para magkaroon ng solusyon.

Ang pagiging positibo ay mabuti, kung may batayan. Pag wala, nakakabigay lang ito ng sandaliang pag-asa. Ang ligaya sa di pagharap sa katotohanan ay dumadaan lamang. Nandiyan pa rin ang suliranin kung ang problema ay di matugunan.

Ang mga reaksiyon na ito ay matagal ng problema natin. Halos wala na ngang gustong kumibo. Abala na lang tayo sa buhay pang-pamilya hanggang dumating ang araw na tayo na rin ang nagiging mga biktima ng problema sa kalsada. Halatang walang mai-tulong sa atin ang mga nasa pamahalaan.

Ang “denial” ay paborito nating depensa sa problema. Kadalasan ito’y umu-obra, kahit na wala tayong pag-kilos. Nguni’t ang “denial” sa tagal ay lalong nakakapalala ng ating mga suliranan. Ang di pag-harap ng katotohanan ay sa banding huli, nakakasira sa ating pamumuhay sa lipunan. Heto ang isang halimbawa:

Di pa nga tapos ang pagluksa ng mga namatay sa pamapasaherong lantsa sa Masbate na lampas 40 tao ang namatay ngayong buwan, (800+ ang namatay sa Princess of the Stars ng ito’y lumubog sa Romblon limang buwan ang nakaraan, ) heto na naman ang masamang balita ni Lt. Gary Dale Limotea ng Coast Guard. Ang cargo ship na Mark Jason na papunta sa Batanes galing Maynila ng Noviembre 17 ay lumubog. Katorseng (14) tauhan at 6 pang iba ang sakay. Buti na lang 16 ang nasalba sa incidente, nguni’t 4 na tao ay nawawala.—Philstar/AP (11/26/08)

Bakit pawang ganire na lamang ang trahedya ng ating lipunan? Wala na ba talagang pwedeng gawin ang govierno, Coast Guard, at MARINA para maiwasan ang ganitong mga sakuna? Hindi na ba natin pwedeng ma-ipatupad ang mga regulasyon ng paglakbay sa dagat? Di na ba natin maiwasan na hintuin ang pag-viaje kung meron bagyo. Hanggang “denial” na lang ba tayo na marami sa ating inocenteng mamamayan ang namamatay na di nabibigyan ng hustiya? Saan ba gagaling ang pag-unlad ng ating buhay?(Photo Credits: Mauritius100’s; Lorca56) =0=

RELATED BLOGS: “RP’s maritime disaster Ferry boat sinks in Masbate killing 40” Posted by mesiamd at 11/04/2008; Princess of the stars: a harvest of blame and shame” Posted by mesiamd at 11/08/2008; “A Sorry Maritime Safety Record Indeed In The Philippines” Posted by myty555 at 11/09/2008

Another Haitian school caves in; nine people injured

November 12, 2008

A few days after the Promessa School spontaneously collapsed in Port au Prince, Haiti killing more than 80 people (see photo,) another school, the two-storey Divine Grace School caved in partially, injuring 9 people in Canape Vert part of the capital.

Two of the 9 victims were hospitalized suffering serious body injuries prompting mothers to rush for their children. The spontaneous collapse is blamed for shoddy construction. The building is reported to have practically no cement and metal support in violation of government regulation. (Photo Credits:; Ramon Espinos/AP/ABCNews) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “50 killed and hundreds trapped in Haitian school collapse” Posted by mesiamd at 11/08/2008

Boat mishap in Iloilo, 9 dead

November 6, 2008

In a string of tragic sea events, Inquirer (11/06/08, Burgos N. Jr.) reports another ferry boat sinking in Concepcion Iloilo on Thursday November 6, 2008. The passenger boat Rolly IV sank on its way to the neighboring island of Mailoglog.

Strong waves by a brewing tropical storm cause the boat to sink killing 9 people. The fatalities are identified as Gigi Villaran, Tonya de la Cruz, Juanito Musico, Sheila Olano, Miriam Salundagit, Carmen Padrillan, Aida Libre, Cana Caberoy, Jerson Caberoy. Search and rescue are hampered by inclement weather. Philippine authorities seem helpless in curbing the rash of maritime disasters in the island country. =0=

UPDATE: As of Novermber 8, 2008, the death toll in this sea mishap has risen to 13.

Ferry boat sinks in Masbate killing 40

November 4, 2008

Barely have we forgotten the horrors of the sinking of Sulpicio Lines’ Princess of the Stars on June 21, 2008, a passenger ferry capsized on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, in Masbate, an island southeast of Manila. With 119 listed passengers and 6 crew members, a possible strong gale or squall swept M/L Don Dexter Cathlyn on its way to Bulan, Sorsogon from Dimasalang, Masbate.

Inconsistent to the official number of passengers in the manifest, at least forty persons (40) were reported to have died, seventy-six (76) had been rescued, and thirteen (13) were unaccounted for. Displayed in the town plaza for grieving relatives to identify, the bodies included 25 women, 5 men, and 4 children between ages 1 to 4.

According to Masbate Provincial police chief Reuben Sindac, the sea was relatively calm and there was no rain or typhoon when the mishap happened. Ship overloading was suspected. GMA News/ AP (11/04/08, Balagtas-See, A)

The sinking of ferry boats and passenger deaths have been recurrent tragic problems in the Philippine maritime industry. Stricter government oversight, safety measures, and accountability have been demanded by the public, but no improvement so far is in sight. (Photo Credits:; =0=

UPDATE: November 5, 2008, the death toll in the Masbate sea mishap rises to 42.
PO2 Bernardo Pajalla Jr. of Masbate police has identified the fatalities as of 10 p.m. Tuesday November 4, 2008 as:

1. Michelle Ramirez, 1
2. Ritchinel Andaya, 3
3. Nathaniel Andaya, 6
4. Maricel Ornopia, 30
5. Silvina Gabriel, 58
6. Auria Pasas, 66
7. Rosalie Atabay, 26
8. Rosalina Atabay, 50
9. Crisilda Atabay, 7
10. Cizzia Atabay, 6
11. Joy-joy Atabay,6
12. In-in Nueva, 16
13. Grace Capellan, 48
14. Larganie Capellan, 5
15. Lean Capellan, 2
16. Teresita Abejuela, 40
17. John Paul Abejuela, 6
18. Nenita Matos, 36
19. Charlene Leastardo, 19
20. Jimmy Banaag, 22
21. Filipina Anman, 66
22. Ana Nerbis, 59
23. Consolacion Baybayon, 78
24. Lanie Mahinay, 18
25. Sonia Cordera, 40
26. Adelina Adobas, 74
27. Reynaldo Arcueno, 42
28. Jennifer Mantal, 34
29. Nerie Badillo, 44
30. Jessica Marsonia, 36
31. Benita Hermosa, 67
32. Olympio Blaso, 64
33. Rosalina Pilapil, 50
34. Marichu Apao, 5
35. Parcy Abenir, 6
36. Salud Abenir, 65
37. Rossie Belarmino, 57
38. Marilyn Lleness, 43
39. Christian Ramos, 4
40. Francisca Rondina, 50

Rising Road Accidents

October 26, 2008

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 1.2 million people die in traffic accidents worldwide every year. Moreover, 10 million are injured costing about 520 billion in expenses.

Juan Mercado of Cebu Daily News (07/11/06) wrote on the frequent occurence of road accidents in the Philippines. He said the government data tend to underestimate the extent of the problem are not accurate. The records in hospitals don’t agree with what are kept by the police.

“On paper, the Philippine accident rate is about 6.0 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles.’ T“hat makes us look good among ASEAN nations. The low victim headcount has, in fact, lulled authorities into complacency, the report notes. But newspaper and broadcast reports show these up as smug assumptions.

“In 2003, the police reported only about 900 fatalities.” That same year, “about 9,000 fatalities could be attributed to road traffic accidents,” the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) asserted in its National Injury Survey.

The UNICEF study covered 90,500 households, randomly selected from barangays to regional level. It concluded that over 783,000 pileups occur yearly. In over 144,000 instances, people were injured severely. Another 630,000 got off with bruises, black eyes, dented cars — and the scare of their lives.”

I believe we don’t need more evidence about the bane of traffic accidents in the county. We recall the death of UP Ibalon George Evangelio and injury of his wife in a gruesome bus smash up this year in Pamplona, Camarines Sur killing at least 11 and injuring more than 20 people.

Ibalonians Fred Salva, Karen Canon, and Rebecca Espeso died of injuries suffered from vehicular accidents in Manila and Baao, Camarines Sur. I had Henry Mesia, my brother in Naga City who sustained fatal head trauma in 1985. Ten (10) South Korean visitors recently died of injuries in August 27, 2008 on their way to a resort in Bolinao, Pangasinan.

Apolonio Baylon had a picture of a Bicol University bus totally wrecked in an mishap in Sison, Pangasinan. Ed Gumban snapped a photo of an overloaded tricycle which depicted the real danger of the street in Irosin, Sorsogon.

Based on data from two years ago, 27% (4,182) of car accidents were caused by driver error. This included sleeping on the wheel, failure to follow road signs, drunk driving, and the use of cell phones while driving. Fifteen percent (15%) was due to vehicle mechanical defects, and 13% from speeding.

Marichu V. Cruz, a Manila Times reporter (07/29/08), reveals a continuing increase in traffic accidents this year and obviously, reliable documentation is required to keep government authorities abreast with solutions.

The Philippine Natonal Police (PNP) attributes the alarming traffic accidents on undisciplined Filipino drivers. Traffic officers point to more education and personal responsibility in trying to bring down injuries and deaths on the road. (Photo Credits: Bicol Mail;stchristopherlucky; Ed Gumban) =0=

UPDATE: On October 27, Monday, an additional six (6) people died and 15 others were injured when a vehicle fell into a ravine in Tagaytay, Batangas.