The Case Against Boeing

Relatives of passengers who died in a pair of fatal crashes of Boeing 737 MAX jets in Ethiopia and Indonesia are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to reopen a $2.5 billion settlement that the Trump administration reached with Boeing in its final days in office last year. Under the settlement, Boeing avoids criminal prosecution over its role in two of the deadliest airplane crashes in years. Attorney General Garland held a video meeting with several family members Wednesday.

The first crash occurred on October 29, 2018, when a Lion Air flight in Indonesia crashed after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people aboard. Just after five months later, on March 10, 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa. A hundred fifty-seven people died — everyone on board. Both planes were using a new, flawed automated flight control system that activated erroneously.

The story of the Boeing crashes and the company’s push for profit over safety are told in a stunning new documentary called Downfall: The Case Against Boeing. It just premiered

— source | Jan 28, 2022

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17 Tenants Die in Bronx Fire

in New York at a vigil Tuesday night, people mourned the 17 victims of a high-rise apartment building in the Bronx, the city’s deadliest fire in decades.

Officials have now released the names of the 17 people who died in Sunday’s deadly fire in the 19-story apartment building in the Bronx. They range in age from 2 to 50 years old. Some came from the same families. All of them died from smoke inhalation. Many were immigrants from West Africa and part of the local Muslim community. A nearby mosque and the Gambian Youth Organization are gathering support for families of the dead and the survivors.

Investigators say Sunday’s fire began when an electric space heater malfunctioned and that victims suffered from severe smoke inhalation after a pair of open doors allowed smoke to spread throughout the building. The building acted as a kind of chimney. City records show tenants of the Twin Parks tower had complained about a lack of heat in the building and doors that didn’t close automatically, as required by law. The building did not have fire escapes or sprinklers, and many people were trapped in upper floors, where self-closing doors were supposed to have blocked toxic smoke and flames from spreading.

— source | Jan 12, 2022

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At least 52 young workers perish in Bangladesh factory fire

In yet another shocking inferno, at least 52 mostly teenage workers died in a sweatshop factory, when a blaze engulfed a multi-storey food and beverage factory, just outside Bangladesh’s capital of Dhaka, on Thursday night. The factory was exploiting cheap labour to export products to Western markets. Fire officials said 49 of the victims’ bodies were burned beyond recognition, after they were trapped behind a locked door, a supposedly illegal practice, which is commonly used by employers in the country to prevent workers from leaving their workplace without permission or being searched. Three workers died after jumping off the building’s roof. About another 50 were injured.

The blaze broke out on Thursday night at the Hashem Foods Ltd. factory, in Rupganj, an industrial town 25 kilometres east of Dhaka. The group’s website states that the company exports its products to numerous countries, including Australia, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and nations in the Middle East and Africa.

— source | 10/07/2021

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38,680 traffic fatalities in 2020, up 7.2% from 2019

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2020 shows that an estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in US. This represents an estimated increase of about 7.2% as compared to the 36,096 fatalities reported in 2019. Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2020 decreased by about 430.2 billion miles—about a 13.2% decrease.

— source | 05 Jun 2021

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Over 150 Migrant Workers Die in Accidents While Walking Back Home

Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown on March 24 to curb the further spread of the novel coronavirus, large populations of migrant workers have been stranded without any means of survival. The initial days of lockdown saw large groups of these migrant workers walking thousands of kilometers to reach home from cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Bhopal etc. after finding it difficult to make the ends meet without having any work. As there were no transportation facilities, they had no choice other than walking. With the lockdown renewed for the third time—albeit with relaxations—the workers, who do not expect to go back to work anytime soon and earn, are on the streets again, tired of waiting to be taken home by trains or buses.

Many of these migrant workers who were on their way home, however, could not finish their journey. An analysis of news reports in the national media shows that more than 150 migrant workers have been killed in various accidents since March 24. Hundreds of workers have sustained injuries.

— source | 21 May 2020

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Mix of contaminants in Fukushima wastewater, risks of ocean dumping

Nearly 10 years after the Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant and triggered an unprecedented release radioactivity into the ocean, radiation levels have fallen to safe levels in all but the waters closest to the shuttered power plant. Today, fish and other seafood caught in waters beyond all but a limited region have been found to be well within Japan’s strict limits for radioactive contamination, but a new hazard exists and is growing every day in the number of storage tanks on land surrounding the power plant that hold contaminated wastewater. An article published August 8 in the journal Science takes a look at some of the many radioactive elements contained in the tanks and suggests that more needs to be done to understand the potential risks of releasing wastewater from the tanks into the ocean.

— source by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Aug 6, 2020

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Crushing Labour Laws Amidst Successive Industrial Accidents Is Serious Insult to Injury

Industrial accidents are far too common in India. Two disastrous incidences of gas leakage at Visakhapatnam’s LG Polymers plant and a boiler blast at NCL India Limited’s thermal power station in Tamil Nadu evoked memories of several unfortunate industrial accidents that have taken hundreds of workers lives. In last year, few reported industrial incidents such an explosion in a chemical factory in Maharashtra, a massive fire at the ONGC plant at Bombay High, a blast in NTPC’s Rae Bareli plant and Bawana industrial area in Delhi, attest to the fact that India’s industrial preventive measures and the safety inspection systems are inadequate and ineffective in ensuring the workers’ safety.

— source | Rahul Suresh Sapkal | 12/May/2020

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Dam collapse in central Michigan sparks historic flooding

Over 11,000 people in central Michigan were evacuated from their homes on Tuesday and Wednesday as historic rains swelled the Tittabawassee River and breached two aging and neglected hydroelectric dams. The Edenville Dam collapsed Tuesday evening, and the downriver Sanford Dam was in danger of collapsing as of Wednesday night, according to county officials. Media footage of downtown Midland has shown streets and buildings submerged in as much as 12 feet of water. Several bridges have collapsed across Midland County, and dozens of roads are washed out, making it nearly impossible for trapped residents to flee. The smaller adjoining Rifle River in Arenac County had also swelled to record levels, forcing door-to-door evacuations.

— source | Matthew Brennan | 21 May 2020

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