294 Missing After Ferry Sinks off South Korea’s Coast

Nearly 300 people are missing and at least four are confirmed dead after a ferry carrying 462 people, many of them students, sank in cold waters off South Korea’s southern coast Wednesday.

There were fears of a big jump in the number of deaths, as dozens of boats, helicopters and divers scrambled to rescue passengers who had been on the ferry travelling to the southern island of Jeju. Those rescue efforts will continue overnight. One rescued passenger said he believed that many people had been trapped inside the ferry when it sank.

Photos: Sadness, Desperation as Ferry Sinks Off South Korea’s Coast

The confirmed fatalities are a female crew member, 22, and a male student.

The ferry, identified as the Sewol, was sailing to the southern island of Jeju when it sent a distress call as it began leaning to one side. The passengers include more than 300 students from Danwon High School in Ansan, near Seoul, who were on a school trip.


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Military Drone Crashes near Pennsylvania elementary school

LICKDALE, PENNSYLVANIA (EarthThreats.com) — An unmanned aerial vehicle has crashed near Lickdale elementary School in Pennsylvania, Army National Guard officials said.

The incident happened about 3:15 P.M. when the UAV was being controlled by a remote operator during a training exercise at Fort Indiantown Gap. The drone experienced a hard landing followed by being run over by a civilian vehicle in front of the school, emergency officials said.

The vehicle, known as the RQ-7 Shadow, weighs 375 pounds, is approximately 11 feet long and has a wing span of 14 feet, Shenk said.

The drone normally operates over Fort Indiantown Gap’s airspace, Shenk said.

The National Guard does not know why the UAV crashed and the incident is under investigation.

Rescuers scour Washington state mudslide rubble, up to 176 still missing

(Reuters) – Rescue workers sifted through mucky rubble on Tuesday amid dwindling hopes of finding any more survivors from among scores of people still missing from a devastating weekend mudslide in Washington state that killed at least 14.

About a dozen workers searched overnight for as many as 176 people who have been reported missing since a rain-soaked hillside collapsed on Saturday morning, swallowing dozens of homes near Oso, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick said.

Compounding their sense of urgency was a fear of flooding as water levels rose behind a crude dam of mud and rubble that had been dumped into the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River by the slide in an area along State Route 530, about 55 miles northeast of Seattle, in the Pacific Northwest state.

Authorities said they were hoping the number of people listed as missing would decline as they had perhaps been double-counted or had been slow to alert family and officials about their whereabouts.

The rescuers had failed to locate any more people in the rubble early on Tuesday.

John Pennington, Snohomish County’s director of emergency management, said that after three days, the operation is shifting from a rescue operation to a recovery mission.

“I never lose faith and a lot of the people in this community will never lose faith, but there’s a realism element that’s entered in,” he told NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday.
READ MORE: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/25/us-usa-mudslide-washingtonstate-idUSBREA2L0R020140325


Mississippi town evacuated after train derailment spills flammable chemicals

Dozens of families were forced from their southeastern Mississippi homes Friday after a train derailed, tipping over cars carrying fuel oil and methanol and causing officials to grow concerned about another potentially deadly chemical spill.

The Mississippi Department of Motor Vehicles announced that the train, which was traveling from Jackson, Miss. To Mobile, Ala., ran off the tracks at 9 A.M. local time (10 A.M. EST) and that no one was hurt in the incident outside New Augusta.

The approximately 50 people living within a half-mile radius of the accident were evacuated, though, because the train was hauling an ethanol-based product that spilled. Surrounding highways were also shutdown as a precaution because of ethanol’s high flammability. Between 3,000 and 4,000 gallons were spilled, according to local estimates.

“Dozens of families were forced from their southeastern Mississippi homes Friday after a train derailed, tipping over cars carrying fuel oil and methanol and causing officials to grow concerned about another potentially deadly chemical spill.,” Sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith told WDAM-TV in New Augusta. “We are just trying to get everything detained and cleaned up.”

The American Red Cross was on hand to give shelter to those forced from their homes, with disaster program manager Angie Grajeda saying, “Residents should pack as if they are going on a small one-to-two day camping trip.”

If the evacuation seemed to some like an over-reaction that could be because 2013 was a tough year for the railroad industry. Recently unveiled federal data compiled by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration found that more crude oil spilled from trains in the last year alone that over the previous 37 years combined.

Source: http://rt.com/usa/mississippi-train-derailment-chemicals-496/