Tagged Articles

report 19 articles

Blowout preventer problems that led to BP oil spill still threaten Gulf, new report finds

A “litany of flaws” still plagues the devices offshore oil drillers in the Gulf of Mexico rely on to prevent blowouts like the one that exploded BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010, according to findings by the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. The Board’s findings potentially mean key risks that contributed to the BP oil spill – the largest environmental disaster ever to hit the U.S. – are still in place. The Chemical Board’s report, which focused on BP’s blowout preventer or “BOP,”  is one of a number of ongoing federal safety and industry investigations of the BP spill ... Read More

Feds can’t investigate horrific Tenn. bus crash amid government shutdown

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it would not investigate a deadly Tennessee bus crash because all of the agency’s highway investigators have been furloughed amid the government shutdown. The Oct. 3 crash occurred on Interstate 40 east of Knoxville, Tenn., leaving 8 people dead and injuring more than a dozen others. Sharon Bryson, deputy director of communications for the NTSB, told NBC News that it was “highly likely” the agency would have investigated the crash under normal circumstances, but stressed that it would be “impossible” to do with all of its investigators furloughed. Local authorities that responded to ... Read More

NBC finds escape slide failures hindered evacuation of Asiana 214 and several other flights

Some of the emergency slides on Asiana flight 214 failed to deploy properly after the airplane crashed upon landing at San Francisco International Airport July 6, potentially botching evacuation efforts as the airplane burned. An NBC investigation of the matter also found that federal aviation officials have known about problems with the evacuation slides for years but have failed to take any meaningful measures to improve their reliability. Survivors of the Asiana crash told an NBC Bay Area investigative unit that the evacuation efforts took longer than they should have because two of the emergency slides inflated inside the cabin, ... Read More

Philadelphia building collapse report calls for updated state building code

An investigative committee of the Philadelphia City Council said that the state of Pennsylvania must update its building codes to reduce a serious public safety threat like the deadly June 5 building collapse that killed six people and injured 14 others in a Salvation Army thrift store. In a report issued last week, the Philadelphia City Council Special Investigative Committee urged the Governor, state legislature, and Uniform Construction Code Review Advisory Committee (RAC) to adopt model building codes to ensure the safety of all buildings, not just in Philadelphia but in the rest of Pennsylvania. “Model building codes include the ... Read More

Some Lumber Liquidators flooring contains toxic formaldehyde levels, report finds

Lumber Liquidators, a highly profitable chain of 279 retail stores selling engineered wood and laminate flooring products, is one of the nation’s largest flooring companies. Last year the company sold more than $800 million in flooring product and its stock prices soared amid attractive profit margins and news that its aggressive growth plan aimed to double the number of retail outlets in just about every state. But blogger and investor Xuhua Zhou reveals that some of Lumber Liquidators’ Chinese-made flooring contains levels of formaldehyde that are both illegal and potentially toxic to consumers – a concern that is echoed by ... Read More

Ride malfunction at Ohio amusement park injures seven

SANDUSKY, Ohio — A water thrill ride malfunctioned Friday at Cedar Point amusement park near Cleveland, Ohio, Friday, injuring seven people who were on boat that slid backward down a steep hill and flipped over in water. Investigators are at the park this week trying to determine how the malfunction occurred on the “Shoot the Rapids” ride and why some of the safety restraints were not working properly. “We heard a snap and then a clunk and then it was the loudest noise, like an explosion,” Emily Capezzuto, one of the riders, told the Sandusky Register. “Then it slid down ... Read More

Amusement ride injuries to children soar in summer, new study finds

Twenty children are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms every day during the summer months for injuries involving rides at amusement parks, fairs, malls, and other venues according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics. But the study’s researchers found that most of the injuries don’t occur on the big, scary rides, but the seemingly harmless carousel. Analyzing emergency room records, the study’s researchers found that roller coasters accounted for 10 percent of all amusement park injuries to children. Bumper cars accounted for about 4 percent of the total injuries. But 21 percent of the injuries occurred ... Read More

U.S. probe finds major safety deficiencies contributed to BP oil spill

A government safety probe into the cause of BP’s oil spill asserts that the oil giant focused too much on small details involving personal safety while losing sight of larger, more systemic dangers that threatened the entire operation. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers and released more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from the blown-out Macondo well a mile below the surface. BP leased the Deepwater Horizon rig from Transocean, which kept a crew onboard to operate the platform. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board also said that generally BP ... Read More

Government study of Toyota sudden acceleration too narrow, say whistleblowers

U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is voicing concerns that a government investigation of sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles may have wrongly ruled out electronic glitches as the cause triggering some vehicles to unexpectedly speed out of control. A team of investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and NASA engineers studied sudden acceleration in some of the affected Toyota models, but ruled out a malfunction in Toyota’s electronic throttle control system as a possible cause. The conclusion drew the ire of many independent engineers, safety advocates, and other critics who insist the study was flawed. Senator Grassley ... Read More

Sleepy, disoriented pilot took Air Canada flight into plunge, injuring passengers

Several passengers and crew members aboard an overnight transatlantic Air Canada flight were injured after a sleepy pilot mistakenly thought the plane was about to collide with a U.S. military jet and forced the Boeing 767 into a sharp dive. A new report by Canada’s Transportation Safety Board attributes the 46-second incident, which occurred in January, to pilot fatigue and specifically to “sleep inertia,” a state in which performance and situational awareness are degraded immediately after waking up. The pilot had been asleep for about 75 minutes during a required rest period implemented by regulators as a measure to combat ... Read More