Monthly Archives: March 2014

CTA Operator Asleep when Blue Line Train Crashed at O’Hare Airport

She is a newly trained Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operator, with just 60 days under her belt when she was at the helm of the Blue Line train that jumped the tracks, crashed through an end barrier, climbed stairs, and finally came to rest at the top of an escalator at O’Hare Airport earlier this week. Yet, being newly trained and inexperienced is not the reason she crashed.

According to a story posted by The Chicago Tribune, “the operator has openly told investigators of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that she was asleep at the wheel.”

But, wait there is more…

In addition, the operator has reported to the authorities that this is not the first time she fell asleep on the job. She cited an earlier incident where she was “asleep at the wheel” as she headed toward the Belmont Station on February 1, and overshot the station at that time.

Now, granted it was 0242 in the morning at the time of the O’Hare crash, and at this time of night many people are snuggled warmly in their beds, sound asleep. Moreover, it is the very time of the crash occurring which may have what prevented serious or fatal injuries at the station.

The NTSB is saying that the train’s emergency brakes should have stopped the train before it jumped the tracks, climbed stairs, and landed at the top of an escalator “if the operator’s hand leaves the switch” but if the operator’s hand is still touching the switch…

I understand how hard night shifts are as I have been a Psychiatric RN working in a hospital based crisis stabilization program for years. There is no way I would sleep at the nurse’s station. First, it would endanger my life. Second, it would endanger my peers and patients.

Falling asleep on the job happens everywhere and I get that.

However, if you fall asleep on the job more than once, seriously, you need to reconsider what your job is and consider a different job on a different shift. No job is worth your life or the life of others. Additionally, I can say if I was responsible for hurting or killing people on the job I doubt I would ever sleep soundly again.

Boston Fire Department Confirms 2 Firefighters Dead, 18 injured at Beacon Street Blaze

Boston lost two of its finest today when a 4-story brownstone on Beacon Street went up in flames. The fire started in the basement and due to high winds quickly spread to the rest of the floors. All residents living in the building, who were home when the fire started, were evacuated safely. The fire quickly reached nine alarms, trapping two firefighters in the basement.

Firefighter Michael Kennedy age 33 was on the department for almost 7 years. He was a United States Marine. Lt. Edward Walsh, age 43, leaves behind a wife and three children. All three children, 2 sons and a daughter, are under the age of 10. In 2012, Walsh was promoted to Lieutenant. He has been with the Boston Fire Department for ten years. The men were first on the scene and shortly after entering the home, called a mayday. Listening to the recording is heart wrenching.  

In all 150 fire fighters and approximately 20 fire trucks responded to the multi-alarm fire, which began around 245 pm eastern time.

The injured were firefighters, and police officers, 18 people in all were transported to local hospitals for minor injuries.

I pray for the families of Kennedy and Walsh and their coworkers as they say good bye to two of Boston’s finest.

God bless.

 

Malaysian Flight MH370 Confirmed Lost at Sea

The Malaysian Prime Minister has sadly confirmed to the public that the Malaysian Airline Flight MH370 has been confirmed lost in the Indian Ocean near Perth, Australia. Items located on satellite radar is now believed to be consistent with life vests that are bright orange. Relatives of the passengers on flight MH370 have been given the news that all lives are lost at sea. My prayers are with the families as they begin to accept the news that everyone expected, but hoped would not be true.

The American Navy is flying a device to the area believed to be where Malaysian flight MH370 ended in the ocean that is highly sensitive and may be able to locate the black box from the aircraft by detecting the ping given off when a plane crashes. Hopefully, the black box if located may bring answers that have been so frustratingly far and few between. Perhaps it will provide the answers as to why the plane seemed to fluctuate between 35,000 feet and 12,000 feet during its flight.

How does a Boeing 777 disappear with out a trace?

It is going on two weeks since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 vanished into thin air. Is it magic? Was David Copperfield onboard the flight? Perhaps, Stephen King was sitting in one of the rows? 

Three days into the disappearance during a press conference I remember specifically hearing the following words..

 “We are intensifying the search for the missing airliner.”

Seriously?! Who would have imagined going into day three we would be intensifying the search. Day three, and, there is still no clues about what happened to a Boeing 777 carrying 239 people, including the 12 person flight crew. The Boeing jet was headed to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, only 40 minutes into its flight when it appeared to have disappeared off the grid.

Now, almost two weeks later we know that  239 people and a BIG airplane remains a mystery. I cannot imagine how the family members are dealing with the emotional toll day after day of not knowing where there loved one is and if he or she is dead or alive.

I am praying…for the crew and passengers, and their families, for the answers about what happened to the plane and the people.

Is anyone else surprised that the plane’s transponder could be shut of from inside the cockpit? Why would it ever be required to be shut off anyway?

Gee Wally I was feeling so safe and secure with all the changes implemented since 9-11, but now…