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Friday, September 4, 2015

Bird (peacock) hit ~ not a plane, but a rail !!

Mishaps do occur – some are sudden, accidental, fortuitous.    A Ship, howsoever big it is could still suffer a setback by so many perils, especially – the perils of the sea that includes collision, striking submerged objects, running aground and sinking. 

Collision is the act of colliding;  coming violently into contact; crash. A collision is an isolated event in which two or more bodies (colliding bodies) exert relatively strong forces on each other for a relatively short time. Collisions involve forces and there is a change in velocity. In traffic such a collision can be between two vehicles, a vehicle and a person, a vehicle and an object, two persons or a person and an object (and more if an animal is involved). It is an accident or even a disaster. In Marine insurance , collision is a named peril in Inland transit basic cover and ‘Institute cargo clauses – C’.

For many of us, the aluminium flying bird [aircraft] is a marvel with its complex design, its flight and crossing distance with ease and speed.  The primary factors in aircraftstructures are strength, weight, and reliability. These factors determine therequirements to be met by any material used to construct or repair the aircraft.Airframes have to be strong and light in weight. The most common metals used inaircraft construction are aluminum, magnesium, titanium, steel, and their alloys.

~- ~ You are given a slingshot to fire your angry birds at pigs who are placed withindifferent variant structures (such as wood, ice and stone) which progressively getharder and retrieve the eggs that those pesky pigs stole!.... as you advance, you getchance to use varied birds with special abilities. A blue bird when clicked will splitinto 3 – there are birds which will explode – some which can drop explosive eggs … It is the popular ‘Angry Birds’, a strategy game developedby Finnish computer game developer Rovio Mobile – and that is ‘bird hit !’

Even though, large commercial aircrafts are certified to be able to withstand theimpact of most, we often hear about bird-hits damaging planes. Birds represent aserious threat at many airports. Not all cause serious damage to aircraft hull.Bird strikes most often occur during take-offor landing, or during low altitude flight, when an airplane is most likely to be sharingthe same airspace as a bird.

We often read about train accidents.  Indian Railways have now ordered an inquiry into the Bangalore-Nanded train accident in Ananatapur district of Andhra Pradesh.A speeding granite-laden truck rammed into Bangalore-Nanded Express train after breaking the closed gate at a level crossing in Anantapur district in the early hours  killing six persons and injuring two.Blaming the truck driver for the mishap, the spokesperson said it was a manned level crossing and the driver broke the level crossing gate and hit the train.  In the 1st week of August, at least 29 people were feared dead when  two express trains derailed within minutes of each other during flash floods that undermined tracks.Television images showed crumpled train coaches piled together. Several were partially submerged in mud.One of the trains was on its way to Mumbai when the accident happened in a remote area of the central Madhya Pradesh state, while the other was travelling in the opposite direction.

Accidents are many a times inevitable – but lot depends on safety mechanisms,the measure of rescue efforts and the way they are sought to be avoided andnot repeated.  Switzerland's rail system is considered among the safest and most efficient in theworld, despite the country's challenging terrain. Accidents are rare, although in2010 the popular Glacier Express tourist train derailed in the Alps in southernSwitzerland, killing one person and injuring 42 others.

Today’s The Hindu reports that in a bizarre incident, a peahen crashed into a diesel locomotive hauling the Coimbatore – Mayiladuthurai Jan Shatabdhi Express and died inside the cabin even as the train was on the move on Wednesday morning [26th Aug 15].

The incident occurred in the Salem railway division between Pasur and Unjalur in the Erode – Karur broad gauge section at 9.30 a.m.Railway sources said the peahen crashed into the loco through the left side outlook glass that got damaged causing tense moments to the loco pilot and assistant loco pilot.The assistant loco pilot Karthick suffered bleeding injury on his forehead. However, the train kept moving, the sources said.

A strange incidence of Railways involved in a ‘bird-hit’!!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Aug 2015.

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