This 2010 message-board post allegedly details the mayhem wrought when CN locomotive 2699 ("a 212 ton, 6 axle machine powered by a 4400 hp V16 4 stroke Diesel") threw a piston while passing through Independence, Louisiana. The piston punched a hole in the roof of a nearby house, ploughed through the upper story and came to rest embedded in the wall of the ground-floor living room. I can't find any news reports to substantiate the description, though.
Locomotive Engine Failure - Blown Piston
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Videos on bus capture disaster when driver falls asleep Boing Boing
High-speed camera shooting FROM a train - Boing Boing
Train nearly runs over idiots (video) - Boing Boing Read the rest
Things could be going from really bad to even worse around the Gulf of Mexico, for residents and for BP. An investigation by Al Jazeera reveals that the dispersants BP is using to treat the spill are making people sick.
There are already a number of reports about the toxicity of oil itself, but this investigation by Al Jazeera suggests the problem is bigger than that: already toxic dispersants are forming new compounds when combined with crude oil that become even more dangerous— not just for the environment, but for the humans who live and work there.
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"Naman, who works at the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama, has been carrying out studies to search for the chemical markers of the dispersants BP used to both sink and break up its oil.
According to Naman, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from this toxic mix are making people sick. PAHs contain compounds that have been identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic.
Fisherman across the four states most heavily affected by the oil disaster - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida - have reported seeing BP spray dispersants from aircraft and boats offshore.
"The dispersants are being added to the water and are causing chemical compounds to become water soluble, which is then given off into the air, so it is coming down as rain, in addition to being in the water and beaches of these areas of the Gulf," Naman added.
"I'm scared of what I'm finding. These cyclic compounds intermingle with the Corexit [dispersants] and generate other cyclic compounds that aren't good.