Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Italian Ship Cruise Captain Held Liable for the Drowning Accident Happened Last Friday the 13th

The captain of the Italian cruise ship that capsized last Friday the 13th at Tuscany was arrested on Saturday, January 14.

Allegedly, the cruise ship captain, Francesco Schettino made an unauthorized deviation from its programmed course. According to the Italian ship owner, the accident was purely caused by human error which led to the vessels’ fatal grounding.

Comments from the Luigi Foschi, the Chairman and CEO of the Costa Crociere, the company that owns the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia said that the ship’s captain was already under investigation by the proper authorities. They are concerned as the captain is suspected for manslaughter and on allegedly abandoning the ship before all passengers were safe - a clear violation of the Italian Navigation Code. Under the said provision, a captain who abandons a ship in danger can face up to 12 years of imprisonment.

The arrest of the ship captain Schettino together with its first officer Ciro Ambrosio was conducted 24 – hours after the incident. They would be facing multiple charges of homicide and ship abandonment

The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia that was loaded with over 4,000 people on board before it struck into a coral reef, which caused 70 to 100 meters deep cut into its hull not long after setting off from Civitavecchia, a sea port near Rome. As a result, the ship quickly leaned on one side.

The passengers all panicked and rushed to get into the lifeboats where they could be rescued from the sea. As of January 16, six people have been reported dead while sixteen people remain missing.

The Costa Crociere is owned by the largest cruise line in the world – Carnival Corp. that stood by the ship captain despite what happened. The said cruise line would still provide the captain with legal assistance but made it clear that the company had nothing to do with the captain’s behavior.

In a press conference, Foschi explained that every Costa ship has its own routes programmed. He further stated that the alarms went off when ship captain Schettino made an unauthorized deviation. Foschi added that the liner had passed all the safety and technical tests in the 2011 evaluation.

It was on November 22, 2008, that the same ship was featured on the news after trying to enter the port of Palermo, Sicily during a storm and was damaged when it struck the dock. There must be extensive trainings and seminars for all cruise ship crews to avoid fatal drowning accidents among themselves and their passengers.

It is still unclear whether the cruise line, captain alone or both would be accountable for the said drowning accidents. However, based upon the ongoing situation and statements, it seems that the captain alone would be held liable for the all damages that occurred from the incident.

In such drowning mishaps, determining the liable party can be the toughest step in pursuing a lawsuit whether it is a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim. Either way, a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles would be excellent for winning such clients’ claims.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Three-train Collision in Indiana Caused Fire and Hazardous Chemical Spill

train accident - photo credit safetydata.fra.dot.gov
Three freight trains carrying cars and chemical substances collided at the Porter County, Northwest of Indiana last December 5. The incident caused fire, traffic jam and panic to nearby residents.

According to reports, one freight train carrying 60 cars rear ended another freight train pulling empty ethanol tankers and 77 cars. As a result of incident, cars from the first and second freight train derailed and both trains crashed to the third freight train hauling 48 cars on a separate track. The third train did not avoid the derailed trains thus causing the three trains to collide against each other and burst into fire.

Two of trains’ crew members have sustained physical injuries and were sent to the hospital for proper medical treatment. Injuries sustained by victims were said to be non–life threatening and are expected to recover soon.

The train accident left mingled cars by the road side. The Porter County authorities evacuated the residents nearby the accident scene in to protect them from hazardous smokes coming from the crashed trains. The fire from the trains was up for six hours until county firefighters managed to extinguish it by sunset.

Fortunately, all of the three freight trains are owned by only one transportation company – the CSX Transportation Inc. Because of this, financial expenses would all be under the involved company’s responsibilities alone.

According to statistics, for every one and a half hour, train accidents occur in the country and for every two weeks, a freight train pulling hazardous substances derails causing poisonous chemicals to spill. Hence, train drivers are expected to be more careful and vigilant in order to train accidents. Accidents that were caused by freight trains loaded with hazardous materials may not only result into death but might also create a health threat to the community due to chemical spills.

Because of the mentioned Indiana train accident, it is clear that the first train driver became reckless and failed to take safety measures while at the railway. Although the cause of the accident is currently under investigation, mechanical failure is probably not a factor to the said train accident but definitely recklessness and negligence.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Drowning Accident on a Holiday Leaves 11 People Dead

An enjoyable holiday at a lake in Harare, Zimbabwe turned into a regretful experience when a drowning accident occurred and killed 11 people.

The news was first brought by a Zimbabwean state radio station giving details about the drowning accident that happened on Christmas day.

According to CBS News, the radio station reported that the pleasure boat was said to be seen overturned at Lake Chivero. Allegedly, the boat has a total of 19 passengers on board and the drowning incident happened exactly at Lake Chivero, 30 kilometers west of Harare. The 11 people killed from the incident were mostly children ages five to 14. The radio station has identified seven of them by names.
Furthermore, the radio station also reported that a wildlife ranger at the lake died a day before such accident happened. This after the canoe of the said wild life ranger overturned in a coarse water.

The Lake Chivero is an official conservation of natural resources, a recreation resort and a water supply reservoir. Its owner and personnel are expected to provide safety measures within the recreation facilities.

Drowning accidents can be avoided through practicing strict and proper precautions while on the water. In this case, probably the owner or the resort personnel failed to do a close supervision on the water activities that are happening in the area. Water parks personnel and owners are held responsible for providing safety of their patrons and customers.

Improper or inadequately supervised pools, water parks and other recreational facilities and negligence on the part of lifeguards are just some of the most common causes of drowning accidents. With this, owners and personnel of these recreational sites are encouraged to implement strict and proper safety guidelines in these places.