Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Drone Forces Ground Stop And Halts Inbound Flights At US Airport

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Drone Forces Ground Stop And Halts Inbound Flights At US Airport

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for January 23, 2019: A drone sighting near Newark Airport forced a ground stop and delayed inbound flights Tuesday; a pipeline explosion in Ohio on Monday injured two and damaged structures; a SkyWest flight slid off the taxiway at an airport in Indiana due to icing conditions; charred human remains were found in the yard at a home in Malibu; two pilots were killed and four passengers injured when a Douglas DC-3 crashed just after take-off in Ohio; at least 11 crew members are dead following fires that erupted onboard two ships near Crimea; a drunken passenger was arrested after attempting to hijack a Russian Aeroflot flight; and efforts to rescue the toddler that fell down a well in Spain had a temporary setback due to technical issues.

  1. The sighting of a drone near Newark Liberty International Airport Tuesday evening, forced a ground stop and interrupted arrivals as authorities sought to confirm reports of the sightings. The drone was allegedly flying at around 3,500 near Teterboro Airport, which is just about 18 miles west and along the flight path to Newark. Normal airport operations resumed a short time later, but the Federal Aviation Administration and other federal and local authorities were investigating the incident. 
  2. A pipeline explosion Monday morning in Ohio forced the evacuation of nearby residents in Summerfield. Two people were allegedly injured and several structures were reportedly damaged during the explosion of a section of the Enbridge Texas Eastern Pipeline in Noble County, Ohio. According to the county's emergency management director, Chasity Schmelzenbach, flames were visible 10-15 miles away, and were shooting anywhere from 80 to 200 feet in the air. Enbridge, a Calgary-based company, noted that it quickly worked with local authorities to contain the section of pipeline that was damaged, while three local fire departments worked to contain the fire
  3. Airport officials at the Fort Wayne Airport (FWA) in Indiana stated that a chemical deicer used to melt ice was diluted by rainfall and may have played a part in a SkyWest flight sliding off a taxiway. Delta Connection Flight 3526, operated by SkyWest, was scheduled to depart FWA for Atlanta on Tuesday night, and was traveling on the taxiway when the nose wheel slid off onto the shoulder. No passengers were injured when the plane came to a stop in a snowbank alongside the taxiway
  4.  A property owner in a posh Malibu neighborhood was surveying the damage in his yard from the Woolsey Fire when he discovered the charred remains of a human body. The bones were discovered Monday afternoon, and investigators stated that the coroner's office would conduct an autopsy to determine the victim's identity and cause of death. The Woolsey Fire, which erupted on November 8, and scorched 96,000 acres, claimed the lives of three civilians and injured three firefighters.  
  5. A Douglas DC-3 crashed shortly after take-off from a private airfield in northeastern Ohio, killing the two pilots and injuring the four passengers onboard. The vintage aircraft hit snow-covered trees, ripping the front of the plane off and scattering debris, before it skidded into the trees and came to a halt. The plane, which likely suffered from unspecified engine issues, also clipped power lines when it crashed, disrupting power and phone service locally.  
  6. Two ships caught fire near Crimea in the Krech Strait, killing at least 11 crew members, while others jumped into the sea to escape the blaze. There were a a total of 31 crew members on the two ships, and at least fourteen victims were rescued. Both ships, which were under the Tanzanian flag, likely caught fire after an explosion occurred on one ship during a ship-to-ship fuel transhipment, and stormy sea conditions were also present at the time the blaze broke out.  
  7. A drunk passenger onboard a Russian Aeroflot flight reportedly was arrested after he attempted to hijack the plane. The man, who told everyone that he was armed, attempted to break into the cockpit and demanded that the flight, which was traveling from the Siberian city of Surgut to Moscow, be rerouted to Afghanistan. Flight 1515 was diverted, and made an emergency landing in Siberia, where masked authorities arrested the drunken man, who according to reports, was not actually armed.  
  8. Efforts to rescue a trapped toddler in Totalan, Spain have not yet yielded any results after technical issues arose with the casing of the well after they reached a depth of 40 meters. Thick metal pipes meant to support the sides of the well had to be removed before the horizontal drilling could resume. Hope of finding the toddler alive is dwindling, as there have been no signs of life since the boy fell down the well more than nine days ago.  

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.