Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Carnival Ride Turns Deadly; Train Crash; Cruise Ship Death

EDM Friday Briefing: Carnival Ride Turns Deadly; Train Crash; Cruise Ship Death

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 28, 2017: A commuter train crash in Barcelona, Spain injures more than 50 people, a thrill ride breaks apart at the Ohio State Fair and kills one person, a mock disaster tested one county's response to an EF3 tornado, a proposed tax in Congress could push rates sky high on disaster insurance, a man is in custody after a woman's death on an Alaskan cruise, extreme heat and little rain worsens drought conditions, two adolescents in France are arrested on suspicion of arson in recent wildfires, and Montana receives FEMA grant assistance to fight the nation's largest wildfire.

  1. At least 50 people were injured, one seriously, in a commuter train accident in Barcelona, Spain on Friday morning.  A commuter train entering Barcelona, Spain's Francia Station on Friday morning crashed into a railroad buffer after it allegedly failed to brake properly, tearing open the nose of the locomotive. 19 people were moderately injured, and the rest were treated for minor injuries in a makeshift triage established on the train platform by emergency services.
  2. Multiple state officials across the nation ordered the shut down of various amusement park rides following a deadly accident involving an extreme thrill ride at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday night that killed one person. The accident, which occurred on the opening day of the fair, killed Tyler Jarrell, 18, of Columbus, Ohio after the ride snapped apart mid-swing and he, along with other riders, were tossed into the air. In an abundance of caution, other county fairs, including several in California, shut down multiple rides following the accident in Ohio.  
  3. Stafford County, Virginia conducted a full-scale mass-care exercise on Wednesday that involved more than 200 participants, and included multiple local and state agencies. The mock exercise tested the county's ability to establish and coordinate a reception center and separate shelter after an EF3 tornado with wind speeds of 140 mph whipped through the county, destroying homes and businesses and leaving multiple people injured or dead. The full scale mass-care exercise is one of the many training drills conducted in the county throughout the year that help forge better partnerships and working relationships among individuals and agencies at every level.
  4. A new tax proposal in Congress may skyrocket the cost of earthquake insurance for residents of California if the proposed tax is passed. Insurance rates remain at affordable costs due to insurance firms buying reinsurance, where insurers spread risk through the purchase of global reinsurance to diversify investments and reduce risk. Unless an exemption for financial services is included in the tax proposal, the proposed tax, known as a "border-adjustment tax" or BAT, would tax imports, including international reinsurance, likely raising insurance costs in California $1.91 billion over the next decade.
  5. A man is in custody following the death of his wife on an Alaskan cruise ship that departed Seattle on Sunday. The man, Kenneth Manzanares, 39, from Santa Clara, Utah, allegedly killed his wife, Kristy, 39, because she would not stop laughing at him. The ship was diverted to Juneau for the investigation which is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since the incident occurred in U.S. waters.
  6. Extreme heat and the continued lack of significant rain have worsened drought conditions in several states during the past week, stressing crops and some livestock. Numbers released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) drought summary indicate that nearly 11 percent of the continental United States is in a moderate or worse drought, including Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, parts of the Dakotas, and the majority of Montana. Crops impacted by the worsening drought conditions include soybeans, corn, and wheat.
  7. Two adolescents are in custody in France on suspicion of arson for the wildfires that rapidly spread across southeastern portions of France, burning 370 acres and causing the evacuations of thousands of residents. The boys, aged 16, were arrested on Wednesday on the suspicion that they started the blaze in Carro. A 41 year-old-man also admitted to accidentally starting the Peynier wildfire with a metal-cutting device. That blaze consumed more than 177 acres.
  8. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has reversed an earlier decision to not provide assistance to Montana in its fight against the state's, and the nation's, largest wildfire. After the state's governor, Steve Bullock, declared a fire state of emergency in Montana due to the Lodgepole Complex fires, the state filed a grant application for federal assistance that was originally rejected by FEMA on Sunday. The grant request was finally approved Thursday, paving the way for Montana to recover 75 percent of its costs to fight the Lodgepole Complex wildfires that have consumed more than 256,000 acres and destroyed at least 16 homes.

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.