Bad Luck Stories 2011.... this collection of "Hard Luck" stories from around the world shows how in spite of all our best efforts to be aware of all aspects of safety and security for ourselves and our families, ultimately we are at the mercy of fate, destiny, or God's will... call it what you may.
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't always try to be alert and aware of the world around us.
Reason being, many accidents, injuries, financial hardships, and even some crimes are entirely preventable. So when it comes to the safety and security of ourselves and our families we owe to ourselves to as careful as we can.
Like the proverb says... "To be forewarned is to be forearmed".
Bad Luck Stories 2011... December.
Air Show Crash Reno, Nevada: September 16th 2011.
A highly modified 1940's P-51 Mustang crashed into the crowd seated on the Reno tarmac during an air race.
11 people were killed (including the 74-year-old pilot) and 66 were seriously injured. Investigators suspect a mechanical failure as a small piece of the tail (an elevator trim tab) appears missing in photographs.
It is thought this may have caused the plane to pitch up suddenly causing the pilot to black-out as the pilot isn't visible in the cockpit in photos of the plummeting plane.
Slugs Pass On Killer Brain-Eating Disease: November 17th 2011.
Two Australian infants (aged 10 and 15 months) have died within weeks of each other after contracting Rat Lungworm disease.
Lungworm larvae from rat excretions are eaten by slugs & snails and can be passed onto humans in slug & snail slime.
Both infants lived near each other in Sydney. One looks to have ingested a slug crawling on an outside deck after heavy rain. The needle-like lungworms are fairly rare and extremely difficult to diagnose. They enter the spinal fluid and travel to the brain where they wreak horrible destruction.
A 20 year-old-man, who ate a slug at an outdoors party for a dare 11 months earlier, also contracted the Rat Lungworm. He ended up in intensive care for 420 days and is now permanently and severely brain-damaged.
People are warned to wash lettuce leaves well especially if snails & slugs are around as it is theoretically possible the Rat Lungworm could be ingested.
34 Car Pile-up Causes Fiery Inferno UK: November 5th 2011.
At least 7 people were killed and more than 50 injured (many seriously) when 34 cars and trucks crashed on the M5 highway in England.
Police blame foggy conditions and wet road surfaces for the horrific smash that had vehicles incinerated by intense fireballs and billowing smoke.
Father & Son Killed In Separate Car Crashes 4 Hours Apart: November 10th 2011.
A 16 year-old California boy was killed instantly when thrown from a SUV driven by his mother on Interstate 8, San Diego County when the vehicle veered off the road and rolled over.
4 hours later the boy's father died in a head-on collision on the same freeway.
Police suspect the man was so distraught at the loss of his son (for which he blamed the mother) that he committed suicide.
Falling Shopping Trolley Crushes Woman: November 2nd 2011.
A 47 year-old New York woman was left fighting for her life after a shopping trolley crashed down on her from 4 floors up in an East Harlem shopping center.
Two 12 year-old boys have been charged with assault for pushing the trolley onto her.
Bad Luck Stories 2011... November.
Family Of Five Swept Over 300ft Waterfall: July 17th 2011.
A picnic in Patalpani near the city of Indore turned into a tragedy when a torrential flash flood engulfed a family near the edge of the 300ft drop in central India.
A father, his daughter and niece (both aged 22) perished in the swirling waters, while two others miraculously survived the plunge.
Yachtsman Eaten By Cannibal: October 17th 2011.
Stefan Ramin, a German yachtsman, is feared to have been killed and eaten on the French Polynesian island of Nuku Hiva.
The 40 year old sailor and his girlfriend Heike Dorsch set out in 2008 to sail around the world on "the trip of a lifetime" in search of "freedom and adventures".
Ms. Dorsch told local authorities how after arriving on the island Ramin had hired a local guide to explore inland. The guide returned alone telling Ms. Dorsch that Ramin had been injured and needed urgent help.
She quickly followed the guide only to be attacked, tied to a tree, and sexually assaulted before managing to free herself and escape.
A search party of soldiers and police later discovered ashes in a nearby fire-place containing bones, teeth, a jaw and melted metal thought to be fillings. DNA tests and dental records confirmed the remains were of Ramin.
Baby Sling Suffocates Infant: September 19th 2011.
A two day old baby was suffocated while being carried in a baby sling being worn under her mother's shirt and pullover in Adelaide, Australia.
The U.S. and Canada earlier this year issued a warning of the danger posed by misuse of the slings following more than 16 similar infant deaths. They warned potentially dangerous sleeping positions could prevent a child from breathing properly.
Climber "Ecstatic"... Then Drops Dead: September 2011.
A 69 year old British man fulfilled his life-long dream of climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa's highest at 5895 metres) before he turned 70.
After training for 18 months, Alistair Cook the father of three, achieved his dream on September 11th 2011.
He sent his wife a text message from the mountain top saying "he was exhausted but happy, he was ecstatic at reaching it". Several hours later during the descent Mr Cook suffered a massive heart attack and died.
Deadly Bali Cocktail... Nurse In Coma: September 20th 2011.
Australian nurse Jamie Johnston drank a deadly cocktail on the final night of her 3 week vacation in Lombok, Bali.
The jug of arak ( a cocktail of rice wine and fruit juice) had been laced with methanol, a toxic chemical used in paint and anti-freeze.
She was taken off her departing flight at Denpasar airport in extreme pain and collapsed soon after. Ms. Johnston was in intensive care for 3 weeks and suffered brain damage, renal failure and has been unable to talk or move normally since.
Adulterated arak also caused the agonizing deaths of over 25 people in June 2009 (dozens were hospitalized). Among the fatalities were 2 British tourists, 1 Dutchman, and a prominent U.S. artist.
Polar Bear Kills Camper In Norwegian Arctic: August 5th 2011.
A 17 year old British student was killed and four others sustained serious head injuries after a polar bear attacked their camp.
The 13 campers were on a 5 week trekking expedition across the remote Norwegian island of Svalbard. It is suspected that a protective trip-wire (that triggers a flare or shotgun shell) encircling the tents may have failed or been set up incorrectly.
This next video shows another camper who was lucky to survive a polar bear attack, and just how terrifying an ordeal it was.
Australian Surfer Bitten In Half By Shark: September 4th 2011.
A 21 year old man suffered horrific injuries and lost most of his lower body while surfing at "Boneyards" Bunker Bay 255km south of Perth, Western Australia.
Locals say it was most likely to be a Great White Shark... "The gossip is that it's an old female pointer looking for easy pray".
There have been more than 15 fatal shark attacks on Australia's beaches in the past 11 years. Most were victims of Great Whites except for an attack off Queensland's North Stradbroke Island where a 21 year old woman was mauled to death by 3 Bull Sharks.
Mexican Drug Cartel Butchers Bloggers: September 15th 2011.
The butchered corpses of a man and woman were found dangling from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, northeastern Mexico.
The woman was semi-naked, and had been disembowelled; the man had broken bones protruding through flesh. Both had had fingers and ears chopped off.
Messages left near the bodies warned bloggers against using the social media to insult the the drug cartel (the Zetas) that dominate the region.
Bad Luck Stories 2011... September.
Stage Collapse Kills 6 at U.S. State Fair: August 13th 2011:
A freak wind gust has toppled a heavy-scaffolding stage at the Indiana State fair killing 6 spectators and injuring up to 100 more.
Those injured were part of the crowd waiting for country band Sugarland to perform.
5 Fans Killed at Belgian Music Festival:
August 14th 2011:
A sudden, fierce storm has lashed 65,000 fans camped at the 3 day Pukkelpop music festival in Belgium killing 5 and injuring around 140 more.
Trees were uprooted, huge tents collapsed, and heavy scaffolding and racks of concert lights came crashing down when the intense storm struck. Top line acts Eminem and the Foo Fighters were among the bands scheduled to appear.
New Zealand Man Sucked into Plane Engine: August 8th 2011.
An engineer with SAFE Air, an Air New Zealand subsidiary, was sucked into a plane engine while carrying out maintenance on a C-130 Hercules engine at Woodbourne Airport.
The man, believed to be in his 50s, had entered a testing enclosure where the engine was running. It was not fitted to an aircraft at the time.
He had been made redundant last year but had been re-employed on a short term contract.
The engine had to be dismantled so the victim's remains could be recovered.
Rare Parasite Kills Teenage Girl: August 8th 2011.
A 16 year old Florida girl has died after contracting Amoebic Meningoencephalitis.
Orlando doctors believe the amoeba (which attacks the brain) entered her nose while she was swimming in the shallow, fresh warm waters of the St John's River.
The parasite has caused 2 other deaths this year; one a 9 year old Virginia boy (the amoeba was found in his home's water system); the other was a Louisiana man in his 20s.
Bad Luck Stories 2011... August.
Gunman Massacres 77 in Norway, July 23rd 2011:
A 32 year old blond-haired, blue-eyed Norwegian national blew up a government building in Oslo killing 8 before going on a shooting rampage on a nearby island that left over 69 dead and 60 more wounded.
More than 650 members of the youth wing of the Labor Party, mainly all teenagers, had been attending their annual summer camp.
One survivor told how the killer, who was wearing a police uniform, a bullet-proof vest, and earplugs, yelled "I am a policeman. I am here to help. I'd like to gather everyone" before opening fire.
The shooter is believed to be a Christian fundamentalist with anti-Muslim views.
A police official said "It's probably more Norway's Oklahoma City (where 168 died) than Norway's World Trade Centre".
Bizarre Death in California, July 14th 2011:
The 32 year old girlfriend of Medicis Pharmaceutical founder (54 year old Jonah Shacknai) was found dead at his California home.
Mr. Shacknai was away at the time. The body was discovered by his brother who was staying in a guest house.
Captain Curran of the Coronado police said "We have not determined if this is criminal or if this is a death investigation... Whether it is a homicide or a suicide, it is one of the most bizarre and unusual cases we have ever seen".
The victim was found hanging from a balcony, naked, with a rope around her neck... her hands and feet bound behind her!
... The Australian, 7-16-2011.
reporters Thomas Gryta, James Oberman.
DNA Test Details Leaked On Google:
Hundreds of customers of Medvet (owned by the South Australian Government) have had their intimate, personal health details inadvertantly revealed on Google over the past several months.
Medvet, Australia's largest drug and alcohol testing company first became aware they had a problem in April.
The company carries out tests for illicit drugs and alcohol for both home and the workplace, as well as paternity tests to be used as "legally admissible evidence" or for individuals to check up on spouses and check the paternity of children.
Details such as names, addresses and type of test ordered were revealed. Some addresses included military bases.
... The Australian, 7-16-2011.
reporter Hedley Thomas.
The Internet Revolution, Globalization, and the Global Financial Crisis created the perfect storm... Old Business models are being destroyed and jobs are disappearing offshore at an astonishing rate. Analysts warn that "China and India are poised to out-think us and out-compete us by their sheer numbers" and that "there is no job security now".
Read more of
Who Ate My Lunch?