Thursday, February 15, 2007
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Let me cap it with this “episode” with this last one, which happened on the 17th Dec, just before I went out of my vacation last time.
This was inside the living quarters, where most of my trainees were accommodated in three blocks. At least five rooms of the each block were occupied by trainees in general. In the day time, the rooms were all empty and all the staff went out to work and they seldom come inside their rooms other than in the lunch break.
It is hot in the day in this season and mildly cold in early mornings.
A week before that day, a passing room boy reported of a spark from the walls of one of the blocks. Electricity was immediately cut off and it was found to be a short circuit from the electrical junction box in the building.
We immediately visited the block as it concerns trainees generally. We forwarded a request for a through inspection of the electrical system and a transfer of accommodation for the trainees. The request was discussed in the safety meetings and an enquiry was ordered.
On 15th afternoon hours, in the adjacent block, one of the rooms suddenly caught fire from a short circuit of the electrical system. The fire brigade arrived quickly and it was extinguished. An immediate inspection was ordered for 18th December. The block was evacuated.
Some how, our dear friend fire, as if smelled the news about conducting an enquiry on the next day, decided to launch an attack on one of the blocks one day early, on 17th December.
See him in action with the fire trucks and safety having a futile attempt to quench it. The block was gutted in 45 minutes flat.
As it was late evening time when no one has returned from work, other than some property damage, none were hurt.
See what is left of the block in foc’z
On 18th the whole 3 blocks of accommodation were dismantled completely (which should have been done before a week) and trainees were given rooms elsewhere.
Thank for being patient with my blah blah.
I am tying this bundle of incidents for the year 2006 and... throwing it away.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
As I told you, the month of December was scary for more reasons.
The next incident happened on 10th of December if my memory is correct, and I was not directly involved with it.
The airport belongs to our company and there are no one traveling by air except the field staff and army personnel for security. It is so close to our living quarters and so it is close to our training center too.
If a plane crashed any where near, it is a safety risk to all in the camp.
The crew transfer is done in a "Fokker" plane that carries about 50 people and sometimes on a busy crew change day there are two flights and one or two cargo planes for bringing in the machineries and the spares for us.
We normally wait at the main gate of the camp during the morning flight landing, awaiting official papers that are couriered from our head office in Khartoum with prir information by phone. As I know a little more about these small aircrafts, I can pick up any abnormal landing from the gate as did on that day.
On 10th while the plane was landing, the pilot seems to have lost his judgment at touch down point.
I saw that the plane touched down beyond the place it was supposed to have and the jerk and shake were quite visible as the pilot also must have realized his mistake.... a bit late.
Though many people were witnessing the landing of the aircraft from the main gate, I was the only one who was tense, as I know that the pilot had to be careful when he reach the end of the runway due to the nasty touch down. I saw it reach the end of the runway as I noticed the deceleration of the aircraft before it reaches the end of the runway and I was about to have a sigh of relief, but then, I saw the plane hesitate for a moment and slanted to one side, one of the wheels going out of the runway to a lower level.
I said aloud, as people started to look towards the aircraft with horror. The plane, normally in these cases faces a partial twisting action, which results in break up of one side wing and a subsequent rollover.
A rollover with half full fuel tank and the sparks from the wings would have been enough to make an inferno of bodies.
Instead the plane made a full U turn out of the tar mark, the lower side of the left engine getting stuck in the dry mud which prevented a roll over, and it stopped right there with a thud.
You can guess the rest. There were exactly 5 + 49 passengers, crew included.
None were seriously injured.
See the plane still there for you. Take a look at the two pics.
Beyond the aircraft, you can see part of the runway.