Day: July 29, 2002

  • There’s something surreal about a helicopter hovering 50 feet above your head.

  • Ugly but okay:

    Within an hour and six minutes of the derailment, rescue crews had all of the people off the train.

    From NBC4’s latest report.  It looks like there were a few serious injuries, but no fatalities.

  • A firetruck en route taken with my JamCam

  • From NBC4

    An Amtrak passenger train has derailed in Kensington, Md., near Summit Avenue and Plyers Mill Road.

    The eastbound Capitol Limited, train #30 derailed at approximately 1:55 p.m. It carried 202 people on board including 190 passengers and 12 crew members who were traveling from Chicago to Washington.

    Officials with the Montgomery County Fire Department said about 60 people are hurt, and approximately six people suffered traumatic injuries. Emergency reponse teams said three of the injuries are considered serious.

    Within an hour and six minutes of the derailment, rescue crews had all of the people off the train.

    The train consisted of 2 engines and 13 cars. Montgomery County police spokesman Lieutenant Harold Allen says all 13 cars of the train derailed, but not all flipped over.

    Amtrak is establishing a customer care center. An emergency number has been set up for family members of passengers who were on the derailed train. The number for family members to check on a passenger’s welfare, is 1-800-523-9101.

    Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are looking for the cause of the accident.

    A witness said a freight train came down the tracks just minutes before the passenger train. “I heard a big kaboom. Before that happened, a train came through with coal on it, it was flying – a lot of coal was flying everywhere. A couple minutes later the Amtrak train came through, and then all of a sudden, I saw the track collapse, the inside rail of the train collapsed. The train started rolling, and the cars started flipping over, ” said Kermit Tyler, a witness.

    He continued, “Then I heard a little girl scream. She had one foot hanging in the window and the rest of her body hanging beneath the train. I ran down and tried to help her and got her out. More people were yelling. I brought her up to the top of the hill where a police officer was and then went down and tried to grab some more people. By the time I did that, there were a lot of other people here. I tried to help them out and then got out of the way when the rest of the rescue squad came here.”

    The train derailed on tracks owned, operated and maintained by CSX Corporation.

    MARC Rail uses the same track, and officials said they are making contingency plans for this evening’s commute. MARC passengers who usually use the Brunswick line are being told to use their MARC passes to take MetroRail to Shady Grove. From the Shady Grove station, MARC is providing bus service to passenger’s final destinations.

    The derailment may affect MARC’s service tomorrow morning. Passengers can get instructions from MARC’s web site or by calling (410) 539-5000.

    Commuters who drive in the area, especially those who use Connecticut Avenue, can expect delays this evening.

    News4 reporters are on the scene along with the News 4 helicopter, and will have further details as soon as they are available.


    Dozens Hurt in Md. Train Derailment

    Mon Jul 29, 3:24 PM ET

    By STEPHEN MANNING, Associated Press Writer

    KENSINGTON, Md. (AP) – An Amtrak train carrying about 200 people derailed near Washington on Monday, injuring dozens. There were no immediate reports of fatalities.

    Montgomery County fire spokesman Oscar Garcia said about 60 patients were awaiting transfer to hospitals and at least six people with what he called “traumatic” injuries.

    The train was the Capitol Limited en route from Chicago to Washington. The accident happened about 1:55 p.m. near Connecticut Avenue, a major through street, authorities said.

    The train, using double-decker “Superliner” passenger cars, left Chicago at 7 p.m. Sunday with about 190 passengers and a crew of 12, Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Van Veen said.

    It had two engines and 13 passenger cars, and preliminary reports indicated that 11 cars derailed, an Amtrak statement said.

    At least 85 fire and rescue workers were sent to the scene. Scores of rescuers helped evacuate passengers.

    Television footage showed a row of double-decker cars lying on their sides, between the tracks and trees along the route.

    Montgomery County police spokesman Lucille Bower told Baltimore television station WJZ-TV that “it is possible there are passengers pinned inside.”

    “It is our understanding at this point that there have not been fatalities,” Bower said.

    A woman identified only as Paula told WJZ that she was heading from Chicago to Washington with her 13-year-old daughter. They both escaped unharmed.

    “The way our car fell, we were on the bottom. So, we had to climb out … onto the top, which was the side of the train, and onto a ladder.”

    In 1996, the Capitol Limited and a Maryland commuter train collided in nearby Silver Spring, killing all three crew members and eight passengers on commuter train.

  • It’s ugly, I just saw pictures of it on the news.  It’s kind of weird seeing a picture from a camera that has to be sitting on a bridge a block from where you are.

  • A passenger train has derailed in Kensington, Md., near Summit Avenue and Plyers Mill Road.

    Emergency crews are responding, and News4 has learned people have been hurt in the derailment.

    Initial reports indicate at least six cars derailed. A witness says cars are on their sides.

    A News4 crew is on the way and will have further details as soon as they are available.

    I’m down the road from it, but things are so blocked off I won’t be able to make it down there.

  • Apparently a train has derailed down the street from my work.  More details as I get them.

  • Expect More: Sam Ruby’s new essay on SOAP and evolution.

  • Jack Johnson: I picked up this album a week or two ago, and it is excellent.  Chill, bluesy, laid back but fun.  You can listen to some tracks on his website.

  • I just finished the XML-RPC section of Web Services Essentials and I’m itching for more.  Now I’m reading the SOAP overview, but I will have to come back and learn more about XML-RPC later.

    The thing that I like most about XML-RPC is its simplicity.  Sure, it might not be complex enough to send complex information back and forth, but because it is so simple, it’s also extremely easy to implement, and that is key.  I’m not a big fan of bloated code, and I adore ‘clean lines’ in code, design, and elsewhere.  There are many implementations for you to choose from in a plethora of languages.

  • Observation: We are now using CD-Rs in exactly the same way we were using floppies in the DOS days.  Think about it: some programs come on multiple disks, and now CD-Rs are disposable and cost less than floppies did around the DOS 5/6/6.2/6.22 days.  Think about it.

  • Remoting with Rotor: Slides and demos from Peter Drayton.

  • Here’s something I’ve been pondering, and would like to work on, but I might not get a chance to in the forseeable future, so here it is, unleashed on y’all (from my cool things to do list):

    Perhaps design and implement a blogroll-like feature of bands you listen to.  MyMusic.opml.  They could then be aggregated and linkbacks could be found.  For example, if you like a random band and someone else likes a random band, you may also be missing out on what’s in their weblog.  Just a thought that needs to be implemented when I get a chance.

  • Diveintopython by Mark Pilgrim: Yet another thing to read in your spare time.

  • Good morning sports fans!

  • I just got back from Area2, it rocked. I saw Bowie, Moby, Busta, Blue Man Group, a bit of DJ Tiesto’s set, and more.  Moby live can only be described one way:

    Me: He looks like a ferret on stage.
    Roger: Yeah, a ferret on crack!

    I can hear Moby speaking to the tour set designers also:

    Moby: Okay guys, last year was great, but this time I want RAMPS!

    He ran around the stage quite nicely.  Bowie was great, he did some classics and a bunch of stuff form the new album.  It was great to see Busta live, but the crowd wasn’t into it too much.  Something about white folk I think.  There was also a punk band called Ash that rocked pretty hard.

    I’ve noticed something about electronic music, and this goes for most of it: drum n bass/jungle, trance, techno, big beat, dance, etc.  I love a lot of the music.  I just really dislike the scene. There’s something about kids bumping into me and hitting me with tethered glowsticks that just doesn’t appeal to me.  I wonder why not.