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10 Feb 2011 12:33


U.S.: Allentown, Pa. explosion a familiarly horrible sight for America

  • explosion Allentown, Pa. was rocked by a violent explosion at 11 p.m. EST last night, killing at least one and burning eight rowhouses. Five people remain missing.
  • explanation? Authorities in Allentown have claimed that the explosion has the “look” and “feel” of a natural gas incident, despite the local gas line passing checks last Tuesday. source
  • » Sleeping through the wake-up calls: Creaky gas lines leading to violent, deadly explosions have been more common than we’d like lately. You may recall last year’s colossal blast in San Bruno, California, for example, which killed eight people and raised a lot of concern over the state of gas lines nationwide. 2010 was a bad year for gas explosions, as this list attests, and it begs asking whether the U.S. government is shirking their responsibilities on infrastructure safety. In a world in which we’re constantly reminded and warned about very grand-scale, existential threats like global terrorism and the blight of nuclear weapons, the possibility that the ground is going to suddenly explode underneath us seems to get short shrift. With the Obama administration appearing to cede to a Republican-ish center on fiscal matters, odds are the concerted focus and infrastructure spending needed to answer these questions simply won’t be there. Which sucks, frankly.

19 Nov 2010 11:14


World: Scores of miners missing in wake of New Zealand mine blast

  • 27 miners missing in New Zealand; we hope it’s another Chile source

12 Sep 2010 01:17


U.S.: The San Bruno explosion death toll rises, could get worse

  • seven have died in the freak accident in the San Francisco suburb
  • six more are still missing; hundreds are currently displaced source

10 Sep 2010 20:15


U.S.: San Bruno’s gas explosion: A shocking event, preventible?

  • harbinger A bunch of people smelled gas in a residential neighborhood for weeks. Investigators looked into it but found nothing.
  • result A natural gas pipeline exploded, leveling numerous homes and killing four. Now, people are wondering WTF happened. source

03 Sep 2010 19:33


U.S.: Did yesterday’s oil rig blast cause another leak, anyway?

  • NO but that’s what they say; start conspiracy theories now source

02 Sep 2010 11:57


03 Jul 2010 11:37


U.S.: Snaps: The Democratic Republic of Congo oil blast, underplayed?

  • We needed a new feature, and we think we have a pretty good one. Basically, we’re going to take a big story and see how it’s being covered on the front page of major news sites. Is it getting underplayed? Overplayed? This time around, We’re tackling the horrific oil tanker blast in Congo, which is new enough that a lot of people haven’t heard about it (it broke in the middle of the night in the U.S.). Otherwise, it’s a slow news day. On the downside, though, the story has no art, which might hurt its play. Let’s compare:
  • BBC: Top of the pageAs might be expected, considering the nature of the very deadly incident, BBC gave it top-of-the-front-page treatment.
  • CNN: Secondary lead storyWhile it was CNN’s top news story for a while (and worthy of an alert), it was replaced by a story about slain cops.


  • New York Times: BuriedThe New York Times, on the other hand, didn’t even bother to give it display play, instead putting it in their wire-stories-only slot.
  • Google News: right at the topGoogle News, which chooses its stories by computer algorithms, gave it much nicer coverage, just above Serena Williams.


  • MSNBC: Huge made the story their main news item with a huge headline, while giving Serena Williams art play off to the side.
  • Fox News: BuriedFox News buried the story even further than the New York Times did, preferring instead to lead with Joe Biden’s visit to Iraq.

08 May 2010 09:16


U.S.: So what caused the Gulf oil blast, and indirectly, the Gulf oil spill?

Essentially, a giant bubble of methane made its way through the oil well, quickly moving through the drill column before exploding. So in other words, freak accident. source

26 Apr 2010 21:38


U.S.: We’re relying on robots to stop a huge oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico

  • 42k number of gallons of oil the leak is spewing out each freaking day
  • 5,000 number of feet underwater robots are working to fix the leak
  • three number of days from now the oil slick will hit the Louisiana shore source

25 Apr 2010 10:04


World: FYI: North Korea not shooting torpedoes at South Korea

After an investigation, they now know that the South Korean warship was brought down by a close-range blast, not a torpedo from North Korea. source