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Thread: Dumb accidents

  1. #1
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    Dumb accidents

    This is just a post motivated by my frequent annoyance at unfortunate things (usually trivial) happening for stupid reasons. Like trying to unravel my music player when it gets caught in my ID card lanyard, or trying to pick up a suitcase and having the strap get stuck in my watch strap or something like that. Is there any really serious accident, like a plane crash or something of the sort, that was caused by some trivial thing getting stuck or tied up with something else? I am sure there are lots of people who have died due to something like getting their hair stuck in a door, for example, but I'm thinking of some large incident.
    As above, so below

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    I recently read about a plane crash that was attributed to adhesive tape that had been put on some critical sensors to protect them when it was parked for a long time, and then not removed before flying again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I recently read about a plane crash that was attributed to adhesive tape that had been put on some critical sensors to protect them when it was parked for a long time, and then not removed before flying again.
    A 757, IIRC.
    Wasn't Isadora Duncan strangled by her long scarf getting caught in the wheel of an open touring car?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I recently read about a plane crash that was attributed to adhesive tape that had been put on some critical sensors to protect them when it was parked for a long time, and then not removed before flying again.
    You were probably thinking of this one - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroper%C3%BA_Flight_603 . Basically the "static ports" , which provide information for the instruments, had been taped over when the plane was cleaned and the tape not removed before the flight.

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    Whoops

    So many. As a state policeman once told me, "That's why we call them accidents."

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Thetis_(N25)

    A combination of factors, but one of the failed checks that led to the sinking of a submarine was paint in the tap that would have shown there was water in a torpedo tube before it was opened.

    (And they had a possible fix ...)
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  7. #7
    I think about 20 percent of my posts here a dumb accidents that I have.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    A 757, IIRC.
    Wasn't Isadora Duncan strangled by her long scarf getting caught in the wheel of an open touring car?
    I love how people real through the messages before answering.

    I am sure there are lots of people who have died due to something like getting their hair stuck in a door, for example, but I'm thinking of some large incident.
    But I'm only pointing it out just to point it out. I'm happy to hear about Isadora Duncan as well, and I vaguely remember hearing that.
    As above, so below

  9. #9
    This morning I saw an episode of mayday where a jet crashed because a light burnt out for the landing gear and eventually the pilot moved the controls causing the autopilot to switch off.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter...nes_Flight_401
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Is there any really serious accident, like a plane crash or something of the sort, that was caused by some trivial thing getting stuck or tied up with something else?
    Large scale events like this (i.e. multiple casualties) are likely rare. If I recall correctly, in commercial plane accidents, it is often the culmination of multiple minor failures of unrelated things or procedures.

    I've always thought it would be interesting to study overlapping risk factors. Like, eating a sandwich while driving raises your risk, but of course 99.99% of road travel is uneventful. Add icy roads and you're flirting with trouble, but then someone brakes suddenly and you've got a trifecta of dangers that culminate in a disaster. No two risks are unrecoverable, but add a third... that kind of thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Large scale events like this (i.e. multiple casualties) are likely rare. If I recall correctly, in commercial plane accidents, it is often the culmination of multiple minor failures of unrelated things or procedures.

    I've always thought it would be interesting to study overlapping risk factors. Like, eating a sandwich while driving raises your risk, but of course 99.99% of road travel is uneventful. Add icy roads and you're flirting with trouble, but then someone brakes suddenly and you've got a trifecta of dangers that culminate in a disaster. No two risks are unrecoverable, but add a third... that kind of thing.
    I believe that you are talking about what is called the "Swiss Cheese model of accident causation" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_cheese_model. This means that small problems if they 'line up' correctly can cause a major accident. In the Aeroperu accident I linked above a number factors lined up to cause the accident :

    1) The tape on the 'static holes' were not removed.
    2) The ground maintenance worker had used dark duct tape instead of the brightly coloured tape he should have used, so it was not spotted during a pilot 'walk around' before the flight.
    3) The flight took off at night so visual indications of height etc were hidden
    4) The plane flew out to sea so there were no ground lights to use as a help.

    Added together these circumstances caused a tragic crash.

  12. #12
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    Are there any "smart accidents"?
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    The fourth most serious nuclear plant accident (i.e. not TMI, Chernobyl or Fukushima) was caused by someone checking for air leaks with a candle. Caused a big fire.

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    Whoops (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Are there any "smart accidents"?
    I think so. It is easy to think of accidents caused by "smart" financial, political, convenience, etcetera reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    ...
    Wasn't Isadora Duncan strangled by her long scarf getting caught in the wheel of an open touring car?
    He sure didn't have much in common with Isadora, but the author Andrew Greeley (who was a priest as well as a sociologist) was injured under similar circumstances, getting dragged by a taxi when his coat got caught in the door. He never recovered from the accident and died a couple of years later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    He sure didn't have much in common with Isadora, but the author Andrew Greeley (who was a priest as well as a sociologist) was injured under similar circumstances, getting dragged by a taxi when his coat got caught in the door. He never recovered from the accident and died a couple of years later.
    I am horrified to hear this. I knew of Greeley's fiction because I used to be on the editorial staff of Amazing Stories when it was with TSR, long ago. Andrew Greeley sold fiction to Amazing when Patrick Price was editor. I recall the story in which is man is seduced by Gabby, the female form of the archangel Gabriel. It was pretty wild but it was great writing. It is a blow to hear of his awful manner of passing.

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    Years ago, I worked at a place that recycled fluorescent tubes. The machine for this purpose would grab them and pulverize them. It operated with a large amount of force, so there were a lot of warnings about loose clothing and such. (Exactly how this helped to recycle them wasn't clear to me.)

    It didn't take long for the tragedy to happen, just not in the way that you would expect. One of the funny guys on the crew put on a protective apron, a clear facemask and asked another worker to take a Polaroid of him operating the machine, in accordance with all the signs.

    Well, he got fired. Mostly because he was wearing the apron and the facemask. His clothes were in a pile under one of the warning signs.
    Solfe

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Are there any "smart accidents"?
    Penicillin? At least, anecdotally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Are there any "smart accidents"?
    Perhaps in astronomy; there's bound to be at least one stellar aberration.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Are there any "smart accidents"?
    I've heard it said that the greatest words in science are "Hmm, that's odd."
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I've heard it said that the greatest words in science are "Hmm, that's odd."
    The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny... "
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  22. #22
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    More in line with our topic are the Redneck's Last Words. "Watch this!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    More in line with our topic are the Redneck's Last Words. "Watch this!"
    . Yep, there you go.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    More in line with our topic are the Redneck's Last Words. "Watch this!"
    You've omitted "Hold my beer and..."!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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