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Victorian train smashes crossing gates at 93 km/h less than a minute after passengers walked through

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victorian train smashes crossing gates at 93 km h less than a minute after passengers walked through

A passenger train has smashed through closed crossing gates at more than 90km/h, less than a minute after pedestrians crossed the tracks.

The V/Line VLocity train travelling from Melbourne‘s Southern Cross Station to Wendouree was unable to stop at Ballarat Station on May 30.

Two passengers were on board with a train driver and conductor when the train destroyed the heritage-listed swing level gates at the station.

Fragments of the splintered gate were found in nearby buildings, with the lead carriage and window damaged.

The driver, conductor and one passenger all suffered minor injuries. 

The V/Line train from Melbourne to Wendouree was damaged (pictured) after it was unable to stop at Ballarat Station

The V/Line train from Melbourne to Wendouree was damaged (pictured) after it was unable to stop at Ballarat Station

The V/Line train from Melbourne to Wendouree was damaged (pictured) after it was unable to stop at Ballarat Station

The train was unable to slow down due to complications with the train sanding system sending it flying through the Lydiard Street crossing at 93km/h (pictured)

The train was unable to slow down due to complications with the train sanding system sending it flying through the Lydiard Street crossing at 93km/h (pictured)

The train was unable to slow down due to complications with the train sanding system sending it flying through the Lydiard Street crossing at 93km/h (pictured)

A preliminary report into the incident from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau found the train was travelling at 93km/h and was unable to slow down due to complications with the sanding system.

The train driver had started braking slightly earlier due to wet weather and strong winds, which activated the trains wheel slip protection system. 

‘Departing Ballan, the driver began to experience wheel slip events during powering and as the journey progressed, experienced instances of wheel slide during braking,’ Victoria’s Chief Investigator of Transport Safety Chris McKeown said.

When the slip system is activated, brake cylinder pressure is reduced to increase wheel adhesion while sand is applied to improve wheel traction.

The train was travelling at approximately 160km/h 4.9km from Ballarat Station and after experiencing wheel slip, the driver activated the emergency break.  

‘An emergency brake application was applied 235 metres before the train’s intended stop at Ballarat Station,’ Mr McKeown said.

The heritage-listed swing gates were destroyed by the train, with fragments of the wooden gate found at nearby buildings

The heritage-listed swing gates were destroyed by the train, with fragments of the wooden gate found at nearby buildings

The heritage-listed swing gates were destroyed by the train, with fragments of the wooden gate found at nearby buildings

‘The train travelled through Ballarat Station at 100 km/h and passed a departure signal at Stop as it headed towards the Lydiard Street North crossing.’

Three pedestrians were captured on CCTV passing over the crossing on Lydiard Street 49 seconds before the train careered through the gate.

The crossing traffic lights changed from green to flashing amber one second before the train sped through, destroying the gates as they blocked the tracks instead of motorists on Doveton Street. 

The train eventually stopped 600m west of its intended stopping point. 

The incident has sparked a review into the VLocity 3VL70 train’s sanding system, with the manufacturer Bombardier conducting maintenance across their fleet. 

The train driver, a conductor and one of the two passenger on board all suffered minor injuries in the incident (pictured, the train after the collision)

The train driver, a conductor and one of the two passenger on board all suffered minor injuries in the incident (pictured, the train after the collision)

The train driver, a conductor and one of the two passenger on board all suffered minor injuries in the incident (pictured, the train after the collision)

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Archaeology: Ancient Maya water purification system developed in Guatemala ‘would still work today’

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archaeology ancient maya water purification system developed in guatemala would still work today

The ancient Maya people of Mesoamerica developed one of the world’s oldest water purification systems — and it would still work today — a study has found.

Experts from the US discovered evidence of the system — dating back to more than 2,000 years ago — in Corriental reservoir in the city of Tikal, northern Guatemala.

The site — once a key source of water for the ancient Maya — contained crystalline quartz in coarse sand and zeolite imported from 18 miles north-east of the city. 

Quartz and zeolite, a compound containing silicon and aluminium, together serve to create a molecular sieve — and are both still used today in modern filtration systems.

The ancient filter would have removed heavy metals, harmful microbes, nitrogen-rich compounds and other toxins from the Maya civilisation’s water, the team said. 

The ancient Maya people of Mesoamerica developed one of the world's oldest water purification systems — and it would still work today — a study has found. Pictured, Tikal

The ancient Maya people of Mesoamerica developed one of the world's oldest water purification systems — and it would still work today — a study has found. Pictured, Tikal

The ancient Maya people of Mesoamerica developed one of the world’s oldest water purification systems — and it would still work today — a study has found. Pictured, Tikal 

The ancient filter would have removed heavy metals, harmful microbes, nitrogen-rich compounds and other toxins from the Maya civilisation's water, the team said. Pictured, the teams' mock-up of how the filter might have worked, placed just upstream of the reservoir

The ancient filter would have removed heavy metals, harmful microbes, nitrogen-rich compounds and other toxins from the Maya civilisation's water, the team said. Pictured, the teams' mock-up of how the filter might have worked, placed just upstream of the reservoir

The ancient filter would have removed heavy metals, harmful microbes, nitrogen-rich compounds and other toxins from the Maya civilisation’s water, the team said. Pictured, the teams’ mock-up of how the filter might have worked, placed just upstream of the reservoir 

‘What’s interesting is this system would still be effective today — and the Maya discovered it more than 2,000 years ago,’ said paper author and anthropologist Kenneth Barnett Tankersley of the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio.

This means the Mesoamerican filtration system would have predated its counterparts in Europe — and was the first-of-its-kind in the so-called New World.

The researchers traced the origin of the quartz and the zeolite — the latter of which was only found at Tikal in the Corriental reservoir — to the steep ridges of the Bajo de Azúcar, about 18 miles (29 kilometres) northeast of the city.

Experts from the US discovered evidence of the system — dating back to more than 2,000 years ago — in Corriental reservoir in the city of Tikal (pictured), in northern Guatemala

Experts from the US discovered evidence of the system — dating back to more than 2,000 years ago — in Corriental reservoir in the city of Tikal (pictured), in northern Guatemala

Experts from the US discovered evidence of the system — dating back to more than 2,000 years ago — in Corriental reservoir in the city of Tikal (pictured), in northern Guatemala

The Corriental reservoir site — once a key source of water for the ancient Maya — contained crystalline quartz in coarse sand and zeolite (pictured) imported from 18 miles north-east of the city. Quartz and zeolite, a compound containing silicon and aluminium, together serve to create a molecular sieve — and are both still used today in modern filtration systems

The Corriental reservoir site — once a key source of water for the ancient Maya — contained crystalline quartz in coarse sand and zeolite (pictured) imported from 18 miles north-east of the city. Quartz and zeolite, a compound containing silicon and aluminium, together serve to create a molecular sieve — and are both still used today in modern filtration systems

The Corriental reservoir site — once a key source of water for the ancient Maya — contained crystalline quartz in coarse sand and zeolite (pictured) imported from 18 miles north-east of the city. Quartz and zeolite, a compound containing silicon and aluminium, together serve to create a molecular sieve — and are both still used today in modern filtration systems

‘The ancient Maya lived in a tropical environment and had to be innovators. This is a remarkable innovation,’ said Professor Tankersley. 

‘A lot of people look at Native Americans in the Western Hemisphere as not having the same engineering or technological muscle of places like Greece, Rome, India or China,’ he commented.

‘But when it comes to water management, the Maya were millennia ahead.’

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

'What's interesting is this system would still be effective today — and the Maya discovered it more than 2,000 years ago,' said paper author and anthropologist Kenneth Barnett Tankersley of the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio. Pictured (L-R) University of Cincinnati researchers Nicholas Dunning, Vernon Scarborough and David Lentz set up equipment to take sediment samples during their field research at Tikal

'What's interesting is this system would still be effective today — and the Maya discovered it more than 2,000 years ago,' said paper author and anthropologist Kenneth Barnett Tankersley of the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio. Pictured (L-R) University of Cincinnati researchers Nicholas Dunning, Vernon Scarborough and David Lentz set up equipment to take sediment samples during their field research at Tikal

‘What’s interesting is this system would still be effective today — and the Maya discovered it more than 2,000 years ago,’ said paper author and anthropologist Kenneth Barnett Tankersley of the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio. Pictured (L-R) University of Cincinnati researchers Nicholas Dunning, Vernon Scarborough and David Lentz set up equipment to take sediment samples during their field research at Tikal

The researchers traced the origin of the quartz and the zeolite — the latter of which was only found at Tikal in the Corriental reservoir — to the steep ridges of the Bajo de Azúcar, about 18 miles (29 kilometres) northeast of the city. Pictured, a LIDAR-based 'hillshade' image of the Tikal site, with the location of the various reservoirs, including Corriental, outlined

The researchers traced the origin of the quartz and the zeolite — the latter of which was only found at Tikal in the Corriental reservoir — to the steep ridges of the Bajo de Azúcar, about 18 miles (29 kilometres) northeast of the city. Pictured, a LIDAR-based 'hillshade' image of the Tikal site, with the location of the various reservoirs, including Corriental, outlined

The researchers traced the origin of the quartz and the zeolite — the latter of which was only found at Tikal in the Corriental reservoir — to the steep ridges of the Bajo de Azúcar, about 18 miles (29 kilometres) northeast of the city. Pictured, a LIDAR-based ‘hillshade’ image of the Tikal site, with the location of the various reservoirs, including Corriental, outlined

'The ancient Maya lived in a tropical environment and had to be innovators. This is a remarkable innovation,' said Professor Tankersley. Pictured, the location of Tikal in Guatemala

'The ancient Maya lived in a tropical environment and had to be innovators. This is a remarkable innovation,' said Professor Tankersley. Pictured, the location of Tikal in Guatemala

‘The ancient Maya lived in a tropical environment and had to be innovators. This is a remarkable innovation,’ said Professor Tankersley. Pictured, the location of Tikal in Guatemala

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Two-year-old girl is tied to a pole before being dangled upside down during Thai festival

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two year old girl is tied to a pole before being dangled upside down during thai festival

This is the shocking moment a toddler is strapped to a pole and swung 30ft into the air – before being dangled upside down by her ankle.

The crying two-year-old was part of a ritual at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods festival, in southern Thailand on October 23.

Footage shows the youngster being tied to a huge wooden beam which is propelled upwards leaving her stranded more than 30ft in the air. 

The toddler was dangled by her ankle at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods festival, in southern Thailand on October 23

The toddler was dangled by her ankle at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods festival, in southern Thailand on October 23

The toddler was dangled by her ankle at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods festival, in southern Thailand on October 23

The little girl began crying before a man shimmied up the pole as he appeared to rescue her but instead began performing tricks and even dangling her by the ankle.

He put the child on his shoulders and thrashed back and forth before the pair waved to crowds as he balanced on metal poles sticking from the wooden beam.

In a heart-stopping moment, the man looks like he may fall, but as he regains his balance he dangles the child upside down.  

He then tied a rope to the small girl’s ankle and dropped her from the top of the beam – stopping only a few feet before she hit the ground.     

She was dropped from the top of a 30ft pole by a rope tied to her ankle and stopped only feet away from the ground

She was dropped from the top of a 30ft pole by a rope tied to her ankle and stopped only feet away from the ground

She was dropped from the top of a 30ft pole by a rope tied to her ankle and stopped only feet away from the ground

The two-year-old is put at the top of the pole and begins to cry during a festival best known for followers of the Taoist religion piercing their cheeks with skewers

The two-year-old is put at the top of the pole and begins to cry during a festival best known for followers of the Taoist religion piercing their cheeks with skewers

The two-year-old is put at the top of the pole and begins to cry during a festival best known for followers of the Taoist religion piercing their cheeks with skewers

She was then hauled up and dropped two more times before the man slid down the pole with the little girl clutching his chest.

There were then displays with Chinese dragons and firecrackers from China.

A tourist who recorded the video said they were shocked when they saw the girl being attached to the pole.

They said: ‘I couldn’t believe what was happening when I saw her being tied to the wooden beam. She was only two-years-old.

‘I’m not sure if there was any special religious meaning to it or if it was just part of the show. But the girl definitely looked scared and I can’t say for sure that it was safe.’ 

The festival is best known for Thai-Chinese followers of the Taoist religion piercing their cheeks with skewers and hitting themselves with whips. 

Followers of the religious event, which started on October 17 and lasted for nine days, raised no complaints about the display and cheered it on. 

They believe that by entering a trance they are possessed by the Gods and the pain from the self-flagellation helps to cleanse their souls.

The pair sit at the top of the pole, perched on metal poles sticking out at the top, before the man dangles the small child through the air

The pair sit at the top of the pole, perched on metal poles sticking out at the top, before the man dangles the small child through the air

The pair sit at the top of the pole, perched on metal poles sticking out at the top, before the man dangles the small child through the air 

The youngster is tied to a huge wooden beam which is propelled forwards leaving her stranded more than 30ft in the air as she waves at the crowd before bursting into tears

The youngster is tied to a huge wooden beam which is propelled forwards leaving her stranded more than 30ft in the air as she waves at the crowd before bursting into tears

The youngster is tied to a huge wooden beam which is propelled forwards leaving her stranded more than 30ft in the air as she waves at the crowd before bursting into tears 

 According to locals, the ritual started in the 19th century when a Chinese opera group visiting the island fell ill with a malaria epidemic.

They were doomed until they began worshiping the Nine Emperor Gods and cleansing their bodies, practices that have continued among believers.

Participants said this year’s festival had taken on extra significance because of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

Although travel restrictions meant that no international tourists were presents, locals carried on with the unusual events.

Many believe that the pain from the piercings is a way to absorb the ills of their community onto themselves and help to bring good luck back.

As the toddler begins to cry a man shimmied up the pole as he appeared to rescue her, but the pair instead start performing stunts

As the toddler begins to cry a man shimmied up the pole as he appeared to rescue her, but the pair instead start performing stunts

As the toddler begins to cry a man shimmied up the pole as he appeared to rescue her, but the pair instead start performing stunts 

The man performs stunts with the child as he balanced on metal poles sticking from the wooden beam

The man performs stunts with the child as he balanced on metal poles sticking from the wooden beam

The man performs stunts with the child as he balanced on metal poles sticking from the wooden beam

Devotee Warin Supattra, who took part in the ritual, said: ‘The world is suffering from the pandemic. Many followers have been affected, too.

‘Here there are no tourists anymore and people’s lives are hurting. They are having a very hard time. Everyone is in pain and I believe our actions will help.’

The festival takes place every year in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, and followers wearing white join the parades to cleanse their souls. 

During the nine-day period, they will abstain from meat, alcohol, intercourse and bad behaviour. Pregnant and menstruating women must stay at home.

The festival is normally packed with tourists from around the world but Thailand closed its borders on March 22 and has not re-opened to holidaymakers since.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins sticks middle fingers up at Trump supporters on a highway

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cardinals wide receiver deandre hopkins sticks middle fingers up at trump supporters on a highway

Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins stuck his middle fingers up at a Trump convoy while weaving in and out of traffic, the President’s supporters claim.

The NFL superstar, 28, reportedly swerved his Ferrari in between a convoy of Trump supporters while holding up two middle fingers on the I-10 yesterday.

He is thought to have been driving to his team’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium when he came across the PHX Trump Train drive at around 1.30pm.

Outraged Trump supporters took to social media to post pictures they claimed were of Hopkins driving past them in his black Ferrari.

Cardinals' wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins appeared to stick two fingers up at Trump supporters on the Interstate 10 in Arizona yesterday

Cardinals' wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins appeared to stick two fingers up at Trump supporters on the Interstate 10 in Arizona yesterday

Cardinals’ wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins appeared to stick two fingers up at Trump supporters on the Interstate 10 in Arizona yesterday

It has not been confirmed that Hopkins is the subject of the pictures. 

Richard Williams took part in the caravan and addressed Hopkins on Twitter, saying his son was in the car when the footballer gestured at them.

He said: ‘DeAndre Hopkins, my eight-year-old son was in one of the cars you were swerving in and out of as you were disrupting the PHX Trump Train drive and trying to cause an accident. 

‘You’re a piece of trash. Make your political statements, but you out people at risk today.’

Jamie Ritchie wrote: ‘Arizona Cardinals, this is one of your own Deandre Hopkins flipping off people. 

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‘Apparently weaving in and out of traffic during a Trump rally. Maybe he can set the example as a public figure and let people exercise their first amendment right.’

Other saw the funny side of the incident, posting support for Hopkins.

Gerritt Osborn wrote: ‘There’s cool and then there’s DeAndre Hopkins flipping off Trump supporters while driving a Ferrari to a game he gets 10 catches and a TD kinda cool.’

Another said: ‘DeAndre Hopkins swerving his Ferrari in the middle of a Trump train drive and flipping off MAGA people officially makes him the best WR in the game.’

Tony Garcia attended the rally and said he saw a black Ferrari weaving in and out of the caravan. 

Hopkins entered Sunday¿s game against the Seahawks leading the league in receiving yards, with 601, and catches, with 47

Hopkins entered Sunday¿s game against the Seahawks leading the league in receiving yards, with 601, and catches, with 47

Hopkins entered Sunday’s game against the Seahawks leading the league in receiving yards, with 601, and catches, with 47

He said he realized it was Hopkins after seeing a picture of him attending the game in the same shirt as the driver was wearing.

April Garcia claimed the driver of the Ferrari was driving quickly and making it dangerous to be on the highway.

She told AZ Central: ‘It’s scary when they are coming up fast and swerving into you.’ 

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said it did not have a record of a traffic stop involving Hopkins, AZ Central reported. 

Arizona Cardinals have not yet released a statement about the incident.

He is thought to have been driving to his team¿s game against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium when he came across the PHX Trump Train drive at around 1.30pm

He is thought to have been driving to his team¿s game against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium when he came across the PHX Trump Train drive at around 1.30pm

He is thought to have been driving to his team’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium when he came across the PHX Trump Train drive at around 1.30pm

The caravan of Trump supporters was miles long and seen on the the I-17, Loop 101, the 202, the I-10 and other highways in the state.

Convoys of supporters have been spotted driving on Valley freeways frequently in recent weeks.  

Hopkins entered Sunday’s game against the Seahawks leading the league in receiving yards, with 601, and catches, with 47.

He started in the game and had a catch on the opening drive, before making nine more before the end of play.

The South Carolina native has previously been outspoken about racism he has experienced and seen across the US. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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