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accidents
October 22, 2018

Four Americans and their Costa Rican tour guide were killed on Saturday when their rafts overturned on the Naranjo River in Quepos, Costa Rica.

Officials said Sunday that three rafts carrying 18 people overturned, and 13 passengers were able to hang onto the rafts but five were pulled downstream. The victims have been identified as American tourists Ernesto Sierra, Jorge Caso, Sergio Lorenzo, and Andres Dennis, all between the ages of 25 and 35, and their Costa Rican tour guide, Kevin Thompson Reid.

The river was high from rains, officials said, and the Red Cross had 12 workers in the area, who helped assist with the rescue. Catherine Garcia

August 5, 2018

Five people were killed on Sunday afternoon when their twin-engine Cessna crashed into a parking lot in Santa Ana, California.

The victims have not yet been identified. Orange County Fire Capt. Tony Bommarito said the plane was headed to Santa Ana's John Wayne Airport from Concord, northeast of San Francisco, when the pilot declared an emergency. The plane crashed outside of a Staples, not far from the busy South Coast Plaza mall, hitting an unoccupied car. No one in the parking lot was injured.

The plane was less than two miles away from the airport when it crashed. Bommarito said a fire crew was eating lunch down the street when the plane crashed, and made it to the scene within a minute of the plane going down. "I don't know anything about what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic," Bommarito said. "This was a Sunday afternoon, and we have people shopping, so the fact that we have no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself." Catherine Garcia

July 20, 2018

At least 11 people were killed Thursday near Branson, Missouri, when the duck boat they were on capsized, fire officials said.

There were 31 people on the tourist boat, which investigators said ended up sinking in the lake. "We did have a severe thunderstorm, not sure if that is the contributing factor," Southern Stone County Fire Protection spokesman Eric Nielsen said. "There is a lot of storm debris." Divers are in Table Rock Lake now searching for other possible victims. The boat was operated by Ride the Ducks Branson, and had recently been acquired by the company, CNN reports. Catherine Garcia

December 19, 2017

A bus driving cruise ship passengers to Mayan ruins in eastern Mexico crashed on Tuesday, flipping over and killing at least 12 people, including one child, and injuring as many as 20.

There were 31 people on the bus, the tourism ministry of Quintana Roo state said, hailing from the United States, Italy, Sweden, and Brazil. Royal Caribbean says they were passengers on their Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Seas ships, headed to the ruins of Chacchoben, 110 miles south of Tulum.

Video shot on the scene shows that the bus was on a very narrow road that did not have a shoulder or guardrail, CBS News reports. The cause of the accident is under investigation. Catherine Garcia

August 6, 2017

The malfunction last month of an amusement park ride at the Ohio State Fair was caused by major corrosion, the manufacturer said Sunday.

On July 26, a row of seats broke off from the Fire Ball ride, with video showing it flying through the air and landing hard. One person, 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell of Columbus, was killed, and seven were injured. The ride was 18 years old, KMG product manager Albert Kroon said, and "excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam's wall thickness over the years. This finally led to the catastrophic failure of the ride during operation."

The chief ride inspector for Ohio's Division of Amusement Ride Safety said after the accident that the Fire Ball had been inspected multiple times over the course of two days, passing every time. Last year, there were about 30,900 injuries associated with amusement park rides seen in U.S. emergency rooms, Patty Davis, press secretary for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, told CNN. Catherine Garcia

August 2, 2017

Two people were killed and nine injured Wednesday when a natural gas explosion caused a partial building collapse at a school in Minneapolis.

The victims are Ruth Berg, a receptionist who worked at Minnehaha Academy for 17 years, and 81-year-old John Carlson, an alumnus of the school who began working as a janitor there in 2003. Classes start Aug. 23, and at the time of the blast Wednesday morning, there were just a few groups of people on campus — year-round staff, girls there for cross country practice, and basketball and soccer players. All nine of the people injured were adults, and four remain hospitalized, one in critical condition and three in satisfactory.

Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Tyner said the explosion was caused by contractors working on the building, and two floors in the center of the building collapsed over a sub-basement. There is damage across the school, and the structural integrity of the building is in question, CNN reports. Catherine Garcia

July 14, 2017

A New Zealand woman was killed Wednesday on the island of St. Maarten after a jet-engine blast blew her away from the fence she was hanging onto and into a retaining wall, police said Thursday.

The area where the Princess Juliana International Airport meets Maho Beach is a popular tourist attraction, with people lining up along the fence that separates the airport from the beach to watch jets skim over beachgoers as they land and feel the extreme wind from engines when they prepare to take off. The unidentified 57-year-old woman was at the fence when she was "blown away by the jet blast and was seriously injured," police said. She was rushed to St. Maarten Medical Center, where she died.

Police spokesman Ricardo Henson told The Washington Post there have been minor injuries reported before, but this is the first fatality. There are signs warning people of the dangers of standing behind airplanes as they take off, and St. Maarten tourism director Rolando Bruson told The New Zealand Herald the woman's family "recognized that what they did was wrong, through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret the risk they took turned out in the worst possible way. At this time I only wish to express my deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones." Catherine Garcia

July 11, 2017

Officials said a U.S. military plane crashed Monday afternoon in a soybean field in rural Mississippi, killing at least 16 people.

"Most of them are gonna be Marines," Leflore County EMA Director Frank Randle said. Marine Corps spokeswoman Lt. Kristine Rascicot confirmed the plane that crashed was a USMC KC-130, a refueling plane. Officials have not said where the plane originated or where it was headed, and Randle was unable to confirm if any civilians were onboard. Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Bank told the Greenwood Commonwealth the debris field was roughly five miles in radius. Catherine Garcia

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