The latest news from the Oakland Ghost Ship fires has the death toll at 36.
A dance party on Dec. 2 turned tragic when a fire broke out in the Ghost Ship Artist Collective warehouse in Oakland, Calif. So far, authorities have not released a cause for the fire as they continue to search for more victims. Here’s what we know so far.
The Ghost Ship was hosting an EDM dance party.
Horrible news in Oakland with possibly up to 40 people dead at an EDM warehouse party. Prayers for all families effected. #oaklandfire
Authorities are still working to identify the rest of the victims and are withholding the new names in respect of the victims’ families. One name of the original 8 identified was not released because the victim was a minor.
According to USA Today, Ion never bothered to secure the permits necessary to use the warehouse for housing and parties. “Those permits had not been taken out,” Darin Ranelletti, the director of Planning and Building at the city of Oakland, told the press during a news conference, according to USA Today.
Ion has pissed people off with his insensitive Facebook post about the fire.
“I was not shocked that [the fire] happened. I was saddened that so many people had to die for the truth to come out,” Shelley Mack, who used to live at Ghost Ship, said during a press conference, according to KRON. Mack added that there were “all kinds of electrical cords running through there illegally. Massive extension cords. Heavy musical equipment. That place was just a death trap. I didn’t think it was going to last this long before it went up or somebody shut it down.”
This story is still developing and we will bring you updates as they become available.
The Amazon rainforest in South America has been burning for more than two weeks. The majority of the fires are located in Brazil, but neighboring Bolivia has also been affected. Fires in this time of the year are common, but they are usually controllable and die off when rain comes.
This year is different: climate change, experts argue, has translated into a drier summer spell, which is to blame for the severity of the fires. The incendios are also a result of human action, as they are often used as a method of clearing land for farming and industrial purposes. This time, however, things have gotten out of control.
The Amazon, which works as our planet’s lungs, are experiencing unprecedented fires.
Credit: Instagram. @costa.vicentina.oficial
Experts argue that the massive South American rainforest provides around 20% of the world’s oxygen. As reported by The Sun, if the Amazon is threatened a process of “dieback” could be triggered. This means that the rainforest would spew carbon back into the atmosphere, speeding up climate change. British researchers have said that “If 20 per cent of Brazil’s rainforest perished it could exacerbate this process in such a way which would dry trees, leaving them unable to absorb as much carbon and making it more flammable and likely to spread fires”. So this could actually be the beginning of the end.
So how bad is it?
Credit: Instagram. @maribricenod
In short: pretty damn awful. There are more than 70,000 fires burning as you read this. The amount of smoke is so huge that one of Brazil’s biggest cities, Sao Paolo, has been covered by a dark cloud. The sun is nowhere to be seen. As The Economist reports: “Social-media users posted pictures of the gloom, juxtaposing the dystopian afternoon sky with fictional apocalyptic places such as Gotham City from Batman, Mordor from Lord of the Rings and “the upside down” from Stranger Things”.
Las cosas se encuentran de la fregada, to be honest.
Credit: Twitter. @WMO
The World Meteorological Organization, the United Nation’s weather arm, tweeted about the fires Thursday: “Fires release pollutants including particulate matter & toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and non-methane organic compounds into the atmosphere”. The organization has also been updating satellite imagery of the fires which shows the extent of the damage. Half of Brazil is covered in smoke.
The main culprits: the cattle and logging industries.
Credit: Twitter. @DaniRabaiotti
Wildfires in the Amazon are not natural events at all. They are caused by two main factors: droughts, a product of climate change, and human industrial activities. The farming industry often starts these fires (sometimes illegally) to clear land for animals to roam. The logging industry is also to blame, as an article in The Conversation explains: “These changes are exacerbated by ‘selective logging’ of specific tree species, which opens up the canopy and further dries out the understory and forest edges, which are drier than the interiors. The result: normally fire-proof rainforests become flammable”. Yes, profit is the force behind the deadly force of fire.
And obviously environmentalists and activists are muyencabronados!
Credit: Twitter. @MuseWendi
Wildfires concern us all. They will affect the prospects of human survival on Earth for generations to come. To be honest, we should all be very upset about this.
The whole world should be paying attention, but if you Google “Amazon Fire” this is what you get
Credit: Screenshot. Google Search.
Seriously. Algorithmic searching does not always work best when it comes to raising awareness on important issues that concern the whole of humanity. As digital natives, we experience news events according to our own media consumption, so we risk living in a bubble where everything seems fine while the world is quite literally on fire.
Yeah, Notre Dame sure is an icon, but the Amazon keeps the planet alive.
Credit: Instagram. @maribricenod
Sure, the Notre Dame cathedral, which was severely damaged by a fire on April 15, is an icon of Western Europe and a source of pride for France. When the building was burning down, millions of people took on social media to send prayers and express their alarm. The response to the Amazonian fire has been small in comparison, which begs the question: what do we value more, culture or nature? Food for thought!
The fires are a sort of apocalypse for indigenous Brazilians.
Credit: Twitter. @karielaing
The Amazon is inhabited by indigenous populations that have survived centuries of colonization and pillaging first by the Portuguese and then by corporations and the Brazilian government. These fires spell disaster for original owners of the land, whose home and survival is at risk. They blame industry and indiscriminate land clearing for the disaster.
The Internet is pretty angry at Brazil’s new president, the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, who suggested that NGOs might have started the fires!
Seriously, WTAF! Even if he has since somewhat retracted from what he said, Bolsonaro has said that the fires are being set by his critics to make him look bad. He said: “The fire was started, it seemed, in strategic locations. There are images of the entire Amazon. How can that be? Everything indicates that people went there to film and then to set fires. That is my feeling”.
Pretty egocentric, eh? No wonder he is often compared to Donald J. Trump. In the latest developments, Bolsonaro has said that his country does not have the resources to fight the fire. Damn.
The fires could accelerate climate change, according to the UN, but the Brazilian government seems to be ignoring the extent of the catastrophe.
Credit: Instagram. @amnistiapt
The United Nations and European countries such as France are now raising their voices, urging the Brazilian government to act. As reported by Agence France Press: “France’s President Emmanuel Macron said the wildfires were “an international crisis” and called on the globe’s most industrialized nations to address it at their summit this weekend”.
Macron said on Twitter: “Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20 percent of our oxygen is burning”.
Bolsonaro’s response? He criticized the UN and France for having a “colonialist mentality”. El burro hablando de orejas.
Aerial shows are something people around the world enjoy. Some people make full weekends out of these events that are typically tied to some kind of patriotic holiday or community event. However, an aerial show in Colombia this weekend showed the danger of participating in this kind of event. The terrifying and heartbreaking moment was captured on camera and the video is as scary and heartwrenching as it sounds. Two airmen were hanging on a Colombian flag suspended from a helicopter as it flew over a parade when the unthinkable happened. Without warning, the rope holding the flag snaps sending the two airmen plummeting to the ground in front of spectators.
On Sunday, two Colombian airmen died while attempting to do a stunt in the sky during a public gathering.
According to several outlets, the men were performing a stunt at the Medellin Flower Fair in Colombia. The trick, which at first began very beautiful, included a cable hanging from a helicopter. The men were also attached to this same cable along with the Colombia flag. It looked almost like a patriotic parade in the sky, but then things went horribly wrong.
The video shows the cable somehow snapped off of the helicopter and the two men plunged to their death.
It remains unclear how this tragic accident occurred. According to the Sun, an Air Force spokesperson said, “The reasons behind this painful accident are still being investigated by the authorities.” The event also happened near the Olaya Herrera Airport, which as a result of the accident had to be closed.
The men were identified as Jesus Mosquera and Sebastian Gamboa Ricaurte who were based in Rionegro in Antioquia. The shocking death has left a community mourning and searching for answers on how this could have happened.
The video has been shared far and wide on social media.
“Horrific,” one person said. “Sad, as I don’t understand the need for stunts like this. Awful way to go.” “There should have been the strictest safety protocols in place, no doubt there were none… RIP,” another said. “I never liked stunts like that. It’s just not worth it,” another said. And we agree with that sentiment exactly. Yes, ideally, a stunt like this would have been stunning, and it truly began that way, but something is quite off about how this trick went off.
Here’s the video, but please beware that it is painful to watch.
After analyzing the video, it almost appears as if something flew right across the cable, which caused it to break away from the helicopter completely. Other’s on social media agree. “Pretty sure I saw something fly into the cable there??” someone commented.
It almost looks like a bird, but it’s hard to tell because of the quality of the video and because it moves so fast.
Jorge Hugo Duarte, an Olaya Herrera airport manager, offered up his theory in the Spanish news outlet Ensegundos, that “One of the Air Force helicopters coming to the airport to land with two military men hanging holding the Colombian flag, this rope apparently burst from the aircraft and the two military men fell into the airport. Both military men died.”
But the video shows it didn’t just burst, something flew directly into it causing it to break.
Further inspection of the video shows that another helicopter was also carrying two other men with another flag.
It is unclear if the other stuntmen were injured or involved in the cause of the accident, but according to the video it seemed like they were far behind them.
The helicopters were performing as part of the Medellín Flower Fair.
According to The Sun, the festival “began in 1963 and includes pageants, parades of cars and horses, and musical concerts.”
The air show had only last ten-minutes before the cable broke. In the previous years, the Festival of Flowers has included the use of helicopters as part of the show. One year rose petals were dropped from helicopters as a tribute to the men and women who maintain the annual tradition.