Things That Matter

Freak Rollercoaster Accident In Mexico City Kills Two And Injured Dozens Others

A speeding rail car on a roller coaster flipped over mid-ride at the famous Mexican amusement park, “Feria de Chapultepec”,  last Saturday afternoon. The accident happened on the popular Chimera rollercoaster at the amusement park in Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City.

According to SUUMA Voluntarios (Universitary System of Medical Urgent Care), two people were killed and three more were injured when the roller coaster jumped its track and plunged toward the ground. An additional six riders on the roller coaster were treated for shock

Mexico City’s attorney general’s office confirmed that two men, aged 18 and 21, died of head and other injuries when the last car on the ride derailed at La Feria. Two women were also hurt.  

A video shared on social media appears to show one of the carriages coming off the tracks.

Notimex reported that eyewitnesses told local media that the accident happened when the carriage hit a metal structure that was also part of the ride and the victims fell to the ground after the impact. Eyewitness Rosalba Rodríguez told reporters there was nothing out of the ordinary about the ride, which had completed a few loops, until she saw the last carriage fall.

The park was closed after the accident, and prosecutors are already investigating the cause, to find who was responsible.

The amusement park was closed soon after the incident, and authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. “This is now in the hands of prosecutors, and prosecutors have already taken the necessary steps for an investigation,” Miriam Urzúa, an official from the civil protection organization, told Reuters news agency. She said the investigation would be looking into both, what happened, and who was responsible. 

Ulises Lara López, spokesman for the citie’s attorney general’s office said that preliminary investigations indicate a mechanical failure caused the car to come loose and fall 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground. Authorities are treating the incident as a case of negligent homicide. 

The fair said it “deeply regrets the terrible accident” and that they too will investigate alongside the relevant authorities.

The message posted to the amusement park’s Facebook page, informed users that its priority is to offer all the support the victims and their families require at this time. “The safety of our visitors is a priority for La Feria de Chapultepec, which is why we will be suspending activities at the park, to provide the proper attention and follow up of protocols, safety measures and maintenance of our installations—which are routinely subjected to inspections of both national and international standards”. The park’s statement concluded by offering its “deepest condolences to [the] families [of those who died] and reiterate that they have all our support.”

The “Quimera” rollercoaster in Chapultepec Park, now “La Feria” can be spotted from afar in the capital. The ride features three nearly vertical yellow and red loops visible from major highway, Periférico. The decades old coaster, like many rides in La Feria, was featured at other parks around the world before finding a home in Mexico City. The tragic accident comes a few months after two were killed and dozens were injured when a swinging amusement park ride broke free and crashed to the ground in India in July.

While amusement park rides are generally safe, understanding the types of risks involved can further lower your odds of an accident.

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ (IAAPA) yearly safety reports, 1.7 billion rides in the United States resulted in 1,343 injuries in 2008, of which 80 required overnight hospitalization. While amusement park rides are generally safe, understanding the types of risks involved can further lower your odds of an accident.

Mechanical failures are rare, thanks to the intense inspections that rides undergo. Nonetheless, if a ride looks rickety or unstable, or if any part of your seat seems loose or broken, skip the ride. Pay attention to signage and verbal instructions from the ride operator. Keep your feet on the floor, face forward with your head back against the headrest and stay fully seated. Brace yourself with your hands. Tie back long hair and place loose items in a locker.

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico has remained a popular tourist destination as people seek out places with fewer restrictions. However, Mexico’s popular beach destination of Tulum apparently still has some restrictions – for LGBTQ folks – that the police are quick to enforce.

A Canadian couple was briefly detained by police for allegedly kissing on the beach.

Police in the popular resort town of Tulum, about 90-minutes south of Cancun, briefly arrested a gay couple for kissing in public on a beach, alleging that the couple was not allowed to kiss in public because children were present.

According to local media reports, police said they were reacting to a report by someone else on the beach who had claimed that the men were “committing immoral acts.”

The couple were handcuffed together and ordered in to the back of a patrol vehicle until a crowd of onlookers formed and began to shout disapprovingly at police after one of the men explained to the crowd why they were being detained.

Outraged bystanders gathered around the couple and urged the police to let the men go.

The crowd began shouting in support of the couple, calling the actions homophobic and demanding the couple’s release.

The pressure from the crowd apparently prompted officers to release the men after a few minutes of dialogue. The presence of Escalante herself might also have been a factor.

In response to the arrest, Quintana Roo Tulum Police said: ‘We are an inclusive and impartial police both for residents and tourists who visit the state of Quintana Roo. So no abuse of authority will be tolerated.’

Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media with outrage being the common reaction.

Video and photos of the arrest went viral after on social media accounts, including that of local politician Maritza Escalante Morales, who denounced the actions of the officers. Escalante happened to be at the beach with her family when she noticed the officers approach the couple, she said, and joined the crowd to advocate for the couple’s release.

“I want to file a PUBLIC COMPLAINT, because the treatment and type of authorities we have in our municipality is inexcusable. Yesterday while I was on the beach with my family, we noticed around 4:30 that 2 police squads in their ATVs approached a group of young foreigners. After about 20 minutes, a patrol arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs,” she explained on TikTok.

“The policemen were VIOLENT,” Morales added, “and gave arguments such as ‘there are families and children and they cannot be seeing this. I am FURIOUS because it is not possible that in the XXI century this type of oppression against the LGBT+ community continues. We all deserve the same treatment, and appropriate sanctions must be applied to these authorities.”

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This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

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This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

Like students around the world, kids in Mexico have been forced to take school online or tune into programming on public TV in order to learn. But that’s just the kids who are lucky enough to have access to Internet or a TV. Many students live in rural areas and lack the adequate resources to continue their studies amid the global pandemic.

But thankfully, there are many good samaritans out there (aka compassionate teachers) who have invented their own ways to bring the classroom to kids wherever they are.

A Mexican teacher was gifted a decked out pickup truck by Nissan.

Since schools were forced to close last year in April, Aguascalientes special education teacher Nallely Esparza Flores, has been driving four hours a day to educate students one-on-one at their homes from her truck bed, outfitted with a small table and chairs.

News of her project spread across social media, eventually reaching the corporate offices of Nissan México. This week, the company surprised Esparza with the gift of a new pickup truck specially outfitted with a small open-air mobile classroom built into the truck’s bed.

“Today I feel like my labors and the help that we give each day to children and their families is unstoppable,” she said on Twitter Wednesday, sharing photos of her new vehicle. “My students no longer have to take classes in the full heat of the sun,” she said.

Nissan representatives said they decided to give Esparza the adapted NP300 model, 4-cylinder truck after hearing her story because she was “an example of perseverance and empathy.”

“When we learned about the incredible work of this teacher, we got together to discuss in what way we could contribute to this noble work,” said Armando Ávila, a vice president of manufacturing.

The mobile classroom is pretty legit and will allow Esparza to continue her good deed.

Esparza inside her new classroom.

The decked out Nissan pickup truck has three walls (the other is a retractable sheeting) and a ceiling made with translucent panels to protect teacher and student from the elements while letting in natural light.

It also has retractable steps for easy access to the classroom, electrical connections, a whiteboard and an easily disinfected acrylic table and benches that are foldable into the wall to provide space. The table also has a built-in plexiglass barrier to allow social distancing.

Access to education in Mexico is highly inequitable.

Esparza, like many teachers across the country, found that not all distance learning was equal. Many of her students in Cavillo were from poor families without internet access. So she used social media networks to keep in touch with such students via cell phones, but even that was not necessarily an available option for all — and not ideal. Finally, she decided to solve the problem by hitting the road in her pickup truck.

According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 58% of students in Mexico had a home computer – the lowest percentage among all OECD countries. And only about one third (32%) of the school computers in rural schools in Mexico were connected to
the Internet, compared to more than 90% for schools located in urban areas.

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