Thursday, August 12, 2010

Typhoon, Perseid meteor shower and Japan Airlines Flight 123

Typhoon No.4(Dianmu) made landfall in Akita after it damaged South Korea. The typhoon passed away. Kyoto had a record rainfall because of the typhoon.

Crickets started to stridulate at night.

The Bon festival takes place every year from August 13th to 16th. It is a Buddhist festival held to welcome back the spirits of the dead. Many people receive company holidays during the period and go back to their hometowns or go on trips, making expressways and trains extremely crowded. Some people were held up due to the typhoon.

The Perseid meteor shower is visible now. It is predicted that its peak in activity is around eight in the morning on August 13th (Japan time). Unfortunately, It's unlikely to see the shower due to the typhoon in most areas.

Twenty-five years have passed since Japan Airlines Flight 123 from Haneda to Itami crashed into Osutaka Ridge in Ueno Village of Gunma Prefecture at 6:56 p.m. on August 12th, 1985, resulting in the death of 520 of 524. This flight was full because it was during the bon holiday period.

According to the report published by Japan's then Aircraft Accidents Investigation Commission, the accident was caused by poor maintenance of damaged rear pressure bulkhead of the aircraft.

Unidentified dead's ashes were placed in a charnel house in Ueno Village. Japan Airlines (JAL) and Ueno Village built a monument to the disaster and maintained a climbing trail on Osutaka Ridge.

In 2006, the Safety Promotion Center opened not to forget terrible lesson of the accident and to reconfirm the importance of operational safety for the company employees near Haneda Airport.
The displays in the center include remains of the plane and passenger effects. It is also open to the public, but it is needed to book the appointment in advance. Japanese airline companies have caused no passenger to die since the accident.

I read a newspaper column that a newspaper helicopter headed for the scene of the accident shortly after the airplane crash and a fellow passenger witnessed a large number of shooting stars in the dead of night on the way back from the accident scene.

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