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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 01:30 AM EDT

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Video Of Fire in Pueblo Nuevo This Morning

Safety & SecurityBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Here's the the video posted by Telemetro channel 13 of the fire that occurred this morning in the area of Pueblo Nuevo.

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There Is A Firearm in 15% of Panamanian Homes

Safety & SecurityThere is a firearm in 135,061 households in Panama, according to a recent survey.

The biweekly CID Gallup poll for 'The People Speak' addressed a review of the Panamanians on safety.

According to the Census of Population and Housing, 2010, in Panama there are 900,413 homes.

In the study, 15% stated that a member of their household owns a firearm. In the houses of people who have been victims of theft (23.2%) is where most confess that there are firearms.

Another finding of the study is that 8% of Panamanians (184,000 people) own a firearm. Men (11.4%), those with secondary education (9.3%), those over 40 years (8.9%) and metropolitan residents (8.7%) are the most say owning a gun.

Although 8% said they own some type of firearm, a higher percentage, 34% of Panamanians (782,000 people), confessed to having used one at some point in their lives.

Young adults (50.4%), those who have been a victim of theft (47%) and men (39.5%) are those that have had the experience of shooting a gun. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: Wow, is this bad reporting. They conducted a survey with a relatively small sample (specific number not revealed) then they extrapolated the numbers against the whole to come up with the large country wide figures. I guess my problem is that they didn't adequately explain what they were doing, and how they arrived at the numbers. So, if they did a survey of 2,000 people and 15% said they own a firearm, fine. But to then extrapolate that out to say there are guns in 135,061 homes is probably a stretch. I just like it when people - and especially reporters - are precise when using numbers as facts and figures.

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Fire In Mañanitas This Morning

Safety & SecurityThere was a fire this morning in a commercial property located in front of the Plaza las Americas in Mañanitas.

This property was used to fabricate chairs and furniture for the Ministry of Education.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.

Firemen responded to the scene to extinguish the blaze, and are currently conducting the first investigations to determine the cause of the fire. (Dia a Dia)

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Construction Worker Falls 13 Floors To Death

Safety & SecurityA worker died yesterday when he fell from the 13th floor of a building under construction in Punta Pacifica.

Aristarco Salazar, 25 years old, only had four days working as an assistant on the Grand Tower project.

According to Frenadeso, he had four young children.

Manuelin Urrieta, the area manager for SUNTRACS, called upon his peers to make use of safely equipment to prevent further mishaps.

Salazar becomes the third construction worker who has died so far this year. (Mi Diario)

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Gas Leak Causes House Fire in Cerro Viento

Safety & SecurityA gas tank exploded Wednesday at a residence in Cerro Viento so Fire Department units arrived.

Black smoke was coming out of the house, which caused fear in many locals.

How did it happen? The owner of the house smelled the gas leak, and when she went to turn it off it exploded in her face, so she and her daughter ran out and the house caught fire.

The fire spread so fast that when her husband arrived he had no chance of saving anything, because the fire spread to the back of the house burning all the family belongings.

Firefighters arrived and the fire was so big they requested another truck to help them control and extinguish the fire. None was hurt, only the woman of the house had some smoke inhalation, but she will be alright. (Estrella)

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Gasoline Tanker Catches Fire After Colliding With Utility Pole in Penonomé

Safety & SecurityAbout 10:50 am, firefighters from the sectors of Penonomé, Aguadulce and Natá are trying to douse the flames of an articulated truck loaded with gasoline, that caught fire after hitting a utility pole in the area of ​​Rio Grande, in Penonomé.

The truck driver was seriously injured and burned.

Locals who heard the noise caused by the accident, approached the vehicle, providing help.

The incident took place on the main road leading to the community of La Candelaria. (Telemetro)



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The Differences Between Police Control and Checkpoints Explained

Safety & SecurityThe Deputy Commissioner of the National Police, Julio Lasso, explained on the Telemetro morning news the differences between a police checkpoint and a control point, measures applied by the police in the streets for vigilance, but many criminals take advantage of these situations and use tools similar to those who work for public safety, to create false checkpoints in order to steal.

Lasso said a checkpoint will be comprised of eight or more police officers, a vehicle, and these are usually established in visible places, or on major thoroughfares.

These are installed especially when there is a bank robbery for example, an escape from prison, or when there is a report of drug or arms trafficking.

Meanwhile a control point might be located at the entrance of a neighborhood or a shopping center, and is comprised of two to four officers, who will be wearing their bullet proof vests, and they will be using traffic cones, the same as in checkpoints.

Lasso said the driver may cordially request the name or identification of the police officers who are working there.

He explained that the officers of the National Police have several uniforms they might be using, depending on specialty. Some are green and others are blue, but each police officer will have their name either embroidered or on an identification plate.

Editor's Comment: Over the weekend two men dressed as police officers tried to kidnap a journalist in the area of El Carmen in Panama City. In response there has been a public relations effort to educate people on how to tell the difference between real and fake police officers. In the case of the attempted kidnapping, the potential victim recognized that they were fake and managed to escape.

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Officials Inspecting Panama Metro Subway Accident Work Site

Safety & SecurityStaff from the Public Ministry went this Monday, 14 January 2013, to the work site of the new Panama Metro subway system, specifically to the area where the Santo Tomas subway station is being built, where last Friday, 11 January, there was an accident which claimed the life of one worker and which left six others injured.

They were assisted by staff from the Social Security Fund to conduct the inspection, and to therefore ensure that the workers can continue to work safely.

Meanwhile, the workers have said they will not go back to work until they can be assured that their lives are not in danger. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: On Friday a high pressure air hose exploded, killing one and injuring six.

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Two Injured In Underground Metro (Subway) Construction Accident

Safety & SecurityTwo people were injured in a construction accident this afternoon.

The men who were working on Line 1 of the new Panama Metro (subway) system were injured when an air line exploded between Calle 29 and Avenida Justo Arosemena.

A source in the fire department confirmed that the injured people have already been attended to. (Critica)

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Two Christmas Eve Fatalities in Panama

Safety & SecurityAt least two people died in Panama on Christmas Eve said sources in the National Police and fire department.

According to reports, a man was shot dead in the district of San Miguelito, near the northern outskirts of the capital, in a discussion between a group of people who were drinking liquor.

In another development, the lawyer Isaac Ladron de Guevara died asphyxiated by the smoke in a fire in his residence located in the town of La Chorrera, in western Panama province, said sources in the fire department.

The victim's wife, Dominga Perez, was admitted to a hospital because she suffered from suffocation by smoke inhalation during the fire, which apparently was caused by a candle that came into contact with flammable material in the residence.

So far police authorities have reported no traffic fatalities from accidents, and they only reported that drivers have been fined for driving while intoxicated, or for leaving their cars parked illegally which were towed away. (Critica)

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Car Consumed By Flames

Safety & SecurityA sedan caught fire this afternoon on the road from La Villa - Las Tablas in the province of Los Santos, with no injuries. Firemen responded to the call but the flames quickly consumed the entire burning vehicle. It was reported that two people managed to get out of the car, miraculously saving their lives. For now, no one knows why the fire started, however firemen are investigating. Also, police officers responded to the scene to control vehicular traffic. (TVN)

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Apartment Fire in Curundú

Safety & SecurityThere was an apartment fire on the 10th floor of the green apartment building in Curundú. Two fire trucks responded to extinguish the blaze. (Telemetro)

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A Man's Body Was Found On Rodman

Safety & SecurityThe body of a man was found on the banks of the Panama Canal, on Monday.

The body was identified as Tomás Alfred Fairley, 48, who allegedly was the driver of the Kia car that crashed on Friday, in which four people were killed, at Control 2 between Panama and Arraiján.

The body was found floating on the beaches near the former Rodman US military base yesterday, at noon.

Workers at a nearby business saw the buzzards circling in the area and alerted authorities who immediately moved to the site, where they found the body.

Police said it could be the person who was traveling inside of the car that crashed because the only survivor of the accident said there were six people in the car.

An aide to the Auxiliary Prosecutor explained that on the day of the accident, the current in the stream was so strong it could have dragged the body of the man several miles, and it could be the man who was involved in the car accident, which occurred ten meters from the Pan American highway, near Loma Cová.

SINAPROC officials and firefighters from Arraiján had to tie themselves in with cables to keep from being dragged away by the force of the current toward the mangroves.

The body found yesterday could have come to this site through the streams of the place.

In that accident died Nayely Sanchez, age 7, her mother Noris Marlenis de Sanchez, Kathiuska Franklyn and an adult male, who had no identification when he was pulled from the water.

At that time it was reported that the driver of the car was gone, and according to early indications, it could be the person found by the Auxiliary Prosecutor in Rodman. (Critica)

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SINAPROC Director Denies Conducting Investigation On Road Collapse

Safety & SecurityThe Director of the National System of Civil Protection (SINAPROC) Arturo Alvarado denied that this institution has done any kind of investigation into the fault that occurred on the Transístmica Highway. He also said he has not spoken about the issue, as mentioned by the National Assembly Deputy Yassir Purcait. Alvarado said at no time have they conducted an investigation, especially since a search operation was being conducted in the area. He also said in any case conducting an investigation would fall to the Ministry of Public Works. (Telemetro)
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Firemen Respond To Warehouse Fire in Juan Diaz

Safety & SecurityA fire broke out early this morning at a local drug distribution warehouse located in the area of ​​San Cristobal, Juan Diaz. Firefighters responded to the fire after security guards at the establishment gave the alarm. Six fire trucks and three ambulances were present but no one was hurt. (Dia a Dia)

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Man's Body Washed Up On The Beach In Maria Chiquita, Colon

Safety & Security The body of a man was found washed up on the beach of Maria Chiquita, along the Costa Arriba of the Colon province. It is presumed that the victim drowned, and the strong waves dragged him to that point. Forensic authorities of Police Investigation Department (DIJ) have started investigating this case, because there are no reports of missing persons. (Critica)
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Copa 737 Enroute to Panama Returns To Bogota With Smoke In The Cockpit

Safety & SecurityA Copa Airlines plane covering the route between Bogota and Panama with 86 passengers on board returned to the Colombian capital yesterday, apparently because of smoke in the cockpit, but without consequences, reported a Colombian aviation authority.

None of the passengers were injured in the incident, which occurred in mid-flight, and that the situation "was surpassed through the timely implementation of protocols," said Colombia's Civil Aviation said in a statement.

The crew of the aircraft, a Boeing 737 with tail number HP 1371, "reported the presence of smoke in the cabin" shortly after taking off from the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, said a member of the press office of the agency. The Civil Aeronautics opened an investigation into the causes of the emergency. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: Common occurrence. Things break, and on airplanes electronics and control boxes in the cabin can easily fail, "fry" or otherwise go up in smoke during flight. This sort of thing used to happen all the time on the C-130's I used to fly on in the Air Force. You isolate, pop circuit breakers, get below 10,000 feet, vent, declare an "In Flight Emergency" (IFE), and land. Hopefully the small little sparking wire doesn't find a fuel line or something, and it's all good. Wake me up when a wing falls off...

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Firefighters to train others in Panama

Safety & SecurityThe Sooke Firefighter’s Association is currently fundraising to send local firefighters to Boquete, Panama to provide training in March 2013. According to Ben Temple, Sooke volunteer firefighter, the association hopes to send four or six firefighters from the region to train firefighters in Boquete, Panama. “I think it’s going to be wonderful. It’s going to be a great opportunity not only for us to do some training, but for us to see how departments in other countries function and operate, and the challenges that they are faced with,” he said.

Although still to be determined, Temple said training will focus on team management and victim extraction for motor vehicle incidents, and wildland interface fires -- fires that encroach on the town site and surrounding coffee plantations. “The ability to teach them how to deal with wildland interface fires will be key,” he said. It will cost $1,500 to $2,000 to send one firefighter to Boquete, and the association has raised about $2,400.

The firefighters currently have the following fundraising initiatives on-the-go:

From Nov. 7-27, Western Foods will be donating a portion of sales from specific items to the firefighters’ Boquete fund. A similar fundraising initiative with Village Food Markets is being planned for the New Year.

The launch of a crowd funding website, Indiegogo, to solicit online donations. Check out the website here: www.indiegogo.com/fraternidad-de-bomberos.

Each donor will be recognized for their contribution.

“We’re offering things like signed photographs of the group that goes down and the group that is in Boquete, and t-shirts. And recognition of our contributors on the t-shirts that we wear down there,” Temple said.

There is also the possibility of a social event with food, drink and entertainment at the firefighter’s lounge.

Throughout the summer, firefighters held car washes and hosted movie nights to fundraise, and Temple said community reaction for the project was positive.

“When people learned about what we’re doing, they were super impressed, and real enthusiastic about it and happy to help.”

The international training project will be a first for the Sooke Firefighter’s Association, and it is one they hope to continue into the future.

“We hope it’s going to be an ongoing thing. Every couple of years we’ll send a group from the Sooke Firefighter’s Association down to the same department to continue the training and in between trips we’ll maintain contact,” Temple said.

“Almost sort of like an unofficial sister department, if you will.”

Check out the project on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/FraternidaddeBomberos

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Exploding Power Lines In The Rain - Near Miss For Lineman

Safety & SecurityBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Late yesterday afternoon just before dark I was driving home from work. It was raining, and as I reached the end of D Street in El Cangrejo, I noticed some trucks from the power company, and a lineman working up on the top of a ladder that was leaning against a cement utility pole. He had some sort of an apparatus in his hand to extend his reach. I didn't know what he was working on, but when I saw that guy up there working in those conditions, I said a quick little prayer for his safety.

I thought about the million (plus) people who are still without power in the Northeast of the United States after "Super Storm Sandy" last week. I wondered how much money a lineman makes in Panama, to take those risks. Not only was it raining, the guy was working in what looked like a bowl of spaghetti - the lines hanging in Panama are notoriously third-world style. And just as all of those thoughts were going though my head, this happened...

Holy F*ck! The line shorted out for just a half second, right where the guy was touching something with the extended reach pole. There was a short, then a bright flash of light, an explosion, and a shower of sparks. The lineman just stayed there on the top of the ladder, rubbing his eyes. He was probably blinded by the flash, or he had debris in his eyes from the explosion, or he got a shock. I thought he might be seriously injured so I parked my car and went back to check. He was alright and did not get shocked. He was momentarily blinded by the flash, and that's why he stayed there on the ladder for a moment, just rubbing his eyes. He was shaken, but not stirred...

Once Again, The Dash Cam Came Through: This is another reason why I like to have a dash cam running in the car all the time, not only to catch any accidents I might be involved in, but also to capture video of stuff like this that might happen right in front of your face.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Don't forget to follow Panama Guide on Twitter. Salud.

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Body Of Missing Sailor Found In Bayano River

Safety & SecurityStaff of the National System of Civil Protection located the body of a sailor at the mouth of the Bayano river. According to information provided the sailor was a crew member on a shrimp boat from Vacamonte who had been reported missing six days ago. It is presumed that the victim drowned accidentally after falling from the boat. (Critica)

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Ceiling Collapses At New Tocumen Northern Concourse

Safety & SecurityPart of the roof of the new North Concourse of the Tocumen International Airport fell down this afternoon, Monday, 22 October 2012, confirmed the general manager Juan Carlos Pino. Pino said the incident occurred as they were installing a sound system, as part of the adjustments to the area, which began operations seven months after construction. He said after a preliminary investigation, they were able to determine that the structure did not fail as a result of leaks. However, they will continue to investigate to find out what was the main cause of the detachment. He added that no one was injured following the incident. (Prensa)

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weapons seminar

Safety & SecurityThis Saturday 11am @ XS restaurant in Santa Clara a seminar on Panama gun laws and options. EDUCACIONPRIMERO.com will sponsor a seminar with guest speakers that will include an attorney who has worked as a administrative and criminal lawyer, for the National Police, the Ministry of Goberment and Justice and the Direction of Civilian Aeronautics. He works as a public policy analist for Goethals Consulting, and was part of the progun lobby during the making of the new gun law. Also the owner of a gun shop that is retired Presidential Protection Service. They are also the Panama Rifle Association, nonprofit organization to teach people about their safety and firearms responzabilidad. They are certified weapons instructors and training can do for our ministry approved security for people. There is no charge for this public service seminar.
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House Fire This Afternoon - Ciudad Radial

Safety & SecurityThe contents of one house were totally destroyed, and another house was affected, by a fire this afternoon on Calle 19 of Ciudad Radial. For now the causes of the fire are unknown, but there is talk that the fire started in one house, and then spread to another house that was close by. The fire was contained and there were no injuries. (Mi Diario)

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Panama Needs To Hire 3,500 Firemen

Safety & SecurityThe Fire Department of Panama needs to hire about 3,500 new firefighters. However it has been hard to attract new employees, because the government offers unattractive wages, the firemen have to work long days and shifts of 24 or 48 hours, they are responsible for the use of expensive equipment, and their job involves risks in their activities which are not compensated. But the manpower deficit is not only among the permanent staff of fire fighters, but also among volunteers and professionals such as architects and engineers.

Last week, during the presentation of speeches at the start of Fire Prevention Week, many mentioned the need for a more robust manpower pool. Lieutenant Edward Small of the National Directorate of Security, Fire Prevention and Investigation (Dinasepi) said they need to hire about 2,000 permanent firefighters and recruit about 2,500 volunteers, along with architects, engineers, electro mechanical engineers, plumbers and safety inspectors.

According to Small, one of the drawbacks to increase the staff is that when they try to hire an engineer for $700 to $800 per month, they don't accept because it does not meet their expectations, without taking into account that this would improve over the years and their category would change (with seniority). "Many people do not want to be a firefighter because someone selling things on the streel can make as much as $1,000 per month, and here the firemen are paid from $500 to $600 per month. We will have to bring in people from the interior (of the country)," he said.

When speaking about volunteers, he said before they provided two hours of service per week for free, but how that lost time represents lost income, they are now spending their time on other activities. "Here we are having faults. It is these situations that have led us to be in crisis, because people have become materialistic due to the economic situation," he said.

Effects - Gabriel Ghomez, the President of the Panama Fire Department, said they need to hire 3,500 firefighters nationally. In the areas of Panama and Colon they work 24 hours on and 48 hours off - meaning, they work 24 hours continuously followed by 48 hours off. In the rest of the country they 24 for 24 hours, then have 24 hours off. He explained that a firefighter starts his career with a monthly salary of $510 and after passing the probation period (three months) his salary is increased to $605 per month. By comparison, a garbage truck driver working for the Authority Urban and Household Cleanliness (AAUD) earns $720 monthly - or $115 more.

Several firefighters have quit, he said, because they are only being paid $605 per month and they have to deal with more responsibilities and more shifts, however at the AAUD they have less responsibility, less risky work, for more pay. A firefighter has to know about hydrants, knowing how much pressure should be given to the hoses, and in emergencies they must be skilled in driving the fire truck, because if they have an accident they have to pay for the damage, and the deductible is $5,000 dollars, he said. Currently there is dissatisfaction among the current firefighters because they have not had a wage equalization. (Panama America)

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Crushed By Steel Pipes Falling Off A Truck

Safety & SecurityJose Miranda, 60, was killed yesterday morning, inside of the grounds of the company Riegos de Chiriqui, located in the sector of Coquito, city of David, in the province of Chiriquí, while preparing to unload some steel pipes that fell on him. It was learned that Miranda resides in the area of La Foresta, in the village of Las Lomas, in David, and worked for a company dedicated to the transport of such materials. Relatives of the victim went to the place of the accident, who, in tears, could not believe what had happened. The removal of the body was conducted by the Prosecutor's Office of David, which ordered the transfer of the body to the Judicial Morgue for the examination of autopsy to determine the exact causes of death. (Dia a Dia)

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Hotel Fire Extinguished After Two Days

Safety & SecurityAfter more than 20 hours of work, the Fire Department of Panama finally controlled the fire at the Bicsa Financial Center building on Avenida Balboa. Reports from the entity reveal the incident began at 5:30 pm on Wednesday. The fire originated in the second level of an underground parking garage that was being used as a storage area for equipment and furniture to be used in the hotel that will operate in this 67 story tall structure in the future.

The work to extinguish the fire was complicated by the presence of silicone, plastic, liquid solvents and other flammable materials that were in the place, causing several explosions. Firemen opened a hole to ventilate the smoke. The cause of the fire is still unknown. There were no reported injuries, nor was anyone affected by smoke inhalation.

For safety the Fire Department ordered the evacuation of all surrounding buildings. The 200 firefighters were assisted by the National Civil Protection System, the National Police, the Panama Canal Authority, and the Red Cross. Five water tanker trucks from the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewage Systems provided water supply, while six fire engines smothered the fire. President Ricardo Martinelli went to the scene of the fire, to learn more about what happened and to talk with the businessmen, but he refused to talk to the media. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: When you have a lot of fuel (furniture, paint, building supplies, solvents) all stuffed into an enclosed space like a parking garage, it can be a real bitch to put out. As soon as you pull out one box of burning stuff that allows oxygen to get to the other burning material in the back, and it gets going again. The firemen had to pull out all of the boxes and furniture and other burning materials manually, by hand, one at a time, and hose it all down. This fire had traffic all along the Ave Balboa corridor royally screwed up for the past two days.

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Fire In Building Under Construction on Ave Balboa Last Night

Safety & SecurityMembers of the Fire Department of Panama responded to extinguish a fire that occurred in the afternoon yesterday, Wednesday, in a building under construction, located on Avenida Balboa. Their effort to put the fire out lasted until the early morning hours of today, Thursday, 11 October 2012, with the participation of more than 130 fire fighters. Early unofficial reports indicate the fire started the fire started in a storage area where there was furniture that is being installed in the building, which is still under construction. The Security Office of the Fire Department is continuing their investigations of this fire. (Critica)
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Grease Fire Causes Material Damages

Safety & SecurityA family living in the area of Los Andes #2 suffered material losses after a fire broke out. The incident was caused by a lighter on a stove that was covered in grease, causing the fire. No injuries were reported. (Dia a Dia)

Editor's Comment: You should have a small fire extinguisher in your kitchen for these kinds of grease fires, and another larger one in your bedroom, in case you wake up in the middle of the night to find that your living room is engulfed in flames. You might be able to knock it down enough to escape the building. In short, have a plan.

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The Construction Of The Wall That Collapsed Was Not Reported To The Ministry of Education

Safety & SecurityThe Deputy Minister of Education José Herrera Kivers said after the incident that occurred yesterday morning in which one girl was killed and two others were injured, they immediately launched an investigation into the events at the República de Japón school. Kivers said their investigation indicates the construction of the wall that collapsed was not reported to the Office of Engineering of the Ministry of Education, and apparently it was built by the parents themselves sometime between 2000 to 2005. In this regard, he said they would continue with their investigation which should tell them the situation in which the wall was built. He also added the prosecutors of the Public Ministry are carrying out their own investigations. Kivers said when the current administration took over the Ministry of Education, they changed the method used to build these kinds of projects, and previously school principals did not have to report when things were being built, and at the same time some things were built without any form of contract, oversight, or inspection. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: And there you have it. The school principal at the time receives funding from the Ministry of Education, and then they spend that money to build "infrastructure" of some sort. In this case, they went out and apparently hired Uncle Pablo to slap up a two meter high wall, with no form of planning, design, specifications, or approvals. I would love to know how much money the school paid to have that wall built - and one can easily speculate they probably paid way, way, way too much for the thing. Of course the extra money was probably kicked back and divided up. And that was all well and good, until Uncle Pablo's wall fell down and crushed a kid. So maybe I was wrong. Maybe they do need to go fry the poor SOB who built the damn wall afterall. When there's no regs, specs, plans, oversight, or approvals - people do whatever the hell they want. And here's the really sad part. It probably was not illegal or improper at the time, just "the way we've always done things."

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Public Ministry Will Investigate Wall Collapse At A School Yesterday

Safety & SecurityThe Auxiliary Prosecutor Dimas Guevara opened an official investigation yesterday to determine whether there is criminal responsibility over the collapse of a wall at the Escuela del Japón yesterday, killing a girl and wounding two others. The Public Ministry reported they are interrogating witnesses and those who were involved in the construction of the wall, starting today. They will also summon school campus authorities and those from the Ministry of Education. Witnesses who saw the wall collapse said it failed when the girls were playing with a rope attached to the structure. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: This wall was about two meters tall, and was a free standing structure located behind the school. It was used to display things like the official emblem of Panama, and other national symbols. This is the first time I've heard the version that there was a rope attached to the wall, and the girls were pulling on it. The wall was apparently built of cinder blocks stacked one on top of the other, with no lateral support, or columns. Also, it was not designed to be an anchor point for a rope to be pulled on and played with. It was supposed to just sit there and hold up signs. Reportedly there were no reports that the wall was damaged or failing because it was probably just fine, until it failed - because the girls were being allowed to use it in an inappropriate manner. But because this is Panama, they will probably fry the poor SOB who laid the blocks in 2005.

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