16 December 2013

A bus falls from an elevated highway in the Philippines capital Manila killing at least 18 people with 20 injured.

2013 Manila Skyway bus accident
Luzon expressways map slex.png
Map of expressways in Luzon, with the South Luzon Expressway in red
Details
Date16 December 2013
5:15
LocationSouth Luzon Expressway
between Parañaque and Taguig
CountryPhilippines
OperatorDon Mariano Transit Corporation
CauseOver speeding
Statistics
Passengers42
Deaths18
Injuries20
Damage2 (A bus and a van)

The 2013 Manila Skyway bus accident occurred on December 16, 2013 in Bicutan, Parañaque, Metropolitan Manila, Philippines, after a bus fell off the Metro Manila Skyway, crushing a delivery van and fatally wounding the van's driver.[1] 18 people died and 20 others were injured.[2] The Highway Patrol Group-National Capital Region-South Luzon Expressway described the incident as the worst to have happened along the Skyway.[3]

Accident

The accident occurred in the Manila suburb of Parañaque at around 5:15 AM.[4] The bus was traveling on the Metro Manila Skyway, one of the longest flyovers in the world that runs parallel to the South Luzon Expressway. The bus fell six meters from the Skyway and crashed on top of a van that was on the road below.[5] Eighteen passengers of the bus were killed. The driver of the bus, Carmelo Catlatcat, was not killed.[6] As a result of the accident, traffic was slowed down on the highway.[7]

Investigation

The company that owned and operated the bus, Don Mariano Transit, had to suspend transit for thirty days for an investigation into the accident to be carried out. The Department of Transportation and Communications required the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to suspend all of the 78 buses that Don Mariano Transit owned. The driver of the bus, Carmelo Catlatcat, had to undergo a drug test.[8] An audit of over 400,000 public utility buses was executed in Manila following the accident.[9] The driver and operator of the bus faced charges by the authorities.[10]

The Department of Labor and Employment admitted that Don Mariano Transit Corporation's Labor Standards Compliance Certificate was expired since July 2013.[11] It was also reported that Don Mariano Transit did not pay its drivers their monthly salary.[12]

The bus driver, Carmelo Catlatcat, tested positive for drug use. Chief Superintendent Arrazad Subong of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol group said that the drug test was somehow irrelevant as their investigation showed that the bus a few moments before the accident occurred had worn out tires and was overspeeding. The driver faced criminal charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, multiple injuries and damage to property. If convicted, he may face at least six years of imprisonment but due to the number of fatalities caused by the accident the driver may face life imprisonment instead.[3]

Reaction

Jason Cantil, legal counsel for Don Mariano Transit, said that the accident was an isolated incident. Cantil said that the tires of the bus involved may not have been inspected but claimed that all other buses of the company were in good condition.[13]

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. encouraged public utility vehicles to use speed-limiting or monitoring devices. He said that such devices would help bus operators to prevent accidents similar to the skyway accident. Coloma added that it is up to legislators to come up with a law mandating operators to install such devices to their vehicles. Coloma also reiterated the government's preference for allowing the private sector to operate public transport as it is more efficient. He said the government's role is to regulate the private sector.[14]

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board plans to make the installation of speed-limiting devices on public utility vehicles as a response to the accident.[3] The Department of Labor and Employment vowed to monitor labor law compliance more strictly.[15]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Philippines bus crash kills 21". BBC. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  2. ^ Mogato, Manuel. "Commuter bus crashes off Philippine highway onto van, 22 dead: police". Reuters. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Gov’t mulls speed limit devices for PUVs | Manila Bulletin | Latest Breaking News | News Philippines
  4. ^ "Bus falls off freeway, kills 15 in Philippines". CNN. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  5. ^ Placido, Dharel. "Don Mariano bus falls off Skyway; scores dead". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Philippines bus plunges off highway, killing 22". AFP via The Australian. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Skyway accident affects EDSA traffic". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Driver of ill-fated Don Mariano bus to undergo drug test". GMA News. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  9. ^ Gomez, Lailany. "Bus crash triggers audit of PUBs". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  10. ^ Cahinhinan, John. "Driver, bus operator to face raps over Skyway accident". Sun Star. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  11. ^ "DOLE releases holiday pay rules - Silobreaker". Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  12. ^ Don Mariano Transit’s drivers were not paid monthly salaries – LTFRB | News | GMA News Online
  13. ^ Don Mariano Transit: Skyway bus crash an ‘isolated’ incident | News | GMA News Online (in English and Tagalog)
  14. ^ "Palace wants speed monitoring devices on PUVs after Skyway accident | Sun.Star". Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  15. ^ After bus accident, DOLE vows stricter monitoring of labor law compliance | News | GMA News Online

16 December 1901

Beatrix Potter publishes The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

On December 16, 1901, Beatrix Potter published The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It was privately published and became one of the best selling books of all time, eventually selling 45 million copies.

Peter Rabbit is a mischievous bunny who gets in trouble by disobeying his mother and going into Mr. McGregor’s garden. After many adventures, he returns safely to his mother.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit was rejected by many publishers for various reasons?—?some wanted to change the text extensively or have Potter do so, others wanted her to change the illustrations. But Potter, whose parents had encouraged her interests in education, was insistent on how the book should look. Among her varied interests, she was an artist.

So, she published it privately at first, but eventually reached agreement with Frederick Warne & Co on how the book should look. She also had a lot of ideas of how to merchandise the book.

16 December 1903

The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel in Bombay opens.

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is a “Heritage Grand” class five-star hotel in the Colaba region of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, next to the Gateway of India. Historically it was known as the “Taj Mahal Hotel” or the “Taj Palace Hotel”. or simply “the Taj”.

Part of the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, this hotel is considered the flagship property of the group and contains 560 rooms and 44 suites. There are some 1,600 staff including 35 butlers. From a historical and architectural point of view, the two buildings that make up the hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace, and the Tower are two distinct buildings, built at different times and in different architectural designs. In 2017, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel has acquired an image trademark. It is the first building in the country to get intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design.

The hotel has hosted many notable guests, from presidents to captains of industry and stars of show business.

The new wing called Taj Mahal Tower.

The original entrance on the west side; now the site of the hotel pool.
The hotel’s original building was commissioned by Tata and first opened its doors to guests on 16 December 1903.

It is widely believed that Jamsetji Tata decided to build the hotel after he was refused entry to one of the city’s grand hotels of the time, Watson’s Hotel, as it was restricted to “whites only”. However, this story has been challenged by some commentators that suggest that Tata was unlikely to have been concerned with ‘revenge’ against his British adversaries. Instead, they suggest that the Taj was built at the urging of editor of The Times of India who felt a hotel “worthy of Bombay” was needed.

The original Indian architects were Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya and D. N. Mirza, and the project was completed by an English engineer, W. A. Chambers. The builder was Khansaheb Sorabji Ruttonji Contractor who also designed and built its famous central floating staircase. The cost of construction was £250,000.

Originally the main entrance was on the other side, where now the pool exists, and the ocean was at the back, although it is now always viewed and photographed from the ocean side.

Between 1915 and 1919, work proceeded at Apollo Bundar to reclaim the land behind the hotel where the Gateway of India was built in 1924. Gateway of India soon became a major focal point in Bombay.

The original clientele were mainly the Europeans, the Maharajas and the elites. Many world-renowned personalities have since stayed there, from Somerset Maugham and Duke Ellington to Lord Mountbatten and Bill Clinton.

When it opened in 1903, the hotel was the first in India to have: electricity, American fans, German elevators, Turkish baths and English butlers. Later it also had the city’s first licensed bar, India’s first all-day restaurant, and the India’s first discotheque, Blow Up. Initially in 1903, it charged Rs 13 for rooms with fans and attached bathrooms, and Rs 20 with full board.

During World War I the hotel was converted into a hospital with 600 beds.

Jinnah’s estranged wife Ratanbai Petit lived here during her last days in 1929. By 1966, the building was run-down, perhaps as a results of losing the British customers in 1948.

The Taj Hotel was home to legendary Jazz musician Micky Correa, “The Sultan of Swing” from 1936-1960.

The Taj Mahal Tower, an additional wing of the hotel, was opened in 1973. It was designed by jointly by Daraius Batliwala & Rustom Patell with the latter having a greater focus later on. Also in 1970s Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces was organized that built new properties and converted palaces into heritage hotels. In 1980, it expanded overseas.

The hotel received extensive international exposure in 2008 and reopened after extensive repairs.

16 December 1920

An estimated 200,000 are killed when a magnitude 8.5 hits the Gansu province in China.

The earthquake that hit China’s remote Gansu Province in late 1920 was the world’s second deadliest of the twentieth century. It struck in the evening of the 16th of December in the rural district of Haiyuan near Inner Mongolia, leading to the deaths of more than 200,000 people and to severe destruction over an area of 20,000 square kilometers. Occurring in the early years of escalating civil war in the Chinese Republic, the disaster was overshadowed by major political and humanitarian crises elsewhere in the country that year, and remains a remarkably little known event despite the scale of its destructive powers and human toll.

Based on county reports from 50 counties, the estimates of total human deaths due to the earthquake ranged from 234,117 to 314,092.Many of the dead – possibly a majority – were among the region’s Chinese Hui Muslim population, which lost the most prominent Islamic figure in China at the time, Sufi sect leader Ma Yuanzhang, who was at prayer when the quake hit in the predominantly Muslim valleys of Longde district where a third of the population was killed.