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    The following are INFORMATION, ARTICLES and OTHER that I found interesting for the day, week , month. My PROFESSIONAL OPINIONS are added to the information based on my EXPERIENCES in the SECURITY and INTELLIGENCE professions. If YOU have ARTICLES or OTHER you would like placed on the site, please do not hesitate to send them to me with YOUR OPINIONS at efpipps@gmail.com. I look forward to ALL of your comments and information.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 12/3

ELEVEN PEOPLE KILLED IN A STAMPEDE OUTSIDE WHO CONCERT IN CINCINNATI, OHIO – 1979

The general-admission ticketing policy for rock concerts at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum in the 1970s was known as “festival seating.” That term and that ticketing policy would become infamous in the wake of one of the deadliest rock-concert incidents in history. Eleven people, including three high-school students, were killed on this day in 1979, when a crowd of general-admission ticket-holders to a Cincinnati Who concert surged forward in an attempt to enter Riverfront Coliseum and secure prime unreserved seats inside.

Festival seating had already been eliminated at many similar venues in the United States by 1979, yet the system remained in place at Riverfront Coliseum despite a dangerous incident at a Led Zeppelin show two years earlier. That day, 60 would-be concertgoers were arrested, and dozens more injured, when the crowd outside the venue surged up against the Coliseum’s locked glass doors.

In the early evening hours of December 3, 1979, those same doors stood locked before a restless and growing crowd of Who fans. That evening’s concert was scheduled to begin at 8:00 pm, but ticket-holders had begun to gather outside the Coliseum shortly after noon, and by 3:00 pm, police had been called in to maintain order as the crowd swelled into the thousands. By 7:00 pm, an estimated 8,000 ticket-holders were jostling for position in a plaza at the Coliseum’s west gate, and the crowd began to press forward. When a police lieutenant on the scene tried to convince the show’s promoters to open the locked glass doors at the west gate entrance, he was told that there were not enough ticket-takers on duty inside, and that union rules prevented them from recruiting ushers to perform that duty. At approximately 7:20, the crowd surged forward powerfully as one set of glass doors shattered and the others were thrown open.

With Coliseum security nowhere in sight, the police on hand were aware almost immediately that the situation had the potential for disaster, yet they were physically unable to slow the stream of people flowing through the plaza for at least the next 15 minutes. At approximately 7:45 pm, they began to work their way into the crowd, where they found the first of what would eventually turn out to be 11 concert-goers lying on the ground, dead from asphyxiation.

Afraid of how the crowd might react to a cancellation, Cincinnati fire officials instructed the promoters to go on with the show, and the members of the Who were not told what had happened until after completing their final encore hours later.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the City of Cincinnati banned festival seating at its concert venues. That ban was overturned, however, 24 years later, and improved crowd-control procedures have thus far prevented a reoccurrence of any such incident.

THE BHOPAL-UNION CARBIDE DISASTER – 1984

In the early morning hours, one of the worst industrial disasters in history begins when a pesticide plant located in the densely populated region of Bhopal in central India leaks a highly toxic cloud of methyl isocyanate into the air. Of the estimated one million people living in Bhopal at the time, 2,000 were killed immediately, at least 600,000 were injured, and at least 6,000 have died since.

The leak was caused by a series of mechanical and human errors in the pesticide producing plant, operated by the Union Carbide Corporation, a U.S.-based multinational. For a full hour, the plant’s personnel and safety equipment failed to detect the massive leak, and when an alarm was finally sounded most of the harm had already been done. To make matters worse, local health officials had not been educated on the toxicity of the chemicals used at the Union Carbide plant and therefore there were no emergency procedures in place to protect Bhopal’s citizens in the event of a chemical leak. If the victims had simply placed a wet towel over their face, most would have escaped serious injury.

The Indian government sued Union Carbide in a civil case and settled in 1989 for $470 million. Because of the great number of individuals affected by the disaster, most Bhopal victims received just $550, which could not pay for the chronic lung ailments, eye problems, psychiatric disorders, and other common illnesses they developed. The average compensation for deaths resulting from the disaster was $1,300. The Indian government, famous for its corruption, has yet to distribute roughly half of Union Carbide’s original settlement. Union Carbide, which shut down its Bhopal plant after the disaster, has failed to clean up the site completely, and the rusty, deserted complex continues to leak various poisonous substances into the water and soil of Bhopal.

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