A real nightmare...
Jul 6, 10:58 AM (ET)
LONDON (Reuters) - A teenage sleepwalker was rescued after being found fast asleep 130 feet up on the arm of a crane, police said Wednesday.
Emergency services were called to a building site in London after a passer-by spotted the 15-year-old girl curled up on top of a concrete counterweight high above the ground.
The teen-ager, who has not been named, had climbed up the crane and walked across a narrow metal beam while fast asleep during the incident, which happened on June 25.
It is believed the teen-ager had walked out unnoticed from her home near the site in Dulwich, southeast London.
She was brought down in a hydraulic lift after a two-hour rescue operation.
"Police and London Fire Brigade attended and the woman was brought down from the crane at around 4 a.m. and taken to hospital for precautionary checks," a police spokeswoman said.
The girl was unharmed and later went home.
Plane lands on speeding Porsche
Jul 6, 10:59 AM (ET)
BERLIN (Reuters) - A German pilot and driver escaped unhurt when a one-seater plane landed on top of a speeding car at a little-used airport, police in the western town of Bitburg said Wednesday.
"It was a miracle that no one was hurt. There was considerable damage done to the plane and the car," said Klaus Schnarrbach, spokesman for the Bitburg police.
The driver was racing at 160 kph (100 mph) with 11 other members of a local Porsche club at the airport, a former U.S. air base, when the single-engine plane accidentally landed on his roof. The shocked driver slammed on the brakes, sending the plane crashing to the ground.
"The airplane managed to stay steady on the roof at first," said Schnarrbach, adding the pilot faced possible charges of negligence. "They probably couldn't have done it that well if they had tried," he said.
Using model planes to scare away the birds
Jul 6, 10:56 AM (ET)
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese scientists have developed remote-controlled model planes that can screech bird calls and emit bright, flashing lights to scare wild birds away from airports, state media said Wednesday.
The flying "scarecrows" were expected to be more effective in frightening birds away from runways and flight paths than previous experiments which included cannon fire and blasting scary sounds from speakers on the ground, Xinhua news agency said.
"By switching the plane models to the sounds of predators of birds currently in residence near runways, the operator is very likely to dispel birds from around airports," it said.
It did not say what would happen if a plane flew into one of the models.
In March, Beijing airport found that imported U.S.-made scream-machines failed to scare away birds because they the "foreign language" of American predators got lost in translation.
If you really, really want a drink...
Jul 6, 10:59 AM (ET)
CANBERRA (Reuters) - Alcohol has been banned in two small Australian Aboriginal communities to stop young people from a nearby alcohol-free township from risking their lives by swimming a crocodile-infested river to get a drink.
Aboriginal elders from the communities of Perrederr and Nardirri, about 270 km (168 miles) southwest of the tropical northern city of Darwin, asked for the ban, which was granted by the Northern Territory Licensing Commission.
"In the recent past ... young people had been known to swim across the Moyle River from a restricted area in order to drink at Nardirri," the commission said after a petition by Felix Gumbaduk, a traditional owner of land covering the two communities.
"The Moyle River has a healthy population of crocodiles and it was a real concern to him not only that someone may be killed but that his family might be blamed," the commission said.
Perrederr and Nardirri are home to about 40 people.
Australia's 400,000 Aboriginals and Torres Strait islanders, who make up two percent of the 20 million population, remain the most disadvantaged group, dying 20 years younger than other Australians amid high rates of unemployment and alcohol abuse.
Since 1979, Northern Territory Aboriginal communities have been able to have areas declared alcohol-free with penalties including forfeiture of cars or boats used to transport alcohol, fines of up to A$2,000 ($1,500) and up to two years in jail.
Crocodile attacks make headlines in Australia, yet only about a dozen people have been killed in the past 20 years. But the Northern Territory's population has exploded to around 70,000 animals in the wild with another 18,000 in six crocodiles farms.