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palmer chocolate factory explosion
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NTSB Report Points to Natural Gas Leak as Catalyst in Chocolate Factory Explosion

On March 24, 2023, a deadly explosion erupted at a chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania. The explosion at the R.M. Palmer Co. plant occurred around 4:55 pm, flattening one building and damaging several structures nearby. As a result of the incident 7 people lost their lives, 11 were injured, and 3 families were displaced from their homes. The National Transportation and Safety Board’s (NTSB) most recent report concluded a natural gas leak may have contributed to the chocolate factory explosion.

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Fury 325 image courtesy NPR
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Condition Monitoring Matters: Lessons Learned from Fury 325

In late June, a crack in a column of the Fury 325, a 95 mph “giga coaster” threatened the safety of passengers at Carowinds Amusement Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. The crack was likely apparent for a week before a now viral video posted by a park patron encouraged the park to shut down the ride. 

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superior refinery explosion
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Superior Refinery Wisconsin to Reopen in 2023

In 2018 an explosion at Wisconsin’s only oil refinery injured dozens and caused thousands to evacuate. Five years later, the refinery is set to reopen following a $1.2 billion rebuild and multiple safety recommendations from federal agencies. In March 2023 the refinery, now owned by Cenovus Energy, began introducing crude oil aiming to resume full operations by the end of June.

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Scaling New Heights: Innovative Solutions aid Navy’s Maintenance Efforts

The Navy is grappling with a significant maintenance backlog, hindering its ability to ensure the readiness and availability of its fleet. The $1.8 billion backlog has been attributed to a range of factors including crew shortages, lack of spare parts, and limited shipyards. To address this pressing issue, the Navy has turned to innovative solutions to expedite maintenance processes, alleviate the backlog, and reduce repair time in shipyards. 

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school bus technician
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The Unfilled Seats: Exploring the School Bus Technician Gap

Many school districts are facing a pressing issue that has far-reaching implications for the safety and efficiency of school transportation. As we’ve seen in other industries, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hire and retain experienced maintenance technicians. This is no different in the world of diesel mechanics. Some schools are looking to increase pay to compete with the trucking industry while others are employing their students to perform school bus maintenance.

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rescue workers at balasore train crash site
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Balasore Train Crash: Urgent Need for Maintenance and Safety Upgrades

A recent train crash in Balasore, India has resulted in hundreds of casualties and injuries, highlighting the critical need to ensure robust maintenance practices and safety measures are in place. While the investigation is still underway, the Ministry of Railways has identified the root cause of the incident and made recommendations to prevent future accidents.

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operation ivory soap
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Lathered in Valor: Saluting the Maintenance Heroes of Operation Ivory Soap

In 1944, Colonel Matthew Thompson rented the entire Grand Hotel in Alabama for $1 and a promise. The Army needed to find a training center near the water as 5,000 soldiers were going to be converted to sailors to board ships headed to the Pacific. Cargo ships were retrofitted into floating maintenance and repair shops to repair aircraft returning from ‘Island Hopping’ missions in the Pacific Theatre. The machinists and technicians onboard were crucial to the final push in WWII.

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aviation maintenance technicians
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Critical Gaps in the Sky: The Looming Aviation Maintenance Technician Shortage

Have you ever been sitting on the tarmac waiting for the plane to take off when you hear the pilot make an announcement? Typically, it has something to do with the side of air travel we don’t see, maintenance. Boeing’s pilot and technician outlook reported 610,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed for maintenance, repair, and overhaul services over the next twenty years. Production of aviation maintenance technicians will need to increase by at least 20% to meet the projected workforce demand.

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