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AIRSHIP DISASTER.

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AIRSHIP DISASTER. f Fall of 300 Feet. SIXTEEN AERONAUTS INJURED Yhousands Watch Exciting Scene. Oakland, California, Saturday.—The great Worrell airship made its trial trip to-day at Berkeley in the presence of thousands of spec. tutors. hen 300ft. above the ground the balloon collapsed, dashing 16 occupants of the car to •he earth. All were seriously injured, sustain- fractures of the limbs. The airship, said to be the largest ever built, -as 450ft. long, and was propelled by five 40- h.p.. engines. The balloon contained 500,000 Cubic feet of ges. ^The occupants of the car were residents of Berkeley and Oakland, who had become inter- ested in the airship and intended to take shares In the company which was to be formed for the Jnanufacture of similar airships.—Reuter. Oakland, California, Sunday.—Nobody was tailed in the accident to the Morrell airship. of the occupants were severely injured, -.nd one of them may not recover, but seven other persons in the car were only slightly burt. Mr Morrell, the inventor, had his right *eg broken. When the airship was at a height of 300ft. t was seen to tilt with its nose downwards, the pilot (John Byrne) mounted on to the t°p of the gasbag to balance it. The gas accumulated in the rear and then burst the envelope, and the airship fell slowly until it ^a-s 75ft. from the ground, when it collapsed altogether. The people in the car tried to save themselves by jumping. The accident was Witnessed by a large crowd Reuter. The gas-bag type of airship was responsible •Of a similar disaster in 1902. M. Augusto j^Vfcro. accompanied by his mechanician, ^chet, started from Paris on a first trial J^th the Pax," the invention and construc- r01* of M. Severo, in the early morning of "*ay 12th of that year. The Pax rose at to a height almost double that of the j&ffel Tower, when for reasons not precisely *Hown it exploded, and came crashing to earth with its two passengers. The fall took eight seconds to accomplish, and the lUckless experimenters were picked up broken *Od shapeless masses. The Morrrell airship, concerning the con- junction of which an invulnerable secrecy "&s been maintained, is obviously an at- ^Qipt to emulate the success of Count Zep- Pelin, the German aeronaut. The number Of passengers carried shows that in general the Morrell experiment followed the ^ppelin lines of an elongated gas-bag of enormous capacity, carrying below it a long tar for the engineer and passengers. There are many possible ;causes of the dis- lakr, especially in view of the utter lack of 6iperience of the aeronauts. It is probable, 1.8 in the case of Severo, that no provision was J^adefor the escape of gas to allow for ex- pansion in rising. But the chief danger of the gas bag airship in the difficulty of securing that the en- velope will remain distended when an escape br contraction of gas occurs. Should the envelope become lax, it is doubled jjj> by the wind or the weight of the car, and collapse is inevitable. On two occasions accident occurred to M. Santos-Dumont. Flights in Rome. Rome, Sunday.—A crowd of fully 200,000 People assembled to-day to witness experi- mental aeroplane flights in the Place d'Armes b7 M. De La Grange, the King and several other members of the Royal Family being Amongst those present. M. De La Grange suc- ceeded in making two distinct flights of 300 Metres in length, the aeroplane keeping at an Average distance of two metres from the ground. The success of the experiments Evoked loud cheers, M. De La Grange being *artnly congratulated by the King.—Central News. Impatient Italian Crowd. Rome, Sunday.—Although a high wind was "•owing, M. D. La Grange this afternoon made further trials with his aeroplane in the "lace d'Armes, in the presence of an enormous A military band was in attendance, "rincess Laetitia arrived at a quarter to 5 ° clock, and among the company on the Royal *tand were Admiral Mirabello, Minister of Marine, the Mayor, and a number of other Notabilities. As the wind continued high Notice was circulated announcing that the would be postponed until Tuesday, but *he crowd was not satisfied, and remained on 5*e Place clamouring for M. De La Grange. Two balloons belonging to the Aeronautical societies were sent up, but this did not ap- pease the multitude, and cries for M. De La were renewed. At last, at 10 minutes past 6, the wind having down somewhat, the aeroplane left the •hed and skimmed over the ground with great towards the Royal stand, opposite which, however, it was brought to a standstill J A M. De La Grange then made r. trial, and rose to a height of about 20 Th +f'- he Was again beaten by the wind. litie third attempt was much more successful, the aeroplane covering a distance of about a kilometre, and then turning towards the stand amid great applause, but once more the wind proved too stroner, and the aeroplane camfe to the ground. However, M. De La Grange made another attempt to fly round the Place, but the machine only rose a few inches at intervals. The crowd now lost patience, and tried to Weak into the reserved space, but were pre- dated from doing this by a cordon of cavalry II.nd carbineers. M. De La Grange took the ^roplane back to itsshed at 10 minutes past 7, and drove off in a motor-car. The crowds t«en dispersed.—Reuter.

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