February 1
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The shuttle fell to pieces 16 minutes before it was due to land
2003: Columbia shuttle disintegrates1 killing2 seven
England have

The US space shuttle Columbia has broken up as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere killing all seven astronauts on board.

This is the first time there has been an accident on landing in the 42 years of space flight.

President George Bush told a nation in shock: "The Columbia is lost. There are no survivors4."

Six of the seven astronauts were US citizens. They were Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, David Brown, and female astronauts Laurel Clark and Indian-born Kalpana Chawla.

The seventh - fighter pilot Colonel Ilan Ramon - was Israel's first astronaut and was carrying with him a miniature Torah scroll5 of a Holocaust6 survivor3.

Columbia disintegrated7 just 16 minutes before it was due to land at Cape8 Canaveral in Florida.

At 0900 local time (1400 GMT) Mission Control lost all data and contact with the crew.

The US space agency Nasa then sent search teams to the Dallas-Fort Worth area amid reports of "a big bang" and TV pictures showing smoke and fireballs in the sky.

In an emotional announcement, Nasa's administrator9 Sean O'Keefe, said: "This is indeed a tragic10 day for the Nasa family, for the families of the astronauts and likewise, tragic for the nation."

Flags at the Kennedy Space Center have been lowered to half-mast.

Debris11 from the shuttle is scattered12 across eastern Texas and western Louisiana and has crashed into car parks, forests, backyards, a reservoir, a rooftop and a dentist's office.

Nasa has temporarily suspended shuttle flights. Shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore told a news conference in Houston, Texas, "We will not fly again until we have this understood. Somewhere along the line we missed something."

The finger of blame points to a piece ofinsulating foamfrom an external fuel tank that hit the shuttle's left wing as it took off 16 days ago.

Some experts say this could have damaged tiles that protect the craft from intense heat on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

But the lead flight director in mission control, Leroy Cain, assured journalists engineers had concluded any damage to the spacecraft was considered minor13.

The shuttle was the world's first reusable space vehicle and Columbia was the oldest of a fleet of four and flew her maiden14 voyage in April 1981.

Her sister ship Challenger exploded soon after take-off 17 years ago killing six astronauts and schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.
Sea defences could not cope with the force of the waves
1953: Violent storms claim hundreds of lives
Artificially 1969:
The Hundreds of people living on the east coast of Britain have died in some of the worst storms ever recorded.
Gale15 force northerly winds lashed16 the coastline and broke through flood defences from Yorkshire down to Kent throughout the night.

Swelling17 tides and high winds mixed to form a fatal combination which claimed dozens of lives and flooded thousands of homes on low-lying land all along the east coast.

Many people were forced to spend the night on their rooftops waiting to be rescued by over-stretched emergency services.

The storm began on the west coast of Ireland yesterday morning, passed over Orkney and thenfunnelleddown the North Sea, driving a deadly mountain of water before it.

The Princess Victoria ferry, travelling from Scotland to Ireland, was forced to abandon ship in the Irish Sea after it was caught in the heavy storms. The death toll18 reached 130.

Warnings of "rather high tides" issued by the Dutch authorities did not reach Britain and it is known many of people in both Holland and Belgium also lost their lives.

The eye of the storm hit eastern Scotland at approximately midday yesterday as Dunstable Met Office warned of "exceptionally strong winds".

The first fatalities19 on land were reported at approximately 1700 hrs yesterday after 20ft (6m) waves crashed through flood defences in Lincolnshire. More than 40 people are feared drowned.

Throughout the night the high winds travelled down the east coast ripping through sea walls and claiming dozens of lives.

Counties worst affected20 were Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent.

In Canvey Island, Essex, the entire 13,000-strong population was moved to safety as the bad weather took hold. Essex police said they had recovered 30 bodies during the night.

Eye-witnesses up and down the country said water was gushing21 through streets and thousands of homes were flooded.
insulating foam: 绝缘泡沫胶

funnel: move or pour through a funnel(漏斗)


1 disintegrates af9a7305b194c0803ccafe9c63d1befc     
n.(使)破裂[分裂,粉碎],(使)崩溃( disintegrate的名词复数 )v.(使)破裂[分裂,粉碎],(使)崩溃( disintegrate的第三人称单数 )
  • Particles rain down from the slug and it finally disintegrates. 颗粒从上面纷纷下落,最后腾涌消失。 来自辞典例句
  • When the uranium disintegrates, it changes into lead. 当铀蜕变时,它变成了铅。 来自辞典例句
2 killing kpBziQ     
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。
3 survivor hrIw8     
  • The sole survivor of the crash was an infant.这次撞车的惟一幸存者是一个婴儿。
  • There was only one survivor of the plane crash.这次飞机失事中只有一名幸存者。
4 survivors 02ddbdca4c6dba0b46d9d823ed2b4b62     
幸存者,残存者,生还者( survivor的名词复数 )
  • The survivors were adrift in a lifeboat for six days. 幸存者在救生艇上漂流了六天。
  • survivors clinging to a raft 紧紧抓住救生筏的幸存者
5 scroll kD3z9     
  • As I opened the scroll,a panorama of the Yellow River unfolded.我打开卷轴时,黄河的景象展现在眼前。
  • He was presented with a scroll commemorating his achievements.他被授予一幅卷轴,以表彰其所做出的成就。
6 holocaust dd5zE     
  • The Auschwitz concentration camp always remind the world of the holocaust.奥辛威茨集中营总是让世人想起大屠杀。
  • Ahmadinejad is denying the holocaust because he's as brutal as Hitler was.内贾德否认大屠杀,因为他像希特勒一样残忍。
7 disintegrated e36fb4ffadd6df797ee64cbd05a02790     
v.(使)破裂[分裂,粉碎],(使)崩溃( disintegrate的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The plane disintegrated as it fell into the sea. 飞机坠入大海时解体了。
  • The box was so old;it just disintegrated when I picked it up. 那箱子太破旧了,我刚一提就散了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 cape ITEy6     
  • I long for a trip to the Cape of Good Hope.我渴望到好望角去旅行。
  • She was wearing a cape over her dress.她在外套上披着一件披肩。
9 administrator SJeyZ     
  • The role of administrator absorbed much of Ben's energy.行政职务耗掉本很多精力。
  • He has proved himself capable as administrator.他表现出管理才能。
10 tragic inaw2     
  • The effect of the pollution on the beaches is absolutely tragic.污染海滩后果可悲。
  • Charles was a man doomed to tragic issues.查理是个注定不得善终的人。
11 debris debris     
  • After the bombing there was a lot of debris everywhere.轰炸之后到处瓦砾成堆。
  • Bacteria sticks to food debris in the teeth,causing decay.细菌附着在牙缝中的食物残渣上,导致蛀牙。
12 scattered 7jgzKF     
  • Gathering up his scattered papers,he pushed them into his case.他把散乱的文件收拾起来,塞进文件夹里。
13 minor e7fzR     
  • The young actor was given a minor part in the new play.年轻的男演员在这出新戏里被分派担任一个小角色。
  • I gave him a minor share of my wealth.我把小部分财产给了他。
14 maiden yRpz7     
  • The prince fell in love with a fair young maiden.王子爱上了一位年轻美丽的少女。
  • The aircraft makes its maiden flight tomorrow.这架飞机明天首航。
15 gale Xf3zD     
  • We got our roof blown off in the gale last night.昨夜的大风把我们的房顶给掀掉了。
  • According to the weather forecast,there will be a gale tomorrow.据气象台预报,明天有大风。
16 lashed 4385e23a53a7428fb973b929eed1bce6     
adj.具睫毛的v.鞭打( lash的过去式和过去分词 );煽动;紧系;怒斥
  • The rain lashed at the windows. 雨点猛烈地打在窗户上。
  • The cleverly designed speech lashed the audience into a frenzy. 这篇精心设计的演说煽动听众使他们发狂。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 swelling OUzzd     
  • Use ice to reduce the swelling. 用冰敷消肿。
  • There is a marked swelling of the lymph nodes. 淋巴结处有明显的肿块。
18 toll LJpzo     
  • The hailstone took a heavy toll of the crops in our village last night.昨晚那场冰雹损坏了我们村的庄稼。
  • The war took a heavy toll of human life.这次战争夺去了许多人的生命。
19 fatalities d08638a004766194f5b8910963af71d4     
n.恶性事故( fatality的名词复数 );死亡;致命性;命运
  • Several people were injured, but there were no fatalities. 有几个人受伤,但没有人死亡。
  • The accident resulted in fatalities. 那宗意外道致多人死亡。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
21 gushing 313eef130292e797ea104703d9458f2d     
adj.迸出的;涌出的;喷出的;过分热情的v.喷,涌( gush的现在分词 );滔滔不绝地说话
  • blood gushing from a wound 从伤口冒出的血
  • The young mother was gushing over a baby. 那位年轻的母亲正喋喋不休地和婴儿说话。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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