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2 dies after Elevated Rio beach bike lane collapses

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RIO DE JANEIRO — A seaside side section of an elevated bicycle lane built as part of improvements for the Rio Olympics has collapsed, killing two people, after a powerful wave crashed into it on Thursday.

Scuba divers were looking for a possible third victim in the ocean after the structure fell along its seaside path over a sheer cliff, said Pedro Paulo, a senior official in the mayor’s office. Three other individuals were found  alive.

The disaster on the $16 million lane, which was only inaugurated in January, is the latest setback for Rio de Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics in August.

Rescuers brought the bodies of two men onto a crowded beach and covered them with a sheet. A woman wept over one of the bodies.

One of the victims was a 54-year-old man who was jogging when the path crashed, relatives said.

“He always ran there,” Joao Ricardo, his brother-in-law, told the G1 news website.

Mr Paulo said authorities were investigating the cause of the accident but that a “strong” wave had struck the path, which is held up by pillars, beforehand.

“The first possibility is that the force of the wave coming from below up lifted the [bike lane] and then the path fell,” he told reporters.

A witness told Globo television that he had just rode his bike across the path when a big wave appeared.

AFP

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Over 70% of deep-sea fish of Atlantic Ocean have ingested plastic : Study

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Fragments of plastic are found throughout the world, from nearly every continent to nearly every body of water. But, researchers recently have found 73 percent of Northwest Atlantic deep-sea fish are also eating it — the highest reported frequency of plastic-eating fish in the world.

Plastic particles were found in some of the most remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean with almost three quarters of a sample of more than 230 deep-water fish collected by NUI Galway scientists having ingested plastic particles.

The contamination level among the fish species, located in the northwest Atlantic thousands of kilometres from land and 600m down in the ocean, is one of the highest reported frequencies of microplastic occurrence in fish worldwide, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The NUIG scientists, as part of the study, participated in a transatlantic crossing onboard the marine institute’s Celtic Explorer vessel.

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PhD candidate and lead author Alina Wieczorek said, “Deep-water fish migrate to the surface at night to feed on plankton [microscopic animals] and this is likely when they are exposed to the microplastics.”

During this research cruise they took dead deep-sea fish from midwater trawls such as the spotted lanternfish, rakery beaconlamp, stout saw-palate and scaly dragonfish.

Microplastics are small plastic fragments that commonly originate from the breakdown of larger plastic items entering the ocean. Other sources may be waste water effluents carrying plastic fibres from clothing and microbeads from personal care products. Due to their low density, most of these microplastics float at the sea surface.

The fish ranged in size from the smallest species the Glacier Lantern at 3.5cm to the largest species, the stout saw-palate at 59cm.

Agencies

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