[FOUNTAIN]Accidental deaths

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[FOUNTAIN]Accidental deaths

Let's talk about survival. What do you do in a free-falling elevator?

Experts say all you can do is to lie flat with your face and head covered by your hands in the center of the elevator. By doing this, the impact supposedly will be spread out when the elevator hits bottom.

What do you do if you drive your car into the river? The best way to escape from the car is to open the windows as soon as possible. Once the car sinks, it is more difficult to open a window because of the outside water pressure. If the windows are open, the water pouring into the car will equalize the pressure and allow you to open the door to get out, even though the sight of water pouring in will probably be intimidating. But if the car has started to sink, you have to take drastic measures to get the windows open, even if it means breaking them. What if the windows won't break? You have to wait until the water leaks into the car and rises to your head so the pressure is nearly equalized, then take a deep breath. Open the door and escape, (and I hope you are a good swimmer).

What if you run into a bear when you are lost in the forest? The best advice by experts is simply to lie still on the ground, even though it doesn't sound like a good idea. Rather than flee the bear, you should try to keep it from attacking you for bears are much faster runners and better climbers than human beings. The advice comes from the "Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook" by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht.

Accidents are everywhere. We might be hurt or killed by accidents in everyday life.

Accidental death ranks third in Korea as a cause of death, next to strokes and heart disease. Accidental death tops the list of causes of death among Koreans in their 30s.

According to the World Health Organization's "World Report on Violence and Health" issued Thursday, 1,424 people are killed by homicide daily -- one person every minute on average. Globally, suicide occurs about every 40 seconds. Aprroximately 35 people are killed every hour as a direct result of armed conflict.

But it still seems hard to believe that eight out of 13 Japanese kidnapped by North Korea have already died. One supposedly committed suicide because of depression and two met traffic accidents. Heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver killed one each; one drowned and two were poisoned by leaking gas. Half were under age 40.

Then to top it all, North Korea explained that seven of the graves were washed away by floods.

The writer is a deputy international news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Noh Jae-hyun

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