Pannet / Rhylanor / Spinward Marches

Downport Dome Recovering After Disaster

It's now been one week since a merchant ship crashed into the largest city on Pannet (2519 Spinward Marches; E9C5677-7), precipitating a massive disaster that threatened to destroy the entire city.

Downport Dome is no longer in danger of complete failure.  While isolated pockets of air still cause violent fires to break out at random in the ruins of the commercial district, the safety interlocks have been reinforced and secured.  Structural supports have been shored up to prevent further collapse of the dome, and the remainder of the city is safe from further danger.  Nevertheless, a full two-thirds of the city breached containment before the conflagration could be controlled.

While some residents did manage to reach containment shelters, there was a widespread failure to heed the breach alarms.  A series of false alarms over the last three months is being blamed for the complacency that cost several thousands their lives.  When used -- as at all the schools and industrial plants -- the shelters held up as designed, and all those were rescued within three days of the disaster.

The death toll stands at 8,367, including 54 rescue workers from Downport and 31 more from Treefish Dome who turned out to assist with the emergency.  Conditions on Pannet make any operations in the native atmosphere an extremely dangerous prospect, and officials are calling the rescue effort "heroic."

It will still be at least a month before the debris can be cleared.  Aside from the danger of fires from oxygen pockets, the area is covered with lethal combustion products, and it will take some time before the residue breaks down and disperses.  Only then can reconstruction begin.

The government is offering excellent rates for workers with experience in insidious atmospheres, but warn that even seasoned pros may be surprised by Pannet's exotic mixture.  Benefits include excellent pay with full medical care and state of the art decontamination facilities.

As for the inquiry into the reasons why the subsidized merchant Youghi's Pocket suffered a major systems failure on final approach, initial efforts will focus on the ship's maintenance record.  While all ships landing at the downport are required to have an insidious atmosphere inspection with every annual maintenance, no extra checks are made during the year.  Obtaining the records from Rhylanor (2716 Spinward Marches; A434934-F) will, however, take some time.  Also taking into consideration the extent of destruction at the crash site, the inquiry is expected to take up to a year.

There are still no downport facilities at Pannet, and although there are limited highport services still available those are being reserved for insystem traffic for the duration.  Incoming ships are currently being diverted to the H-class insystem port in orbit P5-25.