Problems In The Astrodome?

Although the media have had relatively positive reviews about the efficiency of operations inside the Astrodome, Jacob Appelbaum was in the dome today and has heard differently from evacuees:

From the post on BoingBoing,

“A six year old girl was raped in here.. 9 year old boy killed. A man in the shower beaten. No hot food. No help for elderly.”

I’m reserving judgment until later, but I found this information to be eye-opening. I wouldn’t expect things like this (murders, rapes, etc.) to happen in the Astrodome given all the supposed security..

Also, check out the pictures Jacob took inside the Dome.

7 Comments so far

  1. HouDog (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 9:51 pm

    Wow.. how is that for unsubstantiated reporting? I have spent hours down their talking with dozens of ecavuees and haven’t heard anything bad. I had full access at both locations and everyone I talked to was happy to be there and relieved to be out of New Orleans.

    I think its time to get yourself a new “insider.”

  2. Jacob Appelbaum (unregistered) on September 8th, 2005 @ 12:41 am

    So because you failed to talk to people who had something to say, I’m a liar?

    I don’t think so.

  3. HouDog (unregistered) on September 8th, 2005 @ 12:27 pm

    Did you see the word liar in my post? You are jumping to a hugely incorrect conclusion. It is that type of hyperbole that makes posts like this unbelievable. I am saying that the reports are unsubstantiated – thus require investigation. I am also reporting that I saw or heard NOTHING of the ilk Hesam report (third-hand, I might add) and I was there in person for a day and half.

    I do not doubt for a second that you heard the things you reported. Please do not confuse the desire to investigate with a blanket assumption you are being dishonest.

    Just as you attack my “first-hand” experience as “failing to talk with people who had something to say,” I am stating that we have all played the elementary school game where you start a sentence at one end of a circle and it changes wildly by the time it comes back around.

    A person told you about something they witnessed – you told another person about something someone told you about something they witnessed – the other person posted a blog entry about something you told them about something another person told you about something they witnessed.

    I trust my eyes and ears over a story I have received fourth-hand on a blog.

  4. Jacob Appelbaum (unregistered) on September 8th, 2005 @ 11:28 pm

    Thanks for the clarity. I agree that a being a skeptic is healthy. I reported this as quotes, I used names where possible. I’m being open and transparent in all of this and simply writing what I experienced.

  5. Jason (unregistered) on September 9th, 2005 @ 1:27 pm

    I have friends working there (police officers) who have no knowledge about any rape. They did say that people have gotten sick with the Norwalk virus (the same virus that hit people on cruiseships). Had something like that happened, the media would be more than eager to report it. As for covering it up, I fail to see how that can be done with the thousands of people in the dome and all those mouths. Not to mention the technology like camera phones, podcasts and the like, hard to keep a secret I would imagine.

  6. Kymberlie R. McGuire (unregistered) on September 10th, 2005 @ 11:31 am

    My brother’s been volunteering down there at least a few times and I know four or five other people who’ve been going and this is the first I’ve heard of anything like this.

    I’m not calling you a liar, but I don’t think the stories have any substance to them.

  7. Elizabeth Waltrip (unregistered) on September 12th, 2005 @ 3:15 pm

    I have spent a lot of time at the Astrodome/Reliant Center and I have not seen or heard any reports of violence. I have seen people that are tired, bewildered, helpful, anxious, sad, compassionate, and hopeful – but I have seen very little anger and no actual violence. I can also happily report that (at least on the days that I am there) the evacuees are being served hot meals as well as snacks and drinks whenever they want them. Everywhere I went there were evacuees, Reliant workers, Houston Police, Texas Sheriffs, Red Cross workers, EMS personnel, doctors, members of the armed forces, and individual volunteers of every stripe. Although I have no wish to call anyone a liar, it is hard for me to believe that the types of events described by the individuals interviewed by Jacob Applebaum actually took place in what is, in my opinion, a well-organized and highly protected environment.

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