A German water park has banned women from a high-speed slide, claiming whooshing water was causing “intimate injuries”.

The park’s manager said the X-treme Faser slide was made men-only after several women complained of being hurt by water as they flung themselves down the slide, where people can reach speeds of 72 kmh.

Marcus Maier said six women had reported injuries to the genital area last year, and some of them had to be taken to hospital.

No men have reported genital injuries, he said.

“These injuries are caused by the nature of the female anatomy,” Maier said.

But the Professional Association of Gynaecologists was sceptical.

A spokeswoman said there was no medical reason why women shouldn’t use such a slide, unless they were pregnant.

She said she had never heard of women suffering waterslide-related vaginal injury.

Maier said few women have complained about the men-only policy.

“We are trying to do right by women; we don’t want to discriminate against them,” said the manager of Galaxy Rutschenparadies, which is part of the Therme Erding sauna complex near Munich.

Asked if the park had considered reworking the slide, Maier said it had never been seriously considered.

The slide was new, he said, and reckoned it had cost up to €100,000 to build. “We have some slides you can’t go down unless you weigh 50 kilos – you could argue that’s just as discriminating,” he said.

Still, there appears to be a glimmer of hope for female water slide enthusiasts: The park is working on building a protective suit for women to use on the slide.

“Like for ice hockey,” said Maier.


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An investigation is underway after reports emerged that several young students were forced to act like cats and crawl across a hot track.

The alleged incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon in the town of Junction in the northwest of San Antonio.

Several students still have visible scrapes and blisters on their knees and palms.

Parents say some of the fifth graders were being rowdy in the halls and started making cat noises at teachers.

As punishment, the entire class was taken to the track and told to get on their hands and knees.

“It was painful because the track was hot and it was rough and it was tearing our skin and it was burning,” said student Madison Phillips.

Four teachers were involved in the incident on the track.

The superintendent’s office says the district will get to the bottom of what happened, but it’s unclear at this point if there will be any sort of punishment.

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An Air Canada pilot first mistook the planet Venus for an aircraft, and then sent his airliner diving toward the Atlantic to prevent an imaginary collision with another plane, an official report said on Monday.

In the January 2011 incident, the first officer rammed the control stick forward to avoid a U.S. plane he wrongly thought was heading straight toward him, injuring sixteen passengers and crew.

“Under the effects of significant sleep inertia (when performance and situational awareness are degraded immediately after waking up), the first officer perceived the oncoming aircraft as being on a collision course and began a descent to avoid it,” Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said.

“This occurrence underscores the challenge of managing fatigue on the flight deck,” said chief investigator Jon Lee.

The incident occurred at night on board a Boeing 767 twin engine passenger plane flying from Toronto to Zurich in Switzerland with 95 passengers and eight crew.

The report said the first officer had just woken up, disoriented, from a long nap, when he learned from the pilot that a U.S. cargo plane was flying toward them.

“The FO (First Officer) initially mistook the planet Venus for an aircraft but the captain advised again that the target was at the 12 o’clock position (straight ahead) and 1,000 feet below,” said the report.

“When the FO saw the oncoming aircraft, the FO interpreted its position as being above and descending towards them. The FO reacted to the perceived imminent collision by pushing forward on the control column,” the report continued.

The airliner dropped about 400 feet before the captain pulled back on the control column. Fourteen passengers and two crew were hurt, and seven needed hospital treatment. None were wearing seat belts, even though the seat-belt sign was on.

The safety board said the crew did not fully understand the risks of tiredness during night flights.

The first officer, whose young children often interrupted his sleep at home, had napped for 75 minutes rather than the 40-minute maximum laid down by airline regulations. This meant he fell into a deep sleep and was disoriented when he woke up.

The report is yet another problem for Canada’s largest airline, which has faced prolonged labor unrest.

Air Canada, expressing regret that passengers were injured, said it had taken steps to prevent a recurrence, reminding pilots to follow the rules for napping during flights and increasing efforts to heighten crews’ awareness of fatigue and its effects.

“Air Canada has developed a special fatigue report form for use in its safety reporting system … this enhanced system should be in place in summer of 2012,” said spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick.

The Air Canada Pilots Association has long pressured authorities to take the stresses of night flying into account when setting the maximum hours a pilot can work. Canada’s regulations were last changed in 1996, when the longest duty day was cut to 14 hours from 15 hours.

“The current regulations are not sensitive at all to the time of day … (North Atlantic flights) are certainly fatiguing in comparison to most other flying,” said association president Paul Strachan.

He also said Air Canada operated trans-Atlantic flights with two pilots whereas U.S. carriers used three to share the load.

“The regulator will have done a risk assessment and obviously is satisfied … that the risk was acceptable, but obviously it is an increase, there is no two ways about it,” he said.

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An animal handler has been rushed to hospital after he was headbutted by a giraffe in South Africa.

The 32-year-old wildlife expert had entered the animal’s enclosure to conduct a medical procedure when the male giraffe lunged at him.

Paramedic spokesman Jeffrey Wicks said the man suffered serious injuries after the frightened beast butted him before crushing him against a fence.

He said: “The man is an experienced animal handler and had gone inside the enclosure to draw a blood sample from the giraffe when the animal became spooked.

“The worker was right next to the giraffe when it lunged at him and headbutted him. It then pushed him next to the fence and crushed him against a post. The man was seriously injured and suffered trauma to the spine.”

Officials confirmed the incident happened at an animal quarantine centre near the rural town of Hammanskraal, which lies 30 miles north of South Africa’s capital Pretoria.

The victim, who is believed to be South African, was working closely alongside the bull giraffe when it attacked.

Mr Wicks, who works for the private ambulance firm Netcare911, said centre staff helped remove the man to safety before contacting paramedics.

He said: “The other workers at the centre saw what happened and managed to get him out of the enclosure. The victim was conscious but sustained serious spinal injuries. They were in a remote location so the staff put him into a car to start the journey to the hospital.

“They then called us and we arranged to meet them near the motorway. From there he was airlifted to hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.”

The victim was on Tuesday undergoing tests and X-rays at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

Giraffes are not usually considered among Africa’s most dangerous animals but the huge beasts can prove deadly if provoked.

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A Surrey, B.C., woman is suing Colgate-Palmolive Canada Inc., claiming that her toothbrush broke and severely injured her mouth while she was brushing five years ago.

The case is scheduled for trial Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

According to her statement of claim, Saliha Alnoor was brushing her teeth in Oct. 2006 when the handle of her Colgate Active Angle toothbrush — which she had purchased at a grocery store two months earlier — broke in two places.

She said that the toothbrush tore her gums, which began to bleed profusely before she passed out.

“I was very fortunate that my family members were around me when I was injured,” Alnoor said in a statement of claim filed in May 2007.

“Because of the injury and the excruciating pain, I had fainted for a few minutes and my family members made sure that I did not swallow and choke and drown in my own blood while I was unconscious.”

Alnoor said she contacted Colgate and was asked to provide some more information.

She said she never heard back from the company after giving the requested information.

“The defendant failed in its duty of care owed to the plaintiff and others to properly test the suitability and safety of the Active Angle toothbrush before releasing the said product into the marketplace,” an amended statement of claim filed in 2009 states.

“The Active Angle toothbrush suffered from serious mechanical design flaws which were known or ought to have been known by the defendant at all times material to this claim,” the claim states.

According to the claim, Alnoor’s injuries have led to gingivitis, poor appetite and weight loss. She required “extensive” oral surgery to repair the damage to her mouth and continues to endure pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of the amenities of life.

Before the incident her dental and general health were reportedly “excellent.”

Alnoor is seeking general, special and punitive damages, plus costs.

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Chile’s Supreme Court has ordered a newspaper to pay $125,000 to 13 people who suffered burns while trying out a published recipe for churros, a popular Latin American snack of dough fried in hot oil.

The publisher of La Tercera newspaper in Chile must pay individual damages to 11 women and two men ranging from as little as $279 to $48,000 for one woman whose burns were particularly severe. The high court’s ruling was announced on Monday, seven years after the readers burned themselves while trying out the recipe.

Judges determined that the newspaper failed to fully test it before publication, and that if readers followed the recipe exactly, the churros had a good chance of exploding once the oil reached the suggested temperature. Grupo Copesa, which publishes the paper, said it will abide by the ruling.

Days after the recipe was published in the paper’s “Woman” magazine in 2004, hospitals around the country began treating women for burns suffered when the dough boiling in oil suddenly shot out of kitchen pots.

Churros, sometimes known as the Spanish doughnut, are elongated strips of pastry, which are deep-fried and then dusted with sugar and dunked in a thick-hot chocolate sauce.

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