The University of ____ was thrust into mourning last night when Northwest Flight 9## from San Francisco crashed only 10 minutes before landing at its intended destination at the Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport. Particularly devastated is the African Studies Program at the university which lost eight faculty and students returning from the 49th Annual meeting of the African Studies Association in San Francisco. Among the victims were world renowned scholars Prof. S_____ of the Anthropology Department, one of the leading experts on Dafur, Prof. F_____ of the History Department, and Prof. M________, a distinguished professor of Political Science, and also the head of the African Studies Programme. Also on the plane were two graduate students and one undergraduate student from the Department of African Languages and Literature, a graduate student in the History Department, and a representative of the University of ____ Press.
“This is a great blow to the university and to the field of African Studies worldwide” said University of ____ President ___ in a statement issued early this morning. “These were the best and the brightest, and their loss will be sorely felt.” The African Studies Program at the University of _____ is widely considered to be one of the top programs of its kind in the nation. “These scholars were the leading authorities in the field, and the students some of the most promising,” noted Prof. _____ the newly elected President of the African Studies Association in an email to recently parted members of the association. Other University of ____ faculty and students who had arrived back into the Midwestern town a few hours earlier were distraught. “It could have been any of us,” said Prof ____, who arrived into ____ in the early afternoon. “I will never forgive myself for not going to the panel that my student was presenting on. It makes me realize how much we take our colleagues and students for granted, and how fragile our lives really are. This is a great tragedy.”
Authorities have not yet identified the cause of the explosion that caused the 9pm Northwest Airlines crash, from which emerged no survivors, but one top level TSA employee, who did not want to be identified giving out details before the official transcript of the black box had been released, maintained that the explosion was likely an act of terrorism carried out by a passenger carrying a bottle of hair cream that exceeded TSA regulations by .5 oz. The source claims that on black box recording, a passenger can be heard loudly complaining about not receiving pretzels or peanuts on the three hour flight and threatening to denonate the oversize bottle. After the crash, an SFO security screening employee confessed that he had allowed the bottle through, citing the passenger’s complaint that the Northwest website had specified 3.5 oz as the cut off size. The security screener has since been disciplined, and the Department of Homeland Security is considering further action against him. Experts predict that this most recent crash will bring about further restrictions on carry-on items, and a renewed effort to increase communication between the TSA regulatory body and airline authorities.
In the meantime, the midwestern university community and the network of Africanist scholars across the nation and globe grieve. The president of the university noted that counseling will be available to distressed university students and faculty members. A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 7pm tonight at _____ outside the building that houses the African Studies Program.
(SORRY… I have a sick sense of humour…. In reality, we all made it back fine, but I amused myself, exceedingly, composing this on the flight back….)