Sunday, November 17, 2013
Storms cause death and destruction in Midwest
METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) — The death toll is likely to rise in Illinois as emergency management officials continue to receive reports from the field about the casualties and damage caused by a massive storm system that wreaked havoc across the state.
Dozens of tornadoes and intense thunderstorms swept across portions of the Midwest today. They caused extensive damage in several Illinois communities, killing at least five people, injuring dozens more and prompting officials at Chicago's Soldier Field to evacuate the stands and delay the Bears game.
In southern Illinois, the Washington County coroner says an elderly man and his sister were killed when a tornado hit their home around noon in the rural community of New Minden. The state's Emergency Management Agency says a third person died in the central Illinois community of Washington and two others perished in Massac county in the far southern part of the state.
With communications difficult and many roads impassable, it remains unclear how many people were killed or hurt by the string of tornadoes.
COLORADO MINING ACCIDENT
2 killed, 20 injured in Colorado mining accident
OURAY, Colo. (AP) — Two workers were killed and 20 others were injured in a mining accident near the southwestern Colorado town of Ouray (yoo-RAY').
Ouray County spokeswoman Marti Whitmore says the sheriff's office was called to the Revenue Virginius mine at about 7:20 a.m. Sunday. The miners were trapped underground, and they were confirmed dead Sunday afternoon.
Star Mine Operations, LLC, the owner of the mine, could not be reached for comment, but Whitmore says the company has accounted for all of the workers at the site.
She says 20 people were taken to area hospitals, and all but two have been treated and released. The circumstances of the accident and the conditions of the hospitalized workers have not been released.
New York man drowns in Bahamas free diving contest
NEW YORK (AP) — Police say a 32-year-old New York City man who broke the U.S. constant weight record for freediving soon after beginning his competitive career last year died Sunday while participating in a tournament in the Bahamas.
Officials say Nicholas Mevoli, who lived in Brooklyn, died around 2 p.m. off the coast of the Bahamas' Long Island, about 164 miles southeast of the capital of Nassau. His body was flown to Nassau, where an autopsy is expected.
A Switzerland-based worldwide federation for breath-holding diving says Mevoli reached the 72-meter depth of the no fins dive, swam back to the surface but had difficulty breathing while completing surface protocol and lost consciousness.
Freedivers, unlike scuba divers, enter the water without air tanks, regulators and hoses and swim to various depths relying entirely on the air held in their lungs.
Mevoli's uncle says his nephew got hooked on diving as an 8-year-old boy on trips to the Florida Keys.
The uncle says the Florida native worked in the television industry in New York and was writing a screenplay about a young man on a boat and his adventures in the Florida Keys.
UPDATE: Plane crash in Russia kills all 50 aboard
MOSCOW (AP) — Officials say an airliner has crashed in Russia, killing all 50 people aboard.
It happened as the Boeing 737 belonging to Tatarstan Airlines attempted to land in the city of Kazan (kah-ZAHN'), about 450 miles east of Moscow. Kazan is a city of about 1.1 million and the capital of the Tatarstan republic.
The Emergencies Ministry says the dead included the son of Tatarstan's governor and the head of the Tatarstan branch of the Federal Security Service, the main successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB.
Reports say the plane appeared to lose altitude as it was making a second landing attempt, then crashed and caught fire.
A journalist who said she had flown on the same aircraft from Kazan to Moscow earlier in the day told Channel One state television that the landing in Moscow had been frightening because of a strong vibration during the final minutes of the flight.
Russia has seen a string of deadly crashes in recent years. Some have been blamed on the use of aging aircraft, but industry experts point to a number of other problems, including poor crew training, crumbling airports, lax government controls and widespread neglect of safety.
Egypt: Train slams into vehicles, kills 24
CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian emergency officials and state TV say a cargo train traveling south of Cairo slammed into vehicles crossing the tracks early Monday, killing at least 24 people, many from the same family returning from a wedding party.
The emergency services chief says 28 people were injured, mostly with fractures, crush injuries and lost body parts, with some in critical condition. He says the scene has been cleared of victims.
The head of the Giza security sector tells the Nile News state TV station that most of the dead and injured were family members on a bus returning home from a wedding in Cairo.
He says the train, which carried construction materials, also hit a small truck coming from the opposite direction.
A security official says the train hit at least three vehicles near the village of Dahshur, about 25 miles south of the Egyptian capital. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.
The head of Egypt's railway tells Nile News initial reports indicated the crossing gates of the tracks had been closed but vehicles were still crossing.
Egypt: Gunmen kill security official in Cairo
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's interior ministry says unknown gunmen have shot and killed a senior national security officer in Cairo as he headed to his office.
The statement from the ministry said gunmen opened fire on a car carrying Lt. Col. Mohammed Mabrouk of the national security agency, killing him on the spot late Sunday. Mabrouk worked in the agency's branch in charge of monitoring Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mabrouk is one of the most senior security officers to be targeted and killed in Cairo during the violence that has gripped Egypt since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
A security official said Mabrouk was hit by seven bullets in his chest and head fired by gunmen whom witnesses described as masked. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
NEW: Japan nuclear plant to begin removing fuel rods
TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Electric Power Co. says workers will begin removing radioactive fuel rods Monday from one of four reactors at its crippled nuclear power plant. The painstaking and risky task is a crucial first step toward a full cleanup of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
Unit 4 was offline at the time of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, so its core didn't melt down as the other three did. But hydrogen explosions blew the roof off the building and weakened the structure, leaving it vulnerable to earthquakes.
Experts have said keeping so many fuel rods in a storage pool in the building poses a major safety risk.
The full decommissioning of the plant in northeastern Japan is expected to take decades.
BILLS STADIUM FALL
2 hurt after man falls from 3rd deck at Bills game
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Two men have been taken to a Buffalo hospital after one fell from the third deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium and landed on the other during the Bills' game against the New York Jets.
According to a Rural Metro ambulance service report, the man who was hit by the falling man sustained a head injury. The man who fell sustained a shoulder injury, which was not considered life-threatening.
Rural Metro could not reveal the names of the two men or release any further details.
The accident occurred during the second quarter of Buffalo's 37-14 win.
In confirming the accident, the Bills said both men were treated immediately and taken to hospital for observation.
The Erie County Sheriffs said a report on the accident wouldn't be available until Monday.
Report: Wal-Mart has safety problems in Bangladesh
NEW YORK (AP) — A news report says safety problems have been found in nearly half of 75 audited factories in Bangladesh that are Wal-Mart suppliers.
According to a report posted on The Wall Street Journal's website Sunday night, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said most of the factories that failed the audit were able to correct problems or are doing so. According to the report, the company said it has stopped doing business with two factories, and one had to be closed.
An email seeking comment from Wal-Mart was not immediately returned. It was not clear who performed the audits.
Wal-Mart and other major retailers this year agreed to a pact aimed at improving safety conditions at Bangladesh factories after deadly building collapses and fires.
Dolphins prepared to meet with NFL investigator
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins players have been advised they'll meet this week with the NFL special investigator looking into the harassment case involving tackle Jonathan Martin and guard Richie Incognito.
Players expect to be interviewed beginning Monday, and the visit by attorney Ted Wells might last several days. That means further distractions for a team trying to keep its season from derailing.
The Dolphins (5-5) beat San Diego 20-16 on Sunday to remain in the race for an AFC wild-card berth and cap an eventful week.
The visit by Wells will come as the Dolphins prepare to play host to Carolina on Sunday. Martin spent nearly seven hours talking with Wells on Friday in New York about his claims of his harassment by teammates, including Incognito.