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   NEW YORK (AP) — Rescue workers are using back hoes and a bulldozer to search for any victims still buried after an explosion demolished two Manhattan buildings. Meanwhile, questions are swirling about the gas leak that triggered the blast and whether complaints about gas odors had been ignored.
   The explosion Wednesday morning killed at least six people and injured more than 60, with searchers still trying to locate others. At the site on Park Avenue and 116th Street, thermal imaging cameras are being used to identify heat spots — bodies or pockets of fire.
   City officials say searches of the street are complete and no victims have been found there. Workers initially were hampered from fully accessing the building space because of a sinkhole caused by a subsurface water main break.
Published in National News
   KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Two people have died in clashes between protesters and police in the Ukrainian capital Wednesday, according to medics on the site, in a development that will likely escalate Ukraine's two month-long political crisis.
   An Associated Press reporter saw medics declare two people dead near the barricades where police and protesters have confronted each other for three days. Police earlier reported one death, but it was unclear whether that was a separate victim.
   Oleh Bondar, a medic, said the two men died of bullet wounds, but would not specify whether they were rubber or real bullets.
   Police began dismantling barricades near a government district in Kiev on Wednesday morning, but protesters soon pushed them back to their original positions.
   Ukraine's political crisis reached a new phase last week after President Viktor Yanukovych pushed through harsh anti-protest legislation. That prompted street battles at a cordon of riot police and buses near the Ukrainian parliament. Protesters threw rocks and fire bombs and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
   The clashes injured hundreds of protesters and police, but the deaths were likely to stoke anger and cause more people to join the protests and clashes.
Published in National News

KTRS, St. Louis, MO - Snow, and lots of it, fell across the St. Louis area Sunday, wreaking havoc for road crews, firefighters and first responders.

Accumulation totals were in the double-digits in many areas with the depth at Lambert Airport officially measuring 10.8 inches. Downtown measured over a foot. The "precip" may have moved out, but life threatening temperatures have moved in and that is posing an extreme challenge.

A fire in St. Charles and one in Fairview Heights resulted in one death and several injuries yesterday. Fox2 News reports that four firefighters from the St. Charles Fire Department were injured Sunday night battling a house fire in the 600 block of Nancy Avenue. The family residing in the home escaped without injury. The firefighters were transported to St. John’s and Mercy hospitals. Three have been released and one is still receiving treatment. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fox2 also reports the Fairview Heights Fire Department and the Illinois State Fire Marshals Office are investigating a fatal fire that broke out Sunday evening around 7 o'clock. Officials say the fire killed a Fairview Heights woman in a mobile home located in the 300 block of Union Hill Road. The identity of the woman has not been released pending notification of family.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 02 January 2014 15:21

Missouri drivers have safest year since 1940's

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The year 2013 was the safest on Missouri roads in more than six decades.
 
Preliminary figures released Thursday by the Missouri State Highway Patrol show that 741 people died in traffic crashes last year.
 
Patrol Capt. Tim Hull says that's the lowest number since 683 people died on Missouri roads in 1947.
 
Missouri officials have placed an emphasis on reducing traffic fatalities in recent years.
 
The Department of Transportation has installed cables in the medians of some four-lane highways to prevent cross-over crashes and rumble strips on the sides to warn drivers when they are close to running off the road.
 
Since 2005, Missouri traffic fatalities have declined 41 percent.
 
Of those killed in crashes last year, 63 percent were not wearing seatbelts as they were required to do.
 
Published in Local News
Monday, 30 December 2013 02:52

14 dead after suicide bomber on Russian bus

   MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's main investigative agency says a Volgograd bus explosion was caused by a suicide bomber and officials raised the death toll to 14.
   The bombing comes a day after 17 people died in a railway station bombing also blamed on a suicide bomber.
   Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement that Monday's explosion on an electric bus involved a similar bomb, proving a link between the two attacks.
   Public health officials said that at least 14 people were killed in explosion during morning rush hour.
   No one has claimed responsibility for either bombing, but they came a few months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov threatened new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including Olympics in Sochi in February.
Published in National News

   BEIRUT (AP) - Two Syrian pro-opposition groups are claiming that government forces carried out a "poisonous gas" attack near the capital Damascus, leaving dozens of people dead.

   The two groups quote activists as saying that regime forces fired "rockets with poisonous gas heads" in the attack on Wednesday.

   The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the shelling was intense and hit the eastern suburbs of Zamalka, Arbeen and Ein Tarma.

   It says "tens of people" were killed. The Local Coordination Committees said hundreds of people were killed or injured in the shelling. Such different figures are common in the immediate aftermaths of attacks in Syria.

   There was no government comment on the claims and the reports could not be independently confirmed.

Published in National News

   BEIJING (AP) — A strong earthquake in a dry, hilly farming area in western China knocked down power lines and damaged scores of homes early Monday, killing at least 47 people and injuring nearly 300, the local government said.

   The quake hit near the city of Dingxi in Gansu province, a region of mountains, desert and pastureland. Residents described shaking windows and swinging lights but little major damage and little panic. Tremors were felt in the provincial capital of Lanzhou 177 kilometers (110 miles) north, and as far away as Xi'an, 400 kilometers (250 miles) to the east.

   "You could see the chandeliers wobble and the windows vibrating and making noise, but there aren't any cracks in the walls. Shop assistants all poured out onto the streets when the shaking began," said a front desk clerk at the Wuyang Hotel in the Zhang County seat about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the epicenter. The clerk surnamed Bao refrained from identifying herself further, as is common among ordinary Chinese.

   With a population of 26 million, Gansu is one of China's more lightly populated provinces, although the New Jersey-sized area of Dingxi has a greater concentration of farms in rolling hills terraced with fields for crops and fruit trees. Dingxi has a total population of about 2.7 million.

   The deaths and injuries were reported in Min County and other rural southern parts of the municipality, Dingxi Mayor Tang Xiaoming told state broadcaster CCTV. Tang said damage was worst in the counties of Zhang and Min, where scores of homes were damaged and telephone and electricity services knocked out.

   Su Wei, leader of a 120-member rescue team from the paramilitary People's Armed Police, told state broadcaster CCTV that they were on their way to the epicenter, but progress was being slowed by mud and rock slides blocking the road.

   The Chinese Red Cross said it was shipping 200 tents, 1,000 sets of household items, and 2,000 jackets to the area and sending teams from both Lanzhou and Beijing to help with relief work and assess further needs.

   Heavy rain is expected in the area later in the week, raising the need for shelter and increasing the chance of further landslides.

   The government's earthquake monitoring center said the initial quake at 7:45 a.m. (2345 GMT Sunday) was magnitude-6.6 and subsequent tremors included a magnitude-5.6.

   The quake was shallow, which can be more destructive. The center said it struck about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) beneath the surface, while the Gansu provincial earthquake administration said it was just 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) deep.

   The U.S. Geological Survey measured the magnitude of the initial quake as 5.9 and the depth at 10 kilometers (6 miles).

   Initial measurements of an earthquake can vary widely, especially if different monitoring equipment is used.

   Dingxi is about 1,233 kilometers (766 miles) west of Beijing.

   China's worst earthquake in recent years was a 7.9-magnitude temblor that struck the southwestern province of Sichuan in 2008, leaving 90,000 people dead or missing.

Published in National News

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