Infrastructure Daily News 04.26.11

Transportation Sector

. April 25, Wall Street Journal – (Louisiana) Pilot lapses suspected after fire warning. Pilots of a United Airlines jet apparently did not follow proper procedures and inadvertently disabled some vital electrical systems April 4 after they received a fire warning and started an emergency return to New Orleans, Louisiana, according to people familiar with the probe. A team of safety experts led by the National Transportation Safety Board tentatively concluded that after skipping over a portion of a checklist, the pilots of the Airbus A320 failed to restore power to some equipment, making it more difficult to carry out the emergency landing, officials said. Investigators have not found any signs of fire or evidence of smoke. They suspect there may have been a faulty fire-warning sensor in the cargo hold. United has since revised a portion of the emergency checklist to help clarify how pilots should deal with electrical malfunctions, officials said. Source: l?mod=googlenews_wsj

. April 25, KRGV 5 Weslaco – (Texas) Improvised explosive device discovered on an overpass in Brownsville. Police in Brownsville, Texas, said a passerby on the southbound side of Highway 77 noticed what looked like a grenade near the FM 1732 overpass and alerted authorities around 5 p.m. April 24. The improvised explosive device was disarmed by a bomb squad using a robot. No one was hurt. Parts of Highway 77 were closed for several hours. Police continue to investigate. Source: Discovered-On-An/9r7k8ch2E0GJqEX_-YhSwQ.cspx

. April 25, CNN – (Missouri) Director: St. Louis airport’s recovery ‘miraculous’ after tornado. The main airport in St. Louis, Missouri, will operate at 90 percent capacity April 25, less than 3 days after a powerful tornado tore through the facility, the airport’s director said. But restoration efforts are far from over at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, where the April 22 storm shattered windows in at least five of the main terminal’s arching front facades, ripped off part of a roof, damaged jet gas lines, and wreaked havoc on parking lots and vehicles. “It obviously just took a couple of minutes for the damage to occur,” the airport director said. “It will take weeks, maybe a couple of months, to clean up all of it.” Still, she said efforts to get the facility up and running again have been “miraculous.” Airport officials are still working to help American Airlines and Cape Air restore full service by April 26, the director said. Those carriers were among the hardest hit after the storm, which devastated the airport’s C concourse. The tornado damaged 750 homes near the airport, Missouri’s governor said. And preliminary National Weather Service estimates show the tornado packed winds between 111 and 165 miles per hour when it hit the airport. The facility’s design — and the way people responded to warnings — played a key role to the airport’s survival, the director said. “It is a historic building, and it’s built very, very well. I think that had a part to do with it, but we also had very early warnings,” she said. Sirens sounded, she said, and police and firefighters helped make sure people inside the airport took shelter. Besides damage to homes and the airport, the strong winds also hit businesses and tore through the roof of a Ferguson, Missouri church, where dozens had gathered. Officials have said inspections of buildings will take several days and hauling off debris will take longer. Elsewhere in Missouri, storms over the weekend left behind water on the runways at a regional airport, forcing authorities to shut down the facility temporarily. The Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, located about 100 miles south of St. Louis, has been shut down since April 24, the administrative coordinator said. Crews were activating a pumping system to remove the standing water April 25, she said, but authorities had not determined when the airport would reopen. Source:

. April 24, Associated Press – (Oklahoma) Heavy rain leads to closure of eastern Okla. roads. Authorities said several eastern Oklahoma roads have been closed because of high water. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said April 24 that Oklahoma Highway 16 was closed at Dentonville Road and near Beggs in northern Okmulgee County. Troopers also reported that U.S. 75-alternate, which runs through Beggs, was shut down. In the eastern part of the county, U.S. 62 east of Morris was closed because of high water. Severe thunderstorms spawned heavy rain in the state April 24, causing flooding problems in eastern Oklahoma. Authorities said motorists had to be rescued when their vehicles were swept off a bridge into a creek in LeFlore County. Source: of-eastern-Okla-roads-1350728.php

. April 24, Reuters – (International) Man who tried to hijack Paris-Rome Alitalia flight is overpowered. A man with a knife tried to hijack an Alitalia flight from Paris, France, to Rome, Italy, April 24, demanding it be flown to Libya, but he was quickly overpowered and arrested when the plane landed, officials and witnesses said. Witnesses said the man put a small knife to the throat of a female flight attendant and held her for a few minutes. “The man grabbed the stewardess from behind her back and pointed the knife. She was in difficulty and tried to turn around,” a passenger said. The Italian media said police identified the man as a 48-year-old citizen of Kazakhstan who worked in Paris. A statement from Alitalia airlines said the man had “assaulted a flight attendant and asked that the plane be taken to Tripoli.” Other attendants on flight AZ329 then overpowered the man, who was “clearly agitated” and the captain radioed police, who arrested the man when the plane landed, the statement said. The flight attendant was taken to a first aid station at Rome airport for treatment of minor injuries. Source: _n_853057.html For more stories, see items 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 16, 41, 50, and 59

Postal and Shipping Sector

. April 24, St.Louis Post-Dispatch – (Missouri) Former Madison County man admits mailing fake anthrax threat. A 67-year-old man plead guilty April 22 to two federal crimes and admitted mailing a letter to a family that contained a white powder and threats about anthrax, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The June 19, 2010 letter contained threats like, “Your hands are on fire,” “You now have adecease (sic),” and “Go to the hospital now,” according to the indictment. The man, who lived in Livingston, Missouri at the time, mailed the letter to a family in the same town, prosecutors said. He used “food ingredients to mimic the anthrax,” prosecutors said. They did not give a motive. The man could face up to 10 years in prison at his sentencing August 8 on the two charges of mailing a threatening communication, and making a false threat. Source: 11e0-a4ff-001a4bcf6878.html

. April 23, KSDK 5 St. Louis – (Missouri) Explosion at Doe Run post office. An explosion leveled the post office in St. Francois County, Missouri, April 23. No one was hurt in the explosion, which occurred at 12:45 a.m. A powerful storm passed through the area at the time of the blast. A car parked in front of the building was also destroyed. The Missouri Fire Marshal’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Postal Service are investigating but have not determined the cause of the explosion. Doe Run is located 90 minutes south of St. Louis. Source:

. April 23, Middletown Times Herald-Record – (New York) Suspect charged in breakin, thefts from Spring Glen post office. A man broke into the Spring Glen, New York post office April 22 and left with a load of packages and postal equipment, state police said. A passing jogger saw the man drive away around 5:15 a.m. and gave state police investigators a description of the vehicle, a state police captain said. State police and U.S. Postal Inspectors soon discovered a matching vehicle. Investigators said they located mail bags stashed nearby the location of the matching vehicle, and the suspect at his residence. Police have charged him with third-degree burglary, a felony. He was arraigned in Wawarsing Town Court and sent to Ulster County Jail without bail. Source: /-1/SITEMAP

Emergency Services Sector

. April 25, East Liverpool Review – (Ohio; West Virginia) Area hazmat team is official. There is now a regional hazardous materials response team under the guidance of East Liverpool Fire Department in Ohio. The agreements signed April 20 were between the city and departments across the river including the Chester, Lawrenceville, New Manchester, and Newell volunteer fire departments. “We want to start the process and get a regional hazmat team that will ultimately help better protect East Liverpool and the four jurisdictions in West Virginia,” the East Liverpool fire chief said. Right now, the closest hazmat team for northern Hancock County is more than an hour away in Wheeling, West Virginia he said. The regional team would significantly cut down the response time, he added. The regional team should not cost the city anything, and it would likely pave the way for more grant funding for equipment and training, the fire chief said. A total of 8 to 12 firefighters from the 4 other departments will be a part of the regional team along with East Liverpool firefighters. Source: is-official.html?nav=5008

. April 24, Associated Press – (California) LA police helicopter shot; man, 18, arrested. A man shot and damaged a Los Angeles, California police helicopter April 24 and forced it to make an emergency landing at a San Fernando Valley airport before he was subdued by family members and arrested, authorities said. The man was firing shots at random with a rifle early in the morning, then turned his fire toward the responding police helicopter and hit the fuel tank, the assistant chief said. The helicopter landed safely at Van Nuys Airport, and no officers were hurt. “This situation could have easily turned tragic, and we were just fortunate that the aircraft was able to land safely without injury to the officers or the public,” he told the Los Angeles Times. An 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer, a detective told City News Service. Jail records showed he was being held without bail at Van Nuys Jail. Police conducted a search for more than 7 hours and even fired tear gas into an evacuated apartment building after reports of a possible second gunman, but no one was found and the search was called off. Residents returned to the apartment building after waiting in a nearby school auditorium. Source: arrested-1350741.php

. April 24, Daily News of Los Angeles – (California) LA fire chief says fire truck cutback will aid EMS. On April 22, bracing for a $54 million cut in the next budget, the Los Angeles, California fire chief announced a new plan to reduce the number of fire engines in service while boosting the city’s ability to respond to medical emergencies. He said the new plan, detailed in a 14-page memo, brings an end to the rolling brownouts at fire stations around the city, but gives the department flexibility to respond to emergencies. The plan will be phased in beginning in June and take full effect by July 5. Once implemented, it will eliminate one division and two battalion offices; end service by 11 engine companies and 7 light forces; upgrade 10 fire companies to paramedic companies; and open an emergency medical service battalion office. It eliminates the staff assistant positions from seven battalion companies and renames the remaining staff assistants as emergency incident technicians. The changes are partly to reflect the fact that demand for fire service is secondary to the medical calls the department receives. Officials have said more than 80 percent of its calls are for medical care. Source: cutback-will-aid-EMS/

Leave a Reply