Infrastructure Daily News 08.02.11

Transportation Sector

. August 1, WPIX 11 New York City – (New Jersey; New York) Bus driver’s dead body went undiscovered at Port Authority for 5 hours. People are wondering how it could take 5 hours for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) to locate a bus that was missing in action July 28. When they did, they found the bus driver slumped over the wheel, dead. Cops said it was around 10:30 a.m. July 28 when the 26-year bus driver dropped off his last passengers at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. He was supposed to drop the bus off in New Jersey. Fast forward 5 hours, NJ Transit officials started to get worried and started making calls. At the same time, the Port Authority called NJ Transit to say they spotted an idling bus that was not where it was supposed to be. A supervisor went and found the driver dead at about 3 p.m. The question is now, why did it take 5 hours for the Port Authority and NJ Transit to notice something was wrong. A NJ Transit spokesperson said they are going to look into the incident. A Port Authority spokesperson said this incident may be exposing cracks in the communication between the two agencies. Cops said the driver’s death is not considered suspicious, though they have not figured out why he died just yet. Source:,0,4231276.story

. July 31, Associated Press – (Florida) Man arrested at Florida airport for knife in carry-on. Authorities arrested a passenger July 31 they said had a knife in his carry-on bag at Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Florida. The man was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. An airport spokeswoman said Transportation Security Administration workers initially detained the wrong passenger and bag. Authorities then reviewed a video showing the previous passenger to pass through the security checkpoint was the one with the knife. That passenger had already boarded his American Airlines flight to Miami en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, but was detained before the flight took off. Source:

. July 30, Associated Press – (International) Guyana plane crash: Caribbean Airlines flight breaks in two, no deaths reported. Flight 523 from New York had just touched down and passengers were applauding the pilot’s landing in Guyana July 30 when something suddenly went wrong. The Boeing 737-800 slid off the end of a rainy runway, crashed through a chain-link fence and broke in half just short of a deep ravine. Yet all 163 people on board survived. Officials were starting to probe the cause of the crash even as they marveled at the lack of fatalities. “We must be the luckiest country and luckiest set of people in the world to escape so lightly,” said Guyana’s health minister, who said more than 30 people were taken to the hospital. Only three of those had to be admitted for a broken leg, bumps, cuts, and bruises. The Caribbean Airlines plane had left John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, July 29 and made a stop in Trinidad before landing in Guyana. The airline said it was carrying 157 passengers and 6 crew members. Authorities temporarily closed the Guyana airport, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded, and delaying dozens of flights. The main terminal reopened July 30 to only a couple of small planes. The crash of Flight 523 is the worst in recent history in Guyana. Source: two_n_913932.html

. July 30, Associated Press – (Pennsylvania) Pa. bridges plagued with problems. Thousands of bridges are rusting, creaking and wearing out in Pennsylvania, but the flow of money to repair them is dwindling, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) said July 30. “We’re getting more and more bridges that are deteriorating,” said PennDOT’s deputy secretary for highway administration. The price tag for all the needed repairs: about $8.7 billion, PennDOT said. The future budget for repairs, with no new funding? About $600 million a year. That means that at projected funding and maintenance levels, the number of structurally deficient bridges in the state will rise, the deputy secretary told the Associated Press. If that happens, drivers may see the bridge problem as more than just a statistic. A national study released earlier this year by the Transportation for America coalition found that 26.5 percent of Pennsylvania’s bridges are structurally deficient — the highest rate in the country, and more than double the national average of 11.5 percent. That translates into 5,906 bridges that need fixing, out of about 25,000 total. PennDOT has closed 42 bridges, and 669 more are posted with warnings. Some carry only light traffic, but others carry thousands of vehicles each day. Source: 073111

. July 29, WTNH 8 New Haven – (Connecticut) Engine fire on Amtrak train in East Haven. An engine fire brought an Amtrak passenger train to a halt in East Haven, Connecticut, July 29. The Amtrak passenger train came to stop behind the Home Depot on Frontage Road around 11 a.m. The fire extinguished itself once the power was down. “They weren’t in any danger at any time,” the East Haven fire chief said. “The engines were out in the front and no smoke ever got into any of the cars, and Amtrak had a lot of people on the scene very quickly.” About 350 passengers were on board. They were given water by the conductor until a rescue engine could arrive and tow them back to New Haven. Amtrak broke with protocol by opening up the doors so people on board could have some ventilation. Source:

Postal and Shipping Sector

. August 1, New York Post – (New York) Postal jewel heists. After more than 25 packages went missing within 6 months, investigators from the Post Office Inspector General’s office and Manhattan District Attorney’s (DA) in New York City placed a tracking device inside a package bound for the district that was designed to send out an alert when the parcel was opened. The sting worked. On July 22, the suspect, 29, of Brooklyn, was sitting inside his car at the post office’s West 43rd Street garage when he opened the parcel and set off the tracking device’s silent alarm, according to a criminal complaint. Investigators pounced on the alleged pilfering postman just as he tried to reseal the package. “I opened the package today because I thought there was jewelry inside of it,” he admitted to investigators, according to the complaint. The suspect was released on $7,500 bail. The U.S. Postal Service said mail theft is a “rare occurrence” among the city’s 8,323 mail carriers. Source: G4QCIH4bK For another story, see item 48

Emergency Services Sector

. July 31, KTLA 5 Los Angeles – (California) Released Calif. inmate killed after hijacking ambulance. Police fatally shot a man who barricaded himself inside a church in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles July 30 after hijacking an ambulance shortly after being released from jail. The suspect was being transported by an ambulance to the hospital after posting bail at Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Lynwood, California. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed the suspect, who was in custody for resisting arrest, had just been released from jail after posting bond, and was being transported to a hospital. While in the ambulance, he managed to punch a paramedic and take control of the vehicle before crashing it into the church. According to witnesses, an officer was stabbed in the arm during an altercation with the suspect . As many as five shots were fired, striking the suspect. The suspect was declared dead at the scene, and the officer was transported to the hospital. Source:

. July 29, Richmond Times-Dispatch – (North Carolina) Office building fire in western North Carolina kills 1 firefighter, injures 10 others. A firefighter in western North Carolina died after rushing into an office building fire that also injured 10 of his colleagues. The 37-year-old captain died July 28 while fighting the fire at the 5-story building in Ashevhille. Firefighters were searching the building when they heard the fire captain call “mayday” on his radio. He was taken to a hospital where he died. The man had been with the fire department for 13 years. Nine of the injured firefighters were taken to a hospital, and three were treated and released. One firefighter was in critical condition July 29 at the Joseph M. Still burn center in Augusta, Georgia. A fire chief said the more than 200 people in the building got out safely. Source: kills-1-firefighter-injures-10-others/2011/07/29/gIQAp9x0gI_story.html

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