Infrastructure Daily News 10.28.11

Transportation Sector

23. October 27, Jersey City Jersey Journal – (New Jersey; New York) Bus heading to Lincoln Tunnel catches fire, halting Route 495 traffic in both directions for an hour. A bus heading into the Lincoln Tunnel on Route 495 in Weehawken, New Jersey, caught on fire October 26 at 10:45 a.m., officials said. “The fire was confined to the engine compartment of the bus, and one woman injured her ankle, reportedly, as she was exiting the bus, but she was transported before our units arrived on the scene,” said the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Battalion chief. Both sides of Route 495 were shut down due to the fire. Traffic resumed around 11:45 a.m., said a Port Authority spokeswoman. Source: index.ssf/2011/10/bus_heading_to_lincoln_tunnel.html

24. October 27, Associated Press – (Missouri) KC school football team bus fire upon after game. Kansas City, Missouri police are investigating after shots were fired at a bus carrying a high school football team. Five shots hit the bus carrying a team from Southwest Early College Campus October 21. The team had just finished playing the Afrikan Centered Education Collegium Campus. The Kansas City Star reports no one from Southwest reported the shooting until October 23. In a police report, the Southwest coach said he did not report the shooting earlier because he thought district administrators were going to report it. The bus company confirmed October 26 that the windows in the bus door were broken, with damage to the bus ceiling and the exterior of the bus. A police spokesman said no suspects have been identified. Source: f600-52e2-ad37-86307c5657bb.html

25. October 27, Central Florida News 13 Orlando – (Florida) LYNX bus slams into school bus, 7 hurt. Investigators said they are trying to figure out why a LYNX bus crashed into the back of a school bus October 27 near Zellwood, Florida, sending four children and three adults to the hospital. The school bus was on its way to Zellwood Elementary School, when it was hit from behind just after 8 a.m. along Orange Blossom Trail, near Plymouth Sorrento Road. According to Orange County school officials, the bus was stopped, with its red lights flashing and stop sign extended, and children were boarding at the time of the crash. All of the injuries were minor. In all, 25 students were on the school bus, including those boarding at the time of the crash. A backup bus arrived before 9 a.m. to take the uninjured students to school. Charges are pending against driver of the LYNX bus, which is part of a system run by the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority. Source: into-school-bus,-7-hurt

26. October 27, Associated Press – (Louisiana) Bridge closed to traffic after barge strike. The Chef Menteur Pass bridge in New Orleans was closed after a barge hit the structure October 26. The U.S. Coast Guard said a cement barge being towed by the Shannan C and Portier I struck the bridge about 11:15 a.m. The accident closed the waterway indefinitely to marine traffic near the bridge on the Industrial Canal. Authorities said damage to the bridge was estimated at about $100,000. Officials said the bridge was stuck in the open position as of the early morning October 27. A Coast Guard spokesman said investigators were working to determine what caused the accident. Source:

27. October 26, Johnson City Press – (Tennessee) Runaway train cars: Wild ride through 3 counties. Norfolk Southern Railway (NFS) officials are investigating how three top-loading train cars rolled onto the company’s main track line in Jonesborough, Tennessee, traveled 10 miles and through numerous crossings before losing momentum in Piney Flats October 26. A NFS public information officer said the cars — called gondolas — were loaded with scrap metal from OmniSource in Jonesborough. “They were bringing in empty rail cars and picking up loaded ones. Those cars, during the switching operation, rolled onto our main line,” she said. The incident began a short time after 9 p.m. and the cars finally stopped in Piney Flats around 9:50 p.m. She said the cars went through “at least two dozen” railroad crossings, some with automatic gates and lights, and some with no warning system. The gondolas traveled into and through Johnson City, through a portion of Carter County, and on over to Piney Flats before stopping. The gondolas stopped on their own and a locomotive caught up to them in Piney Flats. Runaway train cars are highly “unusual,” the officer said, and the incident is under investigation. Source: For more stories, see items 5, 6, 35, and 44

Postal and Shipping Sector

28. October 27, WSAU 550 AM Stevens Point – (Wisconsin) Small mercury spill at UPS in Stevens Point. A United Parcel Service sorting facility was shut down in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, October 26 after a small mercury spill. A worker noticed a few droplets of mercury on a loading dock and notified a supervisor. The area was cleared and two outside companies were called in to clean and decontaminate the area. The company has not said where the mercury came from. The area reopened October 26. Source: point/ For another story, see item 52

Emergency Services Sector

47. October 27, WGAL 8 Lancaster – (Pennsylvania) Police: Theft suspect hangs himself at Lancaster station. A man being held on a theft charge hung himself at the Lancaster City, Pennsylvania police station October 25. He was arrested about 1:15 p.m. October 25 on a theft charge and put in a holding cell at the station, police said. About 3 p.m., he was discovered hanging by his T-shirt in an apparent suicide attempt, police said. Workers cut him down and tried to resuscitate him, police said. Emergency crews also tried to revive him and he was taken to Lancaster General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The camera in his cell was working properly, police said. No one was watching the camera when he hung himself, police said. Lancaster City police, the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office, and the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident. Source:

48. October 26, New York Post – (New York) Yonkers man finds suspected bomb in attic, puts firehouse on lockdown. A Yonkers, New York man found what looked like a land mine in his grandfather’s attic, he then brought it to a local firehouse. The move shut down the firehouse and forced cops to cordon off a busy business area for nearly an hour and a half October 26 while the Westchester bomb squad investigated. “It doesn’t look like it was an operable device,” the police lieutenant said. Source: GnQftGt2rWT2oZM

49. October 26, KCPQ 13 Tacoma – (Washington) Monroe prison fires 3 corrections officers. The Washington state Department of Corrections (DOC) has fired three corrections officers, demoted two others, and several more were reprimanded in connection with their duties at the Monroe Correction Complex (MCC) the evening an officer was killed. All of the officers were under investigation by the DOC. The focus of the investigation was to determine whether there was any misconduct. The officer died January 29 while working in the prison’s chapel. One of the officers reprimanded was a lieutenant cited for failing to notify and account for all staff once the deceased officer had been reported as missing. The lieutenant was demoted to sergeant. Another sergeant was demoted for failing to take action after he became aware an officer was outside his assigned area. The three officers were terminated for being outside their assigned working area during the time the officer was attacked, falsifying a logbook to report the chapel had been cleared, and failing to inspect and secure the chapel. Source: 20111026,0,4558800.story?hpt=us_bn7

50. October 21, Emergency Management – (National) Millions of Californians set preparedness example in earthquake drill. One-fifth of California’s population took a few minutes out of their day October 20 to practice earthquake preparedness as part of the Great California ShakeOut exercise. Since 2008, the drill has grown to include 9.4 million participants and inspired additional states and foreign countries to prepare for earthquakes. This year Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Guam, and British Columbia held ShakeOut drills simultaneously. Meanwhile, insurance and advertising industry representatives from Mexico, China, and Japan were on hand to witness an event in Los Angeles. Schools, businesses, and community centers around the state practiced what to do during an earthquake, while several fire departments practiced search and rescue and actions to take following an earthquake. Organizers noted more that than 6 million students, faculty, and staff participated in the drill. “Significant increases” were also seen among businesses, medical personnel, federal employees, and nonprofit organizations. Source: Preparedness-Example-in-Earthquake-Drill-.html For another story, see item 56

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