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Accidental Deaths

June 24, 2011 | David Lazarus
We've all heard about — and many of us have experienced — unexpected charges showing up on phone bills. But what about fees siphoned from your bank account? What about those fees being taken by an affiliate of your bank? And what can you do when your bank won't help because it claims you gave "phone authorization" for something like accidental death insurance, even though you never signed any paperwork? That's the situation Sumati Rao, 62, of Rancho Palos Verdes found herself in after discovering she'd been charged $20 a month for about two years for accidental death coverage provided by a company called Level AD Insurance.
May 16, 2011 | Chicago Tribune
Flames swept through a three-floor apartment building in Illinois early Sunday, killing six, injuring 12 and forcing some residents to leap from their windows to escape, authorities said. One person escaped by climbing hand over hand along a cable before dropping to the ground. Firefighters rescued at least five people from the building in Aurora, about 40 miles west of Chicago, authorities said. A 2-year-old girl was in critical condition at Loyola University Medical Center's burn unit.
November 23, 2010 | Mike Reicher
After five days of surfing and Mexican food, the three buddies were flying home to the South Bay from Scorpion Bay, the world-class surf break on the Baja Peninsula. They had eaten a roasted pig with other travelers, watched an off-road truck race and enjoyed the sun. But on the last leg of their journey home, the trip took a tragic turn. Veteran pilot and surfer Chuck Chambers radioed air traffic controllers that he was diverting his four-seat plane to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana because it was low on fuel.
November 1, 2010 | By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
U.S. and allied forces have failed to reduce the number of civilian fatalities caused by them in Afghanistan despite a two-year effort by American commanders, internal U.S. military statistics show. Civilian deaths have risen 11% from 144 at this time last year to 160 in 2010. The increase has coincided with the rising number of incidents in which U.S. and NATO attack helicopters mistakenly fired on Afghans who turned out to be civilians, the previously unreleased statistics show.
July 30, 2010
A foolish housekeeping mistake ended up costing the life of a beloved giant panda at the Jinan Zoo in China last week. Zoo staff were disinfecting an area that shared a ventilation system with the enclosure for Quan Quan , a 21-year-old panda that had given birth to seven cubs, earning her the title of "heroic mother." Toxic fumes from the cleaning job caused her lungs to collapse. Tragic accidents can befall animals in any setting — at a zoo, in a forest. But there is a special responsibility due to animals when humans hold them in captivity.
April 12, 2010 | By Megan K. Stack
The body of their president was finishing a long journey home Sunday, and by the tens of thousands, Poles poured into the streets of a paralyzed capital to watch it pass. It seemed as if nobody could bear to sit at home, as if they had to take some physical part in a national tragedy that happened in a place that was braided into the Polish psyche -- and yet lay distant, on the far side of a geographic border and an ideological boundary. The remains of President Lech Kaczynski were recovered from the site of the plane crash in Russia that killed 96 people Saturday, including many top Polish officials and leading figures from the nation's recent history.
March 17, 2010 | By Andrew Blankstein
The California attorney general's office said Wednesday that it has arrested a suspect in an alleged prescription drug ring that Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said provided illegal drugs to actor Corey Haim. Haim was found unresponsive last week at his mother's apartment. He later died at a hospital in what Los Angeles Police Department officials said appeared to be an accidental overdose. Brown announced Friday that his office was investigating a "massive" drug ring that provided prescriptions for Haim.
March 13, 2010 | By Kim Christensen
A year before a UCLA staff research assistant was fatally burned in a lab fire, a graduate student was seriously injured in a similar accident that university officials failed to report to state regulators, records released Friday show. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health this week fined UCLA $23,900 for the earlier incident, which occurred in November 2007 -- 13 months before Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji suffered burns that took her life and prompted a campuswide review of lab safety.
February 28, 2010 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Carol J. Williams and Robert Faturechi
One car barreled through a stop sign, struck a tree and landed upside down in a Texas lake, drowning four people. Another tore across an Indiana street and crashed into a jewelry store. A third raced at an estimated 100 mph on a San Bernardino County street before striking a phone pole, killing the owner of a sushi restaurant. At least 56 people have died in U.S. traffic accidents in which sudden unintended acceleration of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles has been alleged, according to a Times review of public records and interviews with authorities.
February 28, 2010 | By Seema Mehta
Two drivers who struck a 13-year-old girl who was crossing Sunset Boulevard on her way to catch her school bus have not been charged in her death, Los Angeles police announced. The preliminary investigation into the girl's Friday morning death found that it was a tragic accident rather than a hit-and-run crime, as was initially believed, said Los Angeles Police Capt. Nancy Lauer. "At this point, we have not arrested nor have we booked either of the drivers," she said. "It appears to be a horrible accident."
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