CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2009 |
On a dull Wilmington corner, where big rigs shudder by, Pat Johnson stands in protest. A homemade sign, black and blue marker stenciled on white poster board, explains: "In loving memory of my husband Charles Johnson who died at UP from neglect." Johnson is unsure what, if anything, the public vigils she and her two daughters keep outside the Union Pacific rail yard will do. Offer closure, maybe. Acknowledgment of what she and her daughters have lost. Time to grieve.
January 1, 2009 |
The gunk on the water had thinned to a gray scrim in front of Mike Thomas' riverfront home -- a small sign of progress one week after one of the worst coal ash spills in American history. But as Thomas drove along the bluff over the Emory River, he pointed to big piles of sludgy, dark gray ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, that had been accidentally disgorged by the nearby electricity plant. The heaps jutted from the water's surface like ugly volcanic islands.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2008 |
A judge Tuesday approved a $48-million jury award to a former Union Pacific Railroad employee who was left a quadriplegic after a work-related car accident last year. The Los Angeles County Superior Court jury award to Eric Doi last month was the largest verdict ever to a plaintiff under the federal law that covers railroad workers injured on the job. Railroads and their employees are not covered by state worker's compensation laws.
July 28, 2008 |
A recently hired plumber was sent into the bowels of the Orleans hotel and casino last year to unplug a sewer pipe in a large grease trap -- an assignment that would be his last. The hotel had no permit or training program to allow plumber Richard Luzier to enter a confined space where he might inhale poisonous sewer gas. He had no breathing apparatus or emergency rescue harness -- all routine precautions. Luzier fell 12 feet and landed face down in fatty sewage.
February 19, 2008 |
Thunderous explosions rocked an oil refinery in Big Spring, injuring four workers and shaking buildings miles away. The blast at Alon USA Energy Inc. sent black smoke billowing and forced the closure of schools and an interstate. Fires caused by the blast were under control but still burning in the afternoon. The company was waiting for access to the site to investigate the cause of the explosion. The refinery was shut down. One employee was hospitalized for burns, and the others were treated and released, said company spokesman Blake Lewis.
February 15, 2008 |
Firefighters finally doused the last flames of a deadly sugar refinery blast, a week after the Port Wentworth refinery ignited. An eighth victim badly burned in the explosion died in a hospital. At least one worker remained missing. Sugar dust is thought to be the cause of the Feb. 7 blast. Emergency crews were able to snuff out the fire at the plant's main building, but the blaze continued at the refinery's 80-foot silos, where thick masses of molten sugar still smoldered.
February 9, 2008 |
Volatile dust was blamed Friday in an explosion that leveled a sugar refinery, and crews pulled four bodies from tunnels beneath the mangled mass of metal and beams. At least four people known to be inside when the explosion occurred were missing. Savannah Police Sgt. Mike Wilson said no attempts would be made to search for the dead until today, when heavy equipment will be brought in to remove debris. Search efforts were slowed by the instability of what was left of the Imperial Sugar Co.
February 8, 2008 |
An explosion and fire at a sprawling sugar refinery rattled the Savannah suburb of Port Wentworth, severely injuring dozens of people and sending authorities into a nearby river to search for possible victims, officials said. No deaths were immediately reported, and there was no word on what caused the blast at the Imperial Sugar factory, officials said. As many as 100 people may have been injured in the blast.
January 4, 2008 |
Doctors say they've never seen anything like it: A window washer who fell 47 stories from the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper is now awake, talking to his family and expected to walk again. Alcides Moreno, 37, plummeted almost 500 feet in a Dec. 7 scaffolding collapse that killed his brother. Somehow Moreno lived, and doctors at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center announced Thursday that his recovery has been astonishing. He has movement in all his limbs.
December 20, 2007 |
Explosions and fires at a chemical plant Wednesday killed four people, injured at least 14 and sent debris flying several stories into the air, fire officials and witnesses said. It was not clear what caused the explosions about 1:30 p.m. at the T2 Laboratories Inc. plant, which makes solvents and fuel additives, said Tom Francis, a fire rescue spokesman. Everyone at the plant was accounted for by Wednesday evening. Hospitals reported one patient in critical condition, three fair and five good.