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WORLD
September 25, 2013 | By Nicholas Soi and Robyn Dixon
NAIROBI, Kenya -- Forensic experts were sifting through the rubble at Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall Wednesday, looking for clues to the identities of the militants who attacked the complex, as shocked Kenyans demanded to know how 10 to 15 gunmen held off security forces for more than three days. A crowd-sourced list of 85 unanswered questions, headed "We The People," was circulating Wednesday on the Web, demanding to know how many hostages died in the siege, what caused three floors to collapse and whether any of the assailants escaped disguised as hostages.
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NATIONAL
March 12, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Karolina Knepaite was making coffee in the kitchen of her fifth-story apartment in East Harlem on Wednesday when it happened. A tremendous blast erupted from a row of residential buildings across the street, blew out her windows, and sent a thick cloud of dark gray smoke through her neighborhood, in a building explosion that has killed at least two people and injured 18 others. When she looked outside, Knepaite told the Los Angeles Times in a phone interview, personal belongings lay scattered in the street.
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WORLD
March 27, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Megumi Sasaki was looking for the white bicycle helmet. Working patiently, a flock of seabirds nagging incessantly overhead, the 36-year-old mother of two sifted through the rubble of the only home she had ever known, taken from her by the devastating wave that swallowed this seaside community on March 11. She had bought the helmet for her daughter Sara's seventh birthday. But she had hidden it in a family car swept away by the tsunami that rolled across northeast Japan on the heels of a killer magnitude 9 quake.
NATIONAL
March 4, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A body was found in the rubble of a natural-gas-fueled explosion that damaged or destroyed 55 units at a New Jersey condominium complex, police said Tuesday evening. Seven utility workers were injured in the Ewing Township explosion and fire Tuesday.  The body was found outside a charred structure, Ewing Police Lt. Ron Lunetta said. He declined to give any details about the victim.  “It's extensive and where it happened is devastating,” Lunetta said of the destruction that left blackened ruins amid a snow-covered neighborhood.  Flames, debris and dark smoke soared into the sky of the Trenton suburb about 12:50 p.m., and there were several 911 calls about a large explosion.
NATIONAL
March 4, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
A body was found in the rubble of a natural-gas-fueled explosion that damaged or destroyed 55 units at a New Jersey condominium complex, police said Tuesday evening. Seven utility workers were injured in the Ewing Township explosion and fire Tuesday.  The body was found outside a charred structure, Ewing Police Lt. Ron Lunetta said. He declined to give any details about the victim.  “It's extensive and where it happened is devastating,” Lunetta said of the destruction that left blackened ruins amid a snow-covered neighborhood.  Flames, debris and dark smoke soared into the sky of the Trenton suburb about 12:50 p.m., and there were several 911 calls about a large explosion.
NATIONAL
November 29, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
Nine days after a tornado destroyed Jacob Montgomery's apartment in Washington, Ill., rescue workers found his 6-month-old pit bull in the wreckage, coaxing him out with hot dogs, Illinois National Guard officials reported. Montgomery, a military police officer with the Illinois National Guard, survived the Nov. 17 disaster but couldn't find his dog Dexter after searching several times in the rubble of what used to be his third-floor apartment, the National Guard reported on Facebook.
WORLD
January 16, 2010 | By Joe Mozingo
About 9 a.m. Friday, Virginia Task Force One, out of Fairfax County, pulled Haitian bellhop Mondesir Luckson from a crumbled elevator shaft in the upscale Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince. Luckson drank some water, ate some food and talked about how he could hear other people trapped in the rubble. At first there were eight voices, he said, then there were only six. An hour later, the search team hauled out American Daniel Woolley, an Internet program manager with the Christian charity group Compassion International, from another elevator shaft.
WORLD
October 2, 2009 | Mark Magnier and Charles McDermid
Hundreds of people remained trapped in collapsed buildings today after two powerful earthquakes struck near Padang on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing at least 529 people. The toll was expected to rise, with Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari saying it could soar into the thousands. "Let's be prepared for the worst," Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in the capital, Jakarta, before boarding a flight for Padang. Thursday's magnitude 6.8 earthquake came a few hours after a magnitude 7.6 one Wednesday, leaving the city of 900,000 reeling.
NATIONAL
January 12, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
After spending two shuttered years living up to its name, the Castaways hotel and casino in Las Vegas went out with a bang. A series of planned explosions reduced the 19-story tower to a 20,000-ton heap of rubble and raised a huge cloud of dust about three miles from the Strip. The Castaways had been closed since changing hands in a bankruptcy proceeding in 2004. The 447-room building opened in 1955 as the Showboat, which hosted professional bowling tour events. It changed hands several times in the 1990s.
WORLD
January 21, 2010 | By Scott Kraft
Gary Elize was gloomily looking for one last body Wednesday in the flattened apartment where his brother and sister-in-law had died: that of their 5-year-old child. He said he spotted the boy's leg in the rubble and put on a pair of surgical gloves, preparing to extract it. Then, the leg moved. Elize told of how he and several friends dug furiously in the steamy heat and unearthed Monley Elize -- dirt-caked, dehydrated, emaciated and scuffed up, but otherwise unhurt. Monley's first words were whispered.
NATIONAL
November 29, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
Nine days after a tornado destroyed Jacob Montgomery's apartment in Washington, Ill., rescue workers found his 6-month-old pit bull in the wreckage, coaxing him out with hot dogs, Illinois National Guard officials reported. Montgomery, a military police officer with the Illinois National Guard, survived the Nov. 17 disaster but couldn't find his dog Dexter after searching several times in the rubble of what used to be his third-floor apartment, the National Guard reported on Facebook.
WORLD
September 25, 2013 | By Nicholas Soi and Robyn Dixon
NAIROBI, Kenya -- Forensic experts were sifting through the rubble at Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall Wednesday, looking for clues to the identities of the militants who attacked the complex, as shocked Kenyans demanded to know how 10 to 15 gunmen held off security forces for more than three days. A crowd-sourced list of 85 unanswered questions, headed "We The People," was circulating Wednesday on the Web, demanding to know how many hostages died in the siege, what caused three floors to collapse and whether any of the assailants escaped disguised as hostages.
SCIENCE
September 25, 2013 | By Amina Khan
NASA engineers have built a device that uses radar to detect heartbeats in the rubble of collapsed buildings, with technology typically used to explore other planets. The FINDER device, developed with the Department of Homeland Security, could help search-and-rescue teams find survivors trapped underneath the wreckage - even when those victims can't call for help.  Identifying people who are still alive in a collapsed building is a major challenge for urban rescue missions, said Jim Lux, task manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory for FINDER (short for Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2013 | Angel Jennings and Richard Winton
For 10 hours, crews combed the rubble in a charred auto mechanic shop near Compton, looking for a mother and her 12-year-old daughter who disappeared in a pre-dawn fire Monday. A search-and-rescue team pushed through "pack-rat-like" conditions inside -- carrying out piles of debris and using a plow truck to dig out of a mound of rubbish taller than the firefighters, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Scott Miller said. After numerous trips into the building with a cadaver dog, authorities confirmed that the bodies of a woman and a girl had been discovered.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2013 | By Angel Jennings and Richard Winton
Two bodies have been discovered in the charred rubble of a  Compton-area auto mechanic's shop that caught fire early Monday, authorities said. The discovery came after authorities used a cadaver dog to search the building in the 4300 block of East Compton Boulevard for a 42-year-old mother and her 12-year-old daughter who went missing during the two-alarm blaze, which was reported at about 2 a.m. Four family members - a father and three children - were able to escape the fire, which had engulfed the shop and a second-level loft by the time firefighters arrived.
WORLD
September 8, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
HOMS, Syria - The voices of children emanate from the orderly confines of the Martyr Mohammad Hawa School. Some youths tend to cornstalks in a makeshift garden. A veiled mother lingers in the front doorway with her young daughter. As the midday heat subsides, there's a noticeable burst of energy on the streets outside. But it's not children leaving class for the day. The kids working the garden are living at the school. The mother and child are desperate for help. Some extra food?
WORLD
March 20, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
An 80-year-old woman and her 16-year-old grandson were rescued Sunday after being buried under rubble for nine days after the worst recorded earthquake in Japanese history and a massive tsunami toppled their home. The two were trapped in their kitchen after the magnitude 9 temblor struck March 11 and survived by wrapping themselves in towels and eating yogurt and drinking, water, milk and Coke, Japanese news reports said. Sumi Abe had been unable to free herself after her legs were wedged under the refrigerator.
WORLD
June 9, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times
QUSAIR, Syria - A line of unmarked cars and pickup trucks ferried weary Hezbollah fighters back to Lebanon on Sunday as stunned residents began returning to this war-ravaged town, in Syrian government control again after a fierce three-week battle that ended last week. Syrian officials staged a boisterous victory rally amid the rubble, but the town they captured bore little resemblance to the one they lost to rebel forces more than a year ago. Every building within several blocks of the town's center appeared to have been badly damaged or destroyed.
NATIONAL
June 5, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
At least one woman was killed and more victims were feared dead after a vacant Philadelphia building collapsed onto a Salvation Army store as it was being demolished Wednesday. Mayor James Nutter was expected to hold an 11 p.m. news conference about the collapse, which killed a 35-year-old woman and hurt at least 13 other people. At least one missing man, Borbor Davis, was also feared dead. A WPVI-TV reporter said she was with the man's wife when the woman reportedly received a phone call from officials confirming his death.
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