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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Sunday
Mar292015

Second Body Recovered from New York City Building Collapse Site

FDNY(NEW YORK) --  A second body was found Sunday at the site of a New York City building explosion and collapse, a city official told ABC News, shortly after New York City Police Department said the searchers looking for two people believed to be missing found a first body.

Identification of the body was pending, said the NYPD. The explosion, which happened Thursday afternoon, left 22 people injured and two missing, city officials have said.

Some containers of debris from the site have been taken to a "secure" undisclosed location for additional examination if necessary -- either to look for more evidence or remains, a city official directly involved in the operation said Sunday.

A total of 730 cubic yards of debris has been sifted twice on-site at this point, and put into containers and removed, the official said.

Operations are continuing at the site in the East Village section of the city, and there could be an update on developments Sunday evening, the official said.

Cleanup of the site was scheduled to take up to a week, but looks like it could be done by Tuesday, given the current weather and pace of operations, the official said.

Searchers have encountered sections of debris that are still smoldering -- "hot spots" -- and they've had to be extinguished, according to the official.

They are hoping to get at least partial access to the restaurant area of the building today, although the above-ground pile of debris will not be cleared Sunday, the official said.


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Sunday
Mar292015

Minneapolis Police Searching for Missing College Student

Minneapolis Police Department(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Authorities in Minneapolis are searching for a missing University of Minnesota student.

Jennifer Houle was last seen Friday at a bar in the Dinkytown area of Minneapolis between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., the Minneapolis Police Department said. Her purse was then found nearby, police said.

Houle, 22, is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Her Pi Phi chapter posted on Facebook Saturday: "We need all the help we can get to find this warm-hearted, beautiful person."

According to police, Houle stands at 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. She has long, blond hair and was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, green blouse, black leggings and black boots, police said.

 



Anyone with information is asked to contact the police.

 


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Sunday
Mar292015

Coney Island Roller Coaster Gets Stuck on Opening Day

Shawn Waite/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Some Coney Island visitors in New York City had a scarier roller coaster ride than they expected Sunday when the Cyclone at Luna Park got stuck, stranding passengers high in the air.

The coaster stalled as it was going up, the New York Police Department said. Passengers were then evacuated safely, according to a Luna Park official.

No injuries were reported according to the NYPD and Luna Park. Ten to 12 people were on the ride at the time, Luna Park said.

Sunday was Luna Park's opening day of the season. The Cyclone got stuck on its second ride, according to Angie Morris, brand manager for Luna Park.

 



"Safety is the number one priority for our guests at Luna Park. This was an isolated issue and it is quickly being resolved," Morris said in a statement.

The ride will reopen "after proper inspection," the statement added.

 


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Sunday
Mar292015

Trooper Wounded in Eric Frein Ambush Wants to Return to PA Police

ABC News(DUNMORE, Pa.) -- A Pennsylvania state trooper critically injured in a sniper attack six month ago by accused cop killer Eric Frein said Saturday he feels he will "eventually be able to go back" to his old job.

On Sept. 12, 2014, state trooper Alex Douglass was shot in the pelvis during Frein's ambush, which took place during a late-night shift change at the State Police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania.

Douglass has undergone 16 surgeries and has another one scheduled in April, he told ABC News affiliate WNEP-TV Saturday at a road naming ceremony for Cpl. Bryon Dickson, who died in the attack.

"I feel good," Douglass said to WNEP-TV. "I'm getting better and now I'm off the crutches. Our department was tremendous during this horrific tragedy. That's what really kept me motivated and just looking on into the future."

And Douglass' future could include returning to the state police.

"I don't want anything to hold me back," Douglass said, according to WNEP-TV. "It will be an honor to go back to the Pennsylvania State Police."

Frein was captured in October after a 48-day manhunt. At times, 1,000 officers searched the Pocono Mountains for Frein, who police said had planned his attack and hiding for years.


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Sunday
Mar292015

Montana Fire Grows, Forces Brief Evacuation of Ski Lodge

muangsatun/iStock/Thinkstock(RED LODGE, Mont.) -- A wind driven wildfire forced the short-term evacuation of hundreds of people at a ski lodge in southern Montana.

The fire began Saturday on open private land, but it's now burning in the Custer National Forest, where the Red Mountain ski area is located.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jeff Gildehaus told ABC News early Sunday the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but dry grass is fueling the blaze.

“No injuries or damage reported to property. It did burn around six homes in the area but none of the homes were damaged by the fire.,” he said.

The ski area evacuation order was lifted on Sunday.

There have been no reports of injuries or damage to structures as a result of the fire.


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Sunday
Mar292015

Possibility of Criminal Charges in New York City Building Collapse Growing

FDNY(NEW YORK) -- As searchers and cadaver dogs sift through the rubble looking for victims and evidence, New York City officials tell ABC News that the possibility is growing that criminal charges could be filed as a result of the blast and building collapse in the East Village.

Investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office are now fully engaged, according to a law-enforcement source, as opposed to simply "monitoring" the investigation -- which would be the standard procedure.

"They are on-site and they've given instructions" about what type of information may or may not be released by other city agencies, the source said.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office is not commenting at this point.

Two city officials tell ABC News investigators are now pursuing reports from tenants that they were told by building management to report gas problems to the landlord and not the energy company, Con Edison, or to 911.

Some tenants have told investigators that they were given those instructions as late as Thursday morning -- just before Con Ed inspectors were scheduled to examine plumbing in the basement.

Investigators have not yet confirmed these reports. But if they are found to be accurate, it could prove to be critical. Investigators and prosecutors are trying to determine whether the piping work done in the basement was legal and done appropriately, or if the building's owners knew they were violating the city code and, thus, might be jeopardizing the safety of people in and around the building.

Specific instructions to tenants that they should not call the city or the utility could be a key indicator that someone knew the gas piping might not be up to code, the officials said.

It is these reports, the officials said, that prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to be so emphatic in the last couple of days as he reminded people during his briefings that gas odors must be reported immediately to the city or the utility. He stressed that no one should rely on simply calling their landlord.

The owner of the ground-floor restaurant where the explosion occurred called the landlord to report the gas leak Thursday, and it is that leak that is believed to be the cause of the blast.

Though the mayor has cautioned that the cleanup and probe will take time, investigators want to get into the basement as soon as they can to examine the gas pipes. They believe those pipes will provide the most crucial evidence.

One body was recovered on Sunday, an official confirmed to ABC News. A total of 22 people were injured in the explosion and collapse.



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Saturday
Mar282015

21 Injured When Metro Rail Train Collides With Car in Los Angeles

Johnny Stevens(LOS ANGELES) -- At least 21 people were injured Saturday after a Metro rail train collided with a car in downtown Los Angeles, next to the University of Southern California campus, officials said.

The driver of the car, a 21-year-old USC student, was hospitalized in critical condition, reports ABC station KABC-TV.

The train operator was hospitalized and later released.

The conditions of the remaining people weren't immediately released.

A Metro spokesperson said the car was traveling in the same direction as the train on Exposition Boulevard and was trying to make an improper left turn into the USC campus when the collision occurred.

The cause of the crash was under investigation, officials said.


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Saturday
Mar282015

Seven Injured, Three Critically, in Panama City Beach Shooting 

Alex_Schmidt/iStock/Thinkstock(PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla.) -- Three college students on spring break who were among seven people wounded in a shooting early Saturday at a home in Panama City Beach, Florida were "innocent victims," police said.

Police arrested the shooting suspect, David Jamichael Daniels, 22, of Mobile, Alabama, and charged him with seven counts of attempted murder. The Bay County Sheriff's Office said witnesses helped identify him.

Three people were in critical condition following the shooting, the sheriff's office said. Three others were in stable condition and one victim was in surgery, officials said.

Among the victims were three students from Alabama A&M University visiting Panama City Beach for spring break, the sheriff's office said.

The university identified the three as Kearria Freed, 20, who was in critical condition; Kelli Regina Curry, 20, who was in stable condition; and, Annesia Powell, 19, who was undergoing surgery.

The university said it was told the three students were "innocent victims in the wrong place" by a Bay County investigator.

Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen said in a news conference Saturday afternoon that he wasn't surprised by the shooting.

"We have drunk people under the influence with guns and no respect for themselves, others, and - most of all - authority," he said. "We have a recipe for disaster."

Six firearm-related calls were reported in the area on Friday night, according to the sheriff's office. In another incident, a gun discharged at a condo, officials said, and four additional firearms were seized in drug-related cases.


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Saturday
Mar282015

Decorated Boston Police Officer in Coma After 'Unprovoked' Shooting

ABC News(BOSTON) -- A police officer decorated for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing remains in critical condition in a medically-induced coma after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop, the city's police commissioner said Saturday.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans called the shooting of officer John Moynihan on Friday night "unprovoked" during a news conference on Saturday. Moynihan and five other officers had pulled over a driver in Roxbury, Massachusetts, when the driver began firing at the officers, according to police.

The officers hadn't drawn their guns when the driver began shooting, said Evans. As the officers chased after him, the driver continued to fire, emptying his revolver as he ran.

The officers later shot the driver, who died on scene, police said. Evans identified him as 41-year-old Angelo West, adding that he had a violent criminal past.

Moynihan, 34, was shot underneath his eye and the bullet became lodged behind his ear, Evans said.

"We're hoping and praying there's no further damage," he said.

Evans said video shows the officers approaching the vehicle very "low key." The video then shows the suspect pointing his gun at the officers' faces.

Police hoped to release the video soon in order for the department to be "as transparent as possible" in its investigation, Evans said.

"I can't say enough about the great work we did out there," he added.

Two other suspects were in custody "on unrelated matters," police said.

Moynihan, a six-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, was one of seven officers who came to the aid of MBTA Officer Richard Donohue during the Watertown, Massachusetts, shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers in 2013 shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston. He was honored at the "Top Cops" ceremony at the White House in 2014.

After Friday's shooting, Donohue tweeted his best wishes for Moynihan.

 

 


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Saturday
Mar282015

Girl, 4, Found Alone on Philadelphia Bus After Seeking Slushie

WPVI-TV(PHILADELPHIA) -- A four-year-old girl in Pennsylvania couldn’t wait to get her hands on her favorite treat – a slushie -- so she headed out on her own for an overnight adventure.

The girl, sporting a purple coat and snow boots, ended up alone on a SEPTA bus in Northeast Philadelphia around 3 a.m. on Friday after a man flagged down the bus, according to a report by ABC News station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

“Got to be kidding me! At this time, at 3 o’clock in the morning,” the bus driver, Harlan Jenifer, told WPVI-TV. “She’s a small little thing. It kind of just shocked me.”

Jenifer told the television station he called police while passengers on board the bus comforted the four-year-old.

“All I want is a slushie, that’s all she said,” Jenifer told WPVI-TV.

The girl was eventually taken home to her parents, who said this was Annabelle’s first and last solo adventure. The family has since reconfigured the locks on the home.

“There are no words, he saved my daughter’s life,” her mother, Jaclyn Mager, told WPVI-TV.


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