Infrastructure Daily News 10.04.11

Transportation Sector

. October 3, Associated Press – (Texas) Freight train hits stopped train in Arlington. A Union Pacific spokeswoman said cleanup may take several days after a freight train rear-ended a stopped train in Arlington, Texas, October 3. The spokeswoman said the cleanup was taking longer than expected along the track near the Arlington-Fort Worth city line. The heavy equipment being used was blocking the highway next to the track, Texas 180. The Arlington Fire Battalion chief saidthree locomotives derailed, and three to five cargo containers were crushed when an eastbound train hit another train that was stopped. Source: http://www.news-journal.com/news/state/freight-train-hits-stopped-train-inarlington/ article_b8952bf0-52dc-5245-af70-67f46a2db58f.html

. October 1, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star – (Virginia) Violations found in truck checks. Fifteen commercial trucks failed federal inspections and 4 were overweight at a checking detail conducted September 30 at Dixon Park in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Officers from several area jurisdictions along with state authorities inspected 51 trucks, which were pulled from the Blue and Gray Parkway, Routes 2/17, and State Route 3 (Kings Highway), according to Fredericksburg police. A Fredericksburg officer said 27 vehicles underwent federal inspections, and 18 were weighed. Of those trucks that underwent federal inspections, 15, including 3 carrying hazardous materials, “were declared out-of-service under federal criteria due to either unsafe equipment or unqualified drivers. Nine summonses were issued for safety or traffic violations,” according to the officer. The operation, conducted from shortly after 8 a.m. until early afternoon, involved officers from Fredericksburg police, Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, Stafford County Fire Marshal, Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and special agents from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Trucks that were issued out-of-service orders had to be repaired at the park or were towed away. Source: http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2011/102011/10012011/655666/mobile

. October 1, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – (Pennsylvania) FAA investigates after airplanes launch from closed runway. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating an incident September 27 during which five airplanes took off from a closed runway at Pittsburgh International Airport in Pittsburgh. In a statement September 30, the FAA said runway 28 Right closed at 4:02 a.m. September 27 after multiple lightning strikes damaged the runway’s lights. Nonetheless, between 7:20 a.m. and 7:28 a.m. that day, air traffic controllers in the Pittsburgh tower cleared the five planes, including three commercial flights and a private jet, to take off, the FAA said. A visual aid in the tower had been damaged and did not display the closed runway information. However, an FAA spokesman said the controllers were aware the runway was closed. All of the flights departed safely. There was no one working on the runway at the time, and no injuries were reported. According to the FAA statement, once the Allegheny County Airport Authority told the tower the runway was closed, controllers immediately stopped the departures. The runway reopened a little later that morning. The airport authority will meet with the FAA to discuss the issue. The episode is not the only one in 2011 involving takeoffs from a closed runway at the Findlay airport. On January 26, a controller cleared a Republic Airlines flight for departure on runway 10C at Pittsburgh International even though the runway had closed 5 hours earlier for maintenance. No one was injured, but controllers were required to take refresher training as a result of the incident. Source: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11274/1178967-147.stm For more stories, see items 6, 7, 8, 32, 36, 45, 47, and 48

Postal and Shipping Sector 2

. October 2, Associated Press – (Florida) Suspicious package probed on Biden brother’s road. On October 1, the FBI investigated a suspicious package containing a powdery substance that was delivered to a home on a Florida street where the U.S. Vice President’s brother lives in Ocean Ridge. Two residents of Ridge Boulevard were taken to the hospital as a precaution after the package was delivered to their home. It was not clear if the Vice President’s brother was affected. The Boynton Beach Fire-Rescue spokesman said the Palm Beach County sheriff’s bomb squad and the county firerescue hazardous materials team responded. The bomb squad determined the package was not explosive. The package was later taken to Miami for FBI lab testing. The spokesman said the U.S. Postal Service and Secret Service were also on the scene. The FBI issued a statement saying, “Preliminary tests indicate the contents of the package were deemed not to be threatening in nature.” Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gl3tOU7DV8- j6mS_SU3Gp8k0zpFA?docId=b2dee8d5bf224168a6f20ba7d262d715

Emergency Services Sector

. October 3, Seacoastonline.com – (National) Airport disaster exercise tests local first responders. To maintain preparedness in case of a commercial airliner crash, emergency responders responded at Portsmouth International Airport in Pease, New Hampshire, October 2 to a simulated disaster exercise that tested communication skills, cooperation between departments, water supplies, and more. Incident command started at the airport, where an in-flight emergency was declared after a hypothetical incoming Boeing 737 carrying 103 people on board reported an engine fire, said an airport operations coordinator. This year, for the first time, the incident was located outside the airport perimeter, as the plane crash was simulated off Nimble Hill Road in Newington. The Newington fire chief said a major component of the exercise was testing new communications channels designed to make it easier to break up responders into different units focused on firefighting, EMS, and search and rescue. The fires gave participants a chance to test the water supplies, which differ vastly between the airport and rural Newington. The airport is lined with hydrants, but in Newington, the water was hauled in from elsewhere, officials said. Units from Newington, Portsmouth, Rochester, Somersworth, Madbury, Exeter, East Kingston, Greenland, New Castle, Newmarket, Stratham, Newfields, McGregor EMS, American Medical Response, and York and Kittery, Maine, all participated. Newington and state police were also involved. Source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20111003-NEWS-110030336

37. October 3, Chicago Sun-Times – (Illinois) Cops: He stole ambulance while drunk. A 36-year-old intoxicated Avondale, Illinois, man with no criminal history was accused of jumping behind the wheel of an ambulance and driving off with it, making it about a mile before crashing into four parked cars, and causing more than $100,000 damage October 2, police said. He was charged with driving while under the influence, criminal damage to government property, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, reckless driving, and failure to carry a driver’s license, according to a police news affairs statement. The incident unfolded about 1:40 a.m. as the Chicago Fire Department ambulance was parked at Norwegian American Hospital. One of two paramedics assigned to the ambulance was inside the hospital while the other was outside in back of the vehicle, according to the Shakespeare District police lieutenant. “He had just shut its doors, and then he hears the transmission shifting gears he said. The paramedic called 911, and police arrested the suspect about a mile and a half north from where it was taken. He was taken back to Norwegian American Hospital in good condition, and was treated for minor injuries. Source: http://www.suntimes.com/7993156-417/cops-he-stole-ambulance-whiledrunk. html For another story, see item 35

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