Review Category : National News

Driver Hailed a Hero After Rescuing Kids from Burning School Bus

KABC-TV(RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif.) — A “hero” school bus driver in California directed students to exit a yellow bus just in the nick of time before it exploded in flames, authorities said.

The bus was dropping off students at Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School on Friday when the fire started around 8:15 a.m., according to Steve Concialdi, captain of the Orange County Fire Authority.

The school, in Rancho Santa Margarita, said the “engine of the empty school bus spewed smoke and flames,” according to its website.

The bus driver, whose name was not disclosed, noticed the engine was on fire, Concialdi said.

There were 35 students on board from the 7th and 8th grade, ages 12 to 14 years.

“[She] did an excellent job of getting all the students off safely. No one was injured. There were three kids who were emotionally distraught, who were treated by paramedics and released back to the school and parents. No one was transported to the hospital,” Concialdi said, adding that the driver was a “hero.”

Concialdi, who said the fire started in the engine compartment at the front of the bus, said the incident is under investigation and the bus is now “a total loss.”

The fire started a small vegetation fire next to the school, so the school followed evacuation procedures, moving 1,325 students to the sports fields. Then, school continued in session Friday.

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Aaron Hernandez Fiancee Shayanna Jenkins Testifies at Murder Trial

ABC News(FALL RIVER, Mass.) — Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, said Friday in a Boston courtroom that the former New England Patriots star denied involvement in a friend’s alleged murder.

Hernandez, 25, is accused of orchestrating Odin Lloyd’s slaying June 17, 2013.

Jenkins said Friday morning that after she found out Lloyd had been killed, she asked Hernandez whether he did it, and he said “no.”

“That was the extent of our conversation,” she added.

Watch Jenkins’ testimony here:

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Texas Bridge Collapses After Truck Strikes Down Beam

File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(DALLAS) — Two massive concrete beams fell on I-35 between Dallas and Austin, Texas Thursday morning, killing one and injuring three others.

Investigators believe a semi truck caused the bridge collapse when it slammed into an overpass under construction.

Norberto Martinez, who heard the crash, said, “It was the two beams, fell on top of cars and the 18 wheelers. I worried so much, in fact I started praying for them.”

Three signs posted two miles before the overpass warn of its height. Authorities are investigating why the truck driver seemed to ignore them.

“Were looking at the driver, the truck itself, and also the roadway,” Harpin Myers from the Texas Department of Safety said.

Oversized vehicles hit bridges almost 13,000 times in the United States in 2013 alone.

The collision in Texas closed one of this state’s busiest interstates all day, while crews cleared debris and the crushed pickup truck where one man lost his life.

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Denise Huskins’ Attorney Says She Was Not Involved in a Hoax

Courtesy Mike Huskins(VALLEJO, Calif.) — The attorney for a California woman who was reported abducted but found safe two days later said Thursday that she was not involved in a “hoax.”

“She is absolutely unequivocally, 100 percent, positively a victim and [there is] no ‘hoax,'” said Huskins’ attorney, Doug Rappaport.

“She’s distraught, she’s emotionally and physically broken,” he said.

Police in Vallejo, California, said on Wednesday they found “no evidence to support the claims” that Denise Huskins was abducted from a home before she was found alive two days later and more than 400 miles away. The Vallejo home from which Huskins, 29, was reportedly taken belongs to Aaron Quinn, 30. Vallejo Police Lt. Kenny Park said the two were dating.

Huskins was questioned for at least six hours, according to her attorney.

“She’s fully cooperated with law enforcement with the hope to clear her name,” he said.

Quinn’s lawyer, Dan Russo, also denied that Quinn was involved in a hoax. He said Thursday that Quinn has “cooperated fully with the authorities,” including in a 17-hour interrogation and seven visits to the police station. Russo said there was more than one kidnapper, and that Quinn was drugged and bound.

Police said that Quinn told authorities that Huskins’ abductors made a $8,500 ransom demand.

The San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday reported it received an email the day before from an “anonymous person claiming to be holding Denise Huskins.”

On Thursday, the Chronicle reported it received a second email from a person claiming to be one of the kidnappers and saying that the abduction was real.

Vallejo police said in a statement that it would request either state or federal charges “if evidence indicates that either Ms. Huskins or Mr. Quinn have committed a criminal act.”

“I’m assuming that any police officer or any district attorney will see there is no basis whatsoever to file charges,” Huskins’ attorney said.

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NYC Building Fire: Four Critical After Explosion Tears Through NYC Building

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — Four people were in critical condition and at least 15 others were injured after a building explosion led to a seven-alarm fire in Manhattan’s East Village Thursday afternoon.

It was unclear how many people were inside the building when the fire occurred, according to the New York City Fire Department. The incident took place in a bustling area with many restaurants and pedestrians, blocks away from New York University.

“Preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, adding that the investigation is ongoing. He said the incident “appears to have been caused by plumbing and gas work that occurred in 121 2nd Avenue.”

Four buildings were affected, including at least two that partially collapsed, said the mayor.

The four people in critical condition include two individuals with burns to their airways and another person who was unconscious following the event, according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Of the about 250 firefighters who responded to the blaze, four were transported to area hospitals, where one was in fair condition, said the fire department. The conditions of the other firefighters weren’t immediately released.

One man, Nicholas Figueroa, was unaccounted for after the fire, his father told ABC News. Nick Figueroa said his son went to lunch in a restaurant at the bottom of the building that caught fire and that a bank statement showed a charge from the eatery.

Figueroa said he has had no contact with his son since the explosion and that investigators began searching for him late Thursday.

Around 3:17 p.m., witnesses reported what sounded like an explosion at Sushi Park restaurant at 121 2nd Avenue, which is at the bottom of a five-story pre-war building that houses a handful of residential units. Had the event taken place during another time of the day, when more residents were in the building, it’s likely more people could have been injured or missing.

“Our members arrived in less than three minutes to a scene they certainly didn’t expect — to see that this explosion blew the front of 121 across the street,” Nigro said. “They, for the first 15 minutes, before the building started to collapse, made extremely dangerous searches of these buildings to search for any victims, and were forced out by the subsequent collapse of 123 and 121.”

The flames spread next door to 123 2nd Avenue, another five-story building anchored by the restaurant Pommes Frites on the street level. The other buildings that were affected were 119 2nd Avenue and 125 2nd Avenue, said the mayor.

WABC-TV“To the best of our knowledge they were working on the gas in the building. That was the work being done, and right now, the fire marshals and the police department are investigating with all of the people involved,” Nigro said about the work that took place in one of the buildings by private contractors. “I’m sure by the end of tonight, we’ll know a lot more.”

At 121 2nd Avenue, Con Edison said it was evaluating work by the building’s plumber related to a gas service upgrade, but the work failed its inspection “for several reasons, including insufficient spacing for the installation of the meter in the basement.”

“We had no reports of gas odors in the area prior to the fire and explosion,” read the statement from Con Edison. “A survey conducted yesterday (Wednesday) of the gas mains on the block found no leaks. We continue to work with all agencies on the investigation into the cause, and we are praying for the recovery of all the injured.”

The Salvation Army set up a reception station at nearby Public School 63 to support residents of the buildings, family members and neighbors. The public can inquire about people who may be missing related to the incident through the phone number 311.

Часть три

A video posted by Андрей Синецкий (@sinetskiy) on Mar 26, 2015 at 12:45pm PDT

Almost exactly a year ago, another explosion rocked a separate neighborhood in New York City. That incident in East Harlem killed eight residents and injured dozens on the morning of March 12, 2014. The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating what may have caused the explosion, which destroyed two five-story buildings. The NTSB released a report last week indicating that the Harlem explosion may have come from a new section of plastic pipe installed in 2011.

Witnesses said the street was a scene of chaos when the explosion erupted as first responders rushed to the site. There were a series of earlier reports that indicated the firefighters might have been missing after the blast period, but all the first responders were located. At the same time, there was a frantic effort by the fire department to evacuate neighboring structures on a densely crowded block as the fire continued spreading.

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Nineteen Injured in Building Collapse, Seven-Alarm Fire in New York City

WABC-TV News(NEW YORK) — New York City’s Fire Department has responded to a partial building collapse and seven-alarm fire Thursday at a building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

#BREAKING: Aerial view of building collapse @NYPD9Pct. Numerous rescue units on scene #SOD #ESU #K9 #Aviation #FD pic.twitter.com/d9iX4GOBUd

— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) March 26, 2015

The New York Police Department also responded to the scene.

At least 19 people were injured, the FDNY said, including 14 civilians. Four people were in critical condition. The FDNY also confirmed that four firefighters were taken to area hospitals and a fifth was evaluated at the scene.

MAN 7-ALARM 125 2 AVE, MIXED OCCUPANCY MAJOR BUILDING COLLAPSE,

— FDNY (@FDNY) March 26, 2015

Now #FDNY operating on-scene at 123 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. pic.twitter.com/bg8vx1TwLX

— FDNY (@FDNY) March 26, 2015

Multiple #FDNY units operating at 121&123 2nd Avenue in the East Village. pic.twitter.com/LIfmvhZBrS

— FDNY (@FDNY) March 26, 2015

The NYPD currently has emergency vehicles along w/ @FDNY & @NYCOEM on scene at 125 2nd Ave for a building collapse.

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 26, 2015

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference on Thursday that a preliminary investigation suggested the incident was caused by a gas-related explosion. He noted that 250 firefighters were working at the scene.

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Seattle Police Wrangle Wild Goats

Seattle Police Department(SEATTLE) — Police in Seattle were able to stop a wild situation before it got worse on Thursday, after 10 goats escaped from their yard.

According to the Seattle Police Department, a group of kids reported being chased by another group of kids at about 1:15 p.m. Thursday. The only catch was that the second group of kids was actually a pack of baahd young goats.

After a brief “hoof chase,” the SPD said it was able to corral the wayward goats. Animal Control officers were said to be contacting the goats’ owner, who thanked police for bringing the goats home.

BREAKING: 10 goats in custody after brief hoof chase at 5000 blk S. Wallace Street. More info to come.

— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) March 26, 2015

You herd right! Officers corralled 10 goats after they reportedly chased a group of children near 50/S. Wallace. pic.twitter.com/RvBDQ8MzTY

— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) March 26, 2015

Thank you to @SeattlePD for bringing the trouble makers home! For the record, they love kids, exhibit A pic.twitter.com/CX7grubhr3

— Tamara Power-Drutis (@TamaramaPD) March 26, 2015

The SPD did have fun with the incident though, mocking up a movie poster parodying that of the Steve McQueen classic The Great Escape.

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Boyfriend of Denise Huskins Says He Was Not Involved in a ‘Hoax’

ABC News(VALLEJO, Calif.) — The boyfriend of a California woman who was reported abducted but found safe two days later said Thursday that he was not involved in a “hoax.”

“Our client has no responsibility for this kidnapping,” said the attorney for Anthony Quinn, the man from whose home the woman was allegedly abducted. “He is in terrible shape — mental and physical.”

Police in Vallejo, California, said on Wednesday they found “no evidence to support the claims” that Denise Huskins was abducted from a home there before she was found alive two days later and more than 400 miles away. The home from which Huskins, 29, was reportedly taken belongs to Quinn, 30.

Quinn’s attorney, Dan Russo, said Thursday that Quinn has “cooperated fully with the authorities,” including in a 17-hour interrogation and seven visits to the police station. Russo said there was more than one kidnapper, and that Quinn was drugged and bound.

“He was forced to drink something that even the kidnappers said was a drug,” Russo said.

Quinn’s attorney said they do not know why authorities are implying the incident is a “hoax.”

“Besides the fact that our client was used as a football, we still don’t want to jeopardize authorities’ attempt to put the [suspect] behind bars,” Russo said.

Quinn’s attorney said they don’t know where Huskins is and they instructed Quinn not to try to reach out to her, so he hasn’t, though he wanted to contact her when he learned she was discovered.

Huskins’ family said Quinn is the man who called 911 hours after her “abduction.” Vallejo Police Lt. Kenny Park said the two were dating.

Quinn has a “very good relationship with the woman who was kidnapped and his concern was that the woman was not killed or harmed,” Russo said, adding that neither person has “any drug or alcohol issues.”

“There seems to be a stream of blatant lies about our client, about the victim, and everything else that’s going on,” Russo said.

Police said that Quinn claimed whoever abducted Huskins made an $8,500 ransom demand.

“There is something very, very off about this investigation,” said Quinn’s attorney Amy Morton, adding that authorities have given “lies” to Morton and Russo.

“It’s important to note all the ransom notes were not directed to her parents or family, they were directed toward [Quinn],” Russo said.

Huskins, a physical therapist, was found in Huntington Beach, California, on Wednesday morning, police said. Her father, Mike Huskins, told ABC News that his daughter called him from Huntington Beach to say she was safe.

Huskins had promised through family members to speak with investigators, but as of late Wednesday they were unable to contact her or her family, police said, adding that she has since retained an attorney. Huskins could not be reached for comment by ABC News Thursday.

“All indications initially were that she would be cooperative with the investigation,” Park said during a news conference Wednesday night. But “as of right now, we have not heard from Ms. Huskins.”

The FBI, which assisted Vallejo police in its investigation, had arranged for an aircraft to bring her from Huntington Beach to Northern California for the interview, police said. But, detectives said Wednesday they don’t know where she is.

“There is no evidence to support the claims that this was a stranger abduction or an abduction at all,” read a statement from the Vallejo Police Department. “Given the facts that have been presented thus far, this event appears to be an orchestrated event and not a kidnapping.”

Huskins was reported missing at 1:55 p.m. Monday by what police described as a 30-year-old man who called to report the alleged kidnapping and claimed he witnessed it. Police previously said that Huskins was abducted from the home where she was staying in Vallejo hours earlier, at about 3:30 a.m.

The San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday reported it received an email the day before from an “anonymous person claiming to be holding Denise Huskins.”

The newspaper reported the email said that Huskins “will be returned safely [Wednesday]” and that “any advance on us or our associates will create a dangerous situation for Denise.”

The email was also reported to include an audio file of a woman identifying herself as Huskins who referred to Tuesday’s plane crash in southern France — ostensibly as a time marker for proof of life — and identified the first concert she had attended in her life, the name of a childhood friend she attended the concert with, and the name of the friend’s mother as proof of her identity.

“That was her. The tape recording was her. That I know. They said they were going to drop her off and they did,” Mike Huskins told the Chronicle after being played the audio recording. “I’m relieved. You have to expect the worst — but in my heart, I knew she was still alive.”

Police in Vallejo said they received the same email and audio file but did not confirm its contents.

Vallejo police said in its statement that it would request either state or federal charges “if evidence indicates that either Ms. Huskins or Mr. Quinn have committed a criminal act.”

“The Vallejo Police Department would like to ensure the public that there is no indication that this was a random act of violence,” police said in its statement.

More than 40 detectives from the local, state and police levels assisted in the investigation and search for Huskins, Park said.

“That is a tremendous amount of resources that in my opinion was wasted,” he said, adding that the search could be classified as a “wild goose chase.”

The investigation is ongoing and police are still trying to determine whether anyone else was involved, Park said. The FBI declined to comment and directed ABC News to Vallejo police.

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Twelve Injured in Building Collapse, Seven-Alarm Fire in New York City

WABC-TV News(NEW YORK) — New York City’s Fire Department has responded to a partial building collapse and seven-alarm fire Thursday at a building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

#BREAKING: Aerial view of building collapse @NYPD9Pct. Numerous rescue units on scene #SOD #ESU #K9 #Aviation #FD pic.twitter.com/d9iX4GOBUd

— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) March 26, 2015

The New York Police Department also responded to the scene.

At least 12 people were injured, the FDNY said, including three people who were in critical or serious condition.

MAN 7-ALARM 125 2 AVE, MIXED OCCUPANCY MAJOR BUILDING COLLAPSE,

— FDNY (@FDNY) March 26, 2015

Now #FDNY operating on-scene at 123 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. pic.twitter.com/bg8vx1TwLX

— FDNY (@FDNY) March 26, 2015

The NYPD currently has emergency vehicles along w/ @FDNY & @NYCOEM on scene at 125 2nd Ave for a building collapse.

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 26, 2015

This story is developing.

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Partial Building Collapse, Seven-Alarm Fire in New York City

WABC-TV News(NEW YORK) — New York City’s Fire Department has responded to a partial building collapse and seven-alarm fire Thursday at a building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

The New York Police Department also responded to the scene.

It was unclear whether anyone was injured.

MAN 7-ALARM 125 2 AVE, MIXED OCCUPANCY MAJOR BUILDING COLLAPSE,

— FDNY (@FDNY) March 26, 2015

The NYPD currently has emergency vehicles along w/ @FDNY & @NYCOEM on scene at 125 2nd Ave for a building collapse.

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 26, 2015

This story is developing.

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