Review Category : Top Stories

At Least 24 Dead in Warehouse Fire in Oakland

iStock/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Searchers have recovered 24 bodies from the Oakland, California, warehouse where a fire broke out Friday night during a party, officials said Sunday.

Crews have only been able to search 20 percent of the building, so it is still feared that the death count could go much higher, according to officials.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire on 31st Avenue at around 11:32 p.m. on Friday night. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said the warehouse appears to be a work and residential building that hosts a makeshift artists’ studio. It’s unclear if the building is equipped with smoke alarms, the fire chief added.

Preliminary indications suggest the blaze was not caused by arson, but rather an electrical fire, but Alameda County Sheriff Department Sgt. Ray Kelly said the cause is still under investigation.

Investigators will look into the building’s inspection history and will try to determine whether the owner was aware what the structure was being used for. Criminal charges could be possible depending on the outcome of the investigation, the official said

This is a developing story. Check back for more.

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Nine Dead, ‘A Couple Dozen’ Unaccounted for in Fire at Oakland Warehouse: Officials

moodboard/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Authorities have confirmed nine fatalities from a fire that swept through a warehouse in Oakland, California, where a party was taking place late Friday night, but the death toll is expected to rise as firefighters worked overnight to secure the space so they may remove the bodies of other victims.

Multiple bodies “have been seen but have not yet been reached,” because the building’s unstable structure has prevented firefighters from removing the bodies, Alameda County Sheriff Sgt. Ray Kelly said Saturday, adding that “a couple of dozen” of party-goers remain unaccounted.

Heavy equipment, including excavators arrived overnight to begin digging out debris. Kelly said the roof of the building had collapsed and firefighters were shoring up the charred structure to ensure it is safe before recovery crews can enter.

Kelly said authorities are prepared for a mass causality event and they will be on scene for days to come. Most of the victims were in their 20s and 30s, and some were not from the U.S., he said.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire on 31st Avenue at around 11:32 p.m. on Friday night. Most of the bodies were found on the warehouse’s second floor, which was only accessible by a makeshift stairwell assembled with various materials, according to Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed.

Reed said the warehouse appears to be a work and residential building that hosts a makeshift artists’ studio. It’s unclear if the building is equipped with smoke alarms, the fire chief added.

“We are also working with federal partners to determine the cause of the fire and assist with the investigation moving forward,” Reed said in a press release Saturday afternoon. “Due to structural damage from the fire, the ongoing investigation efforts and search for additional victims will be methodical and are anticipated to take some time.”

An official briefed on the ongoing investigation said there were stacks of wooden pallets inside the warehouse that essentially served as kindling for the fire.

Preliminary indications suggest the blaze was not caused by arson, but rather an electrical fire. The power went out inside the building when the fire began and the flames blocked the building’s only exit, making it difficult for people inside to escape, the official told ABC News.

Investigators will look into the building’s inspection history and will try to determine whether the owner was aware what the structure was being used for. Criminal charges could be possible depending on the outcome of the investigation, the official said.

One person who was inside the warehouse at the time of the fire told ABC affiliate KGO that the building is home to about 18 people who use it as an artist collective.

Officials told KGO there was an event with at least 75 people inside when the flames erupted Friday night.

Footage from the scene showed the building engulfed in flames as plumes of thick, grey smoke billowed into the dark sky.

Meanwhile, a vigil had been planned for Monday evening at The Pergola at Lake Merritt in Oakland. According to the event’s Facebook page, more than 800 people have RSVPed.

And a relief fund set up by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, Fire Relief Fund for Victims of Ghostship Oakland Fire, has already raised more than $100,000 as of Sunday morning.

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At Least 9 Dead, More Fatalities Expected in Fire at Oakland Warehouse

moodboard/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Authorities fear there may be as many as 40 fatalities from a fire Friday night at a warehouse in Oakland, California, where a party was taking place, though at least nine deaths have been confirmed thus far, officials said.

Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said authorities are prepared for a mass causality event.

During a press conference Saturday, Kelly said the roof of the building had collapsed and firefighters were shoring up the charred structure to ensure it’s safe before recovery crews can enter.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire on 31st Avenue at around 11:32 p.m. on Friday night. Most of the bodies were found on the warehouse’s second floor, which was only accessible by a makeshift stairwell assembled with various materials, according to Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed.

Reed said the warehouse appears to be a work and residential building that hosts a makeshift artists’ studio. It’s unclear if the building is equipped with smoke alarms, but officials said there did not appear to be sprinklers.

Aside from those confirmed dead, many are still unaccounted for and more fatalities are expected. A thorough search of the building and recovery effort is still underway, authorities said Saturday.

An official briefed on the ongoing investigation said there were stacks of wooden pallets inside the warehouse that essentially served as kindling for the fire.

Preliminary indications suggest the blaze was not caused by arson, but rather was an electrical fire. The power went out inside the building when the fire began and the flames blocked the building’s only exit, making it difficult for people inside to escape, the official told ABC News.

Investigators will look into the building’s inspection history and will try to determine whether the owner was aware what the structure was being used for. Criminal charges could be possible depending on the outcome of the investigation, the official said.

One person who was inside the warehouse at the time of the fire told ABC affiliate KGO-TV that the building is home to about 18 people who use it as an artist collective.

Officials told KGO-TV there was an event with at least 75 people inside when the flames erupted Friday night.

Footage from the scene showed the building engulfed in flames as plumes of thick, grey smoke billowed into the dark sky.

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Showdown Looms at Dakota Access Pipeline Protest as Vets, Civil Rights Observers Converge Before Evacuation Deadline

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MANDAN, N.D.) — There may be a looming showdown in the coming days in the already contentious demonstrations in North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Local authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation order for the site near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation where hundreds of activists are camping out in protest of the controversial crude oil pipeline. Those who have not cleared out by Monday could be arrested, authorities said.

Authorities said they issued this evacuation order as a safeguard against the winter conditions.

Meanwhile, a military veterans group announced that at least 2,000 vets would “deploy” to the area on Sunday to defend the demonstrators if local authorities move in to clear out the camp this weekend. In addition, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights told ABC News on Friday that it would send commissioners to North Dakota because of the commission’s civil rights concerns.

“We are concerned with numerous reports and testimony regarding the use of military-style equipment and excessive force against protesters,” the USCCR said in a statement. “Our concerns are compounded by the disproportionate police use of excessive force against Native Americans, who are more likely than any other racial group to be killed by police.”

Despite the looming possibility of confrontations, arrests and the below-freezing temperatures, many demonstrators said they will continue their protests.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Terrell Iron Shell, 23, who came to Standing Rock from Rapid City, South Dakota, in early August, told ABC News from inside a yurt, a traditional nomadic home, erected on the contested land. “I’m willing to set my life on the line to protect this water, to protect this way of life, Unci Maka, mother earth. And so, I’m willing to do whatever it takes.” Unci Maka is Lakota for “grandmother earth.”

“I’m willing to give my life for this cause. I hope it doesn’t come down to that. But you know Crazy Horse once said, ‘Today is a good day to die,’” he added, referencing a historical Native American leader.

Iron Shell, a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, is one of the original members of the International Indigenous Youth Council, an advocacy group that has become known for its commitment to remaining peaceful during confrontations with police.

The activist is also a descendant of Chief Iron Shell, a widely respected Brule Sioux chief who was among the first tribal leaders to sign the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which established the Great Sioux Reservation, a vast territory that has since been cut down by acts of Congress into checkerboard remnants of its original version.

Iron Shell said there’s a lot of talk among the protesters about what’s going to happen on Monday.

Since this summer, Native American groups and environmental activists have been battling to block construction of the 1,172-mile pipeline that is slated to traverse four states and transport crude oil from North Dakota’s oil fields to refinery markets in Illinois. The activists, who call themselves “water protectors,” say that the pipeline traverses culturally sacred sites and poses a risk to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water supply.

Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based company behind the project, has argued that those claims are unfounded, writing in an internal memo to staff in September that “concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the local water supply are unfounded” and “multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route.”

Iron Shell said it’s important that people understand the protesters’ concerns.

“We’ve been silent for so long, with the historical trauma that we face,” he said. “A lot of these things that happened to us in the past, our identities were taken from us, our voices were taken from us, and now we have them back and we’re fighting for the water, we’re protecting the water.”

Wesley Clarke, Jr., who is among those mobilizing fellow veterans, said on the GoFundMe page he established that he and fellow organizers “are calling for our fellow veterans to assemble as a peaceful, unarmed militia at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.” That GoFundMe campaign has raised over $900,000 in support.

Their mission is to “defend water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security,” Clarke added.

The leader of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, called on the United Nations and President Obama to “take immediate action to prohibit North Dakota from engaging in its retaliatory actions and practices,” in response to the mandatory evacuation order issued for demonstrators by North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple earlier this week.

“This week is the anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre. It’s time for the United States to end its legacy of abuses against Native Americans,” Archambault said in a statement Thursday.

“As a tribal nation, we call on the President to take all the appropriate steps to ensure water protectors are safe and that their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly are protected,” Archambault added.

The advocacy group Amnesty International, which has dispatched a delegation of human rights observers to the protest site, sent a letter earlier this week to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, requesting that the Department of Justice investigate the “policing of the Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrators.”

“[T]he Civil Rights Division should deploy observers to the area to ensure that the rights of people opposed to the pipeline are respected, protected and fulfilled,” Amnesty International U.S. Executive Director Margaret Huang states in the letter. “Should your investigators uncover any civil rights violations by law enforcement, individual officers should be charged and prosecuted as warranted.”

Energy Transfer Partners filed for a court order two weeks ago asking for the right-of-way to complete construction of the pipeline without further intervention from the federal government. The court has yet to rule on the matter.

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At Least 9 Dead in Fire at Oakland Warehouse

moodboard/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Authorities fear there may be as many as 40 fatalities from a fire overnight at a warehouse in Oakland, California, where a party was taking place, though at least 9 deaths have been confirmed thus far, officials said.

Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said authorities are prepared for a mass causality event.

During a press conference Saturday morning, Kelly said the roof of the building had collapsed and firefighters were shoring up the charred structure to ensure it’s safe before recovery crews can enter.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire on 31st Avenue at around 11:32 p.m. on Friday night. Most of the bodies were found on the warehouse’s second floor, which was only accessible by a makeshift stairwell assembled with various materials, according to Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed.

Reed said the warehouse appears to be a work and residential building that hosts a makeshift artists’ studio. It’s unclear if the building is equipped with smoke alarms, the fire chief added.

Aside from those confirmed dead, at least 13 others are unaccounted for and more fatalities are expected. A thorough search of the building and recovery effort is still underway, authorities said.

An official briefed on the ongoing investigation said there were stacks of wooden pallets inside the warehouse that essentially served as kindling for the fire.

Preliminary indications suggest the blaze was not caused by arson, but rather was an electrical fire. The power went out inside the building when the fire began and the flames blocked the building’s only exit, making it difficult for people inside to escape, the official told ABC News.

Investigators will look into the building’s inspection history and will try to determine whether the owner was aware what the structure was being used for. Criminal charges could be possible depending on the outcome of the investigation, the official said.

One person who was inside the warehouse at the time of the fire told ABC affiliate KGO that the building is home to about 18 people who use it as an artist collective.

Officials told KGO there was an event with at least 75 people inside when the flames erupted Friday night.

Footage from the scene showed the building engulfed in flames as plumes of thick, grey smoke billowed into the dark sky.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Massachusetts Firefighters Battle 10-Alarm Fire in Cambridge

iStock/Thinkstock(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) — At least eight buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts, were damaged by a 10-alarm fire, officials said Saturday.

About 140 firefighters were on the scene as of 6 p.m., the Cambridge Fire Department said.

There were three or four minor injuries as a result of the fire, according to fire officials, and 60 people were displaced. Shelters for those affected by the fire were said to be opening at a local recreation center.

According to ABC affiliate WCVB-TV, at least one building had collapsed in the massive fire. The building was under construction and officials believed it was where the fire started, WCVB-TV reported.

The Cambridge Fire Department said they were thankful the incident started early in the afternoon so people were awake and aware of the situation.

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At Least Nine Dead, 13 Unaccounted For in Fire at Oakland Warehouse

moodboard/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — At least nine people are confirmed dead in a fire overnight at a warehouse in Oakland, California, where a party was taking place when the blaze broke out, authorities said.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire on 31st Avenue at around 11:32 p.m. on Friday night. Most of the bodies were found on the warehouse’s second floor, which was only accessible by a makeshift stairwell assembled with various materials, according to Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed.

Reed said the warehouse appears to be a work and residential building that hosts a makeshift artists’ studio. It’s unclear if the building is equipped with smoke alarms, the fire chief added.

Aside from those confirmed dead, at least 13 others are unaccounted for and more fatalities are expected. A thorough search of the building is still underway, authorities said.

Oakland police Officer G. Plasencia told The Associated Press that firefighters were still on the scene as of early Saturday morning.

Footage from the scene shared on Twitter showed the building engulfed in flames as plumes of thick, black smoke billowed into the night sky.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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At Least 9 Dead, 13 Unaccounted For in Fire at Oakland Warehouse

moodboard/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — At least nine people are confirmed dead in a fire at an Oakland warehouse, authorities told ABC News.

Besides those confirmed to have died, at least 13 others are unaccounted for, officials told ABC News, although they cautioned that a thorough search of the building is underway.

Oakland police and fire departments responded to the fire at about 11:32 p.m. Friday night.

Authorities told KTVU-TV about 50 people were inside the building, which houses a group of artists and their studios.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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University of Southern California Confirms Student Fatally Stabbed Psychology Professor

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — The University of Southern California has confirmed that a man stabbed to death Friday afternoon at its Los Angeles campus was a faculty member. It also confirmed that the suspect in police custody is a student.

In a letter sent to staff and students, USC president C.L. Max Nikias identified the victim as Bosco Tjan, a professor of psychology with the university’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. LAPD said the student’s name would be released after he was interviewed and booked.

Tjan, also the co-director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging, joined the USC faculty in 2001 and was an expert in perception, vision, and vision, cognition, Nikias wrote.

According to the LAPD, Tjan was killed inside the Seeley G. Mudd building around 4:30 p.m. A male student was arrested without incident immediately after police arrived at the scene of the attack but his name was not released.

The USC Department of Public Safety said in a statement that investigators believe the attack “was the result of a personal dispute.”

USC’s Nikias said in his letter, “Our Department of Public Safety officers responded immediately, and apprehended the suspect on the scene. The suspect was confirmed to be a student, and is in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department. We are extremely proud of our Department of Public Safety officers for their quick response, and our university counselors for immediately offering support at the scene.”

Nikias said on Monday the school’s dean of religious life, Varun Soni, “will bring the campus community together for reflection and prayer.”

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Bus Carrying High School Cheerleaders in Texas Collides With 18-Wheeler, Some in Critical Condition

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A school bus carrying a group of high school cheerleaders from a football game collided with an 18-wheeler in West Texas late Friday night, leaving some passengers in critical condition.

According to KMID, an ABC affiliate in Odessa, Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating a collision on Interstate 20 in Howard County involving an Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District bus and an 18-wheeler. The DPS identified the passengers as cheerleaders.

A spokesperson at Scenic Mountain Center in Big Spring, told ABC News early Saturday morning it received 11 passengers, “a couple” of whom are in critical condition. The condition of the others was “undetermined.”

KMID reported that the westbound lanes of Interstate 20 are closed off as troopers investigate.

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