National Digest: Aug. 17, 2014

August 17
arkansas
2 dead, 2 hurt in freight train collision

Two Union Pacific train crew members were killed and two others were injured when two freight trains collided head-on in northeast Arkansas early Sunday, state police said.

The collision happened about 3 a.m. in Hoxie, a small town about 90 miles northwest of Memphis.

A resulting fire took about seven hours to extinguish, Union Pacific spokesman Brandon Morris said.

Authorities asked about 500 people within 1½ miles of the collision to leave their homes because of the fire, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office said. Most were allowed to return home by midmorning Sunday, according to county Emergency Management Director Buddy Williams.

The names of those killed and injured were not immediately released. The accident is under investigation.

— Associated Press

New York
Kidnap suspects may face more charges

More charges are expected soon against a northern New York couple accused of kidnapping two young Amish sisters and sexually abusing them, a prosecutor said Sunday.

Computer hard drives and other potential evidence were still being collected Sunday from the home of Stephen Howells Jr. and Nicole Vaisey, said Mary Rain, district attorney for St. Lawrence County.

The two were arrested Friday and charged with kidnapping with the intent to physically or sexually abuse the 7-year-old and 12-year-old sisters. Authorities say the couple prowled for easy targets and sexually abused the girls before letting them go after about 24 hours.

Howells, 39, and Vaisey, 25, are being held without bail and have a preliminary court appearance scheduled for Thursday.

— Associated Press

Utah
Suspect sought in nightclub shootings

Police are looking for a gunman who opened fire at a crowded nightclub in downtown Salt Lake City, shooting six people.

Hundreds of people fled the Inferno Cantina Night Club after the shots were fired about 11:45 p.m. Saturday. Some of the injuries are serious, but none appear to be life threatening, Salt Lake City police Lt. Craig Gleason said Sunday.

The gunman fled with at least one other person in a stolen black Cadillac CTS that the Utah Highway Patrol found early Sunday about five miles away.

The suspects remained at large Sunday.

— Associated Press

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