Around the Nation

Saturday, August 30, 2008

U.S. Officials Probe W.Va. Plant Explosion

INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- Federal officials are investigating the cause of a plant explosion that rocked an area west of Charleston, hurling a fireball hundreds of feet into the air, killing one worker and injuring a second.

A State Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman, Kathy Cosco, said the primary chemical involved at the Bayer CropScience plant, methyl isobutyl ketone, is highly flammable but not especially toxic.

Air monitoring found no signs of chemical exposure on or off the site, about 10 miles west of Charleston, after the blast late Thursday, Bayer said.

A five-member team from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, a federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents, planned to deploy at the site Friday.

Fierce Winds Hit Phoenix

PHOENIX -- A series of fast-moving thunderstorms packing winds of up to 100 mph plowed through the Phoenix area, leaving tens of thousands without power, briefly shutting down the airport and ripping the roof off Arizona State University's new football practice facility. About 500 travelers were forced to spend the night at Sky Harbor International Airport, where damage was reported to terminals, cargo areas, electrical systems, jetways and aircraft, spokeswoman Deborah Ostreicher said. At the height of the storm, about 100,000 homes and businesses were without power.

Mom Convicted of Killing Baby

DAYTON, Ohio -- A mother was convicted of killing her month-old daughter by burning her in a microwave oven, with jurors rejecting a defense attorney's claims there was evidence that someone else was responsible. China Arnold, 28, was found guilty of aggravated murder and could be sentenced to death for killing daughter Paris Talley in 2005. Her cellmate testified that Arnold confessed to putting the baby in the microwave and turning it on because she was worried her boyfriend would leave her if he found out the child wasn't his.

U.S. Can Block Mad Cow Tests

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