May 16, 2008 in Nation/World

Fuel pipeline spill causes panic, death

The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Firemen attempt to put out flames erupting from a fuel pipeline in a village outside Lagos, Nigeria, on Thursday. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

A road-grader accidentally tore open a fuel pipeline Thursday and sent an inferno raging over houses and a school, setting off a stampede of terrified children and killing about 100 people and injuring 20, a Red Cross official said.

The road construction equipment was working in Ijegun village on the distant outskirts of Nigeria’s main city, Lagos, when it pierced the pipe and fuel began spewing into the surrounding neighborhood, Red Cross disaster coordinator Suleman Maikubi said.

Moments later, an explosion billowed oily plumes of flame and soot high into the air, witnesses said.

Fargo, N.D.

Flight attendant suspected in fire

A flight attendant angry about his work route smuggled a lighter aboard an airplane and set a fire in a bathroom, forcing an emergency landing, authorities said Thursday.

The Compass Airlines flight carrying 72 passengers and four crew members landed safely in Fargo on May 7 after smoke filled the back. No injuries were reported. The plane was flying from Minneapolis to Regina, Saskatchewan, authorities said.

Eder Rojas, 19, appeared in court Thursday, following his arrest a day earlier in Minneapolis, and was ordered held without bail, prosecutors said. The charge of setting fire aboard a civil aircraft carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Los Angeles

Hollywood P.I. found guilty

A Hollywood private investigator was convicted Thursday of federal racketeering and other charges for digging up dirt for his well-heeled clients to use in lawsuits, divorces and contract disputes against the rich and famous.

Anthony Pellicano, 64, was accused of wiretapping stars such as Sylvester Stallone and running the names of others, such as Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon, through law enforcement databases to help clients in legal and other disputes.

Pellicano was found guilty of all but one of the 77 counts against him. He looked at the judge with his arms crossed and didn’t react when verdicts were read.

“We went by the evidence,” said Terri Winbush, forewoman of the 12-member jury. “There was a lot of evidence.”

The jury found him guilty of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, along with wiretapping, wire fraud, identity theft, conspiracy to intercept or use wire communications and manufacture or possession of a wiretapping device.

He was acquitted of a charge of unauthorized computer access.

The jury also found four co-defendants guilty of a variety of charges.


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