December 26, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Police find seven dead in apartment

From Wire Reports
 

GRAPEVINE, Texas – Seven people believed to be related had opened their Christmas gifts and started cleaning up the wrapping paper when they were shot to death in a suburban Fort Worth apartment, police said Sunday.

Authorities said they believe the shooter is among the dead, but got a warrant before doing a full search on the small chance that it was otherwise.

Four women and three men, aged 18 to 60, were found when police entered the apartment around midday, said Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling. Two handguns were found near the bodies, he added.

“It appears they had just celebrated Christmas. They had opened their gifts,” Eberling said.

The victims have not yet been identified, but Eberling said it appears they all died of gunshot wounds. He said authorities still don’t know what sparked the incident.

Grapevine police Lt. Todd Dearing said investigators believe that all the victims were related, but that some were only visiting and didn’t live in the apartment.

Icebreaker reaches fishing boat

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A South Korean polar research ship today reached a leaking Russian fishing vessel that has been stuck in the frigid waters off Antarctica for the past 10 days, New Zealand officials said.

The Sparta, with 32 crew on board, hit underwater ice on Dec. 16 that tore a 1-foot hole in its hull and caused it to list at 13 degrees. Several rescue ships had been hampered by heavy ice in the Ross Sea off the northern Antarctica coast before the icebreaker Araon finally pushed through and reached the Sparta today, New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center spokeswoman Rosalie Neilson said.

The arrival was a relief to the crew, which had been desperately pumping out near-frozen sea water while awaiting rescue. At one point, more than half of those on board were forced onto life rafts.

The crew is made up of 15 Russians, 16 Indonesians and one Ukrainian.

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