Nation/World

In brief: No permit issued for python that killed boys

Toronto – A 100-pound python blamed in the strangling deaths of two Canadian boys apparently escaped from its enclosure, slithered through a ventilation system and fell through the ceiling into the room where the young brothers were sleeping, authorities said Tuesday.

A snake expert said it was possible that the python was spooked and simply clung to whatever it landed on.

Police are treating the deaths in Campbellton, New Brunswick, as a criminal investigation.

Autopsies on Noah Barthe, 4 and his brother Connor Barthe, 6, were performed Tuesday.

The brothers had been visiting the apartment of a friend whose father owned an exotic pet store on the floor below, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Alain Tremblay said at a news conference in Campbellton. Tremblay said the African rock python was being kept inside the second floor apartment, not inside the pet store as authorities had previously stated.

Steve Benteau, a spokesman for the provincial Natural Resources Department, said no permit was issued for an African rock python.

Tremblay said the snake was housed in a large glass enclosure that reached the ceiling of the apartment and escaped through a small hole in the ceiling connected to the ventilation system. He said the snake made its way through the ventilation system and moved toward the living room, where the boys were sleeping. The pipe collapsed and the snake fell.

British utility must clear drain of 15-ton ‘fatberg’

London – It may look like an iceberg, but there’s nothing cool about it.

Utility company Thames Water says it has discovered what it calls the biggest “fatberg” ever recorded in Britain – a 15-ton blob of congealed fat and baby wipes lodged in a sewer drain.

That’s enough “wrongly flushed festering food fat mixed with wet wipes” to fill a double-decker bus such as the famous London Routemaster, the company said.

Thames Water deals with fatbergs all the time, thanks to the widespread use of household oil and food fat. But few reach the mammoth size of the one found under a road in the London suburb of Kingston.

This blockage – built up over an estimated six months – was discovered after residents in nearby apartment buildings were unable to flush their toilets.

The company said Tuesday it was sharing news of the massive lard lump in hopes that customers will think twice about what they dump down the drain. The company says untreated fatbergs cause flooding and backups.



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