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In brief: Boulders crash onto trail, killing 5

Tue., Oct. 1, 2013, midnight

BUENA VISTA, Colo. – A rock slide killed five hikers and injured a sixth as it demolished a popular beginners trail below one of Colorado’s most-photographed mountains, causing so much destruction that rescuers had to wait a day to recover the victims’ bodies.

The Monday morning slide sent 100-ton boulders onto a viewing area to see Agnes Vaille Falls in Chalk Creek Canyon below Mount Princeton, a 14,197-foot peak. Five hikers were killed, and a teenage girl suffered a broken leg and other injuries. She was rescued and flown to a Denver hospital.

Rescuers planned to wait until this afternoon to remove the bodies of the five who were killed, said Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Monica Broaddus. Engineers from the nearby Climax molybdenum mine were headed to the site to advise on safely getting the bodies out.

The recovery was called off Monday evening because rocks continued to shift when the coroner counted the fatalities, Broaddus said.

There was no immediate identification of the victims or whether they were a single group.

Commuter train hit by unmanned one

FOREST PARK, Ill. – Officials said nobody was at the controls of an empty commuter train that slammed into another train at a suburban Chicago station Monday, injuring dozens of commuters, but they don’t know how the train got moving.

Video footage shows that nobody was driving the four-car Chicago Transit Authority train as it rumbled the wrong way toward the train parked at the Harlem Avenue station about 10 miles west of Chicago. But investigators were trying to determine if it somehow started moving itself or if someone sent it on its way.

As many as four dozen people who were on the parked train were treated for minor injuries and released from hospitals, authorities said.

No alerts received before jet crash

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – No problems were reported before a private jet crashed into a hangar and burst into flames while landing at a Southern California airport, a federal investigator said Monday.

The pilot of the Cessna 525A did not report any mechanical trouble with the aircraft during its Sunday flight from Hailey, Idaho, to Santa Monica, Van McKenny, lead investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference.

Mark Benjamin, CEO of Morley Construction, and his son, Luke Benjamin, were believed to be aboard the aircraft, Vice President Charles Muttillo told the Associated Press. Luke Benjamin was a senior project manager at the Santa Monica-based company.

It was not known if anyone else was aboard.

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina’s Republican governor and GOP lawmakers are vowing to fight a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department challenging the state’s tough new elections law on the grounds it disproportionately impacts minority voters.

Gov. Pat McCrory said the federal complaint filed Monday is an overreach and without merit. McCrory said he has hired private lawyers to help defend the new law from what he suggested was a partisan attack by President Barack Obama’s Democratic administration.

North Carolina’s new law cuts early voting by a week, ends same-day voter registration and includes a stringent photo ID requirement.


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