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5.6-level temblor shakes California

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Palm Springs, Calif. An earthquake on California’s most active fault jolted residents in the Coachella Valley and throughout Southern California on Sunday morning.

The 5.6-magnitude temblor struck more than eight miles below the surface beneath the community of Anza, about 20 miles south of Palm Springs.

The quake rattled homes, knocked items from some store shelves and tested the nerves of people in the quake-prone region.

Police said there were no reports of injury or major damage.

It was the second magnitude-3 or greater quake in the Anza area in the last three days. A 3.1-level temblor struck Thursday.

Hydraulic fluid used to wash surgery tools

Raleigh, N.C. About 3,800 patients at two hospitals run by Duke University Health System were operated on last year with instruments washed in hydraulic fluid instead of detergent, hospital regulators said.

Duke Health Raleigh and Durham Regional hospitals put patients in “immediate jeopardy” in November and December by not detecting the problem despite staff complaints about slick tools, stated a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The mix-up apparently occurred when an elevator company drained hydraulic fluid into empty detergent barrels. The detergent supplier later sent them as washing fluid containers.

Duke Health assured patients in January that the likelihood of infection was “no more than the risk normally associated” with the procedures they underwent.

But dozens of patients have reported lingering health concerns, the Raleigh News & Observer reported Sunday.

Deal reached in case of flesh-eating illness

Wilmington, N.C. The widow of a man who died two years after contracting a rare flesh-eating disease while helping at the scene of a car crash has settled with a tractor-trailer driver and his employer for $2.3 million.

Ronald Dyson, 56, pulled over to help after a car ran into a utility pole, causing metal cable wires to fall. A tractor-trailer then drove into the low-hanging cables and Dyson was lashed and tossed in the air, according to court papers.

The cables were coated with bird droppings that brought on the flesh-eating infection, a lawyer said. He died in September 2003.

The civil lawsuit claimed negligent and reckless conduct on the part of the tractor-trailer driver and his employer.

5 kids killed in fire; security bars in way

Philadelphia Five young children were killed in a fire that swept through a rowhouse Sunday morning, and fire officials said security bars in the home’s windows slowed the attempted rescue.

Two adults escaped but were seriously injured in the blaze. The man and woman jumped from a second-floor window, and the man landed in a wading pool on the sidewalk, officials said.

Neighbors said the boy and four girls ranged from 6 months to 6 years old.

Firefighters combed through the house Sunday as investigators tried to determine what sparked the fire.

Authorities declined to say whether there were signs of foul play but said they would be looking for possible code violations.

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