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Boston Duplex Explosion Injures 12

Author Tina Robinson

The Boston Globe is reporting an explosion on Wednesday night that injured 12 people, including elderly and children in Dorchester.

Details of the Blast

Preliminary reports say the explosion happened around 9:20 p.m. at 27 Hansborough Street in Dorchester. Residents report smelling gas just prior to the blast which injured at least 12 people and ignited a three-alarm fire.

Two elderly residents were taken to a local hospital in critical condition after sustaining serious injuries including burns. Others sustained minor injuries such as cuts and smoke inhalation. Nine people were reported as having been inside the duplex when the explosion happened, and three were injured by flying debris and glass on the street. An adjacent home was also damaged in the blast.

According to Interim Fire Commissioner John Hasson, the fire was extinguished shortly after 10 p.m., and the house was barely standing.

Residents of nearby homes described hearing a loud boom and felt homes shake.

Workers from the natural gas utility company, National Grid, were already in the area investigating reports of a gas odor.

Natural Gas Safety Tips

The following safety tips are provided by SafeGas.org.

  • Immediately leave the area if you detect even a small trace of natural gas odor in the air. Once outside, contact your natural gas provider or call 9-1-1.
  • Properly functioning pilot lights and burners should emit a steady blue flame.
  • Areas surrounding all appliances and equipment should be kept clean and unblocked to provide proper air flow.
  • Never let children play with or near natural gas appliances.
  • Stoves and ovens should only be used for cooking.

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Pedestrian Struck by 18-Wheeler in St. Louis

Author Sarah Kim

According to a local St. Louis news source, a pedestrian was struck and killed Tuesday morning by a 18-wheeler traveling westbound on Interstate 270 near the West Florissant overpass early Tuesday.

About the St. Louis Trucking Accident

St. Louis County Police responded to the accident around 2:30 am. Authorities are not yet sure how the accident occurred, and the name of the individual has not yet been released.

It appears the 35-year-old man was trying to cross Interstate 270 in north St. Louis County when he was struck by the tractor-trailer. He was pronounced dead on at the scene.

The driver of the semi that struck the individual is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

After the authorities arrived, all of all of westbound I-270 was shut down. Traffic was rerouted at New Halls Ferry Road.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States, and another 70,000 pedestrians were injured.
  • Pedestrians were one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States in 2011, totaling 4,432 deaths
Those At Risk

Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):

  • Older adults - Pedestrians ages 65 and older accounted for 19% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 11% of all pedestrians injured in 2010.
  • Children - In 2010, nearly one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian.
  • Drivers and pedestrians who are alcohol-impaired - Alcohol-impairment—either for the driver or for the pedestrian—was reported in 47% of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian death. Of the pedestrians involved, 33% had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of greater than or equal to .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL).
Pedestrian Safety Tips

Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):

  • Pedestrians should increase their visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing.
  • Whenever possible, pedestrians should cross the street at a designated crosswalk.
  • It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if pedestrians must walk in the street, they should walk facing traffic.

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Fire Truck Slams into California Restaurant, Injuring 15

Author Tina Robinson

On Wednesday afternoon, fire trucks responding to a call in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey collided sending one truck crashing into a restaurant. Fifteen people were injured in the crash, including six fire fighters, pedestrians and restaurant customers, according to an ABC News 7 report.

Details of the Fire Truck Crash

According to reports, the details of the accident are as follows.

  • Shortly after 3 p.m., fire trucks from the Monterey Park and Alhambra Fire Departments were responding to a house fire call.
  • The two fire trucks collided at the intersection of Emerson and Garfield Avenue in Montery, causing one truck to slam into the Lu Dumpling House nearby.
  • A total of 15 people were injured in the crash. Ten people were admitted to local hospitals, including six fire fighters.
  • One customer was pinned between a table and the truck and is listed in critical condition.

Investigators said both trucks had on lights and sirens at the time of the crash. Support beams for the restaurant were damaged but workers were able to stabilize the building and keep it from collapsing.

Fire Truck Crash Statistics

A 2012 report on fire truck crashes published by the National Institutes of Health found that motor vehicle crashes were the second highest cause of death to fire fighters, making up approximately 20-25% of fire fighter deaths. Between 2000 and 2009, there were approximately 31,600 crashes involving fire vehicles. Of those crashes, 49 resulted in the death of at least one fire truck occupant. 75% of all fatal fire truck crashes result in the death of an occupant of another vehicle.

The study also determined that fire truck crashes make up nearly 10% of all accidents involving “special purpose vehicles.”

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