Infrastructure Daily News 05.09.12

Transportation Sector

. May 8, KXII 12 Sherman – (Texas) U.S. 82 near Sadler open after chemical spill. U.S. Highway 82 west of Sherman, Texas, reopened after a tanker dumped hydrochloric acid onto the road May 7. “If you’re close enough to it and the wind shifts, if you get a big enough breath of it it’ll cause burning to the nose and throat area, and it’ll get down into your lungs and can do some serious damage,” said a state trooper. Early May 7, a truck heading West on Highway 82 crashed after the driver lost control. Authorities said the truck was carrying about 4,500 gallons of hydrochloric acid, most of which spilled onto the road. “Lost all but about 700 gallons of the product on to the roadway, right now we have 2 environmental crews working on remediating, one crew is working on getting the acid neutralized with sodium bi-carb and then they’re going to offload what’s left on the tanker,” said a worker for Grayson County’s Office of Emergency Management. Environmental crews were brought in from Dallas to help in the clean up. Residents in one nearby house were told not to come home until further notice, and some Sadler school buses were re-routed. Source:

. May 8, WNEP 16 Scranton – (Pennsylvania) Crash closes route 33 north. A crash in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, had part of Route 33 north closed. Troopers said a tractor-trailer hauling flammable liquids went out of control May 8 in Hamilton Township. Authorities said the driver swerved to avoid a deer and crashed into a tree. One of the trailers overturned, spilling gallons of vanilla extract all over the road. HAZMAT crews were called in to clean up the mess, which they said may be flammable. “In its concentrated form in the 5 gallon pails it is a flammable material. It’s a food additive but when it’s treated and mixed with other chemicals it’s a perfectly safe thing,” explained a representative of the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency. Route 33 north was expected to remain closed until the cleanup was completed. Source:

. May 8, CNN – (Maryland) Man arrested at airport was trying to get on plane with loaded gun, TSA says. A man attempting to fly from Baltimore to Tampa, Florida, May 6 faced charges for attempting to board a plane with a loaded gun, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said. The incident happened at Baltimore/Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport when a TSA officer spotted the weapon in the passenger’s carry-on bag, TSA said. Security officials alerted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police after finding the 9 mm Glock 17 loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition and 1 bullet in the chamber. The Palm Harbor, Florida man was also allegedly carrying 2 additional magazines, each loaded with 10 rounds, TSA said. Police confiscated the weapon and ammunition and arrested the man on a State charge. A TSA official said the passenger, who was ticketed on a Southwest Airlines flight, told authorities he forgot the gun was in his bag. The passenger did not possess a concealed weapon permit, the official added. TSA said there was no impact to airport operations from the incident. Source:

. May 8, Associated Press – (Alaska) State ferry strikes Ocean Beauty’s Petersburg dock. One of Alaska’s largest State ferries hit a seafood processing plant’s dock headon May 7, causing significant damage, the Associated Press reported May 8. The 408- foot Matanuska ferry hit the dock belonging to Ocean Beauty, said a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Transportation. The Petersburg Pilot reported the face of the Ocean Beauty concrete dock was heavily damaged, dock pilings were broken, and a crane was damaged. Even the second floor of the idled processing plant was damaged, with walls and outer walkways partially demolished. The Matanuska shows possible dents and scrapes to the bow of the ship. There were 60 passengers on board at the time of the accident. The accident occurred about 90 minutes before high tide, as the ferry was making its scheduled run from Juneau to Petersburg, 125 miles to the southeast. According to the Alaska Marine Highway System’s Web page, the Matanuska has been in service since 1963. Five years later, it was renovated and lengthened. It can carry 500 passengers, has 108 berths and can hold 88 vehicles. Source: dock#.T6k6vFK1WZc

. May 8, Associated Press – (Ohio) 3-truck crash blocks I-70 bridge near Cambridge. State troopers said three tractor-trailers crashed and significantly damaged a highway overpass in eastern Ohio, blocking westbound traffic near the intersection of two busy interstates May 7. The collision happened on Interstate 70 near Cambridge, just west of where the highway links to Interstate 77. Officials expected the I-70 bridge to remain closed through midday May 8. The crash significantly damaged the concrete sides of the bridge. The driver of the first truck was cited for failure to control. Source: bridge-near-Cambridge

. May 8, Fox News; Associated Press – (National) CIA thwarts Al Qaeda underwear bomb plot near anniversary of leader’s death. A team of FBI experts were examining a sophisticated, new al-Qa’ida bomb to figure out whether it could have slipped past airport security and taken down a commercial airplane, U.S. officials said. The bomb was confiscated after the CIA unraveled a terror plot by al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using an underwear bomb, Fox News reported May 8. The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit December 25, 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger’s underwear, but this time al-Qa’ida developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials told the Associated Press. “Initial exploitation indicates that the device is very similar to IEDs that have been used previously by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in attempted terrorist attacks, including against aircraft and for targeted assassinations,” the FBI said in a written statement. “The FBI currently has possession of the IED and is conducting technical and forensics analysis on it.” Officials said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. However, it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it. It was not clear who built the bomb, but because of its sophistication and its similarity to the Christmas bomb, authorities suspected it was the work of a master bomb maker who constructed the first underwear bomb and two others al-Qa’ida built into printer cartridges and shipped to the U.S. on cargo planes in 2010. Source: plot-on-anniversary-bin-laden-death-us/?test=latestnews

18. May 7, Melville Newsday – (New York) FAA: Two planes collide at JFK; no one hurt. A collision between two planes on the tarmac at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport that did minor damage to both aircraft was under investigation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said May 5. Two Delta planes were involved, resulting in a 2-hour delay in a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, according to the FAA and the airline. The incident happened May 4 while Delta Flight 72 to Istanbul — a Boeing 767 — was sitting at its gate in Kennedy’s Worldport. That is when the wingtip of another Delta 767 being towed from Terminal 4 clipped the parked jet’s horizontal stabilizer, an FAA spokeswoman said. The 193 passengers and 11 crew members headed to Istanbul had to switch planes, according to Delta. The plane being towed was empty. Source: hurt

. May 7, Washington Post – (Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia) Metro says ‘mechanical fatigue’ caused rail car parts to fail. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) said May 7 it has determined “mechanical fatigue” on the friction rings of two of its older rail cars caused one ring to crack and another to fall off earlier in 2012. The rings are similar to a brake disc found on a car, and if a ring fails, it is considered a hazard. The findings were to be presented May 10 at a meeting of the safety and security committee of the WMATA board. Crews discovered a fractured brake part on a 3000 series rail car in January during an inspection at the Shady Grove rail yard. A similar part fell off a 2000 rail car series train on an Orange Line train that was headed toward New Carrollton, January 6. The train was disabled near the Stadium-Armory station, and there were delays for more than 2 hours. Source: fatigue-caused-rail-car-parts-to-fail/2012/05/07/gIQAFcSH9T_story.html For more stories, see items 2 and 4

Postal and Shipping Sector

. May 8, WSB 2 Atlanta – (Georgia) Police: Trio targeted Treasury Department checks in mail thefts. Atlanta police said they arrested three people targeting people’s checks by stealing their mail, WSB 2 Atlanta reported May 8. A postal inspector told an Atlanta police officer at the scene of a May 1 theft at the Heritage Green Apartments that the trio may be the ones who have been breaking into cluster mailboxes. The inspector said the U.S. Department of the Treasury mails out checks at the first of the month. Atlanta police investigated two other mail thefts where mail carriers said the trio also swiped mail from their trucks. Police said they spotted the suspects’ car at a check cashing business, where they arrested all three and found a stack of checks in the car. They are now facing felony theft charges. A postal inspector noted stealing mail is a federal offense. The Postal Service sent a letter to people in the area that said to contact them if their Treasury check was cashed by someone else. Source: checks-ma/nNyjZ/

. May 7, Sacramento Bee – (California) Sacramento man pleads guilty to conspiracy, bank fraud. A Sacramento, California man has become the sixth person to plead guilty in a bank fraud and mail theft case. He pleaded guilty May 7 to felony conspiracy and bank fraud charges in federal court in Sacramento. According to court documents, the defendant and others conspired to use altered stolen checks and money orders taken from stolen mail to obtain cash, goods, and services from Sacramento County banks. Court documents said a co-conspirator stole mail on multiple occasions from customer lobbies of the Discovery, Town and Country, and Strong Ranch post offices. He altered the checks and money orders, and organized others, including the defendant, to cash them. More than 4 banks and 20 postal customers were victimized, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release. Source: to-conspiracy-bank-fraud.html For another story, see item 40

Emergency Services Sector

. May 6, United Press International – (Illinois) Lug nuts stolen from Chicago cop cars. United Press International reported May 6 that Chicago police were investigating the theft of lug nuts from squad cars sitting in a police station parking lot on the city’s southwest side. No officers have been involved in road accidents because of the apparent vandalism. The lug nuts began disappearing about a week ago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. No suspects have been identified. Source: cars/UPI-72971336350702/

. May 6, Fresno Bee – (California) Shots fired at Parlier police headquarters. California’s Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating a May 5 shooting at the Parlier Police Department building. An officer who was standing outside of the building’s front doors reported shots being fired at him as other officers were inside processing a few people they had arrested. Bullet holes were found in the building and in nearby vehicles. It was not known what kind of weapon was used or if the shooting was related to the people being booked inside, an official said. Investigators also do not know if the shooter was targeting the officer or the police department. Source: html For another story, see item 25