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Accidents and disasters

Russian plane crash: snowplow driver was drunk

Russian investigators: driver of snowplow that hit plane, killing Total CEO, was drunk
The Associated Press

MOSCOW - The CEO of French oil giant Total SA was killed at a Moscow airport when his corporate jet collided with a snowplow whose driver was drunk, Russian investigators said Tuesday.

Total confirmed "with deep regret and sadness" that Chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie died in the crash at Moscow's Vnukoko airport.

The three other people on board, all of them French crew members, also died when the French-made Dassault Falcon 50 crashed into the snowplow on takeoff at 11:57 p.m. Monday.

5.6-magnitude quake felt on Ecuador-Colombia line

5.6-magnitude quake shakes Ecuador's border with Colombia, no injuries or damage reported
Gonzalo Solano, The Associated Press

QUITO, Ecuador - A magnitude-5.6 earthquake rattled Ecuador's border with Colombia on Monday, shaking low-lying buildings and frightening residents in the sparsely-populated area. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 3:33 p.m. EDT, had a depth of about 10 kilometres (6 miles) and was centred about 113 kilometres (70 miles) northeast of Quito. It initially measured the quake at 6-magnitude, but downgraded it to 5.6 several hours later.

The tremor was felt in small towns on both sides of the border.

Surfer says he hit shark with board to stop attack

Surfer says he punches, swings board to fend off shark attack; animal takes bite out of board
The Associated Press

WAILUKU, Hawaii - A surfer holding his 8-year-old son says he punched and smacked a shark with his board to stop an attack off Maui.

Kaleo Roberson tells the Maui News ( ) that he was surfing Saturday with 20 others — including his twin 8-year-old sons and a 6-year-old son — off Maalaea (mah-uh-LAY'-ah) when a 12- to 14-foot tiger shark appeared.

Roberson didn't see the shark until it was a few feet away. He remembers a wide-open mouth with teeth coming at him. No one was injured.

Liberia president describes heavy cost of Ebola

Ebola: Liberia's president appeals to world for help; food deliveries continue in Sierra Leone
Jonathan Paye-Layleh, The Associated Press

MONROVIA, Liberia - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in her country and has brought it to "a standstill," noting that Liberia and two other badly hit countries were already weakened by years of war.

Appealing for more international help, Sirleaf described the devastating effects of Ebola in a "Letter to the World" that was broadcast Sunday by the BBC.

Nepal end rescue efforts on popular trekking route

Nepal end rescue operation on popular trekking route where 39 died in blizzards, avalanches
Binaj Gurubacharya, The Associated Press

KATMANDU, Nepal - Nepal wrapped up rescue operations in its northern mountains Monday, saying all the hikers believed to have been stranded on a trekking route by a series of deadly blizzards are now safe.

At least 39 people, including trekkers from Canada, India, Israel, Slovakia, Poland and Japan, died in the blizzards and avalanches that swept the Himalayas last week, battering the popular Annapurna trekking circuit. Nepalese officials said they rescued 407 people, 226 of them foreigners.

Nepal to end rescue operation on trekking route

Nepal says it will end rescue operation on popular trekking route where 38 died in snowstorms
Binaj Gurubacharya, The Associated Press

KATMANDU, Nepal - Nepal was wrapping up rescue operations in its northern mountains Monday, saying all the hikers believed to be stranded on a trekking route by a series of blizzards and avalanches that left dozens of others dead have been rescued and are safe.

Nepal closes trekking route after 38 die in storm

Nepal closes popular trekking route where 38 died in snowstorms after new climbers set out
Binaj Gurubacharya, The Associated Press

KATMANDU, Nepal - Nepalese officials closed a section of a popular Himalayan trekking route Sunday after rescuers, overwhelmed with last week's snowstorms that killed at least 38 people including four Canadians, had to save new hikers who set out after the blizzards on the same deadly trails.

Bear bites boy's arm off in Chinese zoo

Bear bites boy's arm off in zoo in central China after he tries to feed him
The Associated Press

BEIJING, China - A bear in central China has bitten off the arm of a 9-year-old boy who tried to feed it through its cage, state media and a doctor said Sunday.

Media reports said the attack happened Saturday afternoon at Pingdingshan Hebin Park in Henan province, which has a zoo inside. The boy managed to push his arm through the bear's cage to feed it when the bear bit him.

A doctor at the Pingdingshan Number 152 Hospital, who treated the boy, said Sunday that he lost his entire right arm, which had to be amputated.

Bermuda clears trees, power lines hit by Gonzalo

Bermuda clears trees, power lines downed by Hurricane Gonzalo; no deaths reported
Josh Ball And Danica Coto, The Associated Press

HAMILTON, Bermuda - Crews cleared away downed trees and power lines Saturday after Hurricane Gonzalo battered this tiny, wealthy British territory for several hours but caused no deaths or serious injuries.

The storm's centre crossed over Bermuda late Friday and Gonzalo quickly moved northward over the Atlantic on a track that could take it just off the shore of Newfoundland in Canada early Sunday.

Russian spacecraft turned space junk to crash soon

Stranded Russian spacecraft to crash to Earth soon, risks posed by its fiery plunge unclear
Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press

MOSCOW - A Russian spacecraft designed to burnish the nation's faded space glory in a mission to one of Mars' moons has turned into one of the heaviest, most toxic pieces of space junk ever.

It will come crashing down to Earth in just a few days.

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