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Fire chief dies on way to fatal snow crash in Maine

THE FORKS, Maine

Fire chief dies on way to fatal snow crash

A man who crashed his snowmobile into a tree in Maine has died — along with a fire department chief who was on his way to rescue him. The Maine Warden Service said Jason Dodge was snowmobiling with his brother Friday night when he crashed into a fir tree on a groomed trail in the Forks, an area noted for its camping and other outdoor activities. The warden service said Dodge, 37, was wearing a helmet when he lost control on a turn and hit the tree head-on. Fire Chief Brian Rowe was driving to the scene when he suffered what authorities called a "critical medical episode." Emergency crews couldn't save Rowe, 66.

MARION JUNCTION, Ala.

Five are killed in mobile home fire

Authorities said five people, including three children, were killed in a mobile home fire in central Alabama. Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman said the fire early Saturday appeared to be an accident. The bodies of a man, a woman and three children, ages 3, 6 and 7, were sent to the state forensics lab, Huffman said.

EGYPT

Mubarak has gall bladder surgery

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak underwent a successful operation in Germany on Saturday to remove his gall bladder after temporarily handing over power to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, the state-owned Middle East News Agency reported. Mubarak, 81, who has governed for nearly three decades, was diagnosed with "severe inflammation of his gall bladder" after tests at a hospital in Heidelberg, according to MENA.

sri Lanka

Panel on rights abuses rejected

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rejected U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon's plan to appoint a panel of experts to look into alleged rights abuses in the island nation's civil war, a statement from the president's office said Saturday. In a Friday evening phone conversation with Ban, Rajapaksa described the step as "totally uncalled for and unwarranted," the statement said. The United Nations has reported that more than 7,000 civilians were killed in the final fighting against the Tamil Tigers last year.

Elsewhere

Togo: Faure Gnassingbe, son of the late dictator Eyadema Gnassingbe, has won the presidential race with 60.9 percent of the vote, the president of Togo's election commission, Issifou Tabio, declared Saturday.

Norway: The UBT Ocean, a chemical tanker with 21 crew members, all from Myanmar, was hijacked by Somali pirates near Madagascar, the Norwegian owners said Saturday.

China: A truck loaded with people heading for an ancient Tibetan monastery crashed on a hill Saturday, killing 26 people, China's Xinhua News Agency said. Nine injured people were taken to a hospital, it said.

Times wires

Fire chief dies on way to fatal snow crash in Maine 03/06/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 6, 2010 9:39pm]

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