Train kills two workers amid Strike in San Francisco

Train kills two workers amid Strike

A commuter train that is part of a San Francisco Bay Area system whose employees are on strike hit and killed two maintenance workers Saturday afternoon, officials said.

The accident that killed one system employee and one contractor in the East Bay city of Walnut Creek occurred shortly before 2 p.m. as the train was on a routine maintenance run operated by a manager, Bay Area Rapid Transit officials said.

"This is a tragic day in BART's history," the system's general manager, Grace Crunican, said in a statement.

BART officials said in a statement that the manager was an "experienced operator" and the four-car train was being run in automatic mode under computer control.

Officials from the two unions representing BART workers, who have been on strike since Thursday, have warned of the danger that could come with allowing managers to operate trains.

Canada

Train carrying oil, gas derails near Edmonton

Firefighters battling a major blaze after a Canadian National tanker train derailed west of Edmonton, Alberta, on Saturday have decided to withdraw and wait for the flames to burn themselves out. No injuries to people or livestock have been reported.

The latest derailment has raised more questions about rail safety that became a major issue after a runaway oil train derailed in a Quebec town in July, triggering explosions that killed 47 people.

Canadian National spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin said 13 cars — four carrying petroleum crude oil and nine loaded with liquified petroleum gas — came off the tracks around 1 a.m. local time in the hamlet of Gainford, about 50 miles from Edmonton.

With no further explosions expected, withdrawing the firefighters is the safest thing to do, said Parkland County fire Chief Jim Phelan. Parkland County includes Gainford.

Somalia

Suicide attack kills 15 at busy restaurant

A suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a small but crowded restaurant in a city near the border with Ethiopia on Saturday, killing himself and at least 15 others, police said.

The attacker, strapped with explosives, blew himself up around 11 a.m. in Beledweyne, a city about 200 miles northwest of the capital, Mogadishu, officials said. Col. Isack Ali Abdulle, a police commander in Beledweyne, told local reporters that the attack had killed 15 people, including at least four Ethiopian soldiers.

Al-Shabab, the militant Somali Islamist group, claimed responsibility. A spokesman, Abdiaziz Abu Musab, said the suicide bomber had been targeting soldiers from Ethiopia and Djibouti who frequented the cafe. Musab gave a higher death toll, saying 25 people had been killed.

Washington

Iran hard-liners say no call to halt enrichment

The six world powers negotiating with Iran over its disputed nuclear program asked Tehran in an opening proposal this past week to slow, rather than halt, low-level uranium enrichment at its two enrichment facilities, a hard-line website in Iran reported.

The Mashregh website said the six countries proposed in a meeting in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday that Iran also slow the installation of gas centrifuges, the machines that produce enriched uranium, at the Natanz and Fordo nuclear facilities.

The Obama administration declined to comment.

Mexico

Drug cartel honcho killed by gunmen

Gunmen dressed as clowns burst into a children's party and shot to death the eldest brother of one of Mexico's erstwhile largest and feared drug-trafficking families, Mexican officials and press reports said Saturday.

Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was killed in the Baja California city of Cabo San Lucas while attending the party at a local hotel on Friday, the reports said.

Arellano Felix was the oldest of seven brothers who ran the Tijuana drug cartel that once dominated that border city. The group has been largely dismantled over the years, pushed out by the rival Sinaloa cartel and pressured by law enforcement; most of the other brothers have been jailed or killed.

Elsewhere

Britain: The violin believed to have belonged to the bandleader on the Titanic fetched nearly $1.45 million at auction Saturday, becoming far and away the most expensive piece of memorabilia associated with the ocean liner ever to be sold.

Times wires

Train kills two workers amid Strike in San Francisco 10/19/13 [Last modified: Sunday, October 20, 2013 1:05am]

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