Old-school call box has vital role
Philadelphia transit officials say an old-fashioned but vital piece of safety equipment helped avert disaster when a stroller carrying a toddler fell onto train tracks. An alert passenger at the west Philadelphia station used a call box to notify the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority about the emergency Wednesday. Gale Walker took the call at SEPTA police headquarters and said Thursday she was stunned by the report. She immediately told dispatchers to hold the eastbound Market-Frankford Line. Surveillance video shows the stroller rolling off the slanted platform and falling a few feet to the tracks below. As the toddler's mother jumps down to save her, a bystander uses the call box speakerphone. Officials say call boxes are used infrequently because most people use cellphones to report emergencies.
NASA: Spacewalk fixed the leak
An impromptu spacewalk over the weekend seems to have fixed a big ammonia leak at the International Space Station, NASA said Thursday. The "gusher" erupted a week ago, prompting the hastiest repair job ever by residents of the orbiting lab. Spacewalking astronauts replaced a suspect ammonia pump on Saturday, just two days after the trouble arose. Ammonia is used as a coolant in the space station's radiator system. The leak forced one of the station's seven power channels to go offline. NASA hopes to resume normal operations early next week, following computer software updates.