1. Archive

Flash floods hit South Carolina

Flash floods washed out roads and bridges Friday and caused a train derailment that closed a highway. Two people died when their car plunged into a washed out road and a baby was swept to its death nearby in Georgia. The driver of a school bus with a half-dozen children on board managed to stop just before the edge of the large road washout where the deaths occurred. Seven to 9{ inches of rain fell Thursday night and Friday morning as thunderstorms rolled along the Georgia line about 70 miles south of Columbia, the National Weather Service said.

FAA wants engine mount pins tested

SEATTLE _ The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered U.S. operators of early model Boeing 747 jumbo jets to inspect engine mount pins called into question after last weekend's deadly El Al crash in Amsterdam when a 747-220 cargo jet slammed into an apartment complex. The pilot had reported an engine fire and the plane dropped at least one engine. At least 51 people were killed. On Friday authorities sharply reduced the estimated death toll from 250 to 120. Boeing and FAA officials say there is no evidence linking the failure of a fuse pin to the El Al crash or any other accident. However, Dick Johnson, Boeing director of engineering for 747 and 767 aircraft, has said the inspections grew from an investigation into the December crash of a China Airlines 747-200 freighter in Taiwan. Both right-side engines separated from that jet shortly after takeoff.

Refinery smolders after explosion

LOS ANGELES _ Escaping gas continued burning Friday at a smoldering Texaco refinery where an explosion felt 15 miles away rocked the harbor area, shattered windows and chased hundreds of people from homes. Sixteen Los Angeles refinery workers were hurt slightly but there were no deaths. At Elwin, Ill., a gas pipeline exploded Friday and killed one of 30 people working in the area. It exploded while it was being moved to make way for highway expansion, said a spokesman for Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co.

Briefly . . .

Teacher convicted in child pornography case: A teacher at the exclusive Phillips Exeter Academy prep school was convicted Friday of possessing and shipping child pornography. A U.S. District Court jury deliberated about 4{ hours before finding Lane Bateman, 51, guilty of keeping child pornography in his apartment at the academy and of mailing it across state lines.

Freed condor found dead: An endangered California condor released into the wild from a captive-breeding program earlier this year was found dead, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday. The cause of death was undetermined.

Komodo dragons born: A dozen tiny Komodo dragons that poked their heads out from their leathery shells a month ago debuted for the curious Friday at the Washington Zoo. Biologists said it was the first time the rare and endangered species had been bred in captivity any place other than their native Indonesia.