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Workers place patch on rail car

Published Aug. 24, 2005

Crews put a temporary patch Sunday on a railroad car that had been leaking toxic chlorine gas since a train wreck last week, while investigators looked into why a switching mechanism had been set to lead the train into railcars parked on a side track.

Nine people were killed and more than 250 were sickened by chlorine gas released when the tank car was damaged in the wreck of a Norfolk Southern train early Thursday. Thousands of nearby residents were to remain evacuated until Wednesday at the earliest.

Thom Berry, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, said workers would now focus on transferring the gas to a safer container and removing all the damaged railcars. About 16,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide has been safely removed from another railcar at the crash site, he said.

Antiabortion Democrat seeks top party job

WASHINGTON _ Former Rep. Tim Roemer said Sunday that he's joining the race to lead the Democratic National Committee _ a move certain to spark a heated debate about the abortion issue.

Roemer, a Catholic from Indiana who opposes abortion, said said he respects the position of Democrats who favor abortion choice and have written it into their party platform.

"I'm not asking to rewrite the platform," he said on ABC's This Week. "We have a majority of our party, an overwhelming majority of our party, that is prochoice, and I respect that. But I think we should not only be more inclusive on this issue, especially in the Midwest and the South if a candidate has those views, we should have them in our party."

He said he's joining the race to expand the party both geographically and ideologically.

Tugboat, barges sweep over dam, killing 3

INDUSTRY, Pa. _ A tugboat and three barges sank Sunday after being swept over a dam spillway on the Ohio River by currents made stronger by heavy rains, killing three crew members. One person was missing and believed to be aboard the sunken boat.

Three people were rescued by crews of other tugs and taken to a hospital. Fire crews arriving on the scene determined the swift water was too dangerous to enter, said Chuck Ward, assistant fire chief in Industry.

"The worst thing was, you could see two people in the boat screaming for help" over the rush of the water, Ward said.

Two of the rescued crew members were treated and released; information was not available for the third. Officials said they would attempt to reach the missing crew member today, provided the water levels have receded.

Damaged submarine due back at port in Guam

HONOLULU _ A nuclear submarine that ran aground about 350 miles south of Guam, killing one crewman and injuring 23 others, was due back at its home port in Guam today, according to a Navy spokesman.

There were no reports of damage to the USS San Francisco's reactor plant, but the extent of damage to the 360-foot submarine will be determined when it gets to port, said Jon Yoshishige, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The vessel was moving under its own power.

Officials said they still don't know what the Los Angeles-class submarine hit Saturday, but Lt. j.g. Adam Clampitt of the Pacific Fleet said it had been conducting operations underwater at the time.

Also ...

BIOSPHERE FOR SALE: The company that owns Biosphere 2 Center, 3.1 glass-enclosed acres designed to simulate the Earth's environment, has put the site up for sale. The company is also selling 70 other buildings on the center's 140-acre campus north of Tucson, said Christopher Bannon, general manager of Decisions Investment Corp. of Fort Worth, Texas.