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Toll in explosions rises to 85, with 21 firefighters dead

China

Toll in explosions rises to 85, with 21 firefighters dead

The death toll from an inferno and huge explosions in the Chinese port city of Tianjin climbed to 85 today, including 21 firefighters, with hundreds of people injured and some still unaccounted for. A rapid succession of explosions late Wednesday — one equal to 21 tons of TNT — were sparked by a fire at what authorities said were shipping containers containing hazardous material at a warehouse. The explosions struck a mostly industrial zone late at night — otherwise the death toll could have been much higher. But the warehouse was close enough to residences to appear out of compliance with safety regulations, raising questions about whether the facility had properly been authorized. The toll included at least 21 firefighters among the more than 1,000 sent to the disaster, local officials told a news conference today. Zhou Ti, a 19-year-old firefighter, was pulled from the zone at about dawn Friday and taken to a hospital, where he was treated for face, chest and foot injuries, state broadcaster CCTV reported. Authorities have not said what caused the explosions.

Sandusky, Ohio

Roller coaster cleared after rider is killed

A safety inspection found no major problems with a roller coaster that struck and killed a man who entered a restricted area to look for a lost cellphone at Ohio's Cedar Point amusement park, a spokesman said Friday. Police said James A. Young, 45, had just finished riding the Raptor on Thursday and jumped over a fence to retrieve something he dropped during the 57 mph ride. The Erie County coroner said it was his cellphone. Sandusky police said Young was struck by the ride or someone on it. No one else was hurt. The ride was examined overnight by state safety officials and found to be in safe working order, so it resumed operating Friday, park spokesman Bryan Edwards said.

Toledo, Ohio

Zoo to take cubs of bear that killed hiker

An Ohio zoo will take the two cubs of a grizzly bear that was euthanized after it killed a hiker in Yellowstone National Park. The Toledo Blade reported Friday that the Toledo Zoo was already planning a brown bear exhibit and has agreed to take the female cubs. They're expected to arrive in Toledo in the fall. Park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said the mother was killed because she ate part of Montana hiker Lance Crosby, 63, and hid the rest of the body — an abnormal behavior for a female bear defending its young.

New York

Trump to take break from trail for jury duty

Donald Trump, whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination has shaken up the race, will participate in a more common civic activity next week: jury duty. Trump has been summoned to serve in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, and plans to report there Monday morning, said Michael Cohen, an executive vice president at the Trump Organization and special counsel to Trump. "Despite the time that Mr. Trump is required to fulfill this civic obligation, the campaign will continue to go on," Cohen said Friday.

Elsewhere

United Nations: U.N. human rights experts on Friday called on Iran to release a Washington Post reporter who has been detained for more than a year on charges including espionage. A verdict on Jason Rezaian's case could come as early as next week.

Times wires

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