<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Breaking News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/breaking http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:51:47 -0400 Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:51:47 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[SEPTA El Train Shut Down Due to Fire in Tunnel]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:31:48 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Brendan-Lowry.jpg

The SEPTA El train is shut down in both directions after a fire near 30th Street Station.

Officials say a rubbish fire broke out on the westbound side in a tunnel on 31st and Market Sunday afternoon.

While the fire is currently under control, the El train is shutdown on the Market-Frankford Line both westbound and eastbound between 15th and 40th street stations.

Shuttle buses are currently operating between 15th and 40th. Trolley routes 10, 11, 13, 34, and 36 are also being diverted to the 40th and Market street station due to police activity at the scene of the fire.

This story is developing. Check back here for updates.
 



Photo Credit: Brendan Lowry, @brelow]]>
<![CDATA[Brush Fire Burns in NJ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 18:34:57 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/generic-fire2013.jpg

A brush fire burned in South Jersey this afternoon blocking traffic.

The fire burned about five acres of land off S Pemberton Road (Route 38) near U.S. Route 206 in Lumberton, Burlington County.

Fire crews blocked one direction of Route 38 due to smoke, according to county dispatchers.

Dispatchers said that firefighters were on the scene Saturday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. putting out hot spots.

The state Department of Environmental Protection said brush fires like this are common -- there are anywhere from 7,000 to 14,000 a year in the Garden State.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Autopsy Expected in College Student's Death]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:06:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Bradley-Amerman.jpg

A Philadelphia college student died in a campus building Wednesday morning less than a month away from when he was set to graduate.

Medics were called to Chestnut Hill College around 8:45 a.m. for the report of an unresponsive student on a couch in St. Joseph Hall, according to Philadelphia Police.

They found the 22-year-old Chestnut Hill senior not breathing and pronounced him dead at the scene, according to investigators.

The college later identified the student as Bradley Amerman, a business major.

"Our sincere prayers and heartfelt sympathy are extended to the family and friends of Bradley David Amerman and to the Class of 2014," read a statement from college president Sister Carol Jean Vale.

Police remained on the scene throughout Wednesday morning as they tried to figure out what led to Amerman's death. According to law enforcement sources, there were no signs of trauma. An autopsy will be performed on Thursday.

The college held an afternoon gathering to remember Amerman. Staff members and counselors were also available to students at the small liberal arts college.

"I feel really bad for the family and I wish that we could do something," said Chestnut Hill student Elizabeth Raub. "The family will be in my prayers."

The college, which sits on 75 acres of land at the intersection of Northwestern and Germantown Avenue's at the edge of the city's Chestnut Hill neighborhood, has an undergraduate enrollment of about 1,500 students, according to U.S. News statistics.

About one year ago, a Chestnut Hill College freshman was hurt when he fell three stories from Fournier Hall on the college's campus.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Fire at NJ Apartment Complex Leaves 1 Hurt]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:56:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/East+Windsor+Fire+Smoke.JPG

A fire burned through a Mercer County apartment complex this morning leaving one person hurt and a group of people out of their homes.

The flames broke out around 6:30 a.m. in a first-floor unit of the Village East Apartments along Abbington Drive in East Windsor, N.J., according to investigators.

Resident Zaire Bailey's quick-thinking helped get his neighbors out in time before the fire could spread to four alarms as heavy smoke poured from the "K" Building.

"I ran downstairs and just started banging on people's doors making sure that they knew there was a fire," Bailey said.

One woman escaped with minor burns.

Sprinklers in the complex helped confine the fire to only four of the 24 units inside the building. Many of those units appeared to be totally damaged.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead, firefighters could be seen battling flames on the pitched roof.

The fire was brought under control in less than one hour.

The American Red Cross said it was available in case displaced residents needed any assistance.

Click here for more news from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. 



Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Amber Alert Canceled, Mom, Son Found Safe]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:24:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Amber-Alert-Lead.jpg

An Amber Alert has been canceled after police say a mother and her son were found unharmed.

Cumru Township Police say they received a call on Tuesday around 4 p.m. reporting that 24-year-old Jessica Mauger and her son, 20-month-old Aedan Michael Mauger, were endangered and missing from their home on the 1000 block of Bedford Avenue in Shillington, Berks County, Pa.

Jessica Mauger's parents told police that the woman had left her home with her son Tuesday morning and had not returned. The parents claimed the note indicated that she was planning to harm herself.

Pennsylvania State Police also reported that Mauger took two bottles of pills as well as a bottle of rum with her.

An Amber Alert was issued as police searched for Mauger and her child.

Around 7:45 p.m., Cumru Township Police and Lancaster City Police were able to find Jessica and her son in Lancaster City. They were both unharmed and the Amber Alert was canceled.

Officials initially told NBC10 that Mauger did not have custody of her child. However, state police later refuted that report after Mauger and her son were found.

Police have not yet revealed whether any charges will be filed.

Stay with NBC10.com for more details on this developing story.

Click here for more stories from the Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware area.
 

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<![CDATA[Suspicious Device Found Inside Building]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 03:55:53 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Bomb-Squad-Queen-Village.jpg

Residents were allowed back inside their homes after police say a suspicious device was found inside a building in the Queen Village section of the city.

PGW workers were called to a home on the 700 block of South 4th Street Monday night for a report of a gas odor. When they arrived, they found a milk jug with an unidentified liquid as well as wires inside. The wires were attached to a timer that was plugged into a wall outlet of a home.

Several houses as well as an apartment building in the area were evacuated and police as well as the bomb squad were called to the scene.

Police told NBC10 the device was set to go off at 11 p.m. and that it could have caused a fire inside the building. However, a PGW worker managed to pull the wire from the milk bottle which prevented anything from happening.

Investigators say the device is still inside the building but that the area is safe.

Police are now searching for the person who created the device and investigators are still at the scene.

Several homes on the street, including the one where the device was found, are currently under construction.

The device was located in the same area where Philadelphia Fire captain Michael Goodwin died almost a year ago.

On April 6, 2013, Goodwin was on the roof of Jack B. Fabrics at 4th and Fitzwater, when the roof of the building collapsed, trapping him inside. Goodwin was a 29-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Derailed Train Removed, Road Reopened]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:42:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Derailed+Train+Port+Richmond.JPG

A freight train hauling hazardous materials derailed this morning at a Philadelphia signal crossing causing a major road to be closed for hours.

Two rail cars went off the tracks blocking Aramingo Avenue between Castor Avenue and E Butler Street in the Port Richmond section of the city around 3:15 a.m.

The derailed cars remained blocking the road for hours before they were lifted out of place, the track was repaired and the road was reopened.

The rail crossing in the industrial/commercial area flashed and bells rang for some time as the derailed nine-car freight train remained in the middle of the road near a ShopRite store for hours.

There were no injuries and luckily none of the tanker cars overturned or leaked.

A Conrail spokesman said that it appeared that the tanker cars jumped the rail and landed in the mud after the actual rail cracked. NBC10 cameras captured the cracked rail.

The spokesman said that the tanker cars were hauling flammable liquids including acetone in two cars and phenol in the rest. Acetone is a common industrial solvent that is harmful if swallowed or inhaled.

Conrail said nothing leaked during the accident and there was no immediate threat to neighbors in the area.

Motorists were urged to avoid the area if at all possible as the cleanup continued.

NBC10's Jillian Mele suggested taking Frankford Avenue or Richmond Street to avoid Aramingo Avenue. She warned however to expect heavier volume on nearby roads.

The seven cars that remained on the tracks were detached from the derailed cars around 6 a.m. It isn't clear when the remaining derailed cars will be cleared. Heavy equipment was brought in to remove the cars.

The rail cars were removed just before 9 a.m. but the road remained closed as crews worked to repair the track. About 30 minutes later the road reopened to traffic.

Conrail crews remained on the scene investigating and making further repairs.

The track was inspected within the last month, a federal requirement.

Conrail is owned by Norfolk Southern and CSX, the railroad company that was under scrutiny last month by city council for its safety and maintenance practices.

"We're going to make sure they are focusing on investing in their infrastructure to make sure incidents don't take place in the future," said Philadelphia city councilman Kenyatta Johnson. "It starts with leadership and although we don't have regulation over our railways, that's not a reason for us to not get involved."

Another recent train derailment in Philadelphia prompted Johnson to hold hearings about railroad safety in which officials with CSX testified.

"We have to call them out, through our hearings," Johnson said. "If you're going to do business here in the city of Philadelphia you should be held accountable."

The Federal Railroad Administration provided NBC10 reports which showed that Conrail was involved in 17 accidents last year, a 55% increase over 2012. The data also shows eight accidents caused by tracks and 14 total derailments, up 39% from 2012.



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Students Turned Away From School Due to Gas Leak]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:14:20 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/Ann+Mullen+Middle+School+Gas+Leak.JPG

Buses full of students were turned away from a South Jersey middle school this morning because of a suspected gas leak.

Gloucester Township Police said that crews investigated a natural gas odor at Ann A Mullen Middle School on Sicklerville Road in Sicklerville, N.J. around 7 a.m. Monday.

Students were on their way to the school when the gas leak was reported. The fumes appeared to be coming from the building's boiler room and South Jersey Gas Company was called in to investigate, according to police.

Police said buses were turned around and that students were taken to nearby Timber Creek High School during the evacuation, according to police.

There were no reports of any injuries.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead, police cars and fire trucks could be seen responding to the school.

Around 8:45 a.m., the area was deemed safe and kids began to return to the Gloucester Township School District middle school.

Classes resumed at the middle school around 9:40 a.m.

Mullen Middle is the same school where a student reported that a man tried to pick her up as she headed to school last month.



Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Phillies Home Opener Rescheduled]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 00:21:41 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/183*120/First+Pitch+CBP.jpg

Monday’s home opener between the Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers has been postponed and rescheduled for Tuesday, April 8 at 4:05 p.m.

The game was postponed due to the expected heavy rain Monday afternoon.

A Phillies spokesperson says all tickets for Monday's game will be honored for entry into the April 8 game. All gates, including Ashburn Alley, will open at 1:35 p.m.

All Opening Day pregame festivities, including the Citizens Bank Way Opening Day Party and on-field performances, will also take place on the rescheduled game date.  The Citizens Bank Way Opening Day Party will now begin at 1:00 p.m. 

In addition, all fans will receive a Citizens Bank Park Commemorative Banner, compliments of Modell’s Sporting Goods, according to the spokesperson.

Standing Room Only tickets will go on sale at noon on Tuesday, April 8 at the First Base Ticket Windows.

The 4:05 p.m. game will be televised right here on NBC10 and will air on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, SportsRadio 94WIP and WTTM 1680AM (Spanish).  The NBC10 Welcome Home Phillies special will also air from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2-Year-Old Boy Accidentally Shoots, Kills Sister: Police]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 14:55:22 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*159/jamara+stevens+11yo+girl+killed1.jpeg

Police say a 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 11-year-old sister in their Philadelphia home while their mother was just down the hall in the bathroom.

Investigators say 11-year-old Jamara Stevens was killed when she and her three siblings, a 14-year-old boy, 7-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy, were playing with a .357 caliber handgun with an 8-inch barrel in their Mantuna home on the 3800 block of Wallace Street just before 10 a.m. Saturday.

Tiffany Goldwire and her four children were in her bedroom, when she went to use the bathroom, according to police.

At that point, the kids located the loaded firearm, which was left on top of the refrigerator by the mother's boyfriend who visited the home earlier that morning, and the eldest child retrieved it, according to reports.

While playing with the weapon, the 2-year-old boy pointed the loaded, cocked gun in the direction of his 11-year-old sister and it discharged, striking her in the arm, according to authorities.

Investigators say the bullet then traveled through her chest, hitting her heart.

The girl was taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she was pronounced dead at 10:20 a.m.

The surviving children and Goldwire were taken to police headquarters, where the mother was questioned for nearly five hours, according to reports.

After the family members were interviewed, investigators swiped them for evidence.

Sources tell NBC10 authorities determined the 2-year-old boy pulled the trigger because his arm had traces of gun powder and a burn from the blast.

Police say this is not the first time they have been to the Mantua home and that Goldwire is not cooperating with the investigation.

Detectives say they are trying to figure out who owned the handgun, which they found on Goldwire's bed.

After the shooting occurred, neighbors and relatives could be seen visibly upset outside of the Mantua home as members of CeaseFire arrived in the neighborhood to post signs calling for an end to shootings.

No charges have been filed as homicide detectives continue to investigate. 

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<![CDATA[Body Found in Schuylkill River]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:06:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/PHOTO148688151169957918858ap.jpg

A body was found in the Schuylkill River Friday afternoon, according to Philadelphia Police.

The body of a man that appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s was discovered near the Market Street Bridge in Center City just after noon.

Police haven't identified the man or determined a cause of death.

This story is developing. Check back with NBC10 for more information.



Photo Credit: Bucky]]>
<![CDATA[Deadly South Jersey Motel Fire]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 11:03:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Lumberton+Travel+Inn+Motel+Fire.JPG

A man died after fire broke out this morning in a room at a South Jersey motel.

Flames began around 8:30 a.m. at the Travel Inn along New Jersey Route 38 and the Mount Holly Bypass in Lumberton, N.J.

Burlington County Dispatchers said that firefighters knocked the flames back and got the blaze quickly under control but it was too late to save a man.

The fire appeared contained to Room 309.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead, firefighters could be seen entering neighboring units as a red sheet hung over the room where the unidentified victim was found.

Firefighters didn't immediately reveal how the fire began.

This blaze came a couple weeks after another New Jersey motel blaze. That earlier fire in Point Pleasant Beach left four dead, eight hurt and more without a place to stay.



Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[All Clear After Suitcase Left on Campus]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:09:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/210*120/Unattended+suitcase.JPG

University of Pennsylvania students were put on alert this morning after a suitcase was left on campus.

The unattended luggage was left in a walkway near the Vernon Pavilion near 38th where it turns into University Avenue south of Spruce Street in University City around 8 a.m., according to Philadelphia Police.

A short time later the university police sent an alert out to students asking them to avoid the area.

The bomb squad was called in to investigate the scene, which is close to the veterinary school.

There were no evacuations and no one was hurt, according to university police.

Some students reacted to the incident on Twitter.

A university spokesperson said they got the all clear around 9:15 a.m.

It isn't clear who left the bag on campus.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Suspicious Package at Police Station]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:09:42 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/35th+Police+District+Hazmat+Philly+Police.JPG

A Philadelphia Police station was at the center of a hazmat situation this morning.

The Philadelphia Fire Department responded to Northwest Detectives/35th Police District at Broad and Champlost Streets in the city’s Olney section after a clear 2-by-2 clear cellophane package containing a white powdery substance was found around 5:15 a.m., according to emergency responders.

No one was hurt and the building wasn’t evacuated as emergency crews inspected the area.

Fire trucks could be seen parked out on Broad Street as crews responded.

Members of the fire department's hazmat unit removed the package from the building and took it into a waiting response vehicle to try and determine exactly what was in the package.

A short time later, a police officer told NBC10.com's Monique Braxton that the substance wasn't harmful.

Click here for more news from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[3 Hurt After Truck Crashes Into House]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:11:35 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Feasterville-House-Collapse.jpg

A school teacher and her two young daughters are recovering after their truck crashed into a Bucks County home, causing a partial collapse.

Officials say Dawn Thompson, a teacher at Neshaminy High School, was driving her truck with her two daughters inside in Feasterville, Pa. Wednesday night. Suddenly, police say, she somehow lost control of her vehicle.

The truck hopped a curb, drove across a front lawn and then slammed into a home on 357 Fox Hollow Drive.

"You could feel a rumble and you heard what sounded like a small explosion," said Joe Doyle, who lives across the street from the home.

The homeowners, Jeff Murtha and his mother Rita Murtha, were both inside during the crash.

"It didn't sound like a crash at all," Jeff said. "It sounded like an explosion, like if a big truck with steel beams on it flipped over and just metal crashing everywhere."

Unharmed, Jeff and his mother sprang into action and checked on Thompson and her daughters. The woman and the two girls were trapped inside the vehicle.

"My son was carrying one girl and trying to help my neighbor with the other," Rita said.

While they were able to rescue the girls, Thompson was still stuck inside the driver's seat. That was until rescue workers arrived at the scene.

"My first rescue on scene deployed the jaws of life into the garage and had to pop the door open," said Lower Southampton Fire Chief Steve Krippel.

"She looked like she was in and out of consciousness," Jeff said. "She didn't really know what was going on. She was in shock."

Thompson and her daughters were taken to the hospital. All three are in good condition, according to officials.

Police are still investigating what caused Thompson to lose control of her vehicle.

Meanwhile, despite the severe damage to their home, Jeff and his mother are still thankful.

"I'm just glad that everybody got out safe for the most part," Jeff said. "That could all be fixed."



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Body of Missing Man Found Near 30th Street]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 22:05:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Gregory-Andino-Lead.jpg

The body of a man who went missing after a Super Bowl party last February was found near 30th Street station on Saturday, according to investigators.

Investigators say Gregory Andino, 38, left his home around 3 p.m. on February 2 to watch the Super Bowl with his friends at an unknown location.

Andino spoke with his wife around 3:30 a.m. on February 3. Investigators say Andino told her he was driving and on his way to pick her up when his phone went dead.

Around 4:45 a.m. that same morning, State Police responded to a car crash at I-76 West and 30th Street Station. When they arrived, they found Andino's black 2006 GMC Denali.

Investigators say the driver side airbag was deployed and there was heavy front end damage.

Police say they also found Andino’s belongings inside the vehicle. Officials searched the surrounding area as well as local hospitals but Andino was nowhere to be found.

On Saturday, a body was discovered near 30th and Walnut Streets. On Wednesday, the Medical Examiner identified the body as Andino. Investigators have not yet revealed the cause or manner of death. They continue to investigate.

Stay with NBC10.com for more details on this developing story.



Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police]]>
<![CDATA[Pickup Catches Fire on City Ave]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:32:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Pickup+Truck+Fire+City+Avenue.jpg

A pickup truck caught fire and crashed into the bushes outside a City Avenue apartment building this morning after the driver said the transmission began smoking.

The crash closed City Avenue at Bala Avenue in both directions for a little more than an hour.

A driver and his passenger got out of the pickup truck along the Philadelphia side of the road that divides the city from Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County around 9:15 a.m.

The passenger and a witness told NBC10's Na'eem Douglas that the pickup was experiencing transmission problems and began smoking so the driver pulled over.

As they got out of the truck it began to roll backwards.

Passenger Clyde Perkins said the driver tried to jump back into the truck to stop it from rolling.

"He jumped in to try and put it back in park but it wouldn't go back in so he turned the wheel to keep it from hitting the traffic behind us," said Perkins.

"As soon as he got away from it we heard the first pop."

It eventually rolled into the bushes outside the apartments. Thick black smoke and red flames then shot from the vehicle, according to Perkins.

The driver suffered an ankle injury while trying to get the truck in park and was treated at the scene. No one else was hurt, according to police.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead a short time after the wreck, you could see the charred remains of the pickup wedged between bushes outside the building in a diagonal direction.

Police didn't officials give a cause for the crash.

The intensity of the fire left black soot on the side of the brick building.



Photo Credit: Fiona Kennedy]]>
<![CDATA[Artwork Collapses Onto Chinatown Street]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 08:00:00 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Chinatown+Facade+Collapse.JPG

Crews rushed to a Philadelphia street after the decorative façade of a building collapsed onto the street below this morning.

The collapse happened around 4:15 a.m. along the 900 block of Race Street in the Center City’s Chinatown section.

A brightly-colored artistic tree was attached to the north side of the four-story building. It fell off the side of the building and onto the Race Street sidewalk and street.

There were no immediate reports of injuries but authorities did evacuate some people from the apartments located inside the building. Marco Polo Pizza is located on the ground floor of the building.

Firefighters taped off part of the sidewalk and street.

It's unclear how long it might take to cleanup the mess of ceramic and plaster.

Police allowed residents back into their homes and traffic moved past the scene about an hour after the collapse as crews checked gas lines and the sidewalk below.

Licenses and Inspections would determine what caused the artwork to fall. No structural damage was done to the building.

A look at the artistic facade that collapsed onto a Chintown street on April 2, 2014.

Photo: A undated Google Streetview photo of the artwork as it was before the collapse.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead as Truck, Bus Collide]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:10:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/long-island-bus-crash.JPG

A man was killed Tuesday morning when his speeding pickup truck drifted into the path of a charter bus on Long Island and was struck head-on, authorities said.

The driver of the bus and its lone passenger were injured and were in serious condition after the 9 a.m. crash on the border of Roslyn and Albertson in Nassau County, police said.

Nassau County Police Inspector Kenneth Lack said the 2006 Dodge Dakota was heading southbound on Roslyn Road, near Heathcote Drive, when it drifted into the northbound lane, as the charter bus was approaching.

Witnesses told police that the bus appeared to swerve in an attempt to avoid the truck, but was not able to clear it. The bus then crashed into a tree, Lack said.

The truck driver was identified as 43-year-old Facuno R. Ponce of Glen Head. 

Neighbors said they have been concerned about speeding in the area, where the speed limit was already lowered from 40 mph to 30 mph.

--Andrew Siff contributed to this story

 

 

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<![CDATA[White Powder in Envelope, Office Evacuated]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:12:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Bristol+Pa+White+Powder+Hazmat.JPG

Emergency personnel rushed to a Bucks County business park after an employee came in contact with a suspicious white powder while opening the mail.

The powder turned out to be nothing more than common baking soda, according to the fire marshal, but that didn't stop dozens of emergency personnel from responding to 1900 block of Frost Road in Bristol, Pa. when they didn't know if the suspicious powder was actually dangerous.

A MetaSource employee found the powder after opening an envelope sent to the company's Bristol facility, according to Bucks County dispatchers.

The entire building was evacuated as the Philadelphia Police Rapid Response team investigated in full decontamination suits.

Dispatchers said there were no immediate medical transports from the location.

After a couple of hours, crews cleared the scene and allowed employees back into the office after it was determined that the powder was baking soda and posed no threat.

MetaSource is a business process outsourcing company the employs more than 4,700 employees at its various locations. It does a lot of mail outsourcing that involves opening lots of mail. at its Bristol office.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Route 202 Crash Slows Traffic, Hurts 3]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:37:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/228*120/Route+202+Crash+Glen+Mills.JPG

A crash closed lanes of a major Delaware County road and landed three in the hospital this morning.

The three-vehicle wreck in the northbound lanes of Wilmington West Chester Pike (U.S. Route 202) closed the inner lanes of the roadway in both directions just south of Baltimore Pike (U.S. Route 1) in Glen Mills, Pa. around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Three people suffered moderate injuries. Two victims were taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center while the other was taken to Riddle Hospital, according to police.

Only one lane got by in both directions as crews tended to a disabled car while loading a sports utility vehicle onto the back of a tow truck.

The scene was cleared after about one hour.

This crash came just hours after another bad Delaware County crash. That deadly wreck snarled traffic along the Blue Route (I-476) northbound during the morning rush Tuesday.



Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Burns Through Row Home]]> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:49:52 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Saybrook+Row+Home+Fire+Smoke.JPG

Thick smoke poured from a Philadelphia home this morning.

Firefighters battled back the flames at a row home along the 6300 block of Saybrook Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia around 9 a.m. Monday.

No injuries were immediately reported.

Firefighter got the fire under control in less than 30 minutes.

The full extent of damage wasn't immediately known.



Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Lockdown Lifted After Shots Fired Near School]]> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:52:01 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Chester+High+Shots+Fired+Chester+Police.JPG

A Delaware County high school was put on lockdown for more than half an hour this morning after the report of shots fired near the school.

The shots were fired near Chester High School in Chester, Pa. around 8 a.m. Monday, according to Chester Police Commissioner Joseph Bail.

Chester Upland School District superintendent Gregory Shannon said the hooting was reported about a block away at W 9th and Barclay Streets. 

Bail said that police put the school on lockdown as officers investigated.

Shannon said the shooting wasn't "school related" and didn't appear to involve any students. No high schoolers were hurt.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead, police vehicles and officers on foot could be seen in the area of the school.

The lockdown was lifted around 8:40 a.m. after police didn't find any shooting victim.

Click here for more news from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.



Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Man Hurt After Building Partially Collapses]]> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 00:21:39 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Miami+Police+Line+Generic.jpg

A man is in the hospital after a partial building collapse in South Philadelphia Sunday afternoon.

Officials say the man suffered back injuries after the building partially collapsed on 18th Street and Passyunk Avenue.

He was taken to Jefferson Hospital. Police have not yet revealed the man's condition or the cause of the collapse.

When the collapse occured, a gas line broke and had to be shut off until the leak was located, according to PGW spokesperson Melanie McCuttry.

This story is developing. Stay with NBC10.com for updates.


 

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<![CDATA[Empty Suitcase Closes Street]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 10:20:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Generic+Police+Tape+Generic+NJ.JPG

A suspicious package caused an area of Wilmington, Del. to be closed off this morning.

The package was discovered by a tip caller around 6 a.m. at W 4th and N Adams Streets, according to Wilmington Police.

The area is not far from where Iinterstate-95 cuts through the city.

The caller told police that a brown suitcase was left at the northwest corner of the intersection.

Police closed Adams Street at W. 2nd Street as the bomb squad investigated. W 4th Street remained open throughout the investigation.

The bomb squad eventually discovered that nothing was in the suitcase and after three hours or so the road was reopened.

Police didn't say who left the suitcase on the corner. 



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Main Line Ambulance Station Catches Fire]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 05:50:28 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NArberth+Ambulance+Fire.jpg

A Main Line medic station went up in flames overnight leaving multiple ambulances damaged.

Two people in the building called 911 after flames broke out around 2:15 a.m. Friday at the Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lower Merion and Narberth Ambulance - Medic 313 station along Sibley Avenue in Ardmore, Pa.

The cause of the blaze that left five ambulances damaged -- one nearly completely gutted – and an evacuation bus waterlogged wasn’t immediately clear. It did appear that the fire began in the rear of the gutted vehicle, according to investigators.

“No other vehicles are burned up but we have heavy smoke damage and water damage in the bay area and then there’s smoke damage throughout the building,” said Lower Merion Fire Department Chief Chas McGarvey.

The damage could have been worse if not for the sprinkler system installed at the station

“(The fire) set the sprinkler system off, which contained it to that area and saved it from going any further,” said McGarvey.

Fire crews could be seen pushing water out of the ambulance garage once the flames were extinguished.

McGarvey said vehicles would need to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected before being put back into use.

The volunteer ambulance unit serves parts of Montgomery County including Lower Merion, Conshohocken and West Conshohocken, according to its website.

The EMS company hoped to bring in rental vehicles so that they could continue service.



Photo Credit: NBC10 - Chris Cato]]>
<![CDATA[School Bus Strikes Pedestrian]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:01:11 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Northeast+Philadelphia+School+Bus+Crash.jpg

A school bus struck a pedestrian this morning in Northeast Philadelphia leaving one person hurt.

There were kids on bus when it crashed into the pedestrian at Rhawn Street and Lexington Avenue near Pennypack Park around 8 a.m. Thursday, according to investigators.

The Philadelphia Fire Department confirmed that medics transported one person from the location. The age of that person and the extent of his or her injuries wasn’t immediately released.

None of the kids on the bus were hurt, according to authorities.

The large yellow bus to come to rest diagonally across the intersection.

Police directed traffic around the scene of the wreck.

Click here for more news from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.



Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA["Crazy Cat Lady" Will Face Charges: SPCA]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:42:15 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Frankford+Cat+Hoarder+Cat+Lady+Sign.jpg

Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Officers were busy on Wednesday removing hundreds of cats from the home of a self-proclaimed "cat lady" in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.

About 240 cats were discovered in two connected "unsanitary" row homes on the 1600 block of Filmore Street. This came after officers found dozens of other felines during an earlier visit to the homes.

A sign on the gate of the home reads "I'm the Crazy Cat Lady. And this is the crazy cat house."

According to records, the woman who lives at the home has been running a licensed animal shelter known as Animals in Crisis since 2002. SPCA officials say they began to investigate her a few weeks ago after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen. Officials say the woman initially cooperated with them and turned over as many as 30 cats during an earlier visit. However, they then asked her to surrender more cats after conditions worsened but she allegedly refused.

"She declined to continue cooperating with us," said Sara Eremus of the SPCA. "It was a situation where we needed to just go in there and take them."

SPCA officials arrived at the home around 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Investigators say conditions inside the home were so deplorable and unsanitary that the officers had to wear respirators while removing the animals.

Workers from the SPCA spent the day at the house removing the cats. The felines that were removed were transported to PSPCA headquarters on Erie Avenue for vet exams, treatment and shelter.

"PSPCA's ultimate goal here is to find the cats good homes once it obtains legal custody of them," officials stated in a press release.

In total, animal officers estimate the woman, who was not immediately identified, kept more than 300 cats in her home.

According to the SPCA, the woman was operating a cat rescue but became overwhelmed.

The Animals in Crisis website describes itself as a nonprofit organization working to rescue animals and “doing the work the PSPCA should be doing.”

“The number of cats being thrown out far exceeds the number of homes we can find, so we are forced to keep many of them and make them as happy and healthy as possible,” reads a statement on the website. “Due to this large number of cats, we need to expand our facility. We have two full-size basements that are completely cleaned out and ready for renovation.”

NBC10’s Deanna Durante called a number listed on the website and spoke to a woman who refused to identify herself. The woman claimed the animals were not being seized from the home on Filmore Street. Instead, she said the owner of the cats had gotten older and was too sick to take care of the animals and therefore called the SPCA herself.

SPCA officials told NBC10 that the woman we spoke to was “entitled to her side of the story.”

Alicia Manfredi told NBC10 that she used to work at the shelter and was not surprised by the discovery on Wednesday.

"I watched the cats being abused," Manfredi said.

Manfredi claims that she filed a complaint against the owner back in 2011 before quitting. She also sent NBC10 pictures of what it looked like inside.

"Everything was neglected," Manfredi said. "Feces, urine, everywhere. It was just really awful, even for us to be working in."

While the SPCA confirmed a complaint was filed back in 2011, they claim they searched the shelter at the time and did not find any signs of neglect.

On Thursday the PSPCA announced that the woman will face charges, although what those charges will be depends on the outcome of the investigation.

The cats will be made available for adoption soon, says the rescue.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com - Pete Kane]]>
<![CDATA[Bag Found Near Suspect's Home Tests Positive for Ricin]]> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 23:45:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/235*120/hatboro+ricin+search.JPG

A bag recovered last week from inside the cover of a gas main tested positive for ricin, investigators tell NBC10.com.

On March 20, hazmat crews recovered a package from under the cover of a gas main on South New Street in Hatboro, Montgomery County -- near the Byberry Road apartment of 19-year-old Nicholas Todd Helman, who was arrested on March 19 on attempted murder charges.

"Late this afternoon we became aware of some information that the individual may have secreted some evidence into a gas main cover," said Hatboro police Chief James Gardner last week. "We believe we have located something of interest."

Even though officials emphasized there was no threat of imminent danger, residents were asked to stay in their homes while crews worked to recover the package. Authorities gave neighbors the okay to go outside later on.

On Tuesday, the Bucks County District Attorney told NBC10 that a vial found inside the bag tested positive for ricin, a poison found naturally in castor beans that can cause injury and even death if chewed, inhaled or swallowed.

At this point, police have not yet confirmed whether the bag and vial belonged to Helman. They continue to investigate.

Helman allegedly sent a scratch-and-sniff birthday card laced with ricin to a man dating his ex-girlfriend. Police say they were tipped off to the card after Helman's co-worker notified them about his possible intentions. They were able to stop the man's family from opening the card, officials said.

The victim is from Warminster, Bucks County, which is why the Bucks County District Attorney's Office is taking the lead on the investigation, officials said.

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<![CDATA[Woman Found Dead Inside Home]]> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 19:13:55 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/South-Philly-Woman-Shot-Dea.jpg

Police are investigating the suspicious death of a woman who was found inside a bedroom with a gunshot wound.

Police say they found the woman’s body inside the bedroom of a home on the 2000 block of Reserve Drive in South Philadelphia around 1:30 p.m.

According to investigators, the 50-year-old woman had a gunshot wound. They also say a weapon was recovered from the scene and four shell casings were found near her body.

At this point, investigators are labeling her death as suspicious and are checking for any signs of a forced entry.

Stay with NBC10.com for more details on this developing story.
 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Apartment Fire Forces Residents Out Into the Cold]]> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 07:22:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/North+Philly+Fire+Firefighter+Hose.JPG

Two people were hurt and more than 100 people were forced out into the cold Monday morning after a fire inside a North Philadelphia apartment building.

The blaze broke out inside the Station House along North Broad Street at Huntingdon Street around 4:30 a.m.

"We had heavy smoky conditions going on in the third-floor rear of the apartment building," said Philadelphia Fire Department Battalion Chief Rodney Wright. "The fire was more or less contained to the third floor."

Two people were hurt -- one suffered burns and was found in a stairwell while the other fell while evacuating the historic former train station now used as transitional housing facility, according to firefighters.

Fire alarms startled dozens of people, who grabbed what they could before being forced out into the cold morning.

Firefighters quickly got the blaze under control as residents, 106 people live in the building, sheltered in place before being moved to a nearby building in an attempt to keep everyone warm.

SEPTA bus lines 4 and 16 were diverted from Broad Street as three blocks of the roadway were closed for nearly two hours.

Residents returned to their homes around 6:30 a.m.

The cause of the blaze and the extent of damaged weren’t immediately clear.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Charged With Sending Ricin-Laced Card]]> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 05:54:13 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/238*120/Nicholas-Helman.jpg

A suburban Philadelphia man was arrested on Wednesday after he allegedly sent a birthday card laced with ricin to the boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend.

Nicholas Todd Helman, 19, was arrested on Wednesday at his home on Byberry Street in Hatboro. It was the second time he had been arrested this month in connection to the ricin-laced card, according to investigators.

Back on March 7, Helman allegedly told his co-worker at a Target store in Warrington that he had sent a scratch-and-sniff birthday card laced with ricin to a man who was dating his ex-girlfriend.

Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans and can cause injury and even death if chewed, inhaled or swallowed. Helman allegedly told his co-worker that he rubbed ground castor beans onto the inside of the card before sending it to his intended victim's mailbox on Olive Street in Warminster.

Officials say Helman claimed the substance would kill anyone who came into contact with it within four days.

Helman's co-worker called police and Helman was taken into custody.

Helman allegedly told police he coated the card with sodium hydroxide in an attempt to scare his ex-girlfriend so that they could reconcile their relationship. Helman also allegedly sent threatening messages to his ex and her new boyfriend in November of last year, according to investigators.

Helman was charged with harassment and later released on bail.

Police say they warned the intended victim and his family not to open their mail. They then removed the envelope from the home.

Investigators later tested the substance on the card and determined that it was ricin.

A hazmat team, SWAT team, police officers and officials with the FBI returned to Helman's home on Wednesday. After a standoff that lasted several hours, Helman was led out of his apartment and to a police vehicle by officers clad in armor and hazmat gear.

He was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Officials searched through Helman's home for any traces of the substance but determined that the scene was safe and clear.

A friend of Helman, who did not want to be identified, says he was shocked when he learned of the allegations against him.

"I really couldn't imagine him doing something like that," he said. "I've known him since Middle School. He was an odd kid. I would say he wasn't always the most social kid. He was very tech savvy. He was probably the smartest kid I've ever known but he never really applied himself."

With his second arrest in one month, the friend says he hopes Helman can turn his life around.

"I know you can come out of this," he said. "I know you can." 



Photo Credit: Nicholas Todd Helman]]>
<![CDATA[Worker Rescued From Overturned Excavator]]> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 07:19:55 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Excavator+OVerturns+Port+Richmond.JPG

Crews rescued an excavator operator after the machinery he was operating overturned this morning.

The excavator tipped over at Rhino Recycling along the E Tioga Street in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond section around 6:15 a.m., according to Philadelphia firefighters.

Crews freed the worker from the machine and rushed him to Temple University Hospital. The extent of his injuries wasn’t immediately clear.



Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[Smoky House Fire Claims Life]]> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:34:44 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Smoky+Hamilton+Township+Fire.JPG

Fire tore through a colonial-style South Jersey home early this morning leaving one man dead.

The blaze broke out along East Avenue near Main Street in Mullica Hill, N.J. shortly after 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Gloucester County dispatchers.

A woman from inside the home called 911, according to family members.

That woman and her adult son were able to escape the smoky blaze. Her husband Ron Stewart, however, didn't make it out. Stewart, 62, died on the second floor of the two-story home, according to the Gloucester county Prosecutor's Office.

The fire continued to burn out of control for hours.

As Sky Force10 hovered overhead, firefighters could be seen battling the blaze ans heavy white smoke poured from the windows of the large white house. More than two hours after the fire began, flames continued to shoot from the roof of the home.

The American Red Cross helped Stewart's family.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[News Chopper Crashes in Seattle, 2 Dead]]> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 12:22:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/komo+helicopter+crash.jpg

A news helicopter crashed near Seattle’s iconic Space Needle Tuesday morning leaving at least two dead and one hurt.

The chopper crashed into three cars along Broad Street near Fisher Plaza in the city's center shortly before 7:55 a.m. Pacific time, leaving a fiery wreck that took crews about 30 minutes to extinguish.

Seattle firefighters say at least two people died.

A 37-year-old man who was inside one of the cars was critically injured with burns over more than 50 percent of his body, according to NBC affiliate KING 5.

The chopper is operated by KOMO-TV and is used by KING 5 as part of a news-gathering partnership.

KOMO's studio -- where the chopper lands and takes off from -- is located a short distance from the crash site. The Federal Aviation Administration said that the chopper was taking off with three people on board when it tumbled to the ground about 50 meters from the Space Needle.

All that was left of the helicopter was the chassis and some of the tail, according to firefighters.

Jet fuel spilled from the crash site onto the pavement. Crews used sand to try and sop up the fuel.

The chopper is managed by Helicopters, Inc. -- a company that specializes in the design, construction and leasing of news choppers, according to KING 5.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation Tuesday morning.

None of the victims were immediately identified.

Click here for the latest on this story from NBC News.



Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Car Smashes Into Doughnut Shop]]> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:06:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Torresdale+Dunkin+Donuts+Crash.jpg

A car slammed into a Northeast Philadelphia doughnut shop this morning sending one person to the hospital.

The elderly driver says he thought the car was in reverse, not drive, when he hit the accelerator outside the Dunkin' Donuts at Shelly Plaza along Frankford Avenue in the Torresdale section of the city around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The crash left a person sitting inside hurt after the car broke through the glass facade of the restaurant.

The victim was rushed to aria Torresdale Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

The Ford sedan wound up wedged between two orange retaining poles -- the front-end crashed through the not only the glass but also part of the brick wall. One of the window panes even wound up wrapped around the front of the car.

Gene Butala who was parked outside the Dunkin' Donuts described what happened.

"A car just pulled up next to me and just kept going right through the window," said Butala. "It went through the window and just kept trying to go."

Butala said he jumped out of his car, opened the door of the sedan and turned off the ignition.

The driver, who is in his 80s, appeared confused, according to Butala.

Police said the unidentified driver remained on the scene after the wreck. It wasn't clear if any charges would be filed.

It also wasn't clear how long it would take to clean up the scene.

Licenses and Inspections would need to check out the structural integrity of the building before allowing the restaurant to reopen.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com - Dave Palmer]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Burns Through Commercial Property]]> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 19:54:49 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/218*120/Fire+Warrington.JPG

Firefighters are on the smokey scene of a fire at a large commercial property in Bucks County.

Flames can be seen shooting from the Land-Tech building on the 3000 block of Bristol Road in Warrington Township. Smoke can also be seen for miles.

Right now, crews are working to put out the two-alarm blaze.

Emergency crews confirm that there are propane tanks on the property, some of which have caught fire.

No injuries have been reported and everyone working in the area made it off the property safely, officials said.

Land-Tech Enterprises, Inc. is a landscape firm, according to the company website.

Check back with NBC10 for details on this breaking news.
 

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<![CDATA[Residents Displaced in NE Fire]]> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 14:33:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/holmesburg+fire.JPG

Fire crews rescued residents from an apartment building in Northeast Philadelphia Friday afternoon.

Smoke could be seen billowing out of a second-floor apartment in the three-story Bentley Square Condominium complex on the 8000-block of Ditman Street in the Holmesburg section of the city.

The two-alarm fire broke out just before 12:30 p.m.

One person was injured in the blaze and transported to Frankford Torresdale. No word on the condition of the resident.

The Red Cross is assisting a family of four who was displaced by the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
 

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<![CDATA[Truck Crash Closes ChesCo Road]]> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 12:56:10 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Paoli+Pike+Crash.JPG

A truck crash closed a major Chester County thoroughfare this morning.

Paoli Pike was closed from Thomas Avenue to Five Points Road in West Goshen, Pa. aroud 8:30 a.m.

A truck appeared to overturn in the middle of the roadway a little distance from where Paoli Pike goes under the highway.

One person was rushed to Paoli Hospital in serious condition.

A crane was brought in to upright the wrecked truck.

Officials warned the roadway could be closed for hours and the roadway reopened shortly before 10:30 a.m.

While the road was closed, police directed traffic around the scene and West Chester Pike could served as an alternate route.

Click here for more news from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.



Photo Credit: SkyForce10]]>
<![CDATA[SEPTA Workers Not Striking, Yet]]> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 02:57:23 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SEPTA+Generic+SEPTA+Trolley.jpg

The Transit Workers Union (TWU) says their members are staying on the job even though their contract with SEPTA has expired. But that may not be so forever.

"We're willing to go the extra mile to reach a fair agreement," TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown said in a press release Friday.

Negotiations stopped on Friday between Transport Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA but as of the midnight deadline, no deal was in place.

The TWU, SEPTA contract concerns about 4,700 bus drivers, trolley and subway operators and maintenance employees -- nearly half of SEPTA’s total work force.

Contracts for two suburban transit divisions expire next month and should no new contract be agreed upon by then, the possibility of a strike could come back once again.

"We're not willing to sign on to a lengthy contract extension or make hasty decisions having a long-term effect on our members' family finances," officials said.

Should a strike eventually occur, Regional Rail should continue to operate since those operators work under other contracts. CCT, the Norristown High-Speed Line and suburban trolley and bus routes will continue to operate, according to SEPTA.

SEPTA held a news conference Friday morning “to announce that, in the event of a City Transit Division service interruption, alternate service plans have been prepared.”

Part of the contingency plan is that buses that normally go into the city would stop at a suburban train station so that passengers could get onto Regional Rail.

SEPTA plans on having "ambassadors" on hand to help commuters should the strike happen.

Transit union workers last went on strike after the World Series in 2009 -- a work stoppage that lasted six days.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Smoking Plane Evacuated at Philly Int'l]]> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 13:50:50 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/223*120/DennisFEE.JPG

Passengers ran from a US Airways flight that was forced to abort takeoff on its way from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Thursday evening.

"There was a lot of screaming and crying," passenger Dennis Fee said as he described the chaos that ensued in the moments following an emergency aboard US Airways Flight 1702.

As quickly as the A320 Airbus lifted off at 6:25 p.m., it came crashing back down.

"As we first hit the ground, flight attendants were yelling to keep our heads down," said Fee.

  • Plane evacuation 'selfie'

    The aircraft was leaving from Philadelphia International Airport when it experienced a mechanical failure that forced the nose of the plane into the ground, according to airline officials.

    "I just sort of held onto the seat and tried not to panic," Fee said.

    Airport officials say the front wheel of the aircraft blew out, causing the front of the plane to crash into the runway.

    At the time of the emergency evacuation, 149 passengers and five crew members were aboard, according to airport officials.

    Emergency crews were able to evacuate the plane safely through traditional and emergency exits.

    Only two people on the grounded flight required treatment for minor injuries.

    Rachel Silverman described the scary ordeal to her mother.

    "She smelled gas and was very nervous," said the mom of the 23-year-old passenger. "She thought the plane was going to explode."

    Silverman, who was flying solo to a wedding in Florida, is unsure if she feels comfortable flying out right now, but Fee is looking forward to making his way to the Sunshine State with friends.

    "I think as we make our way down the runway, I'll be a little worried, but once we're up, I'll be fine. I'm just excited to get to Florida."

    Most passengers from the evacuated plane boarded a new aircraft that departed Philadelphia for Florida around 11:45 p.m. That flight landed safely in Fort Lauderdale after 2 a.m.

    Some passengers opted to stay put in Philly.

    "I just want to go home to my husband and my dogs -- my family," said Marjorie Castaldi.

    Flights at Philly International were temporarily grounded, but resumed shortly after all passengers were safe inside the terminal.

    Crews worked through the night to right the plane. Around 4:30 a.m. Friday they began to move the plane from the runway with the assistance of other vehicles. The investigation continued as the plane sat at the edge of the airport before being placed in a hanger.

    The runway where the crash happened remained closed for hours more. Around 7 a.m., crews and sweeper trucks began to remove debris from the runway.

    The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident.



Photo Credit: Facebook/Dennis Fee]]>
<![CDATA[Rare Meningitis B Strain Killed Drexel Student]]> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:34:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Stephanie+Ross+Drexel+Meningitis+Thumb.jpg

Tests confirm a rare meningitis strain that hit Princeton University in 2013 caused the death of a Drexel University student Monday.

Stephanie Ross, a mechanical engineering major, died at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center after her sorority sisters found her unresponsive at the Phi Mu (Beta Tau) house along Powelton Avenue, according to an official statement from Drexel.

Officials initially suspected Ross had been infected with the "serogroup B" strain of meningitis and test results from the Pennsylvania Department of Health Thursday confirmed the rare form was the culprit.

The Medical Examiner's office told NBC10 Wednesday that Ross died from bacterial meningitis, but it was not clear at the time if it was the same strain that affected the Princeton community.

"Regardless of serogroup, the recommended course of action remains the same," Drexel University said in a statement. "The University and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health are continuing to identify those who may have had contact with the infected students to provide them with prophylactic antibiotics as well as educate students of precautions they can take to protect themselves against the infection."

Meningitis symptoms are similar to flu-like symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity. Other symptoms like confusion and a stiff neck could also be a sign of meningitis.

Members of Ross' sorority say she attended a regional officer training conference on March 1 and came into contact with several sorority sisters, including some from outside of our area.

The university offered prophylactic antibiotics at the student health center on Market Street for any students who were in close contact with Ross.

Any students feeling meningitis-like symptoms are asked to contact the Student Health Center at 215-220-4700.

Most colleges, including Drexel, require meningitis vaccinations for students. But the rare "serogroup B" that hit Princeton is not covered by American vaccines.

After eight meningitis B infections at Princeton, officials brought in a European version of the vaccine.

The same day as Ross' post-mortem diagnosis, NBC10.com learned an 8-year-old from Montgomery County, Pa. has been hospitalized meningococcal infection, the bacteria which can lead to meningitis.

A 3rd grade student at Skippack Elementary School, officials said the child's infection has prompted them to disinfect the entire 775 student school in Collegeville, Pa. They're also working with county health officials to identify students and staff who may have come in close contact with the 8-year-old.

Ross' death hit Drexel's Greek Life community hard. An email announcing her death was first shared through a Greek Life email chain shortly after 11 p.m. Monday.

Ross' sorority big sister Kris Trina turned to Facebook to remember her friend.

"I don't have any words to describe what I am feeling right now, but know that I love you and I hope that you are in heaven filled with cats and all of the other weird things that we love."

Ross graduated from Upper St. Clair High School outside Pittsburgh where she played softball.

Drexel student Stephanie Ross died March 10 from what is believed to be meningitis.

Pictured: Stephanie Ross



Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Old City Building Demolition 'Controlled']]> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 16:44:28 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/shirt+corner+building+collapse+ron+penn+3.jpg

The planned demoliton of a building in the Old City section of Philadelphia Thursday afternoon led to a partial collapse that shocked public saftey officials and local employees who were unaware of the project.

"Today's demolition of 257-259 Market Streets was done in accordance with a plan approved by L&I and with all necessary permits and precautions in place," according to a statement released on behalf of Philadelphia-based Alterra Property Group, which is developing the corner property commonly referred to as Shirt Corner.

Yet as a crew worked to take down several adjoining structures at the corner of 3rd and Market streets, a portion of the building came crashing down shortly after 1 p.m.

"While this controlled collapse was not planned, its possibility had been anticipated due to the building's instability, and necessary precautions were taken," Alterra's statment said.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections issued a demolition permit to Mlavern-based Constructure Management Inc. on Feb. 12, according to the L&I website.

But a policeman on the scene told the Philadelphia Business Journal that Police and Fire Departments were not informed of the planned demolition.

Employees and passers-by in the area were also shocked by the crash despite the precautions taken by Alterra and Constructure.

"I looked outside and there's a bunch of construction workers -- panicked construction workers," said Jim Coughlin, who was working at the Artists and Craftsman Supply store at 307 Market St. when the incident occurred. "We could just hear the giant rumble in the store. And it didn't stop."

"We thought maybe it was a truck accident or something," he added. "And it still didn't stop. Then I just saw a big cloud of brown smoke."

The Philadelphia Fire Department was on the scene within minutes of the collapse.

Officials say no one was trapped by the rubble and there are no reports of injuries.

The unexpected crash harkens back to the deadly collapse of a Salvation Army store at 22nd and Market streets in Center City in June 2012. That fatal incident, which killed six people and injured 13 others, led Mayor Michael Nutter to appoint an independent, blue-ribbon commission to investigate L&I.

In the wake of Thursday's collapse, Glenn Corbett, head of the commission, said, "We are very cognizant of the demolition and vacant building issues around the city. This is high on our priority list."

"The commission is looking at all parts of L&I," he added. "The ultimate goal of all of this is to provide the city and the mayor with a plan to address these issues."

Constructure was demolishing the building to make way for the 54,000-square-foot mixed-use property that Alterra has planned.

The real estate development firm assembled ten different addresses for the retail and residential building, which is scheduled to be complete in early 2015.

A CVS pharmacy is set to occupy 10,000-square-feet of ground floor retail space and another 2,500-square-feet in the basement. The developer plans to build 59 apartments in the upper floors of the four-story property, according to the Alterra website.



Photo Credit: @rpennone]]>
<![CDATA[7 Dead, 4 Missing in NYC Collapse]]> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:30:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/thursday+building+collapse.jpg

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Eight people have been found dead in the smoldering rubble of two upper Manhattan buildings leveled by a gas explosion that injured more than 70 others, and rescuers are still sifting through the ruins as they search for three who remain missing.

Rescue crews brought in a backhoe and bulldozer to look for more buried victims as firefighters battled flareups in the wreckage of the two five-story buildings that collapsed Wednesday morning on 116th and Park Avenue, sending tremors as far as a mile and spewing debris for blocks.

Workers were about 40 percent to 50 percent through the rubble by Thursday night, using sound devices and putting telescopic video cameras into small voids to see if anyone was in there.

"We are continuing rescue operations, hoping to find others still alive," Mayor de Blasio said at City Hall Thursday.

FDNY Chief of Department Edward Kilduff told de Blasio as the mayor visited workers in the rubble that most of the victims have been found about 20 feet into the pile, on the left side. Officials said the two buildings were reduced to a pile about three stories high.

The force of the blast was so strong that it registered on the Richter scale at just under .5, according to Columbia University. Smoke billowed into Central Park and could be seen miles away in midtown, and New Yorkers said they felt rumbles as far away as 150th Street. Closer to the collapse, groceries were knocked from store shelves and an ashy film covered streets, sidewalks and cars.

The explosion knocked out windows of surrounding apartment buildings and forced evacuations in seven of them, officials said. The Red Cross said nearly 70 people, half of them children, are displaced and are staying at the Salvation Army.

The only indication of anything wrong before the explosion was a call to Con Edison from a woman in a nearby building, reporting a strong odor of gas just minutes before the blast, the mayor and the utility said. But it was too late.

Seven of the eight victims killed in the explosion have been identified as Griselde Camacho, 44, Carmen Tanco, 67, Rosaura Hernandez, 22, Andreas Panagopoulos, 43, Rosaura Barrios Vazquez, 43, Alexis Salas, 22, and George Amadeo, 44. The eighth victim has not been identified. 

Hospitals reported receiving 74 people injured, including one teen and one woman who were both critically hurt. The 15-year-old boy's skin was badly burned, and he had broken bones and internal injuries, doctors said. The woman, who was pulled from the debris, is being treated for critical neck and back injuries.

Most of the people who were injured are expected to survive. At Harlem Hospital, where more than a dozen people were treated, one man who suffered from smoke inhalation described passing out as he ran from falling debris.

"I just kept on going, just trying to get away," he said.

Another man was driving a cab near the Metro-North tracks when he felt the blast.

"He thought the train was falling on top of him, but that wasn't true," his son said. "His car got shattered but he's OK. He's shaken up." 

Two on-duty FBI agents who were driving through the area at the time of the explosion were among those hurt, but their injuries were not life-threatening, the FBI said.

A woman who was at her home on 115th Street between Park and Lexington avenues said she heard the explosion and thought it was a bomb. The explosion was near where Metro-North tracks run through Harlem.

"I thought a train had exploded," said Marisa Aquino.

Another woman who said she was watching TV in her home about a block away said the explosion blew out her windows. 

"All my windows shattered and I didn't know what it was," she said on NBC 4 New York. She said first responders soon arrived at her building and ordered everyone out.

"It sounded like a bomb. That's what it really sounded like," Trey Dey, a laborer who was working in a nearby basement when the buildings exploded, told NBC 4 New York.

Officials cautioned the firefighting and cleanup process would take time. Jim Long, an FDNY spokesman, said acrid smoke, high winds and cold temperatures complicated efforts Thursday. He called the scene "terrible and traumatic" as firefighters sifted through debris for more potential victims.

The NTSB, which probes pipeline explosions as well as transportation disasters, says the cause of the explosion appears to be a gas leak -- but surprisingly, the pipe in question is still intact. 

"That's unlike other pipeline accidents that I've been to where the pipe is thrown out of a crater," said Robert Sumwalt of the NTSB. "This pipe is still in the ground." 

Investigators haven't been able to get a close look at the low-pressure service line, which delivers natural gas for cooking and heat to the buildings that exploded. NTSB says it will examine Con Edison's handling of customer complaints, the oversight of Con Edison by federal and state officials, and any evidence of possible third-party damage from digging, among other things.

The Buildings Department said one of the collapsed buildings had six units and the other had nine. One of the buildings had work done in June for 120 feet of gas piping, records show. It has no violations on record.

The other building just to the north had one violation from 2008 related to vertical cracks in the rear of the building. The city said a fine was paid but it was not clear that the condition had been corrected.

Con Edison described the building's gas main as an 8-inch iron and plastic main. In 2011, 70 feet of it was replaced during an excavation project. The utility's CEO said Thursday that the company received only two gas leak calls at the two buildings in three years; the most recent was in May.

Authorities said after initial examinations there was no obvious source of the leak.

The explosion blew debris onto the elevated tracks of the Metro-North tracks above Park Avenue, causing a shutdown of service in both directions for several hours. 

The Department of Environmental Protection is monitoring air quality in the area. As high winds kicked up more debris and smoke Thursday, the mayor said the Health Department is recommending residents in the immediate area limit time outside and keep their windows closed.

The Department of Education said 40 students with asthma returned home Thursday morning from a school located about two blocks away. The school was working with families and handling each student on a case-by-case basis.

--Joe Valiquette, Brian Thompson, Brynn Gingras and Kyli Singh contributed to this story

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>