Nation briefs 10/11/06

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Weather forces brief closure of Alaska pipeline

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Both the nation's largest oil field and the trans-Alaska oil pipeline that transports its crude oil were shut down Tuesday after poor weather caused havoc at both ends of the pipeline. BP PLC said high winds were to blame for a power outage that shut down Prudhoe Bay in northern Alaska. Production fell to about 20,000 barrels Tuesday; about 350,000 barrels were produced Monday. Flooding near the southern end of the pipeline caused by heavy rain is suspected of knocking out fiber-optic communication lines along the pipeline, causing its temporary shutdown, said Mike Heatwole, spokesman for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., the company that operates the pipeline. The pipeline was brought back online early Tuesday, Heatwole said. It was out of service for about 10 hours.

5 people free after being trapped in border tunnel

SAN DIEGO -- Five people trying to sneak into the United States from Mexico became trapped in a tunnel and had to be rescued Tuesday after the largest of them, a nearly 200-pound man, got stuck trying to climb out through a storm drain, authorities said. Firefighters used jackhammers at the city's border with Tijuana to widen the opening and free the man, who had become stuck at the hips, said James Jacques, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Then they pulled out the four others who trapped behind him. All appeared to be uninjured, though one woman was taken to a hospital because she appeared to have become sick from the stuffy air, authorities said.

2,000 people evacuated from Heathrow Airport

LONDON -- Authorities evacuated a terminal at London's Heathrow Airport for about four hours Tuesday after a man dropped off a package near the Air Algeria and Lufthansa desks and ran away, airport staff members said. One man was in custody in a West London police station, authorities said. Police would not discuss the contents of the package. About 2,000 people were ordered out of Terminal Two, which houses many European carriers, around 1 p.m., police said.

Amish school gunman told authorities to leave

LANCASTER, Pa. -- The Amish schoolhouse gunman opened fire on his 10 hostages just moments after demanding authorities get off the property, giving state troopers no time to try to save the girls, according to investigators and 911 transcripts released Tuesday. Charles Carl Roberts IV threatened to kill the children "in two seconds" during ad call to a 911 dispatcher. "Don't try to talk me out of it; get 'em all off the property now," Roberts told a Lancaster County dispatcher in a calm, flat voice, his only contact with police. Before authorities could react, he hung up and started shooting, killing five girls and wounding five others before killing himself.

-- From wire reportse reports

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