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Disinterested

New Orleans - Levee breached; bus fire kills 24

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Disinterested

Evacuee bus explodes as Rita closes in

24 people feared dead in blast near Dallas

Friday, September 23, 2005 Posted: 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)

HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) -- A bus caught fire and exploded early Friday on a crowded Texas interstate, killing as many as 24 people who were fleeing ahead of Hurricane Rita.

The bus, carrying about 45 elderly evacuees, burst into flames on Interstate 45 south of Dallas. It pulled over and people were getting off when a series of explosions ripped through the bus.

Dallas County Sheriff's Sgt. Don Peritz said 14 or 15 people got off the bus and said as many as 24 people may have died. (Watch law enforcement official explain bus tragedy -- 3:38)

Peritz said the fire was believed to have started in the bus's brake system and may have caused oxygen canisters on the bus to explode. (Full story)

Authorities blocked all lanes of the interstate, complicating the already grueling exodus from the Texas coast.

At 11 a.m. ET, Rita was centered about 220 miles (354 kilometers) southeast of Galveston, Texas, and 210 miles (337 kilometers) southeast of Port Arthur. It was moving to the northwest at about 10 mph (16 kph).

The storm's maximum sustained winds weakened slightly to 135 mph (217 kph).

The Category 4 storm was expected to reach the coast late Friday or early Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said. (Watch Texas residents cope with gridlock on the roads and in the sky -- 2:18)

If motorists are still stuck in their cars when the storm hits, they could be in a dangerous situation, Ed Rappaport, the hurricane center's deputy director, said Friday.

"The hope, of course, is that this storm is off to the right as far as they're concerned," he said of Houston drivers. But "that just moves the problem to another community."

Rappaport said that Rita's current track would bring it ashore north of the Houston area, but he said that could change at any time.

Late Thursday, Houston Mayor Bill White said that except for people who live in high-risk areas near the water, those still at home should stay put, especially given the traffic conditions and an unanticipated fuel shortage.

"Now is not the time to get into your car to start the evacuation," White said. "We will get people who are stranded on the roadside off the roadside before the storm comes in," he said. "That is our commitment."

Gas stations along some of the major roads out of Houston and Beaumont, to the east, were running low on gas, said Steven McCraw, director of the governor's division of emergency management.

The two National Guard tanker trucks, each carrying 5,000 gallons of gas, were sent at daybreak Friday to help thousands of people who had run low on gas while trying to evacuate, said Chief Master Sgt. Gonda Moncada, spokeswoman for the national guard.

Moncada said that 10,000 gallons of gas might not be enough to help everyone who needs it.

Some Houston residents tried various routes out of the city only to become so flustered they returned home and thought about riding out the storm. Other Texans on gridlocked roads pushed their cars to help conserve fuel.

With the hurricane generating winds of tropical storm force extending 205 miles (335 kilometers) from the center, some areas in Louisiana already were feeling Rita's outer bands. (Watch a report on the science behind monster storms -- 3:50)

A hurricane warning was in effect from Port O'Connor, Texas, to Morgan City, Louisiana, meaning hurricane conditions such as sustained winds of at least 74 mph (118 kph) are possible within 24 hours.

New Orleans, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, was under a tropical storm warning, meaning sustained winds of at least 39 mph (62 kph) are expected within the next 24 hours.

New flooding in New Orleans

Water was flowing over the industrial canal levee in New Orleans triggering new flooding in the low-lying 9th Ward neighborhood. (Full story)

While the Army Corps of Engineers expected flooding from Rita, it was not anticipated this early.

Mitch Frazier, a spokesman for the corps, said it was not clear if the flooding was caused by rain or a storm surge.

"We don't know, likely a little of both," he said. A CNN photojournalist reported that the water was rising quickly and was already at least two feet deep.

Officials started closing the flood gates around Lake Pontchartrain Thursday morning in preparation for Rita.

More than 1,000 deaths, most in Louisiana, are blamed on Hurricane Katrina, which struck August 29 after slamming Florida a few days earlier.

Several refineries, which process about 3 million barrels of oil each day, could be threatened by Rita. Some energy analysts predict that disruption from the storm could trigger a surge in gas prices. (Watch Rita's threat to refineries -- 2:43)

Oil prices dropped to below $66 a barrel on Friday after Rita lost some of its intensity. At its peak, the storm was a Category 5 with 175 mph winds.

The storm's latest track also appeared to take it away from some of the major refining hubs. (Full story)

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/09/23/rita/index.html

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Babs

It's filling up again. I hope they don't rebuild there again; move up into the state, please. :(

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ROGER

The economic strain from both of these storms will last for years. I live in the northern part of "Tornado Ally". Some of our local communities are still picking up from storms earlier this year. Insurance companies are running low on money.

This is almost as bad as a War fought here! :cry:

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Daughter of the Nine Moons

I just heard about this :hmm: how awful!

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Babs

The economic strain from both of these storms will last for years. I live in the northern part of "Tornado Ally". Some of our local communities are still picking up from storms earlier this year. Insurance companies are running low on money.

This is almost as bad as a War fought here! :cry:

This is so true. I don't know what is going to happen.

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Nxt2Hvn

I am from Eastern NC, which was heavily flooded in 1999 by Hurricane Floyd and they are still picking up the pieces, 6 years later... people were still living in FEMA trailers last year.... it takes forever :(

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Scar

They should just spend the money they should have years ago, Stupid American Government knew this would happen eventually.

Hope the The Big Easy Survives, Spring break wouldn't be the same :innocent:

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The Skeptic Eric Raven

They should just spend the money they should have years ago, Stupid American Government knew this would happen eventually.

Hope the The Big Easy Survives, Spring break wouldn't be the same :innocent:

Thanks so much for the support. :no:

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Scar

Its not my fault you all voted in Egits who were more concerned with terrorism rather than the constant threat from Mother Nature.

Biggest American Terrorist Attack 2000 odd

Biggest American Natural Disaster 8000 odd

Money spent fighting terrorism Billions

Money not spent which would have prevented the flooding 8 million

You reap what you sew.

I feel sorry for what has happened to the nameless millions who have been left without a home or worse, but doesn't change the fact your Government has its priorities messed up.

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Celumnaz

I feel sorry for what has happened to the nameless millions who have been left without a home or worse, but doesn't change the fact your Government has its priorities messed up.

It's the government the people of Louisiana voted for, liberals.

Oh, talking about the Federal? Like the liberal Clinton had 8 years and didn't do a thing? That's quite a stretch to blame on federal, but any way you slice it the root problem is socialism.

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The Skeptic Eric Raven

It's the government the people of Louisiana voted for, liberals.

Oh, talking about the Federal? Like the liberal Clinton had 8 years and didn't do a thing? That's quite a stretch to blame on federal, but any way you slice it the root problem is socialism.

Thank you. :tu::tu:

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Scar

Egits is plural,

Not just bush, Don't worry all Governments are same.

When the sh!t hits the fan watch them squirm with empty sentiments knowing fair well they failed their people

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The Skeptic Eric Raven

That is true there is no government that works perfectly. Most of them don't do that good of a job. It is like choosing the lesser of 2 evils.

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Nxt2Hvn

Egits is plural,

Not just bush, Don't worry all Governments are same.

When the sh!t hits the fan watch them squirm with empty sentiments knowing fair well they failed their people

Hey Scar Baby :wub:

It actually doesn't matter who was voted in ... Bush or a Democrat.. even if Clinton was still in office ... somewhere somebody would have screwed up.. and they would be blamed also.

What should happen.. should there not be "Government"? There is "NO" answer to make "Everybody" happy!

Edited by Nxt2Hvn

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Rhomphaia

Damn...I can't reload fast enough...

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Scar

Hello Nxt :wub:

Governments claim to have our best interests at heart, and im sure for the most part its true. Just latley it seems $$$$ has become the deciding factor in decisions that ultimatley lead to the rise or demise of certain parts of their country.

There is a price associated with each of our heads and our governments are becoming conglomerate faceless corporations who's goals and motivations are disturbingly murky and unclear.

I would hope more compassionate people would enter the realms of politics, instead of the people wishing to make a mark in the history books. Perhaps then governments would view us more important than $$$$ and I would be more comfortable with them looking after my best interests.

Like everyone I have some Idea's, unfortunatly they would most likey be shot down by Paranoia and fear of change plus the lack of trust people hold toward one another.

Edited by Scar

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pallidin

This is regarding the bus explosion.

I wonder if the people or officials in charge of that bus understood what might happen if you load a bus full of people breathing oxygen from their portable containers.

Think about this. You have all those people using their oxygen containers in a closed environment. By no means is all of the oxygen actually inhaled by the user.

So after a period of time, I could imagine that the interior atmosphere of the bus would become oxygen rich.

Under those conditions, it would be conceivable that an open flame or spark or significant heat source within the enclosure of the bus would become critical enough in that oxygen rich environment to set the stage for a disaster.

Just my thoughts...

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Fluffybunny

This is just horrible. I feel so bad for the folks in the gulf coast, as if they haven't been through enough.

I saw on the news last night an interview with a couple that had barely made it out of N.O. and had lost everything, home, pets...everything. This couple were being evacuated again out of Texas, and were just beside themselves in misery trying to deal with having to run away again...

:hmm:

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Babs

They should just spend the money they should have years ago, Stupid American Government knew this would happen eventually.

Hope the The Big Easy Survives, Spring break wouldn't be the same :innocent:

Thanks for your compassion. There are tons of countries that would not be prepared for a disaster like this. Look to yourself (and your country), and find out if they would be better prepared.

....Oops, didn't see your other posts. You actually used the word compassion. Sorry there. You got everybody's dander up. :)

Edited by Babs

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Andy_R

Its not my fault you all voted in Egits who were more concerned with terrorism rather than the constant threat from Mother Nature.

Biggest American Terrorist Attack 2000 odd

Biggest American Natural Disaster 8000 odd

Money spent fighting terrorism Billions

Money not spent which would have prevented the flooding 8 million

You reap what you sew.

I feel sorry for what has happened to the nameless millions who have been left without a home or worse, but doesn't change the fact your Government has its priorities messed up.

Scar,

It must be easy to sit back in your Scotland home 1000's of miles away and throw your opinions out there about our government.

Fighting terrorism is neccessary to keep our land free and safe.

I'm sorry you seem to think it's a waste of money.

Also, please cite your source for "Biggest American Natural Disaster 8000 odd"

Not sure what you're referring to. If you mean Katrina, then you're way off because it's not even close to that.

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Scar

Yeah, its easy :tu:

If you took the time to actually read the post you would note not once did I say fighting terrorism was a waste of money. I merley pointed out that your Government has had its priorities wrong when it comes to protecting its people.

Galveston Hurricane 1900

This hurricane was the deadliest weather disaster in United States history. Storm tides of 8 to 15 ft inundated the whole of Galveston Island, as well as other portions of the nearby Texas coast. These tides were largely responsible for the 8,000 deaths (estimates range from 6,000 to 12,000) attributed to the storm. The damage to property was estimated at $30 million.

Link

Take the time to learn about your own countries history before you question my information....

Thanks for your compassion. There are tons of countries that would not be prepared for a disaster like this. Look to yourself (and your country), and find out if they would be better prepared.

Wow Look I said the same thing, all Governments are the same........ >_>

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Babs

Scar...Maybe you better read the rest of 'my' post...I acknowledged that. B)

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