Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: 27 Injured in Light Rail Collision in Sacramento
EDM Friday Briefing: 27 Injured in Light Rail Collision in Sacramento

EDM Friday Briefing: 27 Injured in Light Rail Collision in Sacramento


Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 23, 2019: A light rail collision in Sacramento injured 27 people; a California hotel cook was arrested for allegedly threatening a mass shooting; traffic ground to a halt in the tri-state area after authorities closed New York's George Washington Bridge to investigate a suspicious package; a Hawaiian Airlines flight made an emergency landing after smoke filled the cockpit and cargo hold; Shasta County residents were issued evacuation orders and roads were closed due to the Mountain Fire; wildfires that have scorched 1.6 million acres in Bolivia are now being fought with a 747 SuperTanker; a small business jet crashed with 10 people on board in Oroville, California; and a man was crushed to death in New York City when an elevator malfunctioned.

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1) A light-rail train collision in Sacramento injured 27 people, sending 13 victims to area hospitals, including two with moderate injuries. A Blue Line, two-car train carrying passengers collided with a test train that had three employees onboard -- none of whom were injured -- at around 9:40 p.m. Thursday on an isolated track area just outside Sacramento city limits. According to reports, Sacramento Fire stated that 15 ambulances and at least 40 firefighters assisted on scene, along with police and other first responder agencies.

2) A cook at a hotel restaurant in California has been arrested after allegedly threatening to conduct a mass shooting at work. The man, Rodolfo Montoya, 37, who worked at the Marriott Hotel near Long Beach, reportedly told a co-worker that he was upset with human resource issues and planned to shoot other workers and hotel guests. Police were notified by the co-worker, and a search of the suspect's Huntington Beach home was conducted, where multiple weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found.

3) Both levels of the George Washington Bridge were shut down for about 90 minutes Thursday night, causing significant traffic delays in the New York City area. Officials stated that the bridge was shut down on both levels in both directions due to the report of a suspicious package. According to reports, the Port Authority Police Department called in the Bergen County Bomb Squad to investigate the threat before authorities gave the all-clear to reopen the bridge just before midnight. Traffic first resumed on the lower level, and then on the upper level a short time later.

4) A Hawaiian Airlines flight bound for Honolulu from Oakland, California, made an emergency landing after smoke filled the cabin. First responders met Flight 47 with 184 passengers and seven crew members on the tarmac after it made an emergency landing at its destination airport. There were reports of smoke, which was reportedly caused by a failed seal that leaked oil, in the cargo hold and cabin. Passengers used evacuation slides to quickly deplane, and a total of seven people suffered minor injuries during the incident.

5) A wildfire ignited near Redding, California, just before noon on Thursday and scorched 600 acres in just two hours. Evacuation orders were issued for Shasta County residents near the wildfire, which was named the Mountain Fire. The blaze has forced the closure of Shasta College's main campus on Friday. CalFire noted that the fire is 20 percent contained, at least one structure has been destroyed and several roads remain closed.

6) Firefighters in Bolivia are still trying to put out wildfires that have scorched 1.6 million acres of tropical forests. The fire is burning through large swaths of tropical forests near the nation's border with Paraguay and Brazil, which have been asked for assistance in fighting the wildfire. On Thursday, officials were waiting upon the arrival of a 747 SuperTanker en route from Sacramento, which they believe will greatly assist them in finally putting out the wildfire.

7) A total of 10 people were onboard a small business jet when it crashed during takeoff on Wednesday in Oroville, California. The pilot of the Cessna Citation reportedly aborted the takeoff before the plane ran off the end of the runway and into the grass, where it burst into flames and sparked a small wildfire. None of the passengers -- who were employees of Graphic Packaging International -- or the crew were injured during the crash. The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

8) An elevator malfunction trapped and killed a man in New York City as he was exiting into the lobby of his apartment building. The man, Samuel Charles Waisbren, 30, was getting out of the elevator in the lobby when the car suddenly plummeted to the basement, crushing him between the shaft and the elevator. Waisbren was pronounced dead at the scene. Three other people who witnessed the incident were trapped inside the elevator car and had to be rescued by firefighters.


Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.