EDM Monday Briefing: One Firefighter Killed, Six Injured in Maine Building Explosion
Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 16, 2019: Hurricane Humberto stirs up heavy swells and surf along the coast of the southeastern United States; a full-scale disaster drill at Chicago's O'Hare Airport was supported by more than 30 agencies and 100 volunteers; 22 people were injured in a three-story deck collapse in New Jersey; multiple wildfires burning in Colorado led to evacuations and power cuts for local residents; states involved in lawsuits against the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma object to bankruptcy filing by the company; one firefighter was killed and six others injured when a building exploded in Maine; investigators suspect arson in a downtown building fire in San Jose that injured four firefighters; and the CDC and several states issued a warning about vaping after 450 lung-related illnesses were reported across 33 states.
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1) Humberto, now a Category 1 hurricane, currently poses no threat to the United States. It is expected to move to the east-northeast with some impact to Bermuda being possible. The storm has a minimum central pressure of 980 mb or 28.94 inches of mercury, with sustained winds of 85 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected as the storm increases its forward speed. Humberto is causing heavy swells and surf along the southeastern United States, and residents are urged to monitor local weather channels and alerts for more information.
#Hurricane #Humberto is strengthening and is forecast to be near Bermuda late Wednesday or early Thursday. Interests in Bermuda should be closely monitoring the progress of this system. More: https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/qdhmUtYMnd
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 16, 2019
2) Emergency and disaster management teams from over 30 agencies, along with hundreds of volunteers who posed as injured passengers, participated in a full-scale disaster drill at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport on Saturday. The city's fire and police departments also participated in the drill, which tested communications, coordination and mobilization between the responding agencies. The planned, full-scale emergency exercise is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) every three years for airports to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in preparedness.
An emergency response exercise was conducted at O'Hare to help 1st responders prepare in the event of an actual incident. More than 30 agencies participated in the simulated drill, incld. @CFDMedia @Chicago_Police @CHIDisabilities @ChicagoOEMC . Thank you for making it a success! pic.twitter.com/UL9tg3T3QL
— O'Hare Intl. Airport (@fly2ohare) September 14, 2019
3) A three-story deck collapse in Wildwood, New Jersey, on Saturday evening left 22 people injured, including several children. The event occurred along the Jersey Shore as the annual New Jersey Firemen's Convention was wrapping up. Several members of the Branchville Fire Department and their family members were among those injured during the collapse. However, 19 of those victims were treated at a nearby hospital and released by Sunday morning.
New Jersey deck collapse leaves 22 injured, including children, during firefighters weekend https://t.co/QZBksTlMX7
— AJC (@ajc) September 15, 2019
4) Several wildfires are burning in Colorado, including an 11-acre fire near Bailey that prompted area evacuations on Sunday. A 400-acre wildfire burning northwest of Fort Collins knocked out power for approximately 3,600 residents as firefighters, supported by aircraft, coordinated efforts to control the fire. Another wildfire south of Salida, ignited in a remote area by lightning on September 8, has scorched 350 acres. Although fire crews are closely monitoring the fire, they are letting it burn to improve forest health.
Wildfires burn Sunday in Colorado as hot, dry conditions continue https://t.co/NF2hfe2lnX
— Reporter-Herald (@reporterherald) September 16, 2019
5) Purdue Pharma, the maker of the painkiller drug OxyContin, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late Sunday night. The filing comes amid more than 2,600 federal and state lawsuits against the company due to the opioid crisis and allegedly comes after a settlement deal that seeks to prevent protracted litigation. OxyContin is widely seen as igniting the opioid crisis across the nation, and many of the states involved in the lawsuits object to the deal.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 16, 2019
6) A building explosion in Farmington, Maine, killed one firefighter and injured at least six others on Monday morning. The building had been evacuated after reports of a gas smell; fire crews were investigating the smell when the explosion occurred at around 8:30 a.m. The blast completely destroyed the new building, leaving only a hole. According to reports, debris covered homes, buildings and cars throughout the neighborhood.
DEVELOPING: One firefighter dead and six people, including five firefighters, hurt after an explosion in Maine. https://t.co/Jxtvwzv4Vi
— ABC News (@ABC) September 16, 2019
7) A three-alarm fire in a downtown building in San Jose, California, on Sunday is suspected to have been started by arson. Four firefighters were injured during the fire, and a body was found in the basement of the building after the blaze was extinguished. Police were initially called to the scene for a disgruntled individual who may have been a customer or former employee. The alleged suspect left the building, returned and set it on fire in multiple locations.
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) September 16, 2019
8) Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with several states, issued warnings on severe lung illnesses believed to be linked to vaping and the use of cannabis products in e-cigarettes. Over 450 lung-related illnesses have been reported across 33 states, including six fatalities. In almost every case, a chemical used in cannabis vaping products, a grease-like substance known as vitamin E acetate, was found in the lungs of the patients. Symptoms of the mysterious illness include shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and fever.
As of 9/11, a total of 380 confirmed & probable cases of lung illnesses associated w/ use of #ecigarette or vaping products have been reported from 36 states & one territory. 6 deaths have been confirmed. Latest findings from the ongoing investigation. https://t.co/Pz8b5HoeMv pic.twitter.com/6KJcEsUk81
— CDC (@CDCgov) September 12, 2019