Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Seventh Seattle Infant Dies from Mold-Related Disease
EDM Friday Briefing: Seventh Seattle Infant Dies from Mold-Related Disease

EDM Friday Briefing: Seventh Seattle Infant Dies from Mold-Related Disease


Emergency and disaster management briefing for February 14, 2020: A CSX freight train derailment sparks a fire and chemical leak into the Big Sandy River; a seventh infant has died from a mold-related disease at Seattle Children's; new coronavirus testing reveals thousands of new cases in China; protective equipment for China's healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak are reportedly in short supply; Storm Dennis, a bomb cyclone, is set to impact the United Kingdom and Northern Europe this weekend with high winds and potential flooding; a roof collapse at a restaurant inside Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport has left one person injured; for the first time this season, Australia reported that all brush and grass fires in New South Wales have been contained; and officials assess widespread damages from flash floods and ongoing flooding in 10 counties and seven cities in Kentucky.

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1) A fiery train crash in Kentucky on Tuesday trapped two crew members in the train's locomotive after it derailed and caught fire along the edge of a river. A CSX freight train with four cars carrying ethanol hit a rockslide covering the tracks, derailed next to the Big Sandy River and burst into flame. The derailment, which occurred in Pike County, caused five of the 96 cars to derail. Four of those five train cars contained ethanol, some of which spilled into the river.

2) A mold-related infection at a hospital in Seattle has resulted in the death of a seventh infant. The baby, a five-month-old girl at Seattle Children's Hospital, died Wednesday morning after months of fighting aspergillosis -- a mold infection in her heart -- which she contracted at the hospital. While the aspergillus mold is common, the illness can occur in patients with weakened immune systems after they have inhaled the mold.

3) China has reported an additional 5,090 cases of the novel coronavirus, and another 121 deaths from the new disease. The news comes just one day after 14,840 cases were diagnosed using a new testing method. The Chinese government has reportedly enforced "wartime" measures in additional cities in the province, which means citizens in some areas are barred from leaving their homes. The WHO (World Health Organization) reports that despite the drastic increase of coronavirus cases in China, the number of cases outside the country are not rising dramatically.

4) The death toll from the novel coronavirus has now reached 1,380 people, while the total number of those infected in mainland China has risen to 63,851. The virus has heavily impacted healthcare workers in China who are on the front lines of the disease. A total of 1,716 workers have become infected, and of them, six have died. According to reports, there has been a shortage of supplies that help protect workers, including face masks, which increases the risk of infection for these healthcare workers.

5) A new storm, designated Thursday as a bomb cyclone, has set its sights on the United Kingdom and Northern Europe. The fourth-named windstorm by the UK Met Office, Dennis is set to bring high winds and flooding across the region. Waves west of the British Isles and south of Ireland may possibly reach heights of 40-50 feet. The storm is expected to begin impacting the region on Friday. Rain and wind warnings have already been issued, as increasing wind gusts are likely to reach 50-60 mph by Saturday.

6) Inside Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, authorities are investigating a restaurant ceiling collapse that occurred Thursday morning. The restaurant where the collapse occurred was identified as Cat Cora's Restaurant, located in Concourse A of the airport. At least one customer was transported to the hospital by Atlanta Fire Rescue emergency crews after initial assessment.

7) For the first time this season, Australia reported that all brush and grass fires in New South Wales have been contained. This season has been especially tragic, with the death of at least 28 people, the destruction of some 3,000 homes and the loss of nearly one billion animals. The containment comes amid a new onslaught of destructive weather, including torrential rainfall and damaging winds that caused major flooding and prompted school closures and widespread evacuations of several towns.

8) Some of the worst flooding on record has occurred in southeastern Kentucky, with state of emergency declarations being issued in 10 counties and seven cities. The ongoing flooding is due to recent heavy rainfalls that created flash flooding and prompted more than 100 high water rescues, road closures, and home evacuations. Flood damage was assessed by the governor of Kentucky, the state emergency management director, and other officials via helicopter, to help determine what state and local resources might be needed for response and recovery operations.


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.