Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Three Dead After Amtrak Train Hits SUV in Florida
EDM Monday Briefing: Three Dead After Amtrak Train Hits SUV in Florida

EDM Monday Briefing: Three Dead After Amtrak Train Hits SUV in Florida


Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 25, 2019: Three people are dead after an Amtrak train struck an SUV in Florida; OSHA cites serious violations in the death of a wildlife biologist during a prescribed fire at Fort Jackson in South Carolina; massive flooding in southern France leaves at least four dead and causes major damage to the region; torrential rainfall in Kenya has triggered landslides that have killed at least 56 people; a recall has been issued for romaine lettuce produced in the Salinas, California, growing region over concerns it is tainted with E. coli; a commercial plane crashed on takeoff at Goma in the DRC, killing at least 25 people; Livingston public schools in New Jersey opened two hours late on Monday after the district's computer system was hit by a ransomware attack; and weather is likely to impact holiday travel and could ground the iconic balloons in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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1) Three people in Florida are dead after their vehicle was hit by an Amtrak train north of West Palm Beach on Sunday afternoon. The incident occurred at about 2:00 p.m. in Indiantown, at a crossing that reportedly only has two railroad markers and a yield sign. The crossing also has tracks that are about 25 yards from the turnoff from a highway. Officials noted that two children and one adult woman were killed when the train hit the Subaru SUV and pushed it about half a mile. None of the approximately 200 passengers on board the Amtrak train suffered any injuries.

2) After investigating the May death of a wildlife biologist during a prescribed fire in South Carolina at the Fort Jackson military base, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found what they consider to be serious violations. The body of Angela (Nicole) Chadwick-Hawkins was found near an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with fuel on her body. OSHA cited Fort Jackson with, among other violations, a failure to ensure employee safety and a failure to protect employees from fire hazards. According to reports, the violations needed to be corrected by November 14, 2019.

3) Four people are dead and at least one person is missing after heavy flooding that began Friday hit southeastern France. The heavy rainfall caused several rivers to overtop their banks, which flooded homes and swept away cars and boats. French civil defense members assisted with high water rescues and about 4,500 homes in Var and Alpes-Maritimes regions were left without electricity. The town of Roquebrune-sur-Argens was completely cut off and only accessible by boat or helicopter.

4) The death toll from the landslides in Kenya has now climbed to at least 56 people. Torrential rainfall hit the northwestern portion of Kenya, triggering flooding and mudslides on Saturday and sweeping away four bridges. Villages in West Pokot County, near the country's Uganda border, were completely cut off. According to officials, rescue operations were being hindered by more rain and fog.

5) Another recall has been issued -- just ahead of the holiday season -- for romaine lettuce due to an outbreak of E. coli. Federal health officials believe the tainted lettuce is again linked to the Salinas, California, growing region and are urging consumers to avoid any lettuce grown in that area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 40 people in 16 states have been sickened by the latest E. coli outbreak, which began in September and has been identified as the same strain as the 2017 and 2018 outbreak.

6) A commercial plane operated by Busy Bee, crashed just after takeoff in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 25 people, including people on the ground. The plane, a 19-seat Dornier-228 turboprop aircraft, took off from Goma International Airport and crashed about one minute later into two homes in a highly populated neighborhood near the airport. The plane was carrying 16 passengers and two crew members. Reportedly, two people, including one crew member, survived the crash.

7) Livingston public schools in New Jersey opened two hours late on Monday after their computer system suffered a cyber attack on Friday. The system was infected with ransomware after hackers broke into the network across nine schools. The hackers held the information hostage by encrypting it and then demanded a ransom payment for the code to unlock the information. The entire phone system is still down, and engineers have been working around the clock trying to fix the system. However, it could take weeks to fully restore data in the system.

8) Several active weather systems are set to impact much of the United States just in time for holiday travel -- and the popular Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade held in New York City. The systems are set to impact the West, Rockies, the Midwest and the lower Mississippi Valley beginning on Tuesday. Snow is forecast for the Rockies, and rain and thunderstorms will affect the other regions. Forecasters note that the system in the Midwest will track east, bringing heavy rain and fog on Wednesday. High winds are expected on Thursday in the Northeast, which could ground the iconic balloons in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for safety reasons.


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.