Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Body-Cam Explodes, Prompting Major Recall

EDM Monday Briefing: Body-Cam Explodes, Prompting Major Recall

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 22, 2018: The explosion of a body camera prompts the NYPD to pull nearly 3,000 of the devices from the streets, hackers breached a federal website that exposes the sensitive information of at least 75,000 people, six people were shot in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday in an incident that may be gang-related, a floor collapse at an apartment complex near Clemson University injures 30 people, a manhunt is underway for a suspect that allegedly murdered a police officer in Georgia, several strong earthquakes strike just off the coast in British Columbia, Canada, Hurricane Willa is now a Category 5 hurricane in the Pacific Ocean and is headed for western Mexico, an earthquake shook the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles on Saturday, a deadly train crash that killed 18 in Taiwan is the island's worst train tragedy in nearly 30 years, and rescuers are still trying to free 18 miners trapped in a coal mine collapse in China's Shandong Province.

  1. Officials at the New York Police Department have pulled almost 3,000 body cameras off the streets after one exploded in the Staten Island precinct early Sunday morning. An officer who had just retrieved a body camera for his midnight duty tour, noticed smoke coming out of the bottom of the device, and quickly removed the camera, which then exploded and became engulfed in flames. The officer was not hurt, but officials stated that 2,990 Vievu LE5 cameras were deployed to 16 precincts across the city, and officers assigned the cameras will not be wearing them until the defect, which potentially allows the battery to ignite, is resolved.  
  2. A breach on a federal website that interacts with Healthcare.gov, has exposed the sensitive information of at least 75,000 people just two weeks prior to the six-week enrollment period for health insurance under Obamacare. Hackers breached the system that is used by insurance agents and brokers to directly enroll customers, and after the breach was discovered Thursday, the portal was shut down. Officials have stated that the hack will not negatively affect open enrollment, and anyone affected by the breach will be notified and offered credit protection.  
  3. Six people were shot in a shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday, leaving three individuals in critical condition. Police stated that someone opened fire from the passenger seat of a silver/gray sedan and hit the victims on the sidewalk. The incident occurred roughly one-half mile from where the Jacksonville Jaguars were playing the Houston Texans at the TIAA Bank Field, and police are still searching for suspects and their vehicle, but indicate that the shooting may have been gang-related.  
  4. A floor collapse at an apartment building near Clemson University injured dozens of people over the weekend in South Carolina. The center of the floor in the clubhouse at The Woodlands of Clemson, which had been leased for a private party, suddenly collapsed into the basement as people were dancing. Authorities stated that 30 people were taken to three area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.  
  5. One suspect is in custody, but a manhunt is underway in Gwinnett, Georgia for Tafahree Maynard, 18, for allegedly murdering a police officer, Antwan Toney, 30, on Saturday. The shooting death occurred when Toney and his partner--in response to a report of people smoking marijuana--were approaching a vehicle near the Shiloh Middle School in Snellville, when shots rang out, and Toney was fatally struck. The car then sped away, but crashed less than a mile from the scene, and the suspects then fled the scene on foot.  
  6. Several strong earthquakes struck just off the coast of Canada, close to Vancouver Island and the Campbell River, in British Columbia late Sunday into early Monday morning. The quakes ranged in magnitude from 6.5 to 6.8, and were at depths of 6.2 and 6.8 miles, but were far enough away from land that no damages were reported. The three large quakes all occurred in less than 60 minutes, and scientists noted that three major quakes in a row was very unusual for the region.  
  7. Hurricane Willa has now strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane in the Pacific Ocean, packing winds of at least 157 mph as it gets ready to make landfall in Mexico sometime Tuesday. The hurricane has a minimum central pressure of 925 mb, or 27.32 inches of mercury, and is moving to the north-northeast at about 7 mph. This dangerous hurricane is expected to make landfall Tuesday somewhere between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, and bring with it life-threatening storm surge, winds, and rainfall, including amounts of 6-12 inches and up to 18 inches in portions of Jalisco, western Nayarit, and southern Sinaloa counties in Mexico--likely producing dangerous flash flooding and landslides.  
  8. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) stated that a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck near Amarillo, Texas around 8:04 a.m. on Saturday, at a depth of 3 miles. The quake shook parts of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, although there were no reported injuries or damages. Scientists have identified increased earthquakes in Oklahoma with the injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas production through the process of fracking (hydraulic fracturing).  
  9. A catastrophic train crash in Taiwan has killed at least 18 people and injured another 175 in the worst rail tragedy the island has seen in more than thirty years. All eight cars derailed, and four of the carriages overturned, while traveling around a bend in Yilan County--on a rail line popular with tourists. Officials stated that there were 366 passengers on board the train, some of whom were crushed to death underneath carriages that overturned.  
  10. A rock burst at a coal mine in China on Saturday destroyed part of a water drainage tunnel in the mine, killing two miners and trapping another 20. Rescuers have freed two miners and are still trying to rescue the remaining 18 that are trapped inside the mine. The incident occurred Saturday night at the Longyun Coal Mine, which is located in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, where a total of 334 people were working underground when the collapse occurred.  

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.