Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: EMT Killed by Stolen Ambulance, Propeller Falls Off Plane

EDM Friday Briefing: EMT Killed by Stolen Ambulance, Propeller Falls Off Plane


Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 17, 2017: A massive fire in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina destroys a new apartment building and injures a firefighter, an EMT is struck and killed by her stolen ambulance in New York City, intense and heavy rains spawned by El Niño resulting in massive mudslides and flooding in Peru, TBI asks for help locating Amber Alert missing teen, highly pathogenic H7N9 confirmed at another poultry farm in Tennessee, Listeria discovery in Wal-mart pizzas results in recall, two Detroit police officers shot in unprovoked attack, and a passenger plane whose propeller falls off lands safely in Australia.

  1. A massive fire in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina has destroyed a new apartment building under construction. The blaze began about 10:00 p.m. Thursday night in a six-story building not yet completed and damaged at least nine other nearby buildings. Five of the buildings were severely damaged, and it took almost 130 firefighters majority of the night to control the blaze. One firefighter was injured by falling glass and the intensive fire exploded cars in parking garages and toppled a crane being used during the construction.
  2. After a New York City ambulance was stolen late Thursday night, the driver, an EMT, was struck and killed by the man who stole the vehicle. Yadira Arroyo, 44, stopped her ambulance after receiving a report that an individual was riding on the vehicle's bumper. The man jumped inside the ambulance when Arroyo got out of the vehicle, put it in reverse and struck her. Arroyo got caught in the wheels and was dragged down the street until the driver got stuck in a snowbank after crashing into several parked cars. The suspect was apprehended by a Metropolitan Transit Authority K-9 officer with the help of a bystander.
  3. Three days of intense rains in Peru have caused major flooding and launched massive mudslides across the nation, but one woman did survive after being swept downstream by a fast flowing mudslide. So far this year at least 62 people have died and more than 12,000 homes have been lost to rising waters and mudflows resulting from the heavy rainfalls. Officials expect the unusually intense rains and wet weather to continue for at least another two weeks, and note that warming surface waters in the Pacific Ocean, known as El Niño, is the cause.
  4. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is asking for help finding a missing teen, Elizabeth Thomas, 15, believed to be with an ex-teacher, 50-year-old Tad Cummins. The man, who is suspected of being armed with two handguns, could be driving a Silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tag 976ZPT, and an Amber Alert has been issued. Cummins, after a suspected sexual interaction with a minor, was suspended from teaching at the school where Thomas attends.  On Tuesday he was fired by the school district and is wanted by police in regard to the matter.
  5. A highly pathogenic H7N9 avian flu outbreak has been confirmed at a second farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee as of Thursday. At least 55,000 birds have been affected at a commercial breeder, which is within the original control zone but is along the Mississippi River flyway. Earlier in the week a low pathogenic H7N9 outbreak was confirmed just three miles away in Giles County, one of the three farms originally identified as having suspected outbreaks, and authorities are diligently working to contain the virus.
  6. The number of foods being recalled over possible Listeria contamination continues to grow as more than 21,000 pounds of pizzas from Wal-mart have now been added to the list. The recall was announced by the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Wednesday after the FSIS found Listeria monocytogenes in the pizzas during routine testing. The pizzas are labeled as "Marketside Extra Large Supreme Pizza" and contain the lot code 20547. The recall follows similar announcements issued recently by Vulto Creamery, Saputo, and Sargento due to a Listeria outbreak from  contaminated cheese that is likely responsible for sickening a total of six people, including two that died.
  7. A man opened fire unprovoked on two police officers in Detroit late Wednesday striking both officers. One officer was struck multiple times, including two bullets to the chest that were stopped by body armor, and one shot that hit him in the ankle. The second officer suffered a gunshot wound to his neck, but officials report that none of the injuries are life threatening. The suspect, who fled the scene, also sustained a gunshot wound during the exchange of gunfire and was later taken into custody after a two and half hour manhunt.
  8. A passenger plane landed safely in Sydney, Australia on Friday after one of its propellers, and the housing that held it, fell off the plane. The crew of the Regional Express Airlines Saab 340 aircraft was about 12 miles south of the airport when it reported that the propeller had separated from the airplane. No further damage was sustained by the plane from the falling parts, and the crew was still able to fly the plane and performed a normal, on time landing.

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.