Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Man Arrested for Sending Explosive Packages to Government Installations

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Man Arrested for Sending Explosive Packages to Government Installations

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 28, 2018: Authorities arrest a man outside Seattle in conjunction with explosive packages sent to Washington, D.C. government installations, multiple schools across the United Kingdom were placed on lockdown Monday following an email communication that threatened to mow-down and shoot children, medics in Poughkeepsie, New York are training to move into warm zones during an active school shooting incident, a new policy from the TSA requiring the removal of food and snacks from carry on luggage may be on the horizon, two West Virginia firefighters remain hospitalized following their deadly fire truck crash, California's attorney general joins the investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed black man, a young Florida boy was involuntarily hospitalized again after threatening for the second time to be the next school shooter, and the Russian shopping mall fire that killed at least 64 had its fire exits blocked and the alarms turned off.

  1. A man in Seattle, Tanh Cong Phan, 43, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with sending at least a dozen packages containing explosive devices to about 11 government and military installations in and around Washington, D.C. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has not ruled out that more packages may also have been sent, and several of the packages contained letters that were rambling and termed as 'disturbing' by officials. Reports indicate that no injuries have occurred as a result, and all known packages are under federal control at this time.  
  2. Police in the United Kingdom have confirmed that threats sent via email to schools across the country, including London, Suffolk, Durham, and Plymouth, have resulted in schools being placed on lockdown on Wednesday. The malicious communication allegedly threatened that students would be rundown and shot, and if an attempt to evacuate them occurred, they would also be shot as they left the building. In the North East, a Counter Terrorism Team has been sent in to investigate in conjunction with local authorities, and law enforcement is working in conjunction with schools and other officials to investigate the threats as quickly and thoroughly as possible.  
  3. Medics frustrated with standing on the sidelines, unable to attend to injured victims as an active shooter situation unfolds, are now becoming more involved, earlier, to help save lives. As active shooter situations demand greater attention, medics in Poughkeepsie, New York, are taking a more active role to help prevent deaths by learning how to enter what are termed 'warm zones.'  The ability to enter these areas requires training to work in tandem with law enforcement agencies so they can learn entry techniques and ways to assist victims while staying relatively safe while the situation is still ongoing - and buying time for victims to save more lives.
  4. A new request by Transportation Security Administration employees at security checkpoints in some major airports is taking people by surprise-and according to one person-has the potential to cause significant issues if words are lost in translation. The new TSA request has travelers being asked to remove snacks and food from their carrying on luggage for screening. TSA says the request has nothing to do with the food, but helps reduce clutter in the X-ray screening process. Reports indicate that it is likely a new policy that will be implemented in the short-term future.  
  5. Funerals for the two firefighters killed when their fire truck crashed en route to a deadly accident on the West Virginia Turnpike have been set and the fallen heroes were honored with a wreath-laying ceremony. Two other victims of the crash remain in the hospital, with Pratt Volunteer Fire Department Chief Timmy Walker still being listed in critical condition, and firefighter Billy Hyes in stable condition. One other firefighter, Kyle Jenkins, 17, was treated for a broken arm and released, but the cause for the fire truck crash remains under investigation.  
  6. As an independent investigator, California's attorney general has joined the investigation following the shooting by police of an unarmed black man in his grandparent's backyard on March 18. The incident occurred when police responded to a report that someone was shattering car windows in the area, and the man was shot when the officers believed he was holding a gun in his hand, which turned out to be a cell phone. The incident has sparked street protests and according to reports, the family has a retained a lawyer and plans to sue the city.  
  7. A young boy has been involuntarily hospitalized in Florida for a second time after he told deputies he wanted to be the next school shooter after they found him passed out on a sidewalk on Saturday. Reports indicate that the boy allegedly stole a bottle of liquor from his parents, drank it, and took 'happy pills' before passing out on the sidewalk. According to investigators, the boy threatened to retaliate for being expelled from his Westside K-8 School in nearby Osceola County and to do that, he wanted to 'kill a lot of kids' and made other disturbing statements, including that he buried a gun in his neighbors backyard and wanted to die and see God.  
  8. Russian authorities are stating that the shopping mall fire that killed 64 people on Sunday was a result of criminal negligence. The fire, which consumed a large portion of the mall, was so disastrous because fire exits were blocked, and alarms had been turned off, making escape nearly impossible, including for an entire class of school children who used social media and cell phones to call their parents and relatives to say goodbye. The fire broke out in the Siberian town of Kemerovo, and reports suggest that this is just the latest in a series of accidents, fires, and sinkings in Russia marked by ineptness and inadequate responses by emergency personnel, but true safety measure reform is often said to be half-hearted.  

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.