Nation and world briefs

  • Updated: October 19, 2013 - 9:26 PM

California

Train kills 2 workers amid BART strike

A commuter train that is part of a San Francisco Bay Area system whose employees are on strike hit and killed two maintenance workers Saturday afternoon, officials said. The accident that killed one system employee and one contractor in the East Bay city of Walnut Creek occurred shortly before 2 p.m. as the train was on a routine maintenance run operated by a manager, Bay Area Rapid Transit officials said. BART officials said that the manager was an “experienced operator” and the four-car train was being run in automatic mode under computer control.

Argentina

Commuter train slams into station, again

An Argentine commuter train slammed into the end of the line at the same station in Buenos Aires where 52 people were killed in a similar crash last year. This time there was no immediate report of deaths, but at least 80 people were injured. A mob quickly formed, unleashing its fury at the train operators. Passengers chanted “murderer, murderer!” at the injured driver through the shattered cabin window. Officers intervened and the driver was soon hospitalized under police custody.

Australia

Authorities fear worsening wildfires

Firefighters battling some of the most destructive wildfires to ever strike Australia’s most populous state were bracing for worsening conditions, with higher temperatures and winds expected to intensify the danger in the coming days. In the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, one of the worst-hit regions in fire-ravaged New South Wales state, 193 homes have been destroyed and another 109 damaged by the fire storm that peaked Thursday, the Rural Fire Service said. The damage toll announced Saturday was more than double the count from the previous day and was expected to rise.

Maldives

Police block attempt at presidential vote

The Maldives sank further into political disarray when police blocked officials from conducting a presidential revote, saying that holding the election would violate a Supreme Court order. It’s the latest blow to this young Indian Ocean democracy. The current president’s term ends in about three weeks, and if his replacement is not elected by then it will spark a constitutional crisis. President Mohamed Waheed Hassan stepped in to resolve the impasse, saying he would propose that the revote be held next Saturday.

Egypt

Car bomb strikes military compound

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