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Mom Kills Five Kids, Sets House on Fire, then Kills Herself

Five children found shot to death after a house fire last year in West Virginia were killed by their mother, who then killed herself, officials said Thursday.

“Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan revealed details of the shootings and fire last Dec. 8 at a news conference,” the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Sloan said 25-year-old Oreanna Antoinette Myers shot her three kids and two stepchildren at their home near Williamsburg, adding that the children’s ages ranged from one to seven.

Their bodies were discovered inside the home, while Myers’ body was found outside, the article continued:

Myers’ husband stayed with relatives instead of at home during the work week due to transportation issues, Sloan said. Text messages between Myers and her husband showed that his absence during the week had been “a tremendous source of contention” between them.

Sloan said he was unaware of whether the woman was under treatment for any diagnosed mental illness at the time of the deaths. But in a note she left, she complained about the lack of treatment for mental illness, according to the sheriff.

He detailed the case during the press conference Thursday morning:

Flynns Creek Road Press Conference 01-21-2021. **The first couple minutes of this press conference was not recorded due to equipment issues**

Posted by Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday, January 21, 2021

During their search of the property, first responders found three letters inside the couple’s broken down vehicle, according to WSAZ.

One of the notes, titled confession, reportedly said:

I had shot all boys in the head. I had set house on fire. I had shot myself in the head. I’m sorry mental health is serious. I hope one day someone will help others like me. Mental health is not to joke about or to take lightly. When someone begs, pleads, cries out for help, please help them. You just might save a life or more lives. Thank you, O.A.M.

In a letter to her mother, Myers said, “I’m sorry. This is no one’s fault but my own. My demons won over me and there’s no going back. So sorry I wasn’t strong enough.”

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Serum Institute of India: Blaze at facility of world’s biggest vaccine maker kills 5 people

The blaze at the Serum Institute of India (SII) in the western city of Pune was brought under control on Thursday though the cause is still under investigation, according to Murlidhar Mohol, the city’s mayor.

Four people were rescued from the six-floor building but five others died, Mohol said. They are believed to have been construction workers as the building was still under construction at the time of the fire.

Videos and images showed black smoke billowing out of the building at the company’s complex. Fifteen units of the municipal corporation and fire department worked to douse the fire, Mohol said.

Preliminary investigations suggest that “during the building’s construction, some welding work could have led to the fire,” he added.

Pune’s fire brigade chief Prashant Ranpise said Friday that the fire started on the second floor. As firefighters worked to put out the flames, the blaze reigned in another spot. The second fire was extinguished at 4:15 p.m. local time by 50 firefighters and personnel. Ranpise said they are still investigating the cause of the fire.

“We have learnt that there has unfortunately been some loss of life at the incident. We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the departed,” SII CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted Thursday.

SII, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, is in partnership with Oxford University and AstraZeneca to produce the Covishield vaccine. In December, the company said it was producing 50 to 60 million doses of Covishield per month, with production to be scaled up to 100 million doses in January or February.

A family business started by Poonawalla’s father 50 years ago to bring cheaper vaccines to the masses, the Serum Institute of India is aiming to produce hundreds of millions of coronavirus vaccines for not only India, but also other developing countries.

In a tweet, Poonawalla said that despite a “few floors being destroyed,” production of the Covishield vaccine would not be affected.

“I would like to reassure all governments and the public that there would be no loss of COVISHIELD production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies,” he said.

Cyrus S. Poonawalla, SII’s chairman and managing director, said in a statement that the fire broke out at a facility that was under constriction in the Special Economic Zone at Manjri. He said it was an “extremely sorrowful day” and the company would offer INR 2.5 million ($34,000) to each of the victims’ families.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences Thursday: “Anguished by the loss of lives due to an unfortunate fire … In this sad hour, my thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. I pray that those injured recover at the earliest.”

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Compound from medicinal herb kills brain-eating amoebae in lab studies — ScienceDaily

Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a deadly disease caused by the “brain-eating amoeba” Naegleria fowleri, is becoming more common in some areas of the world, and it has no effective treatment. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Chemical Neuroscience have found that a compound isolated from the leaves of a traditional medicinal plant, Inula viscosa or “false yellowhead,” kills the amoebae by causing them to commit cell suicide in lab studies, which could lead to new treatments.

PAM, characterized by headache, fever, vomiting, hallucinations and seizures, is almost always fatal within a couple of weeks of developing symptoms. Although the disease, which is usually contracted by swimming in contaminated freshwater, is rare, increasing cases have been reported recently in the U.S., the Philippines, southern Brazil and some Asian countries. Amphotericin B is the most common therapy given to those with the infection. It can kill N. fowleri in the lab, but it isn’t very effective when given to patients, likely because it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. Ikrame Zeouk, José Piñero, Jacob Lorenzo-Morales and colleagues wanted to explore whether compounds isolated from I. viscosa, a strong-smelling plant that has long been used for traditional medicine in the Mediterranean region, could effectively treat PAM.

The researchers first made an ethanol extract from the herb’s leaves, finding that it could kill N. fowleri amoebae. Then, they isolated and tested specific compounds from the extract. The most potent compound, inuloxin A, killed amoebae in the lab by disrupting membranes and causing mitochondrial changes, chromatin condensation and oxidative damage, ultimately forcing the parasites to undergo programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Although inuloxin A was much less potent than amphotericin B in the lab, the structure of the plant-derived compound suggests that it might be better able to cross the blood-brain barrier. More studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis, the researchers say.

The authors acknowledge funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the University of La Laguna and the Augustin de Betancourt Foundation.

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Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Avalanche Kills Three at Russian Arctic Ski Resort

Three people were killed after an avalanche swept through a ski resort outside the Arctic city of Norilsk overnight, Russian investigators said Saturday.

The Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it was notified at 00:30 local time that an avalanche had buried four buildings under snow at the Otdelnaya Gora ski complex. 

Rescuers had recovered the bodies of a 38-year-old woman, her 18-month-old child and 45-year-old husband. A 14-year-old was found alive and hospitalized with frostbite.

The Investigative Committee added that it had opened a criminal case into deaths by negligence as a result of safety violations.

The Norilsk mayor’s office announced a day of mourning in the city and said that authorities “express sorrow and deep condolences to the families and friends of the victims.” 

Rescuers wearing headlights in the night and heavy coats against the bitter cold shovelled snow out of a building packed to its roof. 

On Saturday morning the emergencies ministry branch in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region, which includes Norilsk, said all of the missing people had been found and it was ending the search and rescue mission.

Rescue volunteer Maxim Inikhov told journalists all of the buildings were unoccupied at the time of the avalanche except for one housing the director of the resort’s ski lift, Vlad Popov, his wife and their two children.

“We have a very strong blizzard so there were very few people vacationing today at the ski resort,” Inikhov told Rossiya-24 television.

Norilsk, Russia’s northernmost city, 2,878 kilometers (1,788 miles) northeast of Moscow, often experiences huge snowstorms, including blizzards last month that featured wind gusting up to 27 metres per second.

Avalanche accidents are not uncommon in Russia. 

In spring 2019, seven climbers died in an avalanche in Siberia’s Altai mountains.

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Fire at India hospital ward kills 10 babies

Seven infants are rescued by staff as the blaze engulfs a ward at a facility in Maharashtra state.

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Russian Gold Mine Accident Kills Two

At least two miners died after a rockfall at a Trans-Siberian Gold company-owned mine on Russia’s Pacific coast, emergency officials said Wednesday.

Three of the five engineers who were installing ventilation systems at the Asacha deposit in the Kamchatka region climbed out on their own, the Emergency Situations Ministry’s regional branch said in a statement.

“Two people who failed to get out of the rubble were found dead,” it said, adding that the governor and administration of the Russian Far East region had expressed condolences to the victims’ families.

The regional Emergency Situations Ministry said it ended the rescue operation at the mine some 6,200 kilometers east of Moscow 12 hours after the accident occurred.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the rock collapse. State media, citing Kamchatka’s mining association president Alexander Orlov, said that Trans-Siberian Gold’s subsidiary Trevozhnoye Zarevo had seen “no serious safety violations” in its nine years of operation at the site.

Over the past decade, the Trans-Siberian Gold website’s health and safety section showed one of the estimated 650 employees dying and nine others being injured at work.

This is the second high-profile gold mining accident in Russia in recent years, after an October 2019 dam collapse killed 15 gold miners in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region.

Russia, one of the world’s top gold producers, ramped up mining output to over 184 metric tons in January-August 2020 compared to 178 tons in January-August 2019.

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California head-on collision kills 7 children, 2 adults

The California Highway Patrol is investigating a New Year’s Day head-on crash that killed seven children and two adults on a central California highway.

The driver of a Dodge Journey SUV was traveling southbound on rural State Route 33, when he overcorrected and struck a Ford F-150 traveling northbound. The Dodge came to a stop straddling both lanes of the highway, while the Ford was engulfed in flames. 

“When the fire was extinguished, tragically it was discovered there were eight occupants — seven of which appeared to be juveniles — inside the Ford,” CHP Capt. Kevin Clays said at a Saturday news conference.

The children, who were between the ages of 6 and 15 years old, were members of two related families, the Fresno County Coroner’s office later said. The Ford F150 was equipped with only six seat belts.

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New Year’s reveler dancing with gun allegedly shoots, kills 4-year-old Texas boy: Police

The child was identified as Messiah Taplin by the local medical examiner.

A 4-year-old boy was killed in an Arlington, Texas, apartment in the first hour of the new year when police say he was apparently shot by a man dancing and celebrating with a firearm just after the clock struck midnight.

The boy, identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner as Messiah Taplin, was shot about 12:30 a.m. Friday and died just after 1 a.m. at a local hospital, police said.

“We are currently seeking a manslaughter warrant against that individual,” said Ciesco, adding that the suspect’s name will not be released until a judge signs the warrant.

Police said the suspect was detained along with other “persons of interest” for questioning in the homicide investigation.

“Based on evidence gathered, and statements made by the individuals who were inside the apartment at the time, it appears one of the adult males in the apartment was dancing or celebrating with a firearm — and it discharged, striking the 4-year-old boy in the head,” Ciesco said.

Officers went to an apartment complex in the north part of the suburban Dallas city after a 911 caller reported hearing gunfire, the Arlington Police Department said in an earlier statement.

When officers arrived, they followed a trail of blood leading to an unlocked apartment, according to the statement.

“Officers went inside and discovered a crime scene. No one was inside of the apartment at that time,” the statement reads.

As officers were investigating the scene, a vehicle drove into the parking lot that matched a car spotted leaving the apartment complex shortly after the shooting, police said. Officers stopped the car and detained its occupants.

It was not immediately clear if the people inside the car were the “persons of interest” police are questioning.

Homicide detectives were later notified by police in Grand Prairie, about seven miles east of Arlington, that a 4-year-old boy was taken to a hospital in their city and died from an apparent gunshot wound, according to the statement.

The child’s death was the second fatal shooting Arlington police responded to in the first hour of the New Year. At 12:25 a.m., officers received a call of shots fired in a residential neighborhood in east Arlington and discovered a woman suffering from an apparent gunshot wound on the back porch of a home, police said in a statement. The woman, whose name was not immediately released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Investigators do not believe this was self-inflicted and that someone shot the woman on the back porch,” the police statement reads.

No arrest has been made in the shooting.

Authorities asked that anyone with information about either killing contact Arlington police investigators or the Tarrant County Crime Stoppers line.

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Roadside bombing in Sinai kills 2 police

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — A roadside bomb went off Friday in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula, killing two members of the country’s security forces and wounding five, security and medical officials said.

According to the officials, the security forces were patrolling in the town of Bir al-Abd when their armored vehicle was hit by a remotely-detonated bomb. The wounded were transferred to a military hospital in Sinai’s coastal city of El-Arish. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the attacks with the media.

Friday’s bombing was the second in the past three days. On Wednesday, one member of the security forces was killed and three were wounded in a roadside bombing in a village near Rafah, a town on the border with the Gaza Strip.

There was no clear claim of responsibility for Friday’s attack, but the Islamic State group posted a statement on Friday, saying it was behind Wednesday’s bombing and three other recent attacks. The claims could not be independently verified.

Egypt has been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency in Sinai that intensified after the military overthrew an Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, in 2013. The militants have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and minority Christians.

The conflict has largely taken place out of the public arena, with journalists and outside observers barred from the area. So far, the fighting has not expanded to the southern end of the peninsula, where popular Red Sea tourist resorts are located.

But in 2015, an Islamic State bombing brought down over Sinai a Russian passenger plane that had departed from the resort Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board.

In February 2018, the Egyptian military launched a massive operation in Sinai and also in parts of the Nile Delta region and the desert along the country’s western border with Libya. Since then, the pace of IS attacks has diminished.

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Crash kills teen on Christmas Day, police searching for motorbike he was riding

Police in Hobart say it is crucial they find a motorbike involved in a crash which killed a 14-year-old boy in the city’s north on Christmas night.

Ambulance and police officers were called to the scene at Harbord Road in Claremont, about 9:30pm.

“Emergency services personnel attempted CPR and first aid at the scene but unfortunately he was pronounced deceased when he arrived at hospital,” said acting inspector Stewart Cashion.

“Police were unable to locate the motorcycle … and it appears the motorcycle has been removed from the scene.”

Acting Inspector Cashion said it’s believed the boy from Claremont was alone on the motorcycle.

“We believe that he knew people in the area and had been visiting friends prior to the accident,” he said.

“We believe he wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time, however we can’t confirm if drugs or alcohol were involved … we have no information about the bike, where it came from and whether it was a Christmas gift.”

“Our condolences go out to the family of the child, and we want information from the public to try to piece this together for closure for the family.”

Acting inspector Stewart Cashion says it’s important to find the motorbike.(ABC News: Alexandra Alvaro)

“It’s very serious that a motorcycle was taken prior to emergency services’ arrival,” said acting inspector Cashion.

“This particular cycle obviously has key points that investigators need to try and piece together for the family, for the coroner, for closure for everyone as to what actually occurred.

“We don’t know anything about this particular bike at this time, we’re acting on information that we have, but still at this point we don’t have the bike.”

The police officer was unable to shed light on claims of a brawl at the scene after the crash.

“I have no information about any altercation at the scene after the event, so I can’t make any comment on that,” he said.

Witness says motorcycle use a problem

A man who lives on Harbord Road said motorbike riders had been a problem in the area for a while

“Yes, over the last year I suppose, they think it’s a long street — wide — I suppose they take advantage of it.

He said it was a shocking incident.

“It was terrible really, I mean, no-one wants to see anyone hurt, especially that young, it’s a tragedy,” he said.

“He was just going up and down the street on his bike — I don’t really know what happened, but next thing you know, he was laying on the road up there and someone called an ambulance and the police,

“It’s terrible really, being so young too.”

Acting inspector Cashion urged unlicenced riders to use appropriate venues.

“Kids riding on public streets on unregistered bikes is illegal, this is an example of what can happen,” he said.

“Please don’t. Please if you want to ride a motorbike please do it in the appropriate circumstances, make sure it’s supervised, make sure it’s on a proper track, make sure the appropriate supervision and instruction is given.”

Anyone with information about the location of the motorcycle is asked to contact CrimeStoppers.

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