Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The small plane crash in Connecticut that killed one man on board appears to have been a suicide by a Jordanian, Feras Freitekh

Deadly small plane crash in Connecticut appears to be suicide, official says

Published October 12, 2016

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NTSB: Connecticut plane crash was intentional

The small plane crash in Connecticut that killed one man on board appears to have been a suicide, a U.S. official familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Flight instructor Arian Prevalla survived the East Hartford crash Tuesday. Student pilot Feras Freitekh died. The official said the flight instructor described the student pilot as disgruntled about learning to be a pilot.

The official says the instructor told police there was an altercation in the cockpit during their training flight, and the instructor was unable to regain control of the plane from the student pilot. The plane crashed onto a busy road near jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney's headquarters.


(Fox 25)

Earlier Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed that an investigation indicated the crash was intentional.

Freitekh, a 28-year-old Jordanian national, was piloting the twin-engine Piper PA-34 Seneca when he told Prevalla he no longer wanted to fly the plane, a law enforcement official told The Hartford Courant. Investigators said there was no indication of terrorism.

Prevalla's social media pages indicate he is president of the American Flight Academy. They say he is originally from Albania and now lives in Hartford.

The NTSB reported that the FBI would take the lead in the investigation. The aircraft had two sets of controls, police said.

Public records show Freitekh has lived in the Chicago suburb of Orland Hills since 2013 and received a federal private pilot certificate last year. He entered the U.S. in 2012 on an M1 visa for flight school and at some point he also aquired an F1 visa for language school, CBS News reported.

The plane hit a utility pole and wires in East Hartford, Conn., around 3:40 p.m. on Tuesday, exploding into a fireball and knocking out power for hundreds of people. The FAA said the plane was on final approach to Brainard Airport in Hartford at the time of the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also involved in the investigation.

"Pratt & Whitney is assisting authorities as needed. We are unable to comment further since this is an active investigation," the company announced in a statement Tuesday.

Fox News' Marta Dhanis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Type:Silhouette image of generic PA34 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-34-200 Seneca
Owner/operator:International Aviation LLC
Registration: N15294
C/n / msn: 34-7350047
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:East of Hartford-Brainard Airport (KHFD), Hartford, CT -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Hartford-Brainard (KHFD)
Destination airport:Hartford-Brainard (KHFD)
The aircraft clipped powerlines and impacted roadway terrain during an apparent force landing attempt in East Hartford, Connecticut. The airplane was partially consumed by the post-impact fire and the instructor pilot onboard received serious injuries. The student pilot onboard the aircraft received fatal injuries.

FBI is looking into the possibility that the aircraft was deliberately taken down by one of the two people on board, according to the authorities.


North Cascade Road Developers, LLC to pay a civil penalty of $50,000 to resolve violations of Section 402 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) at its Timber Hyrst Estates Residential Development in Dubuque, Iowa

EPA, North Cascade Road Developers, LLC, Reach Settlement on Clean Water Act Violations at Development in Dubuque, Iowa
Contact Information:
Mark Hanson (

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 12, 2016) - EPA Region 7 has reached a proposed administrative settlement with North Cascade Road Developers, LLC, to resolve violations of Section 402 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) at its Timber Hyrst Estates Residential Development in Dubuque, Iowa. As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000.

EPA conducted a stormwater inspection of the Timber Hyrst Estates Residential Development to evaluate compliance with the site’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NDPES) permit. EPA’s inspection identified several alleged CWA violations, including failure to develop and implement an adequate Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, failure to install or implement adequate stormwater control measures, and failure to conduct and document self-inspections.

Failure to ensure appropriate stormwater controls at the site resulted in the migration of sediment into South Fork Catfish Creek and its tributaries. The CWA seeks to protect streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. Protecting streams and wetlands is also part of adapting to climate change impacts like drought and stronger storms. The CWA also requires construction sites to have controls in place to limit pollution discharged via stormwater into nearby waterways.

Following the inspection, North Cascade Road Developers, LLC, took actions to address and correct the identified stormwater violations. Compliance with the terms of the permit will reduce the amount of sediment that is discharged from the development site into South Fork Catfish Creek.

EPA was able to reach agreement with North Cascade Road Developers, LLC, prior to the filing of a formal administrative complaint. EPA is proposing a Consent Agreement and Final Order in settlement of this matter, which is being placed on public notice. The proposed settlement with North Cascade Road Developers, LLC, is subject to a 40-day public comment period before it becomes final. Information on how to submit comments is available online at the link provided below.

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Review CWA public notices of EPA civil enforcement

Learn more about EPA’s enforcement of the Clean Water Act

Learn more about Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

Learn more about wetlands protection and restoration

EPA Acts on New Chemical Law to Fast-Track Five Chemicals that can be used in fragrance mixtures.

Contact Information: 
Cathy Milbourn (
WASHINGTON - EPA is taking swift steps to carry out requirements in the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act and to reduce exposure to certain persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals.

“The threats from persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals are well-documented,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator in EPA’s office of chemical safety and pollution prevention. “The new law directs us to expedite action to reduce risks for these chemicals, rather than spending more time evaluating them. We are working to ensure the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act signed in June of this year delivers on the promise of better protecting the environment and public health as quickly as possible.”

The five chemicals to receive expedited action are:
  • Decabromodiphenyl ethers (DecaBDE), used as a flame retardant in textiles, plastics and polyurethane foam;
  • Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), used in the manufacture of rubber compounds and lubricants and as a solvent;
  • Pentachlorothio-phenol (PCTP), used as an agent to make rubber more pliable in industrial uses;
  • Tris (4-isopropylphenyl) phosphate, used as a flame retardant in consumer products and other industrial uses; and
  • 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol, used as a fuel, oil, gasoline or lubricant additive.
The statutory deadline for EPA to propose action is June 22, 2019.

The new law gave manufacturers an opportunity to request by September 19, 2016, that EPA conduct risk evaluations for the PBT chemicals on EPA’s 2014 Work Plan, as an alternative to expedited action.  Requests for risk evaluations were made for two chemicals that can be used in fragrance mixtures.

For the remaining PBT chemicals, EPA must move ahead to take expedited action to reduce exposure to those chemicals to the extent practicable.  After EPA finishes identifying where these chemicals are used and how people are exposed to them, the Agency will move directly to propose limitations on their use.

PBT chemicals are of particular concern because they remain in the environment for significant periods of time and concentrate in the organisms exposed to them.  These pollutants can transfer among air, water, and land, and span boundaries of geography and generations.

The new amendments to TSCA will help bring significant improvements to public health as EPA continues to take the steps necessary for its successful implementation.

More about the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act and EPA’s implementation activities and to sign up for updates, visit:


Since January 2016, Nebraska and Kansas' grain-handling industry has had two fatalities and four preventable work-related incidents.

October 12, 2016

As fall's harvest arrives, OSHA urges grain-handling industry
to be vigilant to stem a tide of recent tragedies, and near disasters
Agency offers assistance, other information on safety, health hazards

KANSAS CITY, Mo.:  Five seconds is all it takes for flowing grain to engulf and trap a worker. In 60 seconds, the worker is submerged and is in serious danger of death by suffocation. More than half of all workers engulfed in grain die this way. Many others suffer permanent disability.

An "engulfment" often happens when "bridged" grain and vertical piles of stored grain collapse unexpectedly. Engulfments may occur when employees work on or near the pile or when bin augers whirl causing the grain to buckle and fall onto the worker. The density, weight and unpredictable behavior of flowing grains make it nearly impossible for workers to rescue themselves without help.

Since January 2016, Nebraska and Kansas' grain-handling industry has had two fatalities and four preventable work-related incidents.

As Midwestern farmers reap this year's harvest, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration urges industry employers and workers to fully implement safety and health programs including procedures for controlling hazardous energy, safe bin entry and housekeeping to avoid additional tragedies. OSHA's Grain Handling Industry Local Emphasis Program focuses on the grain and feed industry's six major hazards: engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, "struck by," combustible dust explosions and electrocution hazards.

"Far too many preventable incidents continue to occur in the grain-handling industry," said Kim Stille, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City. "Every employee working in the grain industry must be trained on grain-handling hazards and given the tools to ensure they do not enter a bin or silo without required safety equipment. They must also take all necessary precautions - this includes using lifelines, testing the atmosphere inside a bin and turning off and locking out all powered equipment to prevent restarting before entering grain storage structures."

In 2016, OSHA has opened investigations of the following grain industry fatalities and incidents:
  • March 16, 2016: A 42-year-old superintendent at Cooperative Producers Inc.'s Hayland grain-handling site in Prosser, Nebraska, suffered fatal injuries caused by an operating auger as he drew grain from a bin. OSHA cited the company on Sept. 9, 2016, for three egregious willful and three serious violations and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The company has contested those citations. See news release here.
  • March 22, 2016: A 21-year-old worker found himself trapped in a soybean bin, but escaped serious injury at The Farmer's Cooperative Association in Conway Springs, Kansas. Rescue crews were able to remove the worker and he was treated and released at a local hospital. On June 2, 2016, OSHA cited the company for 13 serious violations. See citations here.
  • March 25, 2016: A 51-year- employee was trapped in a grain bin at McPherson County Feeders in Marquette, Kansas. Emergency crews were able to rescue him. OSHA cited the company for four serious violations on April 14, 2016. See citations here.
  • May 19, 2016: A 53-year-old male employee at Prinz Grain and Feed suffered severe injuries on May 18, 2016, as he worked in a grain bin in West Point, Nebraska. The maintenance worker was in a grain bin when a wall of corn product collapsed and engulfed him. He died of his injuries two days later.
  • Sept. 1, 2016: A 59-year-old employee suffered severe injuries to his leg when the sweep auger inside a bin at Trotter Grain in Litchfield, Nebraska, caught his coveralls.
  • Sept. 19, 2016: A 28-year-old employee of the Ellsworth Co-Op in Ellsworth, Kansas, had his left leg amputated when he stepped into an open auger well inside a grain bin while the auger was running.

In 2015, the industry reported 22 grain-entrapment cases nationwide. Of those, 4 percent occurred in commercial grain facilities and 82 percent occurred on farms exempt from OSHA compliance. In 2010, 51 workers found themselves engulfed by grain stored in bins, and 26 died - the highest number on record - researchers at Indiana's Purdue University found. Purdue also reported that - of the more than 900 cases of grain engulfments reported since 1966 - 62 percent resulted in worker deaths.

In its effort to protect workers and educate the industry, OSHA has worked with leaders in the agri-business community to raise awareness of grain-handling hazards.

Most recently, Omaha Area Director Jeff Funke spoke at the National Grain and Feed Association and Assistant Area Director Darwin Craig spoke at the Nebraska Grain and Feed Association, both in August 2016.

"It is vital that we work with leaders, farmers and those employed in the grain and feed industry to increase awareness of hazards in the grain industry and discuss ways to protect workers on the job," Funke said. "In our presentation to the NGFA, we were able to reach about 5,000 employees on a national level. Through education, training and common sense safety procedures we can prevent workplace injuries and deaths in the grain industry."

In the last year, OSHA Wichita Area Office presented at the Kansas Grain and Feed Associations' Grain Handlers training program in Garden City and in Salina, presented information to the KFSA grain elevator owners and managers in Kansas City on the most frequently found hazards in the grain industry, and presented to the Grain Elevator Processing Society in Salina.

"Grain dust accumulation must be controlled to prevent a fuel source in bins from igniting in proximity to operating conveyors, augers and other equipment. OSHA grain handling standards address the numerous serious and life threatening hazards found in grain bins including grain dust explosions, engulfment and entrapment from flowing grain, falls and amputation hazards," said Judy Freeman, OSHA's area director in Wichita. "These common sense safety standards protect workers on the job in this hazardous industry."

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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Top 6 Ways to Keep Your Employees Safe in the Grain Handling Industry

Katy Sabo

Valuing your worker’s safety and well-being are ideas that most can agree on being crucial for company success within dangerous industries such as Grain Handling. Part of my job is updating our Twitter Feed and keeping an eye out for industry news via shared stories and retweets by some of the most credible sources in the material handling industries. Recently, I have been seeing numerous stories about grain entrapment accidents and can’t help but wonder, why does this keep occurring when preventive measures are available? Safety and Health Topics on OSHA’s website can prove to be rather helpful and a great reference to industry procedures, so I started there in my quest to compile this list.
  1. Provide Proper Dust Collection Equipment Within Your Facilities – Did you know that over the past 35 years, there have been over 500 explosions within Grain Handling Facilities across the U.S. and have killed more than 180 people? This piece of equipment comes in a variety of designs which allows for you to choose the best option for your facility (Manufacturers such as Aerodyne can provide help here) . Applying vibration to your dust collector can offer the proper dust dislodging technique to help provide better safety for your crew. We too, have many vibratory solutions that can help with proper upkeep of dust collection equipment.     
  2. Properly Choose Location of Your Dust Collection Equipment – All filter collectors that have been installed after March 1988, should be located outside of your facility. This will help to reduce explosion hazards. If your piece of equipment is located within your facility, it should be protected by an explosion suppression system.
  3. Utilize Proper Vibratory Equipment for Grain Storage Bins – Suffocation is the leading cause of death in grain storage bins. It takes 5 seconds or less for a worker to be completely engulfed while they are trying to unclog the “bridged” grain. The behavior and weight of the grain creates a quicksand-like rotation, making extremely difficult for a worker to escape without assistance in many cases. Using an Air Piston Vibrator, such as Cleveland Vibrator’s VMSAC or SI Single impactor, on the sides of your storage bin can help reduce the need for bin/hopper entry.
  4. Power Down Any Excess Equipment Pieces Associated with Bin – Whether it be pneumatic, electric, hydraulic, or mechanical, any piece of equipment that is moving grain heightens the chances of engulfments since it could create a suction of the material pulling your worker into the grain in the matter of seconds.
  5. Provide All Employees with a Safety Harness – This harness should be connected to a lifeline and employees must wear this harness when the need to enter a bin should arise.
  6. Implement Preventive Maintenance Programs – Be sure to regularly schedule inspections of your mechanical and safety control pieces of equipment. When it comes to your Vibratory Equipment, Cleveland Vibrator can provide field tips and also evaluate your vibratory drives or equipment. You can learn more from Glen Roberts, our Senior Expert in Vibratory Units who has explained in recent blogs the importance of Vibratory Unit upkeep. This measure helps to maintain the highest level of safety precautions if utilized properly. Using equipment that is not up-to-date with current safety codes can prove to be a critical mistake which makes the odds of an accident greater within your facility.
For more information on this subject, visit OSHA’s web page to stay up-to-date with the latest protocols in your industry.

Home Live Roofing fined $101,121 for safety violations, after Georgia-based roofing contractor cited for exposing workers to fall hazards.

October 12, 2016

OSHA investigation at Bucks County housing development marks 6th time
Georgia-based roofing contractor cited for exposing workers to fall hazards.

Home Live Roofing fined $101,121 for safety violations

 Employer name:Home Live Roofing LLC936 East Calloway RoadMarietta, Georgia Inspection site:2101-2104 Jefferson on-the-CreekWarminster, Pennsylvania

Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the company one willful, two repeat and one serious safety violations on Sept. 29, 2016.

Investigation findings: After receiving a complaint related to falls hazards on the work site, OSHA began its inspection on Aug. 25, 2016.

The roofing contractor failed to provide adequate fall protection while its employees worked approximately 18 feet above a lower level, resulting in the willful citation.

The repeat violations involved the company's failure to enforce the use of protective eyewear among workers who used pneumatic nail guns, and an improperly set extension ladder where the side rails did not extend at least 3 feet above the upper landing surface. Home Live Roofing was previously cited for similar hazards in 2013, 2014, 2015 and in 2016.

OSHA cited the serious violation because fuel storage was not equipped with a fire extinguisher.

Quote: "Over the past two and a half years, this employer was cited five times by OSHA offices in Georgia and Missouri for violations related to fall protection hazards. This includes citations received just four weeks ago that resulted in nearly $30,000 in penalties," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office. "Fall protection is a basic, yet critical employer-provided safeguard that protects workers from being injured or killed on the job, especially in the construction industry where falls are the leading cause of death."

Proposed penalties: $101,121

The citations can be viewed at:

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Allentown Area Office at 267-429-7542.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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OSHA cites Omega Demolition Corp. after worker fatally crushed by 40-ton beam on I-90 bridge construction project in Des Plaines, Illinois

October 12, 2016

OSHA cites Omega Demolition Corp. after worker fatally crushed
by 40-ton beam on I-90 bridge construction project in Des Plaines
Elgin company placed in agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program

CHICAGO - A federal investigation has determined that an overstressed 40-ton beam fell and caused the death of a 47-year-old laborer doing demolition of Chicago's Interstate 90 and Touhy Road overpass in April.

On Oct. 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the laborer's employer, Omega Demolition Corp., for one willful safety violation for overstressing the beam during demolition. The agency also cited the company for three serious and one other-than-serious health violations following its investigation of the early morning incident that also injured three other workers on April 5, 2016.

"The fact that this incident was preventable only compounds the tragedy," said Ken Nishiyama Atha, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago. "Federal safety standards for demolition address specific procedures for preventing steel structures from being overstressed, a safety violation that directly contributed to the death of this worker."

OSHA inspectors determined the worker was standing in an aerial lift and torch cutting steel bracing between the two beams when one of the beams fell.

The agency also found Omega Demolition failed to follow OSHA standards for respiratory protection including training workers, fit testing them for the appropriate respirator, maintaining fit test records and ensuring respirators were used in compliance with its certification.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $152,433 to the Elgin, Illinois-based company and placed it in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities or jobsites if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.

View current citations safety and health citations.

Prior to this inspection, OSHA had inspected Omega Demolition 14 times since 2004 and issued citations in eight of these inspections.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Chicago North Area Office at 847-803-4800.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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The MV Karmel, a Maltese-flagged general cargo ship crashed into a fish farm and caused up to 250 tons of rainbow trout to escape into the open sea in Denmark

Ship surveyed in Kolding after running into fish farm.

 The captain of the "Karmel" was not intoxicated when he steered the ship into the cages of fish farms south of Bågø near Assens, the Funen police found out. 

Therefore it remained unclear what caused the ship to steer into the marine fish farms. The net of the fish farm got stuck in the ship's stern and propeller, which resulted in the escape of 250 tons of trout. 

The ship entered the port of Kolding on Oct 11 at 9 p.m. and berthed at the North Quay where it should be further examined for damage. The remains of the destroyed marine fish farms have been dragged to Assens and were secured in the harbour. Danish reports with photos:


Up to 80,000 Trout Escape After Cargo Ship Crashes Into Fish Farm in Denmark

October 11, 2016 by Reuters The vessel involved in the incident is reported to be the MV Karmel, a Maltese-flagged general cargo ship. Photo: van Bezooijen

COPENHAGEN, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Danish anglers could be in for the fishing trip of their lives in a few days’ time, after a ship crashed into a fish farm and caused up to 80,000 rainbow trout to escape into the open sea.

The cargo vessel, sailing from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea to Kolding in Denmark, collided with the fish farm between the Danish islands Funen and Jutland on Tuesday, aqua-farming firm Snaptun Fisk told Reuters.

The trout, weighing about 3 kg (6.6 lb) each, had been due to be slaughtered this week and were worth up to 10 million Danish crowns ($1.5 million), said Tim Petersen, co-owner and director at Snaptun Fisk.

“We will seek compensation from the shipowners,” he told Reuters.

The incident could damage the sea habitat, said Danish Technical University Aqua researcher Jon Svendsen. The escapees are likely to disturb the eggs and young of wild sea trout.

The rainbow trout, unused to life in the open sea, should only survive a few months.

“All sports fishermen should get out there with their gear and start fishing,” Soren Knabe, director of fishing association Vandpleje Fyn, told local broadcaster TV2/Fyn.

The trout will begin to bite after four to five days as they adjust to life in open waters, said Ulrik Jeppesen, a local angler, recalling similar previous incidents.

“I see this as a bit of a tragedy (for the environment), to be honest,” he said. “But I will probably make a trip or two out there.” (Reporting by Annabella Pultz Nielsen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Andrew Roche)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said storm-related deaths now stand at 19 across the state, and urged again for full-scale evacuation from threatened areas.

Flooding death toll climbs to 19 in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew

By Chico Harlan and Angela Fritz October 12 at 9:28 AM

LUMBERTON, N.C. — As North Carolina struggles with the deadly aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, forecasters Wednesday warned that rain-fed waters were still on the rise in some areas — with at least one river expected to crest this weekend at nearly double the flood stage.

The swollen Neuse River — cutting through coastal flatlands south of Greenville — underscores the flood threats facing parts of the state for the coming days even as rescue teams try to move people out of danger and utility crews work to restore power to nearly 200,000 customers.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said storm-related deaths now stand at 19 across the state, and urged again for full-scale evacuation from threatened areas. Among them: the valley below Wood Lake Dam, about 20 miles northwest of Fayetteville, which has been reinforced but remains in danger of failing.

“We’ve had too many deaths,” said McCrory. “Get out. Once the water flows, it’s too late.”

The National Weather Service predicted that the Neuse was moving toward “dangerous flooding levels” of near 27.5 feet by early Saturday near the town of Kinston before starting to fall. The rise — already above the 14 foot flood stage in the area — could rival the spillover from destructive Hurricane Floyd 17 years ago.

“Numerous evacuations will be needed” in the area around Kinston, about 30 miles southwest of Greenville, the Weather Service bulletin said. Other sections of the Neuse River near Goldsboro were expected to crest Wednesday, as well as the Tar River at Tarboro to the north.

McCrory said the river swell near Goldsboro was expected to reach “record levels” as four more counties were added to the list of places available for federal emergency relief funds. He said relief teams have arrived in the state from as far away as Arkansas and Mississippi.

“Let’s try to save some lives,” he said.

Nearly 25 deaths in the United States have been blamed on Matthew as it churned up the East Coast after killing hundreds in Haiti and battering Cuba and the Bahamas.

The flooding has dealt a direct blow to the poorest section of North Carolina, a tract of farmland and towns struggling after losing manufacturing jobs. More than 4,000 people have been forced from their homes into shelters at high schools and recreation centers, many lacking flood insurance, health insurance or stable employment. McCrory said the challenges ahead include finding temporary housing for those displaced by the floods.

In some hard-hit communities, like Lumberton, the flooding also cut along socioeconomic lines: A white area of town was preserved, while a lower-lying African American section now stands in several feet of water. But in other parts of the state, emergency officials say, a diverse group of people have been pushed from their homes.

“When a flood like this hits, the pain of it is exacerbated by the poverty,” said the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP. “What we’re talking about, particularly in eastern Carolina, are some of the poorest communities in the country — black and white, who already had economic challenges before something like this.”

At shelters Tuesday, people said they were uncertain how long they would be sleeping in bleachers and on gym floors.

“It’s a low feeling,” said Mae Campbell, 65, of Lumberton. “Embarrassing. Degrading.”

States of emergency remained in effect in nearly half of the state’s 100 counties, and 52 shelters housed more than 4,300 people, officials said. Another hazard on the horizon: chemicals and dead animals that could contaminate some water supplies.

In Robeson County, where Lumberton is the county seat, rescue workers were scrambling to reach more than 1,000 people, many of them in a neighborhood of small apartment complexes and public housing.

In addition to the drowning deaths, investigators probed a fatal shooting of a man in Lumberton involving a North Carolina Highway Patrol officer and two deputies during “the high-water situation,” McCrory said.

The shooting took place during swift-water search-and-rescue efforts in downtown Lumberton. Three law enforcement officers — two members of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and a highway patrol sergeant — were conducting search-and-rescues when they encountered the man shortly after 8 p.m. Monday.

They were traveling on a flooded part of West Fifth Street when they met the man, who then “became hostile towards the officers and displayed a handgun,” the highway patrol said in a statement Tuesday. “The shooting took place in swift water that was approximately three to four feet deep and resulted in a male succumbing to injuries,” according to a statement by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol on Tuesday afternoon identified J.F. Hinson, a 13-year veteran assigned to a patrol office in Robeson County, who has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Authorities were still working to identify the next-of-kin for the man fatally shot by Hinson, the highway patrol said Tuesday. Once that is done, authorities will identify him.

“While we are saddened by any loss of life, I am thankful that our member and the Robeson County Sheriffs’ deputies were not injured,” Col. Bill Grey, commander of the highway patrol, said in a statement. The highway patrol asked the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the shooting.

The unidentified man in Lumberton was at least the 746th person to be shot and killed by a police officer this year, according to a Washington Post database tracking such shootings.

In areas hit hard by Hurricane Matthew, entire neighborhoods were evacuated as officials also moved hospital patients and prison inmates from areas of possible flooding.

“But this could still get a lot worse,” said John Locklear, a local volunteer firefighter who was driving a military vehicles in Lumberton on Monday. “Each house is going to have to be searched. Just like New Orleans.”

Though the rain had subsided two days earlier, this community — like other inland areas across the state — was reckoning with the hurricane’s delayed blow, coming as rainfall rushed into larger bodies of water and overwhelmed levees and drainage systems.

The Lumber River was a record 24 feet, half-swallowing the southern part of Lumberton. In that area, garbage cans and tree branches and charcoal grills floated down the road. Basketball backboards poked from the water — but their nets were submerged. Hundreds of people had initially evacuated to an elementary school, but then water started rushing in and the evacuations started anew.

Sonar equipment detected several submerged vehicles.

“I’m scared to give you an estimate” about the death toll, said Erich Hackney, a councilman for the city of Lumberton, “and I’m scared to know what we’ll find.”

The height of the Lumber River in downtown Lumberton, N.C., rose to 21.87 feet on Monday morning. The old record height was 18.3 feet. (National Weather Service)

Though Hurricane Matthew approached Florida with Category 4 strength, this region was caught off-guard. Last Friday, the Weather Service predicted that the Lumber River would crest at 19.4 feet, below the record of 20.5. But Matthew ultimately tracked closer to the North Carolina coast than predicted, and Lara Pagano, a Weather Service hydrologist, said the forecast changed “truly as [the event] was happening.”

“Hurricanes will wobble back and forth, and that makes all the difference in where we see the heaviest rainfall,” she said.

Spencer Rogers, a coastal construction and erosion specialist with North Carolina State University’s Sea Grant program, said the flooding is driven by the dynamics of the state’s river systems as they run through the coastal plain. “The ocean can receive a lot of water,” he said. “It’s the river areas where the confined river basin backs up the water, and it just can’t flow out fast enough.”

Officials in North Carolina fear a repeat of Hurricane Floyd. The 1999 storm caused 57 deaths — 35 of them in North Carolina, most of them from inland drowning in the days after rain subsided. Floyd also caused an estimated $6 billion in damages, leaving thousands without homes and keeping communities underwater for days and weeks.

President Obama declared a major disaster in North Carolina on Monday, which could help speed federal aid to affected residents.

Even before Matthew arrived, North Carolina’s soil was already saturated. Then some parts of the state saw more than 17 inches of rain in a day. The subsequent flooding has forced miles-long sections of interstates 95 and 40 to be closed. Schools have canceled classes. Grocery stores are shuttered. Some towns, such as Lumberton, have no running water. Statewide, hundreds of thousands of people are without power.

McCrory said the storm will have long-term consequences for much of the state, though improvements have occurred for the communities upstream. The Woodlake Dam in Moore County, which threatened to fail Monday night, has been shored up. Two people who were missing earlier had been found by Tuesday evening, McCrory said.

Greenville and Goldsboro are expected to reach peak flooding Tuesday and Wednesday, and then continue in major flood stage through the end of the week. A “major” flood is the most severe on the Weather Service scale and typically means mass evacuations and extensive property inundation.

Downstream from Rocky Mount, Greenville is likely to be inundated by this flooding later this week. “Numerous houses adjacent to the [Tar River] will be flooded in Greenville,” said Pagano, who expects the Tar River will crest there sometime Wednesday. “All the roads in and around Greenville will be flooded and impassable.”

Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas issued mandatory evacuation orders for parts of the city as water continue to rise in the river. The evacuation order asked residents who live on both sides of the river to leave home and be prepared to be gone until at least early next week. In addition, Thomas also recommended — but did not mandate — evacuations for people who live in other neighborhoods and areas.

Although there haven’t been any swift-water rescues in Greenville since Saturday, that could change as the water rises.

“We do have teams standing by, and we are anticipating that [rescues] may be an issue,” Rebekah Thurston, a spokeswoman for the city’s fire department, said Tuesday afternoon. “The majority have evacuated, but, of course, we’re always going to have some that say they don’t want to leave their home, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Rivers are rising to record crests in the state after more than 17 inches of rain fell during Hurricane Matthew.

Fritz reported from Washington. Arelis R. Hernández in Charleston, S.C.; Kirk Ross in Carolina Beach, N.C.; and Brian Murphy and Mark Berman in Washington contributed to this report.

When charged and under proper operating conditions, vapor products such as e-cigs, pose no more of a fire risk than other products that use lithium ion batteries like cellphones and laptops.

E Cigarette Explosion – The What, Why and How of Explosions

Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes or simply e-cigs were invented in a bid to offer a nicotine fix without the side effects of traditional tobacco cigarettes. However, e-cigs pose a unique risk that tobacco cigarettes don’t, and that is an e-cigarette explosion i.e. the cigarette blowing up in your face or pocket. Although, it’s usually the battery that explodes and not the device itself, we’ll still refer to it as an e-cig explosion. First offered for sale in 2007, the devices have become extremely popular in the last few years. Thankfully, e-cig explosion isn’t a common occurring, but when it happens, it can cause severe damage, from property loss to severe injuries such as skin burns, fractured bones, broken teeth, and loss of eyesight. 

How Worried Should You Be?

Electronic Cigarette Fires and Explosions, a report published by the U.S. Fire Administration in October 2014 shows some interesting data about e-cigs exploding. We’ve gathered the key takeaways from the 13-page report:
More than 2.5 million Americans use e-cigs (we’re sure this number has multiplied manifold in the last two years)
Electronic cigarette explosion or fires are very rare with only 25 incidents being reported by media between 2009 and August 2014
Nine injuries (two of which were serious) and no deaths occurred during these incidents
Shape and design of e-cigs make the li-ion batteries more prone to exploding

Considering there were only 25 e-cigs exploding out of 2.5 million users, you definitely feel reassured. To further encourage the vapers, American Vaping Association released a meaningful statement:

“When charged and under proper conditions, vapor products pose no more of a fire risk than other products that use lithium ion batteries like cellphones and laptops. However, when your vapor products are subjected to extreme conditions or used with unwrapped or damaged batteries, shorts can occur.”

But no matter how uncommon the explosions are, you don’t want to be one of the 25 folks who made it to the news. In this guide, we’ll explore why an e-cigarette explodes and what you can do to avoid such mishap. But first, let’s take a quick look at some of the notable unfortunate incidents.
A Quick History of E-Cig Explosions

Of the several e-cigarette explosions reported by the media, here are some of the notable ones: 

A Veteran Gets His Face Disfigured - February 2012

According to ABC news, an e-cig exploded in Florida when a 57-year-old Vietnam war veteran was enjoying his vape. The man suffered serious injuries, got a few of his teeth knocked out and also lost some part of his tongue.
E-Cig Puts Everything on Fire - June 2013

News on 6 reported about a man named Kyle Czeschin in Oklahoma, who had his e-cig charging through his laptop “like always” and the next thing he knows, "everything was on fire, my laptop was on fire, my lamp was on fire, the shades".
E-Cig Shoots 4-Foot Flames - September 2013

A news story published in WSB-TV tells us about a woman in Grant Park, who plugged her favorite e-cig to her laptop for charging. After a while, she saw it shooting four-foot flames across her living room. Fortunately, she was home when it happened, or she would have lost a lot more than just the burnt rug she used to unplug the device.
“A Bunch of Hot Oil Hit My Face” - January 2014

A North Carolina man who had worked as a firefighter for 20 years, told Daily News that his e-cig exploded in his face, causing severe injuries and described the experience as “a bunch of hot oil hit my face”. Even after spending some time in the hospital, the incident still hurts him as his left eyeball is now extremely sensitive to light and has a hard time seeing out of. 

E-cig Batteries Catch Fire in Man’s Pocket – Jan 2016

The video below posted by NBC News shows a man who entered a gas station in Kentucky to grab a snack when suddenly his pant’s pockets burst into flames, and the blame goes to e-cig batteries he had in his pocket. The spare battery probably got short-circuit when it came in contact with the coins in the pocket. The man suffered second-degree burns. 

What Causes E Cigarette Explosion? 

What causes e-cig explosions?

To understand what really causes an e-cigarette to explode, we have created a pie chart of the 25 incidents reported by the U.S. Fire Administration in their above-mentioned report.

Rather unsurprisingly, most of the incidents occurred when the battery was being charged. Digging a little deeper into the data, we have compiled a list of the common causes of electronic cigarette explosions.

  • By far the major cause of explosions is people using a charger other than the one recommended by the manufacturer
  • Using rewrapped/low-quality batteries
  • Using damaged batteries
  • Not knowing/respecting the limits of your batteries (for example, for most 18650 batteries recommended temperature ranges are: charge at 30-100F and discharge at 20-120F).
  • Carrying spare batteries in pocket
  • Vape Without the Fireworks – How to Avoid E-Cigarette Explosion
  • Use High-Quality Vaping Gear

There are countless e-cigs and batteries available on the market as the e-cig industry hasn’t yet been regulated by an authority. Most of these manufacturers care only about money and will go any length to lower the quality of their products in order to increase their profit margins. Using these vaping gear can pose countless serious risks. On the other hand, gear by well-known manufacturers might cost a few extra bucks, however, they will not only offer a better vaping experience but will also offer safe operation. 

Only Use Batteries Rated for The Coil of Your Atomizer

To achieve bigger, thicker clouds, manufacturers offer atomizers that feature coils with extremely low resistance i.e. sub-ohm coils. These coils put a lot of burden on the batteries and make them work at their peak for extended periods of time. As a rule of thumb, lower the resistance, higher the battery power/discharge rate you require. However, your manufacturer will specify the type of batteries you should use with the atomizer, make sure you read the specification and follow them to avoid any accident. 

Use the Charger Specially Designed for Your Battery

I can’t stress enough on this point as this is the major cause of most e-cigarette explosions. While the temptation is to use any charger that’s conveniently available, and sometimes they’ll work just fine, but their charging rate could be different from what the batteries can handle. As you can see in the pie chart above, 80% of e-cig batteries exploded when they were on charging. After some investigation, we found that in almost every incident, the user was charging the batteries with a charger other than the one specified by the manufacturer. 

Don’t Leave Charging Batteries Unattended

Another thing we noticed in the news reporting the e-cig explosions is that most of the users were nearby, and were able to control the fire before it caused further damage. Though it’s pretty hard as the batteries can take up to several hours to charge, but for added safety try not to leave your batteries unattended or go to sleep when they are charging. 

Instantly Remove Fully Charged Batteries from Charger

If you don’t remove your batteries from the charger after they have been fully charged, the batteries at best will start losing their capacity to hold the charge, and at worst can explode because of the overflowing electricity. This is why many experts recommend not to charge batteries while you’re sleeping.
Don’t Carry Batteries in Your Pocket Another common reason for batteries getting short and causing severe burns is carrying spare batteries in your pocket. Upon getting in contact with other metallic objects such as coins or buttons in your jeans, short circuit can occur and batteries can explode like a Roman candle. 

Store Batteries Safely In case you must carry spare batteries, invest in a plastic case. It’s usually a very cheap but extremely handy accessory. But if you don’t have a case, store the batteries away from each other and away from metallic objects that can act as a conductor to cause short circuit. 

Use Mech Mods Only If You Know Your Stuff

Most regulated mods have some sort of protection mechanism, which is absent in mechanical mods. Therefore, we recommend you to use mech mods only if you have sufficient experience with batteries and e-cig hardware, and understand at least the basics of electronics and ohm’s law. 

Discard Damaged Batteries

This is a no-brainer; as soon as you see any type of visible damage on your battery – no matter how small – instantly discard them.
Protect Batteries from Extreme Heat Charged or not, batteries can turn into a rocket if exposed to heat for a prolonged amount of time. You need to be especially careful in summers not leave the batteries in the glovebox of your car, or window sill in direct sunlight. 

Turn-Off/Lock Your E-Cig When Carrying it in Your Pocket If you have to carry your device in your pocket, make sure you turn it off beforehand. But if you want to do it for a very short amount of time, turning the device on and off can be a hassle, so you can ensure safety by locking your e-cig. If your e-cig has this feature (usually activated by pressing the up and down buttons together), you should lock your device even when you are using it, it will ensure that the voltage/wattage doesn’t change accidently.

In short, e-cigarette explosions are not very common, but they can be a nightmare for any vaper. Therefore, you should take all the precautionary measures to ensure your and your property’s safety, and the safety of people around you.

Electronic cigarette. Accidental explosions multiply
Yulia | October 10, 2016 

Thigh, hand and face are the parts most affected by electronic cigarettes body injuries, including explosions or combustions are becoming more frequent. Doctors recommend caution users.

The number of cases of explosion or combustion of electronic cigarettes is increasing. Conclusion: the “wounds Vapoteuse” are also increasingly numerous. And when cigarette ignites 2.0, some injuries are particularly serious, says a study by doctors at a hospital in Seattle (USA) and published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“New challenges in hospitals”

E-cigarettes caught fire are also the most frequently listed incidents. These have often caused burns caused by chemical substances contained in the batteries. As for the “explosive vapoteuses” they mostly caused dental and skin damage.

“The democratization of the electronic cigarette could pose new challenges in hospitals” and noted Dr. Elisha Brownson, who led the study. Not false. Since the emergency department of the Seattle hospital has treated 15 patients with injuries from an electronic cigarette between October 2015 and June 2016. In comparison, only 25 people were supported following similar accidents from 2009 and 2014, the study said. Of the 15 newly reported cases, 12 resulted from an “e-cigarette burning” and 4 explosion.

skin grafting and intensive care

As for injuries, 50% are for the upper part of the leg, affecting 30% hands and 20% are located on the face, sometimes with skin grafting and intensive care at the end. That is why the medical alert users.

Dr. Brownson Elisha insisted, “the electronic cigarette is not a harmless device: it’s not a toy, it can even be dangerous in some cases. It should remain cautious ”
In France, AFNOR standard has also been created to give the user an e-cigarette liquid and safe accessories.