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Nation in brief

N.J. boys' deaths ruled an accident

By wire services
Published June 26, 2005


CAMDEN, N.J. - The three missing boys who were found dead on Friday after an extensive two-day search died accidentally, suffocating in a car trunk that the police had failed to check, the Camden County prosecutor said Saturday.

Police say it appears the three boys - Anibal Cruz, 11, Daniel Agosto, 6, and Jesstin Pagan, 5 - climbed into the trunk while playing on Wednesday night, and that the lid then slammed shut behind them, trapping them inside, said prosecutor Vincent P. Sarubbi.

"There were no signs of trauma, no signs of assault," Sarubbi said. "This was a horrible accident."

Police officials began an investigation into why none of the 150 officers assigned to the search checked the trunk of the car, a Toyota Camry parked just feet from where the boys were last seen Wednesday evening.

Chief Edwin J. Figueroa of the Camden Police Department said officers did search the car - which belonged to the grandmother of one of the boys - on the night the boys were reported missing, but said he did not know why the trunk had been overlooked.

The deaths brought to 11 the number of children who have accidentally died in car trunks since 2000, according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit group in Leawood, Kan., that tracks such cases.

Officials search for cause of fire at St. Louis plant

ST. LOUIS - Authorities on Saturday searched for what caused a chain of explosions at an industrial plant that sent huge fireballs shooting into the sky and forced neighbors to evacuate.

A team from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board was leading the inquiry, one day after the explosions at the Praxair Inc. facility where propane and other gases are processed for industrial use.

Flames rose more than 150 feet above the plant and the fire and smoke could be seen for several miles.

Hundreds of missile-shaped containers of propane and the highly flammable chemical acetylene exploded and dozens were propelled into surrounding neighborhoods, according to Steve Selk, who is heading the team investigating the incident.

Police said no one was injured at the plant or in the area.

Scout missing after river accident in Yellowstone

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. - Dozens of searchers Saturday looked for a 13-year-old Boy Scout who came to Yellowstone National Park with his troop and fell into the fast-moving Yellowstone River.

The National Park Service said the boy lost his balance and fell in the water about 6:30 p.m. Friday, and the search included park personnel, about 100 volunteers and a park helicopter.

The incident came just days after 11-year-old Scout Brennan Hawkins was found in good condition after spending four days wandering the Utah wilderness.

The name of the boy missing in Wyoming was not immediately released. He fell into the river as he and friends tried to throw a log into the water, the Park Service said.

The boy was camping with nine members of his Scout troop in Yellowstone's northern area. Park officials learned of the boy's disappearance about 10 p.m. Friday from Scouts who hiked out.

[Last modified June 26, 2005, 00:35:56]


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