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Nov. 22, 2012 at 10:09 PM   |   Comments

2 dead, 51 hospitalized in Texas pile-up

BEAUMONT, Texas, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- At least two people are is dead and scores are hospitalized after a pile-up involving at least 140 vehicles in dense fog near Beaumont, Texas, authorities said.

The two dead were in the same car in an eastbound lane of Interstate 10, which the Texas Department of Safety said was closed in both directions for several hours after the chain-reaction pile-up, which began about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Hundreds of vehicles were stuck in traffic at the scene and police were urging drivers to find alternate routes to their destinations.

The injured were taken to Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth and Baptist Hospital in Beaumont, the Medical Center of Southeast Texas, Christus Hospital St. Mary in Port Arthur, and a hospital in Baytown, Acadian Ambulance spokeswoman Denise Parker said.

She said eight people were admitted in critical condition.

The crashes -- which involved an undetermined number of 18-wheelers and at least one tanker -- occurred in the vicinity of Mile Marker 835 on the east-west highway, KBMT-TV, Beaumont, reported.

Westbound lanes of I-10 were opened at 12:38 p.m., but police said eastbound lanes would remain closed for at least 8 to 10 hours, the Beaumont Enterprise reported.


Carbon monoxide poisons jail inmates

YORK, Pa., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Several dozen female inmates at a Pennsylvania jail were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, hospitals said Thursday.

Warden Mary Sabol said the deadly gas appears to have leaked from the heating and air conditioning system in the York County Jail, The York Dispatch reported. She said a dormitory for women was the only area affected.

The leak was discovered late Wednesday when one inmate became sick. Sabol said 40 to 45 inmates and several guards were treated at local hospitals.

Hospitals said most of the patients had been treated and released by Thursday morning.

"It appears that everyone is going to be OK," Sabol said.


Homes in Indianapolis blast to be razed

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Thirty-three unoccupied homes -- damaged beyond repair in a Nov. 10 gas explosion in Indianapolis -- will be demolished, officials said.

The city's Code Enforcement Department said it will demolish six homes Monday that were among those closest to the house that first exploded. Six more, less seriously damaged, will be bulldozed Dec. 3, and 17 more will fall Dec. 20.

Law enforcement officials said the house at the center of explosion was full of gas and are investigating to determine whether the blast was set off remotely.

The incident, which destroyed a neighborhood and killed two people, is being treated as a homicide, the Indianapolis Star said Thursday.

Ninety of the 125 homes in the Richmond Hill subdivision sustained damage, the newspaper said.

Code Enforcement administrator Adam Collins said four houses at the center of the blast will stand because they are regarded as evidence in the criminal probe.


3-strikes convict to be freed

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A San Diego judge has cleared the way for the first release of a state prisoner following voter approval of a change in California's three-strikes law.

Superior Court Judge David Danielsen ruled Wednesday Kenneth Corley, 62 -- who has been in prison for 16 years under the state's prior three-strikes law -- must be re-sentenced to 15 years, four months, meaning Corley is to be released in the next few days, U-T San Diego reported.

Corley was sentenced in 1996 to 25 years to life in prison under a 1994 law mandating life sentences for anyone convicted of a third felony.

California voters approved Proposition 36 in the Nov. 6 election, changing the law to require that a third strike be a violent or serious felony, and providing for re-sentencing of those previously sentenced to life under the 1996 law.

The Office of the Public Defender and the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy at California Western School of Law in San Diego has worked for months with the district attorney's office to identify potential candidates for release from prison in the event Proposition 36 was approved, the newspaper said.

Lawyers argued Corley was a strong candidate because he earned a GED certificate and had not presented any discipline problems while incarcerated.

Working with prosecutors, the lawyers worked out a plan under which Corley would have a job and a place to life in San Diego.

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