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March 7, 2013 at 9:58 PM   |   Comments

10 injured in Granite City, Ill., blast

GRANITE CITY, Ill., March 7 (UPI) -- At least 10 people were injured, two of them critically, in an explosion Thursday at an Amsted Rail manufacturing plant in Granite City, Ill., authorities said.

All 10 of the injured workers were initially taken to Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City where seven were treated for smoke inhalation, and three were then airlifted to hospitals in St. Louis, Gateway spokeswoman Kate Allaria told the St. Louis Business Journal.

Two men were listed in critical condition at Mercy Hospital St. Louis in Creve Coeur, Mo., The (Belleville, Ill.) News-Democrat reported.

United Steelworkers of America Local 1063 President Robert Lott told The News-Democrat he was about 100 yards away from the explosion at Amsted Rail's American Steel Foundries, and identified two of the more seriously injured workers as Reginald Golliday, a 17-year employee of the company, and Danny Wilson, who has worked at the plant for 10 years.

Granite City Fire Department Assistant Chief Jim Snelson said the department received a report of an explosion at 8:10 a.m. He said the cause of the blast was likely a gas leak.

Several of the injured were burned by the explosion but Snelson said the blast did not set off a fire at the plant, which manufactures railroad freight car undercarriage components and other freight rail industry parts.

A U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration official said OSHA has begun an investigation into the explosion.


'Cannibal cop' trial goes to jury

NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- A federal court jury in New York began deliberation Thursday after hearing closing arguments in the trial of accused "cannibal cop" Gilberto Valle.

Valle, a former New York City police officer, sobbed in court Thursday as his lawyer, public defender Julia Gatto, told jurors he had a penchant for "disturbing porn" and his alleged plot to kidnap, cook and eat women was a product of "sick thoughts" and "ugly fantasies" that should not land him in prison, the New York Post reported.

Gatto argued that authorities acting out of "emotion and disgust" charged Valle "with a crime he did not commit."

Valle, 28, cried as Gatto told jurors how his wife, Kathleen Mangan-Valle, took the couple's daughter and left him after discovering his online chats about abducting, cooking and eating her and others.

Prosecutor Randall Jackson called Gatto's arguments "ridiculous" and told jurors Valle's preference for looking at images of dead women, or women who were being subjected to torture, "is not a masturbatory sexual fantasy."

"This is a man who has a deep-seated desire to harm women, and the evidence shows he was taking actual steps to realize it," Jackson said.


Hit-and-run suspect returned to New York

NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- Julio Acevedo waived extradition and returned to New York to face charges in a hit-and-run crash that killed a pregnant woman and her husband, officials said

Acevedo appeared in court Thursday morning in Allentown, Pa., the day after turning himself in Wednesday night in the parking lot of a convenience story in Bethlehem, Pa. He was escorted back to New York by federal marshals, the New York Daily News reported.

Acevedo, 44, allegedly drove a BMW into a taxi that was taking Raizy Glauber and her husband, Nathan, both 21, to a hospital for a pregnancy checkup Sunday. The couple's son, who was delivered after the crash,died Monday.

The New York Times said Acevedo, who had a pending court date on a drunken-driving charge, had borrowed the BMW and allegedly was speeding at the time of the crash.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said Acevedo will face serious charges, the Daily News reported.

"When we arraign the defendant, we will announce that we have charged him with the most serious crime available based on the facts and a pending a further review of the evidence," Hynes was quoted as saying

Hasidic leaders in Brooklyn's Williamsburg community are calling for murder charges, the newspaper said.


Bin Laden son-in-law to be in NYC court

ANKARA, Turkey, March 7 (UPI) -- Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, an al-Qaida spokesman and son-in-law of Osama bin Laden apprehended in Jordan, has been indicted in the United States, official said.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement the capture of Ghaith was an example of the United States' resolve to get its enemies.

"No amount of distance or time will weaken our resolve to bring America's enemies to justice," Holder said. "To violent extremists who threaten the American people and seek to undermine our way of life, this arrest sends an unmistakable message: There is no corner of the world where you can escape from justice because we will do everything in our power to hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law."

The indictment charges Ghaith with participating in a conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals. If convicted he could be sentenced to life in prison. Ghaith is to be arraigned Friday morning in New York before U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. No trial date has been set.

The indictment unsealed in New York Thursday alleges Ghaith served alongside bin Laden, speaking on behalf of the terrorist organization and warning there would be more attacks similar to the ones that rocked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

On the morning of Sept. 12, 2001, Ghaith, appeared with bin Laden and warned the United States and its allies a "great army is gathering against you" and called upon "the nation of Islam" to do battle against "the Jews, the Christians and the Americans."

Ghaith was captured in Jordan, U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said Thursday.

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