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March 17, 2013 at 10:18 PM   |   Comments

Small jet hits 3 Indiana homes, killing 2

SOUTH BEND, Ind., March 17 (UPI) -- A small jet trying to land in South Bend, Ind., Sunday afternoon crashed into three nearby homes, killing at least two people, authorities said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig confirmed two of the four people aboard the jet died, WSBT-TV and the South Bend Tribune reported. Two people were hospitalized in fair condition and one in serious condition, the news outlets said.

South Bend fire officials said the Beechcraft Premier 1 with tail number N26DK out of Tulsa, Okla., touched down on a South Bend airport runway about 4:30 p.m. local time, then started to climb again before crashing.

The FAA said the pilot had reported a problem with electrical power as the aircraft approached the airport, WSBT-TV and the Tribune said.

One resident, Stan Klaybor, said the plane clipped the top of one house, heavily damaged a second and wound up against a third.

A South Bend fire official said efforts to find survivors was made dangerous because of jet fuel that leaked and structural damage to the house where the plane stopped.


Greek prison hostage-taker surrenders

ATHENS, Greece, March 17 (UPI) -- A convicted murderer with a history of escapes ended his hostage-taking episode at a Greek prison Sunday night by surrendering, authorities said.

The Greek Reporter said authorities said Alket Rizaj gave himself up when he realized police special forces were ready to storm his position at Maladrino Prison in central Greece. Police had tried to smoke him out earlier.

Ekathimerini.com reported the hostages were said to be in good health.

Rizaj took hostage six guards Saturday in a bid to escape jail a third time. One hostage escaped before he surrendered.

Rizaj told hostage negotiators he was carrying a hand grenade and had packed his body with explosives he intended to set off unless granted free passage out of the prison, the newspaper Kathimerini reported.

It turns out he was bluffing about the explosives and was only armed with makeshift knives.

Two other inmates believed to have helped Rizaj were arrested.

The Reporter said Rizaj had escaped Athens' maximum-security Kordyallos Prison by helicopter in 2006 and 2009.


Father, son found dead in French Alps

CHAMONIX, France, March 17 (UPI) -- A British man and his 12-year-old son were found dead Sunday in a highly dangerous area of the French Alps, officials said.

The pair, from Buckinghamshire, England, had set of Saturday for a weekend of hiking in an area, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

Investigators said they believe the son fell first, then the father died as he scrambled to reach his son.

Local police said they received a call from the father after the boy fell.

A police spokesman said: "The father said that the boy had fallen and he could not see him any more. The call was then cut off and the caller could not be heard anymore."

A search of area was conducted using helicopters and specialized police officers, the newspaper said.

Their bodies were found at about 7:40 a.m. Sunday in an area climbers call The Junction in the Bossons range of the Chamonix Valley.

Patrice Ribes, of the high mountain police in Chamonix, confirmed the deaths, saying the cause of death was likely a "fall of several hundred meters."

"The investigation will determine the circumstances of the accident, as well as the level of preparation of the hiker and his experience," Ribes said, adding that "each case of a fatal accident in the mountains was looked at individually."


Skier missing in Canadian glacier crevasse

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta, March 17 (UPI) -- Blizzard conditions this weekend kept searchers from looking for a skier who fell in a crevasse in Western Canada's Wapta Icefield, authorities said.

The unidentified British Columbia man was with two companions when he fell in the opening Tuesday night near Lake Louise, the Calgary Herald reported Sunday. Bad weather and the risk of avalanche kept rescuers from reaching the accident scene until Friday.

"We know he disappeared down a crevasse around 7:30 on Tuesday night," Brad White, visitor safety specialist with Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks, told the newspaper. "His avalanche beacon was working at that time -- the party that was with him did pick up a signal. But it was a weak signal at over 35 meters [115 feet]. Until we can get a rescue crew down in that hole, we can't really speculate on his condition."

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported the trio included two men and a woman from British Columbia. The network said they were on the Wapta Traverse in the Wapituk range of the Rockies at an elevation of about 2,600 meters (8,500 feet).

Steve Holeczi, a visitor safety specialist with Parks Canada, said the bad weather was keeping crews from venturing out.

"Because it's so high, and the weather in the mountains is so unpredictable, we're watching the general weather trends but we need enough time to be able to get down into the crevasse in order to assess the situation," he said. "So we need good weather in order to get up there and also to get our team out of there safely."

The Calgary Sun reported Holeczi said man and woman who were rescued were well-prepared and had crafted a shelter to keep warm. They were uninjured when reached, he said.

The missing skier had similar equipment, but Holeczi said his condition was unknown.

"There's been no contact," Holeczi said.

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