Astronauts finish 3rd space walk
WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- Two U.S. astronauts from the shuttle Discovery Sunday completed the third and final spacewalk of their mission to the International Space Station.
Mike Fossum and Ron Garan were to change out a nitrogen tank assembly, set up TV equipment and take a thermal cover off Japan's robotic arm, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.
The spacewalk lasted about 6½ hours, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Last week, Discovery's seven astronauts delivered a $1 billion Japanese science module and began the installation with spacewalks and robot arm operations.
The rotational device turns solar panels to track the sun as the station circles Earth.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency expert Akihiko Hoshide and Mission Specialist Karen Nyberg were responsible for helping Fossum and Garan with the station's mechanical arm, Canadarm2, the newspaper said.
Air ambulance crashes near Houston, 4 die
HOUSTON, June 8 (UPI) -- Four people died Sunday after their medical helicopter crashed inside Sam Houston National Forest in Texas, officials said.
The PHI Air Medical team was based at Coulter Field in Bryan, Texas, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The company that owns the private air ambulance identified three dead crewmembers as pilot Charles Wayne Kirby, flight nurse Jana Bishop and flight paramedic Stephanie Waters.
The identity of the 58-year-old male patient who died in the crash was not released.
"The helicopter was totally disintegrated upon impact," said Department of Public Safety Trooper John Sampa. "It took down a couple of pine trees."
The helicopter was a Bell 407. It went down about 2:45 a.m. in a desolate area of the forest, while en route to Houston, the newspaper said.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were working to determine the cause of the crash.
Foul U.S. weather claims 3 lives
MILWAUKEE, June 8 (UPI) -- Pounding rains were blamed for at least three deaths in the U.S. Midwest Sunday, while a tornado was spotted in Nebraska, authorities said.
The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press reported on its Web site that two of its delivery workers were killed when their car tumbled into a ravine created when a flooded creek washed out the road on which they were traveling.
County law enforcement officials said severe storms toppled trees and power lines in central Michigan, with one woman in Lansing suffering non-life-threatening injuries when she was hit by a tree in a Lansing park, CNN reported.
A police spokesman in Columbus, Ind., told the network at least one person died when swept away while driving a car through flood waters.
Rainfall totaled 6-11 inches across the nation's midsection. The heavy rains caused a levee to break in Parkersburg, Iowa, the National Weather Service said. The flood waters forced sections of three interstate highways to be closed.
In Omaha, an early-morning twister lifted houses off their foundation, blew roofs off businesses and made a mess of a mobile home, CNN reported.
Greek quake kills at least 2, injures 37
PATRAS, Greece, June 8 (UPI) -- The strongest earthquake to rock the region in 206 years struck 125 miles west of Athens, Greece, Sunday, leaving at least two people dead, authorities said.
An estimated 37 people were hurt by falling roofs, the Athens News Agency reported.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the afternoon quake measured magnitude 6.1, while the Athens Geodynamic Institute measured the temblor at 6.5 and said it could be felt in the capital, the BBC reported.
The USGS pinpointed the epicenter as 20 miles southwest of Patras on the country's Peloponnese peninsula, at a depth of 6.2 miles.
The Athens News Agency reported roadways to and from Achaia prefecture had been blocked by fallen rocks, and much of the area was without power.
Greek seismologists said the earthquake was the strongest since 1802. It was followed by a strong aftershock of magnitude 4.7.
A 60-year-old man died when his home's roof collapsed on him, and an 80-year-old woman died of a heart attack after the quake, authorities told the BBC.
"The earthquake was terrifying," Patras resident Anna Tsokana told the British network. "Buildings have fallen or been damaged and roads have been destroyed."
Civil defense and fire brigades were mobilized nationwide and schools were ordered closed Monday in the affected region.
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis issued a statement from Vienna expressing the nation's grief over the losses.