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News Briefs


3 Katmandu, Nepal

Toll in Nepal blizzard, avalanches rises to 38

A rescue helicopter spotted nine more bodies Saturday on a trekking trail in northern Nepal, bringing the death toll to 38 from this week's series of snowstorms and avalanches in the worst hiking disaster in the Himalayan nation.

The bodies were seen in a remote mountainous area, but the steep terrain made it impossible for the helicopter to land, said Yadav Koirala from the Disaster Management Division in Katmandu.

The snowstorms were whipped by the tail end of a cyclone that hit the Indian coast a few days earlier. The weather has since improved and sunny skies and calm wind conditions were helping the rescue efforts.

4 McKeesport, Pa.

Burned survivor of fatal fire lost his new family

The sole survivor of a deadly house fire in western Pennsylvania lost his new wife, her four young children and his disabled father in the Saturday morning blaze after the recently married couple tried to save their loved ones, family members said.

The fire in the Pittsburgh suburb of McKeesport claimed the lives of Hope Jordan and four children ages 2 to 7, as well as the surviving victim's paralyzed father, according to family members.

Keith Egenlauf was hospitalized with burns over 55 percent of his body from the fast-moving fire that erupted shortly before 7 a.m., according to his aunt, Donna Ackerman. Egenlauf was in critical condition in the burn unit at UPMC Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh, according to a nursing supervisor.

Egenlauf and Jordan, whose Facebook page indicated they were married Dec. 7, initially escaped the flames but went back into the burning two-story house to try to save Jordan's children and Egenlauf's 56-year-old father, Ronald Edward Egenlauf, Ackerman said.

5 Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Russian ship drifting again in rough seas

A disabled Russian container ship carrying hundreds of tons of fuel is adrift again but officials said Saturday there is no immediate risk of it reaching shore, hitting rocks and causing a spill.

Royal Canadian Navy Lt. Greg Menzies said a tow line from the Coast Guard ship Gordon Reid got detached, but he noted that the Russian vessel is now 24 nautical miles away from shore. Menzies said efforts are under way to get the line re-attached.

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Spar were also on hand to assist if needed, while an ocean-going tugboat was expected to arrive in the area late Saturday or early Sunday. …

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