WASHINGTON – Texting by the pilot of a medical helicopter contributed to a crash that killed four people, federal accident investigators declared Tuesday, and they approved a safety alert cautioning all pilots against using cellphones or other distracting devices during critical operations.
It was the first fatal commercial aircraft accident investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board in which texting has been implicated. And it underscored the board’s worries that distractions from electronic devices are a growing factor in incidents across all modes of transportation – planes, trains, cars, trucks and even ships.
Boy succumbs to accidental gunshot
A 6-year-old southern New Jersey boy who was accidentally shot in the head by a 4-year-old playmate has died from his wounds.
Ocean County prosecutor’s office spokesman Al Della Fave confirmed the death of Brandon Holt on Tuesday night.
Authorities say the two boys were playing outside Monday night when the 4-year-old boy got a .22-caliber rifle from his Toms River home and it accidentally discharged.
Vocabulary added to spelling bees
What does it all mean?
That’s the question facing spelling whizzes across the country, who learned Tuesday that they will have to know the definitions of some of those tough words they’ve been memorizing in the dictionary. For the first time, multiple-choice vocabulary tests will be added to the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The changes will make it easier to nail down the nine to 12 competitors who make it to the final round, which will look the same as it has for years to prime-time TV viewers.
Kelly claims Jackson Jr.’s seat
Former state Rep. Robin Kelly has won the special election for Jesse Jackson Jr.’s vacated Illinois congressional seat.
The Matteson Democrat was widely expected to win Tuesday’s contest over Republican community activist Paul McKinley. The strongly Democratic Chicago-area district includes suburbs and rural areas.
2 US soldiers killed in copter crash
A NATO helicopter crashed Tuesday in Afghanistan, killing two American service members.
The deaths raised to nine the number of Americans, including three civilians, killed in Afghanistan so far this month.
The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force said the cause of the crash is under investigation but initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area.
It did not immediately identify the nationalities of those killed. But a senior U.S. official confirmed they were Americans.
Dozens killed by quake in Iran
A 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed at least 37 and injured hundreds more in a sparsely populated area in southern Iran on Tuesday, Iranian officials said, adding that it did not damage a nuclear plant in the region.
The report said the earthquake struck the town of Kaki some 60 miles southeast of Bushehr, a town on the Persian Gulf that is home of Iran’s first nuclear power plant.
No damage was done to Bushehr power plant, Bushehr provincial governor Fereidoun Hasanvand told state TV.