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Arizona residents flee as wildfire grows



Published: Mon, May 27, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Arizona residentsflee as wildfire grows

TUCSON, Ariz. -- About 100 residents were ordered to leave their homes on Mount Lemmon on Sunday as a wildfire in the Coronado National Forest grew to 12,500 acres.

The fire hadn't damaged any structures but had the potential to threaten roughly 700 homes, said Joan Vasey, a forest spokeswoman.

The fire was approaching an area of ponderosas and pine trees and firefighters were trying to prevent it from entering the area and burning out of control, Vasey said.

"They are not too optimistic, even with all our resources, of being able to successfully deal with this fire," Vasey said. "The worst hasn't happened yet, but the potential is there."

The wildfire and extremely dry conditions also prompted officials to close to visitors Sunday the 222,000-acre forest district where the fire was burning.

Mozambicans grieveafter fatal rail crash

TENGA, Mozambique -- The tiny village of Tenga was shrouded in despair Sunday, a day after the worst rail accident in Mozambique history killed about 200 people at a railway station here.

Eighteen of the village's few hundred residents were killed in Saturday's accident, in which a passenger train careened down a hill into a freight train. The victims included several children and three people from a single family. Two other members of that family were missing.

The burying of the dead began Sunday.

"There is much sorrow here," said Paul Wamba, 38, whose nephew and several friends were killed. "The people are consoling each other. They do not know what to do."

Rail officials said the train developed a mechanical fault as it descended a hill, so the driver disconnected the passenger section at the back of the train and drove the front section carrying freight to Tenga station.

The driver wedged four large stones under the wheels of the passenger train to prevent it from sliding down the hill, but the stones apparently came loose and the train barreled down the tracks into the freight train, said Antonio Libombo, an official with the Mozambican Railway Company.

Serb suspect arrested

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- Serbian police have arrested a Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect wanted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal, state-run Tanjug news agency reported Sunday.

The arrest of Ranko Cesic, suspected of mistreating and beating victims in Bosnia so badly that some died, was the first arrest by Serb police of a suspect included on a list of Serbs wanted by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

Six of the 24 Serbs on the list have surrendered voluntarily, and the Belgrade government has promised to pursue the rest. Those still at large include the two most-wanted: former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his wartime commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic. Yugoslav authorities contend they are not in the country.

Hippo attack kills 11

BLANTYRE, Malawi -- A hippo attacked a canoe carrying women and children back from an excursion to buy fish at a nearby island, drowning 11 people in Lake Malawi.

When the dug-out canoe was within two miles of shore, the hippo rose from the water and capsized the vessel, police spokesman George Chikowi said Sunday.

The women, many of whom had babies strapped to their backs, were thrown into the lake.

Five women, five children and the man who was steering the canoe drowned. Three women -- including one with a 2-year-old child strapped to her back -- managed to swim to shore in the central district of Nkhota Kota, where they were sent to a hospital.

The attack happened Saturday as the passengers were returning from a shopping trip to Nyamvu Island, some 40 miles from the shore.

Fishing is the main source of income in Nkhota Kota. Men usually set up makeshift villages on islands in the huge lake in the southern African country, and women buy the fish and take them to shore. The lake has large populations of hippos and crocodiles, but they rarely attack boats.

Associated Press




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