Archive for Wednesday, January 17, 2001

National briefs

January 17, 2001



Teen killed in fall overboard

A 19-year-old man who fell off a Carnival cruise ship in Tampa Bay died from injuries caused by impact with the water, an autopsy revealed. Michael Hepner suffered blunt trauma to his head and neck after he fell from a deck of the Carnival Sensation, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday. The death was ruled an accident.

Investigators said Hepner climbed over a railing of the ship after he got into an argument with his girlfriend. He tried to pull himself back to the ship's deck, but he lost his grip and fell to the water.


Corpses featured in photographs

Authorities are demanding an explanation on how a photographer was able to take pictures in the Hamilton County morgue of corpses posed with syringes, sheet music, a key and other objects. In some of the photographs, the hand of a young girl's corpse rests on an Alice in Wonderland book.

The police vice squad is investigating and has searched the photographer's home. Police said Tuesday they would consult with prosecutors before deciding whether to file charges or take the evidence to a grand jury. Possible charges could include abuse of a corpse, said Lt. Ray Ruberg.


Space shuttle launch delayed until February

Space shuttle Atlantis' launch was delayed until next month to allow for additional booster inspections. NASA made the decision Monday night, just hours before the countdown was to begin for a Friday liftoff. The five astronauts had yet to fly to Cape Canaveral from Houston.

The launch of the space station laboratory, Destiny, is now targeted for no earlier than Feb. 6. NASA wants more time to inspect electrical cables on Atlantis' two solid-fuel rocket boosters. The work cannot be performed at the launch pad; as a result, Atlantis will be returned to its hangar Friday.

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