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Archive for Friday, July 27, 2001

Nation brief

July 27, 2001

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Connecticut

Pool company explosion forces evacuations

An explosion Thursday afternoon at a pool supply company in Manchester sent plumes of chlorine-filled smoke into the sky, and authorities asked about 100 residents to evacuate.

No serious injuries were reported and most of those evacuated were allowed to return to their homes late Thursday night.

The fire and chlorine release were under control by 9 p.m., Assistant Fire Chief Robert Bycholski said.

The Journal Inquirer of Manchester said water somehow mixed with chlorine-based chemicals to cause the blast.

Department of Environmental Protection officials said their major concern was the toxic chlorine gas. Tests hours after the blast showed little chlorine in the air.

Some people reported smelling chlorine 20 miles away.

West Virginia

Floodwaters make unwelcome return

West Virginia was hit with more high water Thursday as heavy rains drenched the southern part of the state, which is still struggling to recover from record floods earlier in the month.

Some homes were flooded for a second time in less than 30 days. Roads were closed by rock and mud slides. Trees were felled and power interrupted.

"We were just in the process of trying to recover from the initial one and now here we go again," said David Neal, deputy director for emergency services in Fayette County, one of 22 counties under a flood watch or warning.

Some areas got more than 1 1/2 inches of rain in an hour during the afternoon, and the weather service predicted rain would continue all night.

Pennsylvania

First recipient of heart device dies

A man who was the first in the United States to receive an experimental heart-assist pump has died, hospital officials said Thursday.

Edmond Dzurishin died Tuesday in Hershey from complications related to gastrointestinal bleeding, said Dr. Walter Pae, who led the team of surgeons who implanted the heart device March 1.

Dzurishin, 65, lived nearly five months longer than he might have without the device, said Darrell Kirch, chief executive officer at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

The device, called the Arrow Lionheart Left Ventricular Assist System, gives patients more freedom of movement because it has no lines or cables protruding through the skin to power it.

Penn State University's Medical School and Arrow International Inc. of Reading developed the device for patients who are too sick to receive transplants.

Six patients in the United States and 13 in Europe have received the device so far in clinical trials.

Washington, D.C.

Consumer group wants stricter food labels

Check your food. Consumer advocates contend some key ingredients may be missing, like carrot cake made with carrot powder instead of actual carrots, or strawberry yogurt that contains no fruit.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest asked the government Thursday to stop manufacturers from implying that foods contain certain fruits or other ingredients when they don't.

The group also wants the Food and Drug Administration to force manufacturers to label what percentage of different ingredients are in foods, as is required in Europe. Researchers displayed boxes of competing cereals sold in Europe that reveal one brand has 6 percent fruit while another has 31 percent information Americans never see.

The FDA allows marketing of foods like strawberry shortcake that contains no berries as long as the label also discloses that it's just strawberry flavored.

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