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Archive for Wednesday, October 15, 2003

State briefs

October 15, 2003

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Wichita

One dead, one injured in garage explosion

A Wichita man died after his garage exploded while he apparently worked on a pickup truck, authorities said.

The man, who was not immediately identified, died at an area hospital about 9 p.m. Monday. He appeared to have burns over more than 90 percent of his body, said Rob Hughes, Wichita Fire Department battalion chief.

The man's wife, who tried to rescue him, was hospitalized in serious condition.

Investigators didn't immediately know the cause of the explosion. According to early reports, the man had been switching engines in the truck before the explosion.

"There may have been a fuel leak," Hughes said. "There were several ignition sources in the garage, including a furnace and several electrical appliances."

Liberal

Community college president dies

The president of Seward County Community College died Tuesday, the college said.

Circumstances of the death of James Grote were not known, according to an announcement on the college's Web site.

Staff and faculty were urged to attend a meeting this morning at which further information would be released.

Wichita television station KWCH reported that Grote was found dead in his home of a gunshot wound to the head, citing investigators with the Liberal Police Department.

A police dispatcher told The Associated Press late Tuesday night that no information about Grote's death was available at that time.

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