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Cryo Chamber

Little Old Lady IED

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DALLAS — A fire in a chartered bus filled with elderly Hurricane Rita evacuees, sale including some who used oxygen, killed 24 people and injuring at least one near Dallas Friday.

Authorities said the bus apparently caught fire due to a mechanical problem, and that oxygen tanks then started exploding on gridlocked Interstate 45.

The fire caused a 17-mile backup on a freeway that was already heavily congested with evacuees from the Gulf Coast.
State officials said northbound traffic was diverted off I-45 onto U.S. Highway 287 at Ennis, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas.

I-45 stretches more than 250 miles from Galveston through Houston to Dallas.
Bellaire city officials defended the decision to evacuate the elderly patients from the Brighton Gardens nursing home. “(Evacuating was) the right decision," Bellaire Mayor Cindy Siegel said. "Brighton Gardens was following their evacuation procedures. Just 24 hours ago, (Houston) was expected to take the brunt of Hurricane Rita, Brighton Gardens was doing their job to get their patients to safety"

"Unfortunately, this is a tragedy that we are very saddened by. I don’t think anyone can ever plan for every tragedy that can occur,” Siegel said.

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