Egypt can demand return of King Tut statue going up for auction: Former antiquities chief

WORLD NEWS Egypt can demand return of King Tut statue going up for auction: Former antiquities chief

Chesnot/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Egypt has the right to demand the repatriation of a stone sculpture of King Tutankhamun before it goes up for auction at Christie’s in London next month, according to the country’s former antiquities chief.

Zahi Hawass, a renowned Egyptian archaeologist, has spearheaded numerous campaigns to repatriate Egyptian artifacts, and alleges the statue was stolen.

“It seems that this sculpture was looted from [Luxor’s] Karnak Temple. Christie’s would not have any proof whatsoever of its ownership,” Hawass told ABC News.

Christie’s did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

A 3,000-year-old bust of the famous boy king, who ruled Egypt from 1332–1323 B.C., is scheduled to be sold on July 4.

The quartzite statue, which portrays the boy king as Amun, the ancient Egyptian god of the sun and air, could generate at least 4 million pounds (more than $5 million), according to the auction house. Christie’s is in contact with Egyptian authorities over the sale, the Financial Times reported.

The Egyptian Ministry of State Antiquities has launched an investigation into the planned sale to take “the required legal measures in coordination with the foreign ministry,” Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, head of the repatriation department, said in a statement last week.

“If it’s proven that any piece has been illegally moved out of the country, we will take a legal action with the Interpol,” he wrote. “We will never allow anyone to sell any ancient Egyptian artifact.”

The statue is expected to be sold by a private collector, and is part of what is known as the Resandro Collection, according to the Financial Times.

Egypt introduced a law in 1983 to regulate the ownership of Egyptian antiquities, saying any ancient artifacts discovered in the country are considered state properties “with the exception of antiquities whose ownership or possession was already established at the time this law came into effect.”

Hawass believes that regardless of any laws, Egypt has an “ethical right” to recover the Tutankhamun bust.

“This piece was smuggled out of the country and Christie’s cannot prove otherwise. It’s totally Egypt’s right,” he said.

To mark the centenary of Tutankhamun’s tomb discovery, Egypt embarked on a world tour of 150 King Tut artifacts earlier this year, which includes 60 pieces that have never left the country.

The exhibition kicked off in Paris in March and will move to locations around the world including London, California and Sydney until 2021.

A museum to house those artifacts and many others, the Grand Egyptian Museum, located near the Giza Pyramids, is currently under construction.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019

Crane collapses on Dallas apartment building leaving 1 dead, 6 injured: Police

U.S. NEWS Crane collapses on Dallas apartment building leaving 1 dead, 6 injured: Police

ABC News(DALLAS) —  A crane collapsed on a Dallas apartment building and parking garage on Sunday, killing at least one person and injuring six others, according to rescue officers.

The crane tore through multiple floors of the five-story Elan City Lights residential building near downtown Dallas at around 2 p.m., Dallas Fire and Rescue officials said, as severe weather touched down in the area.

Officials did not offer details on those who were injured, but officers said they were being treated at two area hospitals.

Two victims were listed in critical condition and three others were listed in “serious,” condition, rescue officials said. Jason Evans, public information officer for Dallas Fire and Rescue, said the ongoing investigation was extremely fluid.

“The situation is still ongoing and circumstances are still developing, so a lot of what I give you may, in fact, change by the time we depart the scene,” Evans said during a press conference near the accident.

He said the building suffered multiple collapses in different parts of the structure to include residential spaces as well as the parking garage.

“Right now our number one priority is the living area on the eastern-most side of the building where it appears that all five stories at some point inside the structure have collapsed,” Evans said. “This is the same area in which the deceased person was discovered.”

He signaled that the number of victims could increase as the investigation progresses, noting that some areas were far too dangerous for officers to inspect.

“Right now, every single level of the parking garage, in part, has collapsed. We have multiple vehicles reported inside that collapse zone,” he said. “Of course, we have no idea at this point whether any people were in those cars or in that parking lot general.”

“We have areas where we were not able to conduct primary or secondary searches on out of concerns for safety for our first responders,” he added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019

Sea lion pup trapped in plastic ribbon freed by SeaWorld San Diego specialists

U.S. NEWS Sea lion pup trapped in plastic ribbon freed by SeaWorld San Diego specialists

SeaWorld via KGTV(SAN DIEGO) — Animal rescuers from SeaWorld San Diego freed a sea lion pup trapped in plastic ribbon, and captured the release on video.

The sea lion had what appears to be plastic packing or shipping ribbon wrapped around its neck at Boomer’s Beach in La Jolla, California, animal care specialist for Sea World Brooke Hubbard told ABC San Diego affiliate KGTV.

“When there’s lining around its neck, it can constrict their airways as well as their esophagus, making it so they can’t breathe, working overtime,” Hubbard said.

Video taken on Saturday by one of the rescuers shows them sneaking up on the pup before they throw a net around it, and cut the ribbon off with scissors.

After the sea lion was freed, it barked, turned back over on its stomach and scuttled back into the Pacific Ocean.

“That’s the best feeling in the world, especially since we didn’t have to bring it back here and rehabilitate it,” Hubbard said.

The team had been tracking the 2 to 3-year-old sea lion for a few days before they found an opportunity to help it. Saturday happened to be World Ocean Day.

“Today was amazing!” Hubbard said.

Hubbard reminded beach-goers to always pick up their trash, adding that rescuers see plastic on the beach every time they go out on a mission.

“Please don’t litter at the beach,” she said. “Be able to pick up your trash anywhere you go.”

Sea World did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019

Beto O’Rourke shrugs off early polls, says importance of Trump’s trade deal with Mexico ‘overblown’

Political News Beto O'Rourke shrugs off early polls, says importance of Trump's trade deal with Mexico 'overblown'

Dustin Chambers/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke joined ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday and pushed backed against poll numbers that show him behind some of the race’s top contenders.

“I don’t know that this many months out from the caucuses in Iowa, that these polls really indicate what our prospects are,” the former Texas congressman told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos. “If I relied on polls, in any race that I’d run, I never would have been able to serve in the United States Congress, we never would have tried to take on Ted Cruz, we never would have been able to lead the largest grassroots effort in the history of the state of Texas.”

The comments come after a newly-released poll conducted by CNN, the Des Moines Register and Mediacom showed O’Rourke with just 2% support among likely Iowa caucus-goers.

O’Rourke, who represented the border city of El Paso, Texas for three terms in Congress, also gave his rationale as to why he believes he is the best candidate to take on President Donald Trump, pointing to the counter-rally he spoke at during the president’s visit back in February, and his ability to win Independents and Republicans.

“I went to each one of the 254 counties of Texas, won more votes than any Democrat has ever won. Won independents for the first time in decades, and brought along half a million Republicans as well,” O’Rourke said. “Frankly, George, the fact that we can bring Texas and its 38 electoral votes with us, shows that we are best prepared to take on Donald Trump to defeat him in November of 2020.

The Texan was also asked about Trump’s recently announced deal on new immigration enforcement with Mexico, an achievement that he says is “overblown” and said the process through which it was agreed to could have damaged our relationship with an important ally.

“I think the president has completely overblown what he purports to have achieved. These are agreements that Mexico had already made, in some cases, months ago,” O’Rourke said. “They might have accelerated the timetable, but by and large, the president achieved nothing except to jeopardize the most important trading relationship that the United States of America has.”

When asked about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s closed-door comments on Capitol Hill earlier this week — that she’d rather see Trump go to “prison” than start an impeachment process — and whether or not Trump has committed prosecutable crimes, O’Rourke said flatly, “he did.”

“I think that’s clear from what we have learned from the Mueller report, but I think those crimes might extend beyond what we’ve seen in the Mueller report. The relationship that he has with (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, which has never been properly explained, from the invitation as a candidate to have Russia involve itself in our elections, his efforts to obstruct justice, the fact that he called Vladimir Putin after the Mueller report was released,” are all future avenues to investigate, O’Rourke said.

“If we do not hold the president accountable, we will have set the precedent that some people in this country because of their position of power, are in fact, above the law. … So regardless of the popularity of the idea, or what the polling shows us, we must proceed with impeachment so that we get the facts and the truth,” O’Rourke added.

Responding to criticism that he has changed his positions on various issues to keep himself aligned with the shifting dynamics in the Democratic Party, O’Rourke defended his record, saying, “I’ve always done what is right, not necessarily what is politically popular,” and pointing to his support for LGBTQ rights and the legalization of marijuana during his time on the El Paso City Council.

“I am who I am,” O’Rourke said. “I’m certainly showing up and listening to people and learning from them in every community. But I’m also showing up with the courage of my convictions, the things that I strongly believe in.”

O’Rourke, who rose to national prominence during his U.S. Senate campaign in Texas last year against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, was in the middle of a four-day swing through the critical early voting state of Iowa.

On Saturday, he joined several of his Democratic rivals at the Capital City Pride festival in Des Moines, Iowa, where he took aim at Trump, who he says is using fear to pit Americans against one another.

“We have this president of the United States, who uses fear to keep us apart, to make us afraid, and to make some of our fellow Americans angry, to prevent us from coming together to make the change that we still need,” O’Rourke told a crowd in the shadow of the Iowa State Capitol.

O’Rourke was also asked about the recent controversy in the Democratic primary over abortion that led to a tough week for the race’s early frontrunner.

Late Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his stance on his support for a measure called the Hyde Amendment that prevents using federal funding for abortion after taking heat from some of his fellow 2020 Democrats.

“For many years as a U.S. senator, I have supported the Hyde Amendment as many, many others have because there was sufficient monies and circumstances where women were able to exercise that right, women of color, poor women, women were not able to have access, and it was not under attack … as it is now. But circumstances have changed,” Biden said.

Prior to Biden’s reversal, several 2020 challengers criticized him for his support for the amendment, given its impact on low-income and minority women.

“I’ve always known what I thought on this issue, that every single woman in this country should be able to make her own decisions about her own body,” O’Rourke responded Sunday on “This Week.”

Stephanopoulos also asked O’Rourke whether there was room in the party for a pro-life Democrat.

“It’s very hard for me to believe that we could ever produce a nominee who would not believe in a woman’s right to choose,” O’Rourke said, “…and the mandate for us to stand with women in each and every instance.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019

‘It was so refreshing,’ Arkansas hiker Josh McClatchy says of sipping water after rescue

U.S. NEWS 'It was so refreshing,' Arkansas hiker Josh McClatchy says of sipping water after rescue

Courtesy Josh Obeidin(MENA, Ark.) — An Arkansas hiker missing for nearly a week in the woods couldn’t wait to take his first gulps of clean water when he was located by rescuers, he said soon after he was found.

Josh McClatchy, 38, was reported missing on June 1 after he got lost while hiking in the Caney Creek Wilderness near Mena, Arkansas. He had texted his mother to say he needed help, but cellphone service was spotty and he was unable to give the exact details of his location.

On Friday night, search-and-rescue crews had a window of good weather to send a National Guard helicopter equipped with infrared technology to locate McClatchy, said Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer.

“Without the helicopter, I’m not sure we’d have found him,” Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison told ABC News. “We’d already covered all the ground that we could cover.”

McClatchy was severely dehydrated but otherwise in good shape, Sawyer said. Water was the first thing McClatchy requested upon being located, the Texas native told ABC Dallas affiliate WFAA-TV in a phone interview on Saturday.

“It was so refreshing,” McClatchy said, adding that after he was given an IV, he started to “feel considerably better.”

He had protein bars and bottled water with him when he set off, but it is unclear how much he consumed before he got lost, his family said. He also had a filter straw that could help him drink potentially unclean water.

McClatchy was spotted about four miles off Buckeye Trail, and area where hikers often get lost, and it took about four hours for the rescue teams to carry him out on a one-wheeled rescue cart, officials said. About 35 people participated in the search.

The crew had to rope down dangerous terrain to save him, which included thick treetops and steep mountains, Sawyer told ABC News. The area is also rife with deadly snakes such as copperheads, cottonmouths and rattlesnakes as well as bears, Sawyer said.

“It’s really treacherous hiking,” Sawyer said.

McClatchy credited his family, his faith and the people who rescued him for keeping him alive after he spent his 38th birthday alone in the wilderness.

“It’s overwhelming, and it means so much to me,” he said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019

Faith under fire: How 3 congregations moved on from mass shootings

U.S. NEWS Faith under fire: How 3 congregations moved on from mass shootings

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Sherri Pomeroy was traveling for work when she heard there had been a shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where her husband Frank is a pastor. Hearing the news, she immediately rushed to the airport.

Frank Pomeroy was not at the church either, but he heard a report over the radio that “the pastor’s daughter is included with the deceased.”

He immediately called his wife, desperate that she get the news from him. She was already at the airport when her phone rang.

“I was at the security table about to walk through security, when he finally told me — that Annabelle was gone,” Sherri Pomeroy told ABC News. “And I remember it was a metal table and I just fell to my knees and hung on to that metal table.”

Annabelle Pomeroy, only 14, was among the 26 people killed in the worst mass shooting at a house of worship in U.S. history. Another 20 people were injured that morning in November 2017, when a gunman stormed the rural Texas church during a Sunday service.

“The aftermath hurt almost as much as the actual, what the shooter did in our church,” Frank Pomeroy said.

“I’m just recently beginning to say I’m okay,” his wife added.

The Pomeroys, as well as those touched by two other mass shootings at American houses of worship, sat down with ABC News while they were in the nation’s capital.

They came to Washington, D.C., to speak at the National Cathedral with religious leaders in the city about how to prepare their own congregations for a targeted attack and how to rebuild afterward. The event was organized by the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

Allan Hausman, the vice president of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed in October 2018, told ABC News that “people are scared right now,” and every new shooting reopens old wounds.

“It essentially just opens the wounds again. It’s really, really hard to see your folks almost reliving the entire event — right when they were getting to a point where they were beginning to learn how to deal with it,” he said.

At a briefing last month an FBI counter-intelligence official said the bureau is seeing an increase in “people who advocate for the supremacy of the white race,” Since that Pittsburgh shooting, where the gunman allegedly shouted anti-Semitic threats as he killed worshipers, the bureau has seen a 30 percent increase involving these types of cases.

Hausman said that although they are not back in their synagogue — and don’t expect to return for at least a few years — they now have armed security at their events.

“We have uniformed police officers there. We have cameras in this building. If people come in and we don’t recognize them, their bags are searched,” Hausman said.

The threat of a gunman is all too familiar for Reverend Eric Manning, the Pastor of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Four years ago in June 2015, a shooting there left nine dead at his church.

“We have security protocol that details what to do when we receive emails that are threatening,” Manning told ABC News.

Frank Pomeroy said he sometimes hears from conspiracy theorists who question if the attack on his church ever happened — claiming the shooting was staged in an effort to impose new gun control measures.

“I have been told by some that Annabel never existed, and by some I’ve human trafficked her away,” he said.

Still, he and his wife have looked to their congregation to find strength.

“We have survivors that lost nine family members,” Sherri Pomeroy said. “If they can get up and worship, so can I. If they can get up and take a step, so can I. So they’re my heroes and we speak out for them and to let the world know there is hope.”

“If we stop spreading hope, then we let evil win,” she said.

“If you choose hope and mercy and grace over pessimism and hate and divisiveness, you’re going to heal and you’re going to be able to move forward,” Frank Pomeroy added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019

Body of Texas police chief found after falling off fishing boat

U.S. NEWS Body of Texas police chief found after falling off fishing boat

KTRK(GALVESTON, TX.) — Search and rescue crews have recovered the body of a Texas police chief and former Army paratrooper who went missing after he fell off a fishing boat in Galveston Bay.

Chris Reed, the police chief for the Kemah Police Department, lost his balance and went overboard due to a wake created by a larger passing vessel near Texas City on Friday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Reed’s wife called 911 around 4 p.m. Friday to report that he’d fallen into the bay, officials said. He was not wearing a life jacket.

A body matching Reed’s description was recovered Sunday morning just before 8 a.m. about 1.5 miles north of the Texas City Dike by the Galveston County Marine Unit, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Chief Reed, as well as the Kemah and law enforcement communities,” said Lt. Cmdr. Caren Damon, search and rescue mission coordinator for the Coast Guard.

Texas City Police Chief Joe Stanton described Reed, who took over as chief of the Kemah Police Department two years ago, as a “big, big part of Galveston County law enforcement” during a press conference Friday night.

“I want to thank all of the agencies that have responded — the response has been overwhelming — and our hearts and prayers go out to the family,” Stanton said.

Nearly two dozen agencies participated in the search for Reed by both sea and air, according to the Coast Guard.

Reed also served on the board for the Clear Creek Independent School District, which described him as a “champion for children and a beacon of light.”

He is survived by his wife and three adult children.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019

Man shooting at Amazon Alexa sparks ‘gun battle’ with police: ‘He was shooting at everybody’

U.S. NEWS Man shooting at Amazon Alexa sparks 'gun battle' with police: 'He was shooting at everybody'

Pasco Sheriffs Office(NEW YORK) —  An altercation at the home of a Florida couple involving the man shooting at the woman’s smart device resulted in a “gun battle” with authorities that left him and two deputies injured.

Pasco County emergency dispatchers received a call around 12:30 a.m. Saturday from a 10-year-old girl saying that her parents had gotten into a physical fight, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters in a news conference.

The girl told dispatchers that her family fights often, and it’s not unusual for her parents to get into physical altercations, but they typically don’t call 911, Nocco said.

Authorities learned that the mother was particularly upset Saturday night because the suspect, 62-year-old Terrance J. Peterson Jr., had shot at her Amazon Alexa device, Nocco said.

“The Alexa must have been personal to her,” Nocco said.

When officers arrived on the scene, the woman met them outside, and they observed that she had been battered, which she confirmed, the sheriff said.

Deputies on the scene then tried to communicate to Peterson inside in an attempt for a peaceful resolution, Nocco said.

“They kept talking to him,” asking him to come outside, Nocco said. “He was not talking back to them.”

Around 1:50 a.m., after more deputies arrived on the scene, they made entry into the home, Nocco said. As they approached the bedroom door, Peterson, armed with a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle, allegedly began to shoot at them.

The deputies exchanged fire, and one of them shot in the leg, Nocco said. Another deputy was injured when a bullet grazed his hand.

“He was shooting at everybody,” Nocco said, adding that the crime scene includes multiple squad cars and several nearby homes with bullet holes in them. One of the deputies had a protective shield in which a round had almost gone all the way through, Nocco said.

A SWAT team then arrived on the scene and attempted to negotiate with Peterson to come outside, Nocco said. Just after 4 a.m., they sent a robot inside the home, which allowed authorities to see that he was bleeding.

Medics were then sent into the home, and found Peterson with a gunshot wound to the head and his two weapons next to him. It is unclear whether the wound was self-inflicted, Nocco said.

Peterson was then transported to a local hospital, but it is unclear if he is going to survive, Nocco said.

The critically injured deputy was identified as 41-year-old Christopher Stone, ABC Tampa affiliate WFTS-TS reported.

Other deputies were able to fasten a tourniquet on the deputy’s wound on the scene, which likely increased of the probability of him being able to walk again, Nocco said. He was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point where he underwent surgery, Nocco said. On Sunday, Stone was still recovering at the hospital, according to a tweet from the sheriff’s office.

Peterson will be charged with domestic battery and at least five counts of attempted homicide, Nocco said. He has previously been arrested for domestic battery, Nocco said.

“This individual had full intention, in my eyes, to kill deputies, to kill everyone,” Nocco said.

A Google Maps image taken of the New Port Richey home in January 2019 shows a sign in the front yard with a picture of a gun that says, “We don’t call 911.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019

Investigation into American couple’s mysterious death in Fiji could take weeks, officials say

WORLD NEWS Investigation into American couple's mysterious death in Fiji could take weeks, officials say

Handout via WFAA(BOSTON) — The results of an investigation into the death of an American couple in Fiji last month could take weeks, and “possibly longer,” according to the country’s health ministry.

David Paul, 37, and his wife, Michelle Paul, 35, arrived in Fiji on May 22 and checked into their hotel on Denarau Island, west of the archipelago nation’s main island. Soon after, they both became gravely ill and were hospitalized with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, profound weakness and shortness of breath.

The couple, who lived in Fort Worth, Texas, died just two days apart.

“After reporting feeling unwell, the guests were treated at the local medical facility, where they subsequently passed away,” the Sheraton Denarau Villas told ABC News in a statement on June 5. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of the deceased. As always, the well-being of our guests and associates remains our highest priority. We are working closely with the authorities as they investigate the matter.”

The news of how long the investigation into the couple’s deaths may take was released in a statement Sunday local time on the Pacific island.

“At this stage, for reasons of patient confidentiality, and out of respect to the families of Mr and Mrs Paul during this difficult time, the [Ministry of Health and Medical Services] and its partners involved in the investigation will not comment on specific details of the investigation,” the country’s health ministry said in the release.

The country called the investigation a “priority” and said it continues to work with the World Health Organization, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Fiji police’s forensics department.

Five people, including medical staff who came in close contact with the couple at the clinic where they were treated and died, were released from the hospital in good health after being quarantined as a precaution, the health ministry announced Sunday. Relatives had not been allowed to visit them, medical staff at the hospital told ABC News on Wednesday.

“They are being followed up at their homes by Ministry of Health staff as a matter of precaution,” MHMS said. “All other people who had contact with the deceased couple during their illness remain well.”

David and Michelle Paul are survived by four young children, a 1-year-old boy they had together and three children from previous relationships who are now in the custody of relatives in the United States.

Michelle Paul’s father, Marc Calanog, told ABC News that his daughter and son-in-law were perfectly healthy when he saw them before leaving for their overseas vacation.

“They are much in love and they just bought a house in Fort Worth,” Calanog said. “And they were enjoying it and this tragic thing happened.”

WhatsApp messages obtained by ABC News show that Michelle Paul contacted her parents as she and her husband were on their way to seek treatment at a local clinic.

“We have been throwing up for 8 hours,” she wrote in one message. “Dave has diarrhea. My hands are numb. We will text when we can.”

Michelle Paul messaged them again after returning to their hotel.

“We just got back from the clinic. They gave us fluids and anti-nausea drip,” she wrote. “They gave us electrolyte packets and anti-nausea pills. We still don’t feel 100%. Going to rest in our room.”

David Paul’s sister, Rebecca Ward, told ABC News that her brother awoke after resting in their hotel room and his wife was “clammy and sweating, and he was too weak to take her to the hospital himself.”

When the couple returned to the hospital, it was too late for Michelle Paul. She died on May 25.

“They couldn’t get her an IV, couldn’t revive her, and that’s when she passed away,” Ward said. “Not long after that, my brother ended up at the hotel, then later on that day he went back to the hospital. He got released again and we thought he would be able to come home.”

David Paul died two days later.

“We were hoping to see him in the next few days,” Ward said. “Then the next thing we hear he was back in the hospital with shortness of breath and that was the last time we actually talked to him.”

An official with the U.S. Department of State has confirmed the couple’s deaths and said the department is monitoring the ongoing local investigation, but couldn’t offer details about how their trip took a deadly twist.

Michelle Paul’s father told ABC News that Fiji’s health ministry has agreed to send specimens from the autopsies to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention’s headquarters in Atlanta to be analyzed.

A CDC spokesperson told ABC News that the agency is helping investigate the deaths.

A spokesperson for the World Health Organization said in a statement Thursday that the agency is “providing access to laboratory and other technical services in Australia” to analyze specimens from post mortem examination.

An official with the U.S. Department of State confirmed the couple’s deaths to ABC News and said the department is monitoring the ongoing local investigation, but couldn’t offer details about how their trip took a deadly twist.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019

2 dead after 11 ejected from tour van in Massachusetts crash

U.S. NEWS 2 dead after 11 ejected from tour van in Massachusetts crash

WCVB(BOSTON) — A horrific accident on a Massachusetts highway resulted in the deaths of two people when all 11 people inside a van were thrown from the vehicle Saturday afternoon.

The van was carrying a tour group from the Polish American community when it was hit by a Toyota SUV traveling northbound on Route 95 in Attleboro, Massachusetts, about 40 minutes south of Boston, according to the Massachusetts State Police.

Both vehicles crossed into the grassy center median, which caused the Econoline van to tumble upside down and ripped the roof off the vehicle.

All 11 people inside, including the driver, were tossed from the van as it came to a rest on the southbound side of the highway.

The occupants of the van were transported to Rhode Island Hospital in nearby Providence.

Two passengers in the van were pronounced dead at the hospital, authorities said. Both were adult men.

The other nine occupants also suffered “serious” injuries, according to state police.

The 32-year-old woman driving the Toyota suffered minor injuries, police said.

An investigation into the accident is still being conducted. No one has been charged at this time.

The van had left Philadelphia and picked up passengers in Trenton, Linden and Wallington, New Jersey, and New York City before continuing on to Massachusetts, police said.

None of the passengers in the van have been identified.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jun 2019