tv KPIX 5 News Early Edition CBS April 18, 2013 5:00am-6:01am PDT
th >> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald. tragedy in texas. a giant explosion and fire outside a fertilizer plant. the search for victims and answers. >> and a breakthrough in boston. the search for the marathon bomber turns up a face. >> good morning. it is thursday, april 18. i'm anne makovec. michelle griego is off. >> hi, everyone. i'm frank mallicoat. it is 5:00. [ sound of explosion ] >> officials think between five and 15 people are dead from a massive explosion in texas.
it was a fertilizer plant. erica ferrari has the very latest. >> reporter: this morning, rescue crews are still pulling people out of the rubble going door to door trying to evacuate people who may still be trapped in area homes and businesses. we know at least 160 are injured. authorities say between 5 to 15 people are presumed dead. the death toll is expected to go up as search teams continue their efforts this morning. a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the town of west, texas. >> the shock wave was unbelievable. it threw me down. >> reporter: officials say the town looks like a war zone with homes and businesses leveled. >> massive. just like iraq, just like the murrah building in observations. >> a five block area buildings were heavily damaged. >> reporter: several firefighters and police officer are feared dead. >> the mayor has been here earlier tonight.
he is also a firefighter for this city. it has taken a toll on him because he knows that potentially he has lost some firefighters. >> reporter: as many as 200 people could be injured and rescue workers are still pulling people out of the rubble. ambulances and helicopters from around the region responded to help with evacuations. eugene horak and his wife, the roof of their house collapsed on them. >> he managed to pull the ceiling off me when i called out. >> thank god we're alive. >> reporter: at a nearby nursing home the ceiling caved in trapping residents. people in the area rushed in to rescue the elderly victims. >> we was going to each room, there was sheetrock on top of the patients. i pulled out 16 people out of there. >> reporter: half the town was evacuated because of concerns of another explosion at the plant. >> y'all need to get out of here. >> okay. >> that second tank is about to go, get out of here! >> reporter: the red cross is now on the scene working to find shelter for those forced out of their homes. the texas commission on environmental quality
investigated the fertilizer plant back in 2006 after someone reported a strong ammonia smell. sources say the plant was cited at that time for either failing to obtain or qualify for a permit. and just to give you an idea of how powerful the blast was, the u.s. geological survey says it registered as the equivalent of a 2.1 earthquake. erica ferrari for cbs news. back to you. >> we know this all started with a fire at that plant. i'm sure that it is under investigation. but what can you tell us about that fire right now? >> reporter: well, here's what we know. texas authorities say they responded to the fire at the plant at around 6 p.m. eastern last night and they had already started evacuating people from area homes because of the potential danger being that obviously it was a fertilizer plant. now, authorities say about 50 minutes later while they were in the process of the area evacuations, the blast occurred. as he said earlier, at this point the search and recovery is still under way.
the death toll is expected to go up as search teams continue to sort through the rubble at the plant and nearby homes. and as the day progresses, we will learn more about the situation and get an update. >> being a fertilizer plant, are they worried some of the rescuers might be inhaling ammonia or chemicals from the plant? >> reporter: yeah. well, another concern obviously is the emission of hazardous fumes into the community. about 2700 people live in th town of west. there is no word on what caused the fire and explosion. we have all seen the video of of the flames shooting into the night sky, really terrifying footage. for right now, i know they are keeping the press corralled indoors. the footage i have seen the search-and-rescue people are wearing masks. but i think we are learning more about just how dangerous
inhaling those fumes can be. >> i guess. okay, erica ferrari live for us in new york. thank you. breaking news in san francisco, where police activity is delaying the big ceremony for the 1906 earthquake event. kpix 5's kpix 5 reporter elissa harrington tells us that even -- kpix 5 reporter elissa harrington tells us that the event has been moved for the first time in decades. reporter: for the first time the event won't happen at lotta's fountain. it will be at union square because of the police activity at market street where the ceremony was supposed to take place. right now i have police chief greg suhr. what is happening? >> reporter: so about 3:00 this morning, there was a suspect with a hooded sweatshirt, black hooded sweatshirt, that was seen by one of the security guards here at 3rd and marketplace a black bag with a solid object down at 701 market street. so obviously, the ceremony was to take place at lotta's
fountain just about right now. our personnel cleared the area. you can see the command post behind me, they swept the 700 block of market street with a bomb dog. and then at first -- first attempt was to cut the bag open with our robot. we had a problem with the machine. and so now one of our guys is actually suiting up to see what's in the bag. >> reporter: what can you tell me about the ceremony that's been moved to union square? >> right. so all the dignitaries and antique cars and costumes and all, it's a great event and everybody is invited to come down and enjoy it, but it will be at the st. francis hotel. normally there's a pilgrimage or drive down to the lotta's fountain, and right now it's just going to happen up there. >> reporter: they hope to clear the area before rush hour but right now the 700 block of market street is closed off starting from -- >> code 4 -- we just got a
code 4. the device is not dangerous. they checked it out. we'll be taking down the perimeter and opening up market street shortly. >> reporter: great. thank you so much. so breaking news. again, that device not dangerous. they will be opening up market street, but the ceremony is still happening at union square. live in downtown san francisco, elissa harrington, kpix 5. >> okay. thank you. muni has been turning around in the area heading back towards the embarcadero but it sounds like according to the san francisco police chief there you just heard him, they are going to start re-opening streets there around market and third any minute. muni may be impacted in the short term but bart is also dealing with some delays due to a separate issue, an equipment problem on the tracks near embarcadero. five to 15-minute delays right now in the west oakland to san francisco direction and out to pittsburg-bay point and dublin- pleasanton. caltrain, ace, everything reporting no delay. let's get a check outside show you some of our live traffic cameras out there this morning. so far, so good if you are traveling up 880 into oakland.
no delay. there was some overnight roadwork but it looks like they should have picked that up just within the last few minutes. san mateo bridge similar story westbound 92 moving at the limit and if you are heading towards the dublin interchange we are beginning to see some delays now through livermore but the drive time is still about 20 minutes between the altamont pass and the dublin interchange. that's a check of your "timesaver traffic." back to you guys. >> thank you. president obama will visit boston today to attend a service honoring victims of the marathon bombings on monday. the death toll from monday's explosion still remains at 3 with more than 170 injured including some who of course had limbs amputated from that bombing. surveillance video appears to be the focus of the investigation now. and as susan mcginnis reports, images show at least one suspicious man in the moments prior to the explosions. reporter: the scene of the second bomb that went off during monday's boston marathon may give us our first look at the suspected bomber. sources tell cbs news that security cameras at a lord &
taylor store captured a man leaving a bag in the area just before the blast. the suspect is described as a young white man seen carrying a backpack and talking on a cell phone. sources say he was wearing a black jacket, a gray hoodie and white baseball cap turned backwards on his head. just after the first bomb went off, the suspect left the scene. moments later, the second bomb detonated. investigators are also looking at cell phone records hoping to match one of the calls to the man seen in the video. >> there were people with their clothes burning off. >> reporter: karen and her husband john felt the first blast while waiting for their daughter to call to finish the marathon. the bomb tore through john's legs. >> my husband kept saying, my leg, my leg. i said --and then the second explosion hit. >> reporter: nicole and the other runners were stopped just before the finish line. >> all i knew is that my family was at the finish line so i just started running and trying to find everybody.
>> reporter: karen says her husband is recovering but is still unable to speak. she says she's received support from family and strangers. >> we were sitting in the waiting room yesterday, and strangers were coming up to us and saying we are so sorry. >> reporter: about a third of those injured in attack remain in the hospital. >> and it appears a silicon valley company made the batteries that were used to make those bombs. photos show the battery attached to some black and red wires through a broken plastic cap. the manufacturer's name, tenergy, as you can see clearly visible there. a company spokesman told kpix 5 they are just stunned. >> horrified, appalled, appalled and shocked. these batteries are largely used for toys, rc cars and trucks. and to see it used in such a way, just horrifying. >> as you heard, tenergy says the batteries are common in power packs for remote-
controlled toys. it can be purchased almost any u.s. hobby store as well as online. an 11-year-old boy from martinez who was injured in the explosions is now recovering from a successful surgery according to a family friend. aaron hern has a severe shrapnel wound on his leg in addition to several minor injuries. doctors finally removed a breathing tube yesterday after a second operation and aaron has reportedly spoken a little bit with family members. several businesses in martinez are holding fundraisers to help pay for his care. he remains hospitalized in intensive care. cbs news will have a special report on the president's remarks in boston at 8:00 this morning our time and as always, we have continuing coverage on kpix 5 and kpix.com. it is a busy day. coming up, we'll get a check of your bay area forecast. i think you're going to like it. >> plus, helping kids breathe
as many as 15 people are feared dead this morning from an explosion in a smile town in -- small town in texas. more than 100 people are injured and houses are leveled from that explosion at -- at a fertilizer plant. a fire was reported before the explosion. some of those miss having volunteer firefighters who responded to the call. we had a situation on market street too that was causing some traffic problems, but i guess that's been defused, right, liz? >> yeah. code 4 that you just heard the alert from the police right there. the package, the suspicious package, is deemed not dangerous so they are beginning to reopen streets around 3rd and market. but what's impacted is what they do every year since 1906, the great earthquake of san francisco. they mark a commemoration ceremony and it's actually had to be moved for the first time. this is the crowd gathered by union square right now. there's a huge crowd there so you may find delays near union square. let's talk more about this
police activity, though. so yeah, earlier they had blocked off a couple of blocks around 3rd and market telling people to stay indoors. muni was detoured, muni buses were sent back towards the embarcadero but now that the package is deemed safe, it's not going to be an issue, they are beginning to reopen streets in the area and bart is no longer delayed. montgomery street station was actually never hugely impacted. we are still seeing some slight delays for bart and it's because of a totally separate issue. they are doing track maintenance so right now there are about 5 to 20-minute delays on the embarcadero line actually in all directions so just heads up if you are riding bart into san francisco. there is a bit of a delay right now. we are hoping these muni delays clear up shortly. in the meantime, caltrain and ace no issues this morning. everything on time. let's go outside check some of our other roads around the bay area. here's a live look at the bay bridge toll plaza. so far you are cruising this morning coming into san francisco. no metering lights yet at 5:16 this morning. that's the latest on your
"timesaver traffic." for more on our gorgeous weather forecast, we have brian hackney in for lawrence this morning. >> all righty, miss e. we are starting out at 107 years and four minutes ago it was a morning much like this morning, clear skies and not a hadn't of anything to come when at about 5:12 a.m. there was a little foreshock and then 20 seconds later the largest earthquake that we know of in san francisco history ripped loose a magnitude 7.8 eventually killing 3,000 people because of the earthquake and the fire that destroyed 80% of the history. it happened on this day back in 1906. be ready anytime now because the hayward fault is the next one that looks like it's loaded and ready to go. we shall see. in the meantime, outside mostly clear skies and temperatures 40s and 50s, a clear start. nice through the weekend.
certainly through this afternoon with mostly sunny skies and 67 degrees along coast, inland 80 degrees. the numbers just go up from here into the mid-80s by next week inland as this ridge builds offshore and these graphics done by our ace producer billy poone points out it's going to be warmer everywhere. the numbers will come up 3 to 8 degrees so look for mostly sunny skies around the bay area. if you are heading out of the bay area though you will find nice weather as well in sacramento and fresno. forecast highs in the upper 70s. redding gets up to 77 degrees. in the summertime redding will hit 110. and you can see all the water from the rice fields up there just evaporate in that desert heat. 54 degrees at lake tahoe. 66 at yosemite today. and for the bay area, today we'll look for plenty of sunshine, the numbers coming up a little bit into the mid- to upper 70s in the south bay. 76 degrees at mountain view. 66 at the shore like by
pacifica. san jose today 77 degrees. brentwood 80 degrees. travis, fairfield, 78 degrees. 79 for san ramon. and 78 degrees for pleasanton. mid-70s will do it for the north bay. and as we look ahead, the numbers are going to be looking like they just get warmer from here maybe a few low clouds coming into the shoreline tomorrow but that's not going to stop inland areas from getting into the mid-80s by monday. and it will be warm and a pretty good beach weekend all weekend. at least in the seven-day there's not a cooling trend in sight. >> the chamber of commerce all over the bay area clapping their hands. >> bottle this and sell it! that's what i say. >> across the board, looks great. >> thank you. in san francisco, police are investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting this morning. it started when the suspects called 911 last night saying he had just stabbed his brother-in- law in potrero hill. officers arrived on scene and the man came out of the house with a hammer.
the officers ordered him to stop. he didn't and they shot him and killed him. the man he attacked with the hammer is expected to survive. school officers stay a female student will face discipline for using a stun gun on a classmate. that happened yesterday at the international studies academy in san francisco. police say a 14-year-old boy and the girl who reportedly brought the stun gun to school got in a tussle over the device and that's when the boy says he was zapped. concord police are investigating a smash-and-grab robbery at a macy's store at sun valley mall. it happened around 9:00 last night. police say three suspects used a hammer to smash jewelry cases. the hammer was recovered. they also recovered the getaway car then in pleasant hill. asthma continues to be the leading chronic disease among children and youth in america. >> alameda county has the highest rate of asthma in the state believe it or not.
but the county is fighting back right here. this is the breathmobile. it's custom built rv that operates as a mobile pediatric asthma and allergy clinic. the vehicle was at the bohanon middle school in san lorenzo yesterday. in 2011, 11% of that school's population was diagnosed with the disease. >> children who have asthma tend to miss school and when they miss school, they are not able to fulfill their full potential. it's one of the biggest causes of absenteeism in public schools. >> the city of san lorenzo has the highest rate of asthma in alameda county. supervisor wilma chan committed $50,000 of county money to help fight the disease in that city. so what's cool about your school? submit your nomination at our website, cbssf.com/coolschool and we might feature your school on the show. it is 5:21. coming up, the warriors get an nba record and a play-off
in milwaukee. time to get out of there. no fun. brewers pitcher kyle lohse had a no-hitter going for five innings but hunter pence tied the game with a two-run double in the 6th. then in the 9th, milwaukee's blake lally drove in the winning run with the first history of the season. bruce beat the giants 4-3. they will wrap it up today. to the coliseum where the as are hot. josh reddick part of the fun in the 1st inning. put a crooked number on the board. his double drove in two runs. oakland scored 6 in the 1st inning off norris. he got just two out before he had to leave the game. the as sweep the astros with a 7-5 win. they have done that twice this year. they have today off before starting a road trip at tampa tomorrow. basketball, the warriors are colorado-bound beginning the play-offs on the road saturday against the denver nuggets. they finally got their team. they finished the regular season last night and this guy, steph curry, ended the regular
season scoring his 272nd three- pointer right there a new nba single season record. big win at portland, 99-88. we rarely have a basketball layup for the play of the day but this one by mo williams of the utah jazz was so dramatic, we had no choice. unfortunately for him the jazz won't make the play-offs but check this out. hello! through the tall trees he gets rocked and he still sticks it up and in. memphis won. utah is playing golf. it is 5:26. some say it felt like a nuclear bomb. >> they are just starting to learn the extent of the damage from that massive blast at a fertilizer plant in texas. we have the very latest on the search and the rescue attempts. >> and as the president heads to boston this morning, investigators are zeroing in on the possible suspect in the marathon bombings. the suspicious behavior captured seconds before. >> for the first time ever the
[ explosion ] gas, i can't hear, i can't hear -- >> a giant plant explosion levels a small town in texas. >> shock wave was unbelievable and it threw me down. >> city council member just told reporters that a four- block area around the explosion was decimated. >> get out of here! that second tank is about to go, get out of here. >> investigators zero in on a possible suspect in the boston marathon bombing. >> they see a person on
surveillance video actually leaving one of the backpacks there. >> my husband kept saying, my leg, my leg. and then the second explosion hit. >> police shot and killed a man they say was coming after them with a hammer. >> there were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn't do this. it came down to politics. >> the senate voted down a plan to expand background checks for gun buyers. >> from across the bay to around the world, the stories that matter on "kpix 5 news this morning. >> and that will count! >> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald good morning, it is thursday, april 18. thanks for joining us. i'm anne makovec. michelle is off. >> hi, everyone. i'm frank mallicoat. it is 5:31. [ sound of explosion ] >> i can't hear, i can't hear, get out of here! >> breaking news in texas where as many as 15 people are feared dead after a huge explosion. it happened at a fertilizer plant in town. more than 100 other people are
injured, as well. it was so powerful, it registered as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake. emergency workers still on the scene this morning buildings near the fertilizer plant leveled and being searched now for survivors. it happened in the small town of west, texas. that's about 20 miles north of waco. cbs reporter erica ferrari reports some volunteer firefighters are among those feared dead. reporter: a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the town of west, texas. >> the shock wave was unbelievable. it threw me down. >> reporter: officials say the town looks like a war zone with homes and businesses leveled. >> approximately 50 to 60 houses in a five block radius were damaged, heavily damaged. >> reporter: several firefighters and a police officer are feared dead. >> the mayor has been here earlier tonight. he is also a firefighter for
this city. it has taken a toll on him because he knows that potentially he has lost some firefighters. >> reporter: as many as 200 people could be injured and rescue workers are still pulling people out of the rubble. ambulances and helicopters from around the region responded to help with evacuations. eugene horak and his wife, the roof of their house collapsed on them. >> he somehow managed to pull the ceiling off of me and i crawled out. >> thank god that we're alive. >> reporter: at a nearby nursing home the ceiling caved in trapping residents. people in the area rushed in to rescue the elderly victims. >> when we was going to each room there was sheetrock on top of the patients. i pulled out 16 people out of there. >> half the town was evacuated because of fear of another explosion at the plant. >> y'all need to get out of here. >> okay. >> that second tank is about to go, get out of here! >> reporter: the red cross is now on the scene working to find shelter for those forced out of their homes. erica ferrari for cbs news.
>> embers, shrapnel and debris rained down. the explosion came an hour after the fire was reported at the facility. this is all going to be part of the investigation this morning but officials say there is no sign right now that the explosion was anything other than an industrial accident. streets are re-opening in san francisco where a suspicious package investigation delayed this morning's commemoration of the 1906 earthquake. the package was harmless but the decision was already made to move the event from lotta's fountain. we have live pictures from union square right now. it's believed to be the first time in history that they had to delay the ceremony and move it off market street. 107 years ago this morning the quake devastated much of the bay area. an estimated 3,000 people were killed. 5:34 now. as you mentioned, that was all delayed because of a suspicious package investigation on market street. but that appears to be all clear. let's check in with elizabeth for the latest on the traffic
this morning. >> they are beginning to reopen streets around 3rd and market. for a while it was a tense situation. we didn't know what was going on. we heard a suspicious package and everyone is on heightened alert since the boston bombings. so the great news is that everything is deemed not dangerous. streets are re-opening. closed off several block, sounded like, near the 3rd and market intersection. mission was closed down for a while. bart was never impacted. muni lines had to be turned around but again, muni should be back up and running as normal here, as well. all right. we're also following a couple of traffic alerts this morning. we are actually watching two traffic alerts. this is one of them. eastbound 80 at dixon. all bun one lane is closed now. -- all but one lane is closed now. they are sending a medevac helicopter to the scene. two overturned vehicles. the injuries sound serious. so we are already seeing delays. it's in dixon so it's farther out there, but it's in the eastbound direction heading out
of town. live towards the dublin interchange, westbound 580, you can see some bunching up towards the dublin-pleasanton area. there's a big rig accident that sounds like two lanes are blocked now so it is stacking up at least for several exits. i just checked the drive time. it's up to a half hour now between the altamont pass and the dublin interchange. and a quick note about mass transit. we still have bart delays. this has nothing to do with the earlier situation involving that suspicious package. this is just some track maintenance issues they are having now. so right now anywhere from 5- to 20-minute delays in all directions out of the embarcadero station. that's traffic. here's brian with the forecast. we are starting out with mostly clear skies around the bay area. the skies will be as blue as a swimmer's lips as temperatures warm up to 3 to 8 degrees warmer today nudging 80 degrees inland. toward the twin back-to-back suspension spans, built back in the early '30s, the old bay bridge there, and the numbers this morning, we'll insert
those, 44 degrees at concord, 54 at oakland, 43 degrees livermore, san francisco 52, san jose 47, santa rosa 42 degrees. here's how it looks from the satellite. you can see some low clouds packed in along the shoreline overnight. those will dissipate. that will leave us with a mostly sunny and certainly warmer day for the bay area today. 77 degrees at napa. 78 at fairfield. 77 at livermore. and 77 degrees in redwood city in san francisco today. 69 in san francisco. things warm up. we'll have the seven-day forecast coming up. first let's get the latest from frank and anne. >> thank you. in less than half hour from now, president obama is going to board air force one and fly to boston to attend a tribute to victims of the marathon bombings. three people were killed in monday's explosions with more than 170 people injured including some who had to have limbs amputated. surveillance video appears to be the focus of the investigation right now and as
susan mcginnis reports, images show at least one man has been deemed suspicious showing him just before the explosions. reporter: the scene of the second bomb that went off during monday's boston marathon may give us our first look at the suspected bomber. sources tell cbs news that security cameras at a lord & taylor store captured a man leaving a bag in the area just before the blast. the suspect is described as a young white man seen carrying a backpack and talking on a cell phone. sources say he was wearing a black jacket, a gray hoodie and white baseball cap turned backwards on his head. just after the first bomb went off, the suspect left the scene. moments later, the second bomb detonated. investigators are also looking at cell phone records hoping to match one of the calls to the man seen in the video. >> there were people with their clothes burning off. >> reporter: karen and her husband john felt the first
blast while waiting for their daughter to call to finish the marathon. the bomb tore through john's legs. >> my husband kept saying, my leg, my leg. i said --and then the second explosion hit. >> reporter: nicole and the other runners were stopped just before the finish line. >> all i knew is that my family was at the finish line so i just started running and trying to find everybody. >> reporter: karen says her husband is recovering but is still unable to speak. she says she's received support from family and strangers. >> we were sitting in the waiting room yesterday, and strangers were coming up to us and saying we are so sorry. >> reporter: about a third of those injured in the attack remain in the hospital. it appears a company in fremont made the batteries that were used to make those bombs. photos show the battery attached to some black and red wires through a broken plastic cap. the manufacturer's name, tenergy, as you can see clearly visible there. a company spokesman told kpix 5
they are just stunned. >> as you heard, tenergy says the batteries are common in power packs for remote- controlled toys. it can be purchased almost any u.s. hobby store as well as online. there will be a run for boston a global social media campaign on twitter and facebook. tonight's run and delight vigil starts at 7:30 p.m. at the -- delight vigil starts at 7:30 at the see jane run store in oakland ending in snow park. president obama will have remarks at the memorial this morning at 8:00 our time. as always, we'll have continuing coverage. just go to our website, kpix.com. new details about the man accused of sending poisonous letters to the president and a u.s. senator. his unusual side job and his threatening message. >> and the gun control bill hits a brick wall. gabrielle giffords' furious response to members of congress. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
sorts of weather. >> you had humidity. you ever seen a tornado? >> haven't seen it luckily. >> so the idea of a tornado -- >> it's old home week here. >> earthquake i can handle. tornadoes, it's that "wizard of oz" thing. i don't know. time now 5:44. why am i saying that? i'm doing weather. we have mostly clear skies as we start out this morning in the bay area. it's going to be plenty sunny today and warmer, as well. that's what's in the weather headlines today. clear start, sunny and warmer, temperatures nudging 80 degrees inland and as far as the eye can see, we are going to be dry in the bay area with a ridge building over the eastern pacific and the west coast. the result is that the pressure is on, the heat's up, with everybody being warmer today by 3 to 8 degrees over yesterday's nice highs. if you are heading out there, there could be a few slowdowns out there especially if you are headed to houston where they are expecting thunderstorms today. sfo looks okay but houston has thunderstorms, so does chicago. denver partly cloudy skies, just 41 for a high. they will warm up toward the weekend. new york has 63 degrees today.
forecast highs for the bay area down in the south bay mid-70s are going to do it. 77 for santa clara. 77 in san jose. 73 at fremont. and 73 at hayward. we'll be looking at 80 degrees at antioch and at brentwood. napa beautiful day for one country at 77 and up in the north bay mid-70s for the most part with plenty of sunshine around. here in the city, 69 degrees. in oakland, 75. look ahead, the pressure is on, the heat's up. temperatures into the mid-80s inland and then by next week, 80s continue, yay! with the coast looking like maybe a few low clouds. and in the extended forecast, mid-80s will do it all the way through wednesday. there's your weather now. let's get a bent metal update, elizabeth. we have a lot of bent metal out there. unfortunately, two separate traffic alerts outside right now. one of the worst, towards the dublin interchange. traffic is beginning to back up westbound 580 through the dublin-pleasanton area. big rig crash right there before the 680 interchange. couple of big rigs crashed into
each other. two lanes blocked, two lanes open. a member of the kcbs phone force told us it's stacked up to el charro but the delays are growing. let's check the maps. the drive times, it's in the red now up to 41 minutes in fact between the altamont pass and the dublin interchange. but 10 miles per hour so obviously people are not moving too fast. once you get past 680 then we see a lot of improvement. this is our separate traffic alert. it's in the dixon area, eastbound 80 approaching dixon avenue. a medical helicopter had to land on the freeway. so major injuries involved. it's pretty slow going. westbound not impacted too much. looks like everything is moving along okay. but again two separate traffic alerts in the bay area right now. bart still dealing with residual delays anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes in all directions around the embarcadero station because of earlier track maintenance. we're hearing things are improving so hopefully shortly they will get things back up and running. muni, caltrain and ace all on time. that's a check of traffic.
back to you guys. >> thanks, elizabeth. we are following breaking news this morning in texas. as many as 15 people are feared dead right now after a fertilizer plant explosion in a small town. authorities say the cause is still not known. but they do say there is no indication of foul play. >> for the latest, let's go live to the reporter on the scene with the latest in west, texas. bring us up to speed, manuel. >> reporter: good morning, anne and frank. more than 160 people were injured in this blast here in west, texas. this morning, the search and rescue effort continues. they are still looking for survivors hoping not to find more bodies. it's four to five blocks the radius of the blast. it was felt for miles like a small earthquake in its force throughout the area. that was a fire at the plant
yesterday evening. firefighters responded. they sensed danger and evacuated the area but the explosion happened, it was too late. one nursing home near the area had more than 100 people who had to be rescued. some of them were trapped under the rubble. again, the latest information on fatalities is 5 to 15. three to five firefighters are feared dead. they are missing this morning as well as one police officer and 160 people are injured. many of them were rushed to local hospitals. they set up triage at a local high school where they were trying to deal with those injuries, sent the most severe and critical injuries as quickly as possible to the hospitals. the investigation will continue today into what caused the blast. we're told at this point authorities do not suspect foul play. but they will treat the area as a crime scene and work their way back until they find out it was
a simply awful industrial accident. >> manuel, when we see these kinds of situations, you see family members, friends, coming to the area wondering about news of loved ones. are we seeing that? obviously, there's an area that's very much blocked off right now by police. so how do people get through and how are people getting information? >> reporter: there are a lot of local phone numbers and social media going on now with people in the community, a small community, 2800 people, very close-knit. everybody sort of knows each other. but this morning, we have spoken with people who are desperately looking for information on a loved one, friend, neighbor, someone that they have not heard from since the blast occurred. that is definitely going on this morning. they are trying to get information from authorities but at this point, authorities simply just do not know themselves. that's why they at first were very hesitant to even reveal a number of deaths here. they confirmed deaths but they didn't want to say any more
because they are still looking right now. they still don't have those names. they still don't have all the answers in this situation. so a very painful time for this community obviously. a lot of them walking around in shock, feeling like all of this is surreal. >> finally got some light so they can see what they're doing and exactly what happened overnight. manuel bo r.j. orquez, live in texas, thank you. >> the fbi says a man has been arrested in connection with tainted letters addressed to president obama and mississippi senator roger wicker. that man is identified as 45- year-old paul kevin curtis of corinth, mississippi. his cousin says curtis felt the government had not treated him well. investigators are still waiting for additional test results on those letters before they confirm whether or not they contain the deadly poison ricin. preliminary tests show they did. security systems intercepted those letters before they could harm anyone. a bipartisan plan to expand
background checks for gun purchases has failed to advance in the u.s. senate. yesterday's vote was 54 to 46 in favor but 60 votes were needed for that amendment to be adopted. president obama called it a shameful day for congress. >> there were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn't do this. it came down to politics, the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections so they caved to the pressure. and they started looking for an excuse, any excuse, to vote no. >> five democrats were among those who opposed the plan. both california senators voted in favor. former arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords echoed the president's criticism of the senate vote. she wrote an op. ed. piece for the "new york times" accusing the senators who blocked the measure of cowardice. gifts was shot in the head two years ago during an event for her constituents in tucson ceremonies are under way
this morning to commemorate 107 years since the 1906 earthquake that devastated much of the bay area. >> they had to move them around a little bit. this part of the festivities is the annual painting of the fire hydrant at 20th and church street. that hydrant helped save a neighborhood from the huge fire that erupted after the quake. an earlier part of the ceremony at lotta's fountain was moved at the last minute. a harmless package. they moved to union square. the hydrant gets painted gold every year. last year they mistakenly painted it silver so hopefully they will get it right this year. >> we'll have a live report as that happens this morning. time is now 5:52. a brand-new tool is making it easier for bicyclists on a busy bay area street. >> and a principal came just short of finishing the boston marathon. the touching way her students helped her reach her goal. coming up. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
on market street. the digi san francisco is getting ready to install a realtime bike barometer on market street. the digital display counts the number of people in the bike lane. the bike riding is up some 71% in the last five years. and on market street alone, it's increased up 98%. the barometer is expected to be installed by the end of the month. a principal from michigan was nearing the end of the boston marathon when those two bombs exploded on monday and she was forced to forfeit the race. but back in troy, michigan, principal pam mather's students recreated the marathon. check it out. there was a finish line along with an official banner all to help mathers finish the last leg of th race. >> i felt bad she couldn't
finish the 26.2 miles. we decided to help her finish these last .2. >> it's incredible. these students just, you know, they make everything win or lose, it doesn't matter, they make everything worth it. >> very cool. she made it across the finish line and got the medal that she never received in boston. >> she even got to go through the ribbon. >> i bet that meant a lot more. >> absolutely. yeah. not finishing the race after, you know, going three or four months training for it tough for a lot of them. i think there were 5,000 or 6,000 runners who didn't get to the finish line. 5:56. next half hour, more on our breaking news out of texas. >> neighborhoods there look like a war zone after a fiery explosion at a fertilizer plant. a search for survivors now that daylight is upon us. >> reporter: it might look small, but that fire hydrant had a big impact on san francisco during the 1906 earthquake. i'll have more on that and what's happening to commemorate today. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
>> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald [ explosion ] a fiery explosion rocking a small texas town. the death toll and devastation at a fertilizer plant. >> reporter: today the city of san francisco is marking the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake that devastated the city. i'm in the mission district. i'll tell you what's happening here. >> and the heat is on in the bay area. temperatures nudge 80 degrees today and only go up from there. we'll have the details in a few minutes. >> and traffic is just a mess right now on westbound 580 from livermore all the way into pleasanton. got a big rig accident and traffic alert in effect. i'll tell you some good alternates coming up. >> good morning. it is thursday, april 18. it's a busy morning. good to have you with us. i'm frank mallicoat. >> i'm anne makovec. michelle griego is off. we are