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World news briefs — compiled March 13

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PHILADELPHIA

Plane’s landing gear collapses

Passengers were evacuated from a Florida-bound plane at Philadelphia International Airport after a mechanical failure. Airline officials said USAirways Flight 1702 was heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the pilot was forced to abort takeoff around 6:30 p.m. Thursday after the front landing gear collapsed. The Airbus 320 was carrying 149 passengers and five crew. All were rescheduled on departing flights Thursday night. No serious injuries were reported.

PHOENIX

Ex-Fiesta Bowl CEO sentenced

Barberton native John Junker, a former Fiesta Bowl chief executive, was sentenced to eight months in federal prison on Thursday after acknowledging that he participated in an illegal campaign contribution scheme. Junker, 56, was sentenced after pleading guilty two years ago to a conspiracy charge in the scheme in which bowl employees made illegal campaign contributions to politicians and were reimbursed by the nonprofit bowl.

NEW YORK

Death toll rises to 8 in explosion

Rescue workers searched the rubble Thursday for more victims of a gas explosion that killed at least eight people. At least four people were unaccounted for after the deafening blast Wednesday morning destroyed two five-story apartment buildings in East Harlem. More than 60 people were injured.

AUSTIN, TEXAS

Driver fatally strikes 2 at festival

A suspected drunken driver barreled through police barricades and drove down a crowded street at the South by Southwest festival early Thursday morning, killing two people and injuring 23 in an act authorities say was intentional. The driver struck multiple pedestrians at 12:30 a.m. on a block filled with concertgoers, continued down the street and hit and killed a man from the Netherlands on a bicycle and a woman from Austin on a moped. The driver eventually crashed and tried to run away, but he was shocked by a stun gun and taken into custody.

Compiled from wire reports.


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