Nation & World Briefs 07-02-14 Indiana GM plant chemical blast kills one and injures five

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MARION, Ind. -- A chemical explosion Tuesday at a General Motors metal-stamping plant in Indiana killed a contractor and injured several others, authorities said.

The blast killed James L. Gibson, 48, Grant County Coroner Stephen Dorsey said.

Marion General Hospital was treating five other people with non-life threatening injuries, hospital spokeswoman Ann Vermilion told the Marion Chronicle-Tribune.

However, GM issued a statement saying four employees were under observation for non-life-threatening conditions at the hospital and that four others were transported there, but required no treatment.

The explosion involved a chlorine dioxide tank, and the chemical continued spilling out after the explosion, Marion Fire Chief Paul David said.

A hazardous materials crew contained the spill, and firefighters were rinsing off the skin of everyone who may have come into contact with the chemical. If inhaled, the chemical can cause lung problems and can irritate the skin and eyes.

GM at first said third-shift employees were expected to report to work at their normal times but later issued a statement saying that due to water system issues at the plant, only some third-shift employees would be working. First-shift workers were asked to report at their normal time today.

Agrees to recall infant car seats: Graco Children's Products is recalling 1.9 million infant car seats, bowing to demands from U.S. safety regulators, in what is now the largest seat recall in American history. The recall, announced Tuesday, comes after a five-month spat between Graco and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Earlier this year the company recalled 4.2 million toddler seats because the harness buckles can get stuck. But it resisted the agency's demand to recall the infant seats. Buckles can get gummed up by food and drinks, and that could make it hard to remove children. In some cases parents had to cut harnesses to get their kids out. The agency says that increases the risk of injuries in emergencies. The company said owners can check to see if their seats are included by going to www.GracoBuckleRecall.com or by calling 877-766-7470.

Obama taunts Republicans: President Barack Obama defiantly dared congressional Republicans on Tuesday to try to block his efforts to act on his own and bypass a divided Congress that has thwarted his policy initiatives. "So sue me," he taunted on a sweltering day, as he pushed lawmakers to pay for road and bridge repairs. "I'm not going to apologize for trying got do something." Obama struck an aggressive tone in the face of a lawsuit threat from House Speaker John Boehner and in the wake of two defeats before the Supreme Court, including a unanimous decision from the court that he overreached when he appointed members of the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was in recess.

Govt says Khattala supervised action: In the days before the Benghazi attacks, the Libyan militant now in U.S. custody voiced concern and opposition to the presence of an American compound in Benghazi, the government said Tuesday in a court filing. Ahmed Abu Khattala was motivated to participate in the violence by his extremist ideology, according to a court filing by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Today, Khattala is to appear at a detention hearing before Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson in U.S. District Court.

Suicide bomber kills eight: A suicide bomber attacked an air force bus in Afghanistan's capital early today, killing eight military personnel and wounding another 13, security officials said. The Defense Ministry confirmed the number of casualties in a statement updating a previous toll. Army Gen. Kadamshah Shahim said the bomber was stopped before he could enter the bus, likely limiting the number of casualties. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with a spokesman for the insurgents, Zabihullah Mujahid, confirming that the air force bus was the target.

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