January 12, 2019

Two firefighters were killed and at least three dozen people injured, about a third of them seriously, by an explosion thought to be caused by a gas leak in Paris Saturday morning.

The firefighters were on the scene responding to the leak when the explosion occurred in a bakery. The blast damaged a number of nearby storefronts, flipped at least one car, and filled the street with debris and broken glass.

"I was sleeping and woke up by the blast wave," said a neighbor named Claire Sallavuard. "All the windows in the apartment exploded, doors were blown off their hinges. I had to walk on the door to leave the room. All the kids were panicking; they couldn't get out of their room" Bonnie Kristian

January 5, 2019

Five teenage girls were killed and one other person injured when a fire broke out in an escape room in Koszalin, Poland, on Friday.

The girls were attending a birthday party when a fire thought to be caused by a gas leak was started in an adjacent room. They were likely killed by carbon monoxide inhalation, while the sixth victim was hospitalized with severe burns.

"A devastating tragedy in Koszalin," Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted. "Five joyous, growing girls have been torn out of their lives. God bless their parents and relatives." Local authorities said all escape rooms will now be required to have evacuation plans including a staff member prepared to help guests make quick emergency exits. Bonnie Kristian

January 5, 2019

Three people were killed and four more injured when shots were fired in a bowling alley in Torrance, California, late Friday.

All seven of the victims were male, and at least two of those wounded have been hospitalized. Eyewitness accounts and limited statements from authorities so far suggest the shooting occurred after a fight broke out between two groups of people.

A patron named Wes Hamad, who was bowling with his niece, told The Associated Press he saw a "huge fight" followed by "complete chaos" that temporarily blocked the facility's exit. "I grabbed my niece and started running towards the far end of the bowling alley," he said. "As we were running, we heard 15 shots."

The police investigation is ongoing, and no suspects have yet been publicly identified. Torrance is a coastal suburb on the southwest side of Los Angeles. Bonnie Kristian

December 23, 2018

A tsunami struck the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra Saturday evening, killing at least 222 people and injuring at least 800 more.

The wall of water swept in without warning and is thought to have been caused by undetected sea floor landslides from an eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, located in the strait between the islands.

Indonesia also lacks a comprehensive tsunami warning system, explained Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency. "We need multi-hazard early warning system, and we need lots of it," Nugroho said.

Rescue efforts are ongoing Sunday, and the death toll is expected to rise. This comes just a few months after an earthquake and tsunami on another Indonesian island, Sulawesi, in September killed 2,256 people.

Watch a video of Saturday's destruction via Al Jazeera below, including the moment the tsunami struck a concert on the beach. (Warning: These images are disturbing.) Bonnie Kristian

December 16, 2018

The family of Jakelin Caal Maquin, the 7-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) custody this month, have challenged the agency's account of her death.

"She had not suffered from a lack of water or food prior to approaching the border," said a statement from lawyers representing Jakelin's father, Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz. "Jakelin's father took care of Jakelin — made sure she was fed and had sufficient water." CPB has reported Jakelin had not been given food or water for several days before she was taken into custody, attributing her illness and subsequent death to circumstances outside CPB's control.

The statement also says CPB had her father sign a form about Jakelin's health in English, a language he does not speak, and noted that autopsy results determining a cause of death have yet to be released. The statement calls for a "transparent and neutral investigation of Jakelin's death." Bonnie Kristian

December 8, 2018

Six people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at a nightclub in Corinaldo, Italy, early Saturday.

A crowd of hundreds was waiting to see a rapper named Sfera Ebbasta when someone reportedly fired pepper spray inside the club. A stampede ensued, and protective railways by an emergency exit gave way. Five of those killed were teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16, and one, a 39-year-old woman, was accompanying her daughter to the concert.

"These [victims] are young people. It's absurd to die this way," said Luigi Di Maio, Italy's deputy prime minister. "As a government we will do everything we can to clarify the circumstances and make sure the security norms were followed." Bonnie Kristian

December 2, 2018

Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, the United States' top naval officer in the Middle East, was found dead Saturday in his home in Bahrain. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini Ministry of Interior will investigate Stearney's death, but defense officials say suicide, not foul play, is suspected.

"This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at 5th Fleet, and for the entire U.S. Navy," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. "Scott Stearney was a decorated naval warrior. He was a devoted husband and father, and he was a good friend to all." Bonnie Kristian

November 9, 2018

At least five people have been killed in the Camp Fire rapidly spreading through northern California, Butte County officials confirmed to The Washington Post on Friday.

As residents of Paradise, California, attempted to flee the wildfire, several were overcome by flames while in their vehicles. Other fatalities have not been confirmed because "the fire is still active," officials said. The Camp Fire, one of three fires burning through the state, quadrupled in size overnight and wiped out all of Paradise, a 27,000-person town. The town was evacuated, though several residents reported there was very little time before the blaze overtook the area, and many abandoned their vehicles as traffic blocked the road out of town. Even without traffic, flames surrounding roads made for treacherous evacuations.

"We know that there have been injuries, and we know that there has been loss of life," said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services. He called the destruction "unbelievable" and "heartbreaking." Crowded evacuation routes had Lt. Al Smith of the Butte County Sheriff's Office concerned that remaining residents and emergency responders would have trouble escaping. "I can't think of an area that's safe right now," he told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday. Read more at The Washington Post. Summer Meza

See More Speed Reads