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NATIONAL BRIEFS


IOWA: Tornado smashes homes

A tornado damaged more than half of Mapleton, a town of 1,200 in western Iowa, Mayor Fred Standa said Sunday. He estimated about 20 percent of the town was "almost flat." The centuries-old trees the town was named for had been pulled out of the ground. The tornado destroyed 12 to 15 blocks in the southwest corner of town when it struck Saturday, authorities said. About 100 homes were destroyed beyond repair, and 500 to 600 residents were displaced.


HAWAII: Blast that killed 5 probed

Investigators plan to question officials at an ordnance disposal company Monday to try to determine the age and type of fireworks in a storage bunker that exploded, killing five workers. They also want to know what the six employees of Donaldson Enterprises Inc. were doing when the blast occurred Friday and what their training was, Honolulu fire Capt. Gary Lum told The Associated Press on Sunday.


TEXAS: Wildfire misses historic fort

Firefighters battled out-of-control wildfires scorching nearly 400 square miles across the state, including a West Texas blaze that narrowly missed a historic frontier Army cavalry fort and one of the world's leading astronomical research facilities. A fire had spread to more than 60,000 acres Sunday in Jeff Davis county and destroyed 40 homes in Fort Davis before it raged north and east. The blaze missed the McDonald Observatory, which instead was used as an evacuation shelter. The fire also missed Fort Davis National Historic Site, an Army cavalry fort built in 1854 to protect a San Antonio-to-El Paso mail route.


MAINE: Small plane crashes into house

A single-engine plane crashed into a house Sunday and burst into flames. A Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman said the plane crashed into the house near Biddeford Municipal Airport. A person with minor injuries was pulled from the home. The pilot was believed to be in the wreckage.

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