public safety

Traffic accident fatalities are rising at a faster rate in Northwest states than anywhere else in the country according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drug-impaired drivers and distracted drivers appear to be factors involved in the increase.

Seattle Dept. of Transportation tweeted this map of the area affected by the power outage.
Courtesy of SDOT

Power has been restored to downtown Seattle after a large outage earlier Wednesday. 

The utility says there was an equipment failure at substation at Massachusetts Street, but are still investigating the cause of the outage. 

Seattle Fire Department tweeted this picture of the scene of a gas leak in Ballard on Wednesday, May 18.
Seattle Fire Department

A natural gas leak in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood Wednesday forced a few people to leave their homes. Seattle firefighters handled the evacuation. 

Is your brick building at serious risk in an earthquake?
Flickr Photo/Helen Cook (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/poMYZ

Kim Malcolm speaks with Seattle Times reporter Sandi Doughton about why Seattle still has over a thousand unreinforced masonry buildings (full list here), despite knowledge of their danger in an earthquake and the availability of technology to make them safer.

Doughton is co-author with Daniel Gilbert of the article, "Buildings that kill: The earthquake danger lawmakers have ignored for decades."  

File Photo of an old water fountain.
Flickr Photo/Paul Domenick (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dqusC4

Washington lawmakers want to step up efforts to keep lead out of school drinking water. But the state won't pay for school water quality tests until at least fall of 2017.


Rebecca Benson, a public health nurse in King County, holds up a box now being given to parents for their babies to sleep in. Benson, who shared a bed with her own babies, now believes that giving babies their own space to sleep is preferable.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

When infants die in King County, the medical examiner investigates.

One hundred babies were found to have died of SUID – sudden unexpected infant death – between 2009 and 2015, according to data obtained by KUOW.


"I will not rest, and I'm going to make sure that the leaders at every level of government don't rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink, and safe to cook with, and safe to bathe in," President Obama told an energetic audience in Flint, Mich. "Because that's part of the basic responsibilities of a government in the United States of America."

Chipping paint is a lead poisoning danger to kids.
Flickr Photo/Nancy Waldman (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/2Unkx2

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Seattle Times health reporter JoNel Aleccia about lead risks in Washington state. Children in the state have low risks of lead poisoning, but health officials say the biggest lead risks are not in the water; they exist in lead paint in old houses and other environments like some construction sites. 

Half of the workplace deaths involved people over the age of 50 – not people who died of heart attacks, but people who fell or injured themselves on the job.
KUOW photo

Worker Memorial Day, the day Washington State honors people who lost their lives on the job, is this Thursday.

water sink tap
Flickr Photo/Alena Navarro-Whyte (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/asF1o

People in Tacoma, Washington still don't know how bad their lead problem is.

The city says 1,700 Tacoma households and small businesses could be at risk. But it's unknown how many of those customers have high lead levels in their water.

Engineers told state legislatures in 1995 that the Alaskan Way Viaduct would crumble in a major quake. The project to replace the Viaduct is underway but still incomplete.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

When a major quake hit San Francisco in 1989, the Cypress Street Viaduct collapsed, killing 42 people.

The next day, Washington state officials saw images of the viaduct. To their horror, it looked almost identical to the Alaskan Way Viaduct on Seattle’s waterfront.

Cape Kiwanda is an icon of the Oregon coast, but its jagged bluffs and towering dunes also tempt thrill-seekers to get too close to the edge.

A photo from the Seattle Fire Department's Twitter feed shows  the side of a bus ripped open after a collision with a duck amphibious vehicle on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, September 24, 2015. .
Seattle Fire Department

Ride the Ducks of Seattle has admitted to more than 460 motor safety violations.

The company also revealed a settlement plan made with the state transportation officials on Thursday. The Utilities and Transportation Commission, proposes a $222,000 fine against the company. That's after a Ride the Ducks vehicle was involved in a crash last year in Seattle that killed five students.

Northwest Hospital in the Northgate area of Seattle.
Facebook Photo/Northwest Hospital

Washington health officials are investigating a man charged with swapping syringes in Colorado who used to work in Seattle as a surgery technician.

They have also warned hundreds of patients to get tested for blood borne pathogens.

Roommates Daniel Miller and Alex Sokolowski faced flaming debris and an exploding fish tank in their home near the blast.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Greenwood business owners and residents are working to clean up and repair blown-out windows after a massive natural gas explosion. They’re also waiting for access to closed streets and buildings and for news on the investigation.

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