Five stories that have North Texas talking: Another earthquake shakes North Texas; three construction workers die in a downtown Dallas building fire; get ready for Sunday's marathon in Dallas; and more.
Perhaps you felt some rumbling in Irving last night? Another day, another earthquake. A 2.6-magnitude quake struck shortly before 9:30 Thursday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It happened near the old Texas Stadium site, along the Irving/Dallas border. Several earthquakes have struck in the same area in recent months. The Dallas Morning News says it’s the 11th earthquake since Sept. 11. There is a gas well in the area. Some point to natural gas well drilling -- and the use of disposal wells to store wastewater from the drilling – as the reason for North Texas earthquakes. (Other quakes have jolted other towns near Fort Worth.)
- A congressional report shows Texas has the largest number of plants in the nation that use the most hazardous chemicals. Facilities nationwide "remain vulnerable" following the deadly 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in the Texas town of West, said U.S. Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts. He released the report Thursday at a hearing on chemical safety and security. The report is based on data submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by facilities that use large quantities of highly flammable and toxic chemicals. The report also says Texas has the largest number of plants that are in proximity to more than 1 million people. Texas has 34 of the 89 plants. Gov.-elect Greg Abbott has said that information about the location of such facilities should be withheld for security reasons. [Associated Press]
- Three construction workers are dead after a fire erupted in a downtown Dallas high-rise, prompting the evacuation of the building of thousands of office workers. Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said fire-rescue workers found the men in the basement of the 50-story Thanksgiving Tower in the thermal storage tank that's part of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning unit beneath the building. Evans says the preliminary belief is that the 10 a.m. Thursday fire was electrical in nature because of the thick smoke it gave off, but the cause and ignition point remain undetermined. Authorities say about 2,800 people were evacuated from the structure. Read more here. [Associated Press]
- Southern Methodist University has agreed to provide a safer environment for students who allege sexual assault or other gender-based violence. The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday announced SMU violated Title IX. The law bars discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs or activities. An Education Department statement says SMU has committed to track harassment reports and resolutions, improve staff training, set up clearer protections against retaliation and develop better procedures for sharing information with campus police. In a statement, SMU says it’s committed to provide a “safe and supportive campus environment.” Read more here.
- The MetroPCS Dallas Marathon takes over parts of the city Sunday. The marathon, half marathon and relay are all sold out. Runners start and finish in downtown Dallas near Young and Griffin streets, next to Pioneer Plaza. They’ll pass through Deep Ellum, Uptown, Turtle Creek and Highland Park. They’ll cross through the M Streets and run through Lower Greenville, before heading over to White Rock Lake. About 20,000 runners are expected to participate. Last year’s marathon was canceled due to icy weather. Sunday’s National Weather Service forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Live marathon coverage starts at 8 a.m. on WFAA-TV (Channel 8). Learn all about the race here.