Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Friday, February 15, 2013
2/15/13 at 3:27 AM
1982 - Storm sinks drilling rig, ship
A raging North Atlantic storm with winds of more than 80 mph battered and sank the world's largest oil drilling platform, the Ocean Ranger, off the coast of Newfoundland, killing all 84 workers aboard. Mobil Oil Canada Ltd. had ordered the rig's workers to abandon the structure when it was listing at 15 degrees a few hours before it sank. The storm's 50-foot waves sank the Soviet freighter Mekhanik Tarasov the next day about 75 miles east of where the Ocean Ranger sank. At least 35 of the Soviet ship's crew were killed or missing.
1995 - Hacker arrested
Computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, 31, identified as a "computer terrorist" by the Justice Department, was arrested in Raleigh, N.C., on charges of computer fraud and violating probation. Mitnick, who had been a fugitive since 1992 when he allegedly violated probation on a previous hacking conviction, once was accused of breaking into a top secret defense system. Mitnick later served five years in federal prison.
1996 - Supertanker spills oil
The supertanker Sea Empress carrying 37.6 million gallons of crude oil ran aground near St. Ann's Head, Wales, where it spilled about 20 million gallons of its load, causing a 12-mile long oil slick that covered nearby beaches and killed thousands of birds. The spill was nearly twice that of the 11 million gallons of crude oil that spilled from the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989. Tugs and salvage workers freed the tanker, but bad weather and strong tides moved it again, leaving it impaled on rocks about 300 yards from coastal cliffs.
2012 - Prison fire kills 358
A fire started by an inmate left at least 358 prisoners dead in the Comayagua prison in Honduras that officials said had 856 prisoners packed into barracks designed for half that many. Comayagua Gov. Paola Castro said she called the Red Cross and the fire brigade after a prisoner called her and screamed "I will set this place on fire and we are all going to die!" Firefighters were kept outside for half an hour by guards who thought they had a riot on their hands.
Inmates' relatives clash with police after a deadly fire in Comayagua prison in Honduras. Associated Press file