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New Orleans: copter crashes, cops commit suicide, shootings

How much more misery can you add to the list — these all happened just today:

* A rescue helicopter crashed in New Orleans this evening. The pilot, crew and two civiilans were rescued. It was not immediately known what caused the helicopter to go down.

* According to the U.S. Public Health Service said one morgue expected between 1,000 and 2,000 bodies. Corpses float in the flood. They’re stuck in attics, crumpled in wheelchairs, abandoned on the streets.

* New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin says some firefighters and police officers are traumatized, and two police officers have committed suicide.

* Another report has 200 officers turning in their badges. Edwin Compass, the superintendent of police: “If I put you out on the street and made you get into gunbattles all day with no place to urinate and no place to defecate, I don’t think you would be too happy, either.”

* Police say they shot and killed some gunmen who had fired upon a group of contractors traveling across a city bridge while on their way to make repairs. There were 14 contractors on their way to help plug the breach in the 17th Street Canal were traveling across the Danziger Bridge under police escort when they came under fire, said John Hall, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers. Police shot at eight people carrying guns, killing five or six, Deputy Police Chief W.J. Riley said.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding