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Bay Area briefs
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Odor forces flight back to Oakland airport

OAKLAND  (AP) — Officials say a Southwest Airlines plane returned to Oakland International Airport just after takeoff after a smell was reported in the cabin and a flight attendant felt sick.

Crew members alerted the airport around 7:22 a.m. Tuesday — about ten minutes after the flight left for Burbank — that they were turning around.

Airport spokeswoman Joanne Holloway said the plane landed a few minutes later. The flight attendant was able to walk off on her own, but was examined by emergency medical technicians and taken to the hospital.

The source of the odor was not immediately clear.

The plane was carrying more than 130 passengers.

Amputee whose bike was stolen in SF gets loaner

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A double amputee whose custom-made, hand-cranked bicycle was stolen in San Francisco just before he was set to ride it across the country has a new bike thanks to a Berkeley nonprofit group.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program loaned one of its hand cycles to Krzysztof Jarzebski on Saturday. The Polish Paralympics athlete then set off on his cross-country journey.

Jarzebski's $13,000 bike was stolen Thursday from the rectory quarters of the church he was staying at. It has not been recovered.

The 53-year-old Jarzebski lost his legs to cancer in 1991. He has ridden all over Europe on hand-cranked bicycles.

Work to begin on new 1.6-mile SF subway line

FREMONT  (AP) — Crews plan to start digging up a square block of San Francisco Tuesday for a new subway tunnel to Chinatown, even though funding remains up in the air.

The San Francisco says the contractor plans to begin building the launch point on Fourth Street for two tunnel boring machines that will begin work next year on twin tunnels for the 1.6-mile Central Subway line.

Some preliminary work began last week.

Authorities anticipate they'll get $942 million in federal funding — the bulk of the $1.6 billion cost. Congressional approval is expected this fall.

State fines employer of man killed by fallen wall

MILPITAS  (AP) — State health officials are fining the builder of a Milpitas home where a 37-year-old was buried alive in January.

The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health on Tuesday issued 14 citations totaling $168,175 to US-Sino Investments Inc. of Fremont.

Raul Zapata was working at a residential construction site in January when an excavation wall collapsed on top of him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

State officials say the excavation wall had no soil support system installed as required by state law. The company also failed to obtain a permit to perform such work.

After the accident, the Contractors State License Board suspended the firm's general building contractor license because the company had failed to comply with state workers' compensation insurance laws. An agency investigation is ongoing.


Critics, however, argue that the project is too costly and would be underused. They're campaigning to kill the federal funding.