Nation/World The Salina Journal Monday, January 20,1986 Page 5 Fire kills 45 horses Authorities say losses may near $5 million ELMONT, N.Y. (AP) - A fire Sunday swept through a Belmont Park Racetrack barn where a sprinkler system had broken down days earlier, killing 45 thoroughbred horses worth up to $10 million and injuring two firefighters, authorities said. Flames shot 50 feet into the air from the 400- foot-long barn and it took 200 firefighters more than an hour to contain the early morning blaze, said Fire Chief James Snadecky. Most of the horses suffocated in their 12-foot by 12-foot stalls, where they had been tied up for the night, authorities said. "They didn't have a chance," said Gene Martello, 34, a horse trainer who works in a neighboring barn. Two horses were rescued. One was Pleasant Sea, an offspring of Pleasant Colony, which won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 1981. One firefighters suffered smoke inhalation and another had minor burns. Track officials estimated the loss at $1 million for the barn and from $500,000 to $5 million for the horses. Nassau County police officer Howard Burtt estimated the loss at up to $10 million. The track is the annual home of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown, horse racing's most prestigious honor. The horses were among more than 2,000 kept in 64 barns at the 430-acre complex on Long Island, although the track's racing season is over. The fire was first spotted by a night watchman who "saw flames coming out of a stall in the middle of the barn," said John Keenan, vice president of operations for the New York Racing Association. Although some of the horses might have been Workers cover dead horses with hay after a fire destroyed a stable at Belmont, N.Y. able to break out of their stalls, Keenan said that would have been unusual. "The nature of a horse is that he considers a stable his home, and if something happens, he's more inclined to go into it than out," he said. Keenan said the sprinkler system's pipes burst last week when the temperature fell to near zero and "would have been repaired today or tomorrow," The cause of the fire was undetermined, but authorities found "nothing that indicates it would be suspicious," said Detective Lt. William Gutersloh, head of the Nassau County arson squad. Relatives mourn plane crash victims GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Bad weather Sunday forced an end to shuttle flights returning bodies from the isolated northern jungle site where 93 people died in the worst air crash in Guatemalan history. The twin-engine Caravelle jet of the private airline Aerovias crashed Saturday as it approached the Santa Elena airport, about 150 miles north of Guatemala City, while flying tourists to the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal. All aboard were killed, including eight Americans. There was no immediate determination of what caused the crash. The first 12 bodies were brought back Saturday to the capital's international airport. Sobbing relatives jammed the tiny waiting room of the Aerovias terminal, waiting to be summoned to identify the bodies. They hugged each other, weeping, as the first victims were brought into the hangar. A line of hearses waited nearby. An elderly man sobbed softly as a forklift brought in a pallet with two bodies, one apparently his wife. "Twenty-five years, twenty-five years," he repeated. Airport officials said those victims brought back were the most easily identifiable. Several small planes that left Guatemala City Sunday and flew to Santa Elena to help return the bodies were unable to fly back to the capital because of rain and low visibility. Small groups of relatives remained huddled at the terminal. Besides the Americans, a preliminary list from the airline indicated 59 of the victims were Guatemalans, six were from Colombia, four from Venezuela, two from Mexico, two from Canada, four from the Netherlands, two from Costa Rica, two from Britain, and one each from West Germany, Italy, France and Greece. The French-built plane, which Aerovias had rented from the Ec- uadoran airline Saeta, was used for flights to Santa Elena to handle heavy demand for travel to the ruins. The airport is about 25 miles south of the ruins in the department, or state, ofPeten. The last contact the control tower at Santa Elena had with the pilot was 33 minutes after the plane had taken off from Guatemala City. The control tower said there was no indication of any problem with the plane. Jorge Escobar of the National Weather Center said the crash occurred in "good weather, the winds were calm and the visibility unlimited." People who flew over the crash site said the plane chewed a short path through the jungle and apparently disintegrated, strewing debris and victims over a 300-yard radius. Planes bringing tourists to Tikal do not fly directly to the area because vibrations damage the ruins, considered among the finest of the Mayan kingdom. Tikal, one of the largest and possibly the oldest of the Mayan cities, consists of nine groups of courts and plazas built on hilly land above surrounding swamps and interconnected by bridges and causeways. Budget deficit to dominate lawmakers' agenda By The New York Times WASHINGTON — The second session of the 99th Congress begins Tuesday, and lawmakers expect the year to be dominated by one overwhelming issue, the struggle to control a budget deficit that has now soared beyond $200 billion a year. But as legislators return to the capital after a monthlong recess, and as the Reagan administration puts the final touches on its own spending plan, the two branches of government seem far apart on basic priorities. Congressional leaders of both parties say higher taxes and lower military spending must be a part of any budget compromise; the White House seems equally determined to trim the deficit by slashing domestic programs. Accordingly, many lawmakers say the year could be dominated by the same sort of paralysis and political finger-pointing that marked the last session and thwarted any significant steps toward deficit reduction. "There has to be some sharing, and the president doesn't want that sharing," said Senate Minority Leader Robert Byrd, R-W.Va. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., agrees that added flexibility in the Reagan administration is essential for progress on the budget issue. "Congress and the White House both have some hard choices," Dole said. "This has to be a partnership. No more 'this is the fault of Congress, this is the fault of the White House. 1 We're all in this together now." The new year marks the beginning of a period in which practically every decision the legislators make could be affected by a new law requiring that the budget be balanced in gradual steps over the next five years. If Congress fails to meet its deficit reduction goal in any given year, automatic spending cuts would go into effect under the legislation, which was drafted by Sens. Phil Gramm of Texas and Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, both Republicans. "It's hard to isolate anything here from Gramm-Rudman nowadays," Dole said. It is also hard to isolate anything on Capitol Hill from the 1986 elections, and the drive by Democrats to recapture control of the Senate. Twenty-two of the 34 seats at stake In the elections are now held by Republicans and the Democrats must make a net gain of four seats to win a majority. Lawmakers say that this pervasive concern about political implications is likely to motivate Republicans to oppose the administration on some key issues, such as the wholesale destruction of social programs, on which the White House takes a politically unpopular stance. The White House insists that reform of the tax code, rather than deficit reduction, is its top legislative priority. A 1,400-page bill revising the code cleared the House at the end of last year, and the Senate Finance Committee says it plans to take up the issue soon. Most analysts do not expect final action before next fall, however, and the whole issue could get tangled up in the search for additional revenue to help balance the budget. Revenue proposals range from an oil import fee to some form of national sales tax, and many lawmakers agree with Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., when he says, "I have always suspected that there will be some revenue component'' in next year's budget. After deficit reduction and a tax overhaul, the next major item on the legislative agenda is international trade. Twin tunnels might Jink Britain, France LILLE, France (AP) — The leaders of France and Britain are expected to announce today that 31-mile, twin rail tunnels have been chosen to achieve the two century-old dream of a permanent transport link across the English Channel. President Francois Mitterrand and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher meet today in this city southeast of Calais to reveal their decision. The tunnels, privately financed, would cost $3.3 billion and would open in 1993. Terminals would be near Calais and Dover in England, where a rail tunnel was begun in 1973 but was halted under a British Labor government austerity program. Vehicles would travel on special rail cars, and high-speed trains would halve the Paris- London time to under four hours. The largest civil engineering project in modern Europe, it would employ about 40,000 workers during seven years of construction. Sunday newspapers hi Britain, where the "Chunnel" has aroused far more interest than in France, said two weeks of tough negotiations ended with agreement for the Channel Tunnel Group- France Manche consortium. The reports, officially called "speculation" but appearing solidly based, said Thatcher had strongly supported a road and rail link but bowed to "fierce French opposition" and doubts over financing. Mitterrand Thatcher The Channel Tunnel Group was competing with road and rail tunnels proposed by Channel Expressway, led by American James Sherwood of Sealink, a major Channel ferry operator, and the Euroroute consortium offering a road bridge and tunnel combination. The Channel Tunnel Group is expected to be urged by both governments to offer a share to the losers and to pledge to study adding road tunnels by the end of the century. But Sir Nigel Boackes, chairman of Euroroute, maintains the Channel Tunnel Group "could never sacrifice all the investment" in special rail cars and terminals for drive-on carriage of cars and trucks by building road tunnels. The Channel journey would take 30 minutes by train, compared to a minimum 75 minutes by ferry. The governments have pledged to speed up customs. But French truckers say they will boycott a rail-only tunnel because of the difficulties they foresee in loading trucks into the shuttle cars. Peres thinks Hussein is serious about bridging Israeli-Arab gap THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Jordan's King Hussein is "serious" about settling Arab-Israeli differences, Prime Minister Shimon Peres of Israel said Sunday. Peres made his comments at the start of a three- nation, 12-day West European visit. Peres said that the Soviet Union could take part in an international Peres Middle East peace forum proposed by Hussein as a prelude to direct talks between a Palestinian- Jordanian delegation and Israel. "I do believe that King Hussein is serious in his attempt to bridge over the differences at the source of the conflict," Peres said, referring to Hussein's efforts in the peace process. But Peres said there remain "two burning issues, which are the international forum on one hand, and Palestinian representation on the other." He said efforts toward peace "have made some headway, but there are still some important issues to be resolved." One reason for Peres' tour is to gather world support for a peace process without the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Israel regards as a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state. Peres also will visit Britain and West Germany. There were indications that the Middle East peace process would intensify this week. Peres met Sunday with Richard Murphy, the U.S. State Department's top expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Murphy, in Europe to arrange the proposed international conference, arrived Sunday in the Netherlands after meeting Hussein in London. The United States has in the past resisted a Soviet role in the Middle East peace process, and Peres' statements Sunday appeared designed as a concession to Jordan's desire for a Soviet role. Peres previously has said Soviet participation in such a forum might be acceptable. Peres said Sunday that "the international forum can be formed either by the two superpowers or by the five members of the Security Council." The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Britain and France. Later, Peres said "the Middle East conflict includes the superpowers, Europe and the Middle East nations. Understanding is essential to the promotion of a climate of peace." Engineers at Hyatt might lose licenses JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A state board could revoke the professional licenses of two engineers found negligent in the collapse of two aerial walkways that killed 114 people in a hotel lobby. Daniel Duncan and Jack GiUum, both oi St. Louis, -were found guilty by a state hearing officer of "gross negligence, misconduct and unprofessional conduct" for failing to perform safety tests on the connections that held up the aerial walkways at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City. Two of the three walkways collapsed on July 17,1981, killing 114 people and injuring about 200 others. Connections in the steel that held up the walkways were found to be flawed. 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