A gas pipeline went up in flames this week along a Mexican highway that killed at least 6 people ... and video of the incident is absolutely horrendous.
It went down Monday in the Mexican city of Jala, right on the edge of a mountain bordering the Tepic-Guadalajara Highway between Chapalilla and Ixtlan del Rio. It's unclear what set off the explosion, but it was big enough to stop a bunch of drivers dead in their tracks.
One video circulating right now shows a couple guys running toward what appears to have been an initial discharge that caused traffic to come to a screeching halt. As they approach, an even bigger explosion goes off ... sending a massive fireball into the air and everyone running for their lives.
Another angle shows the aftermath from a further distance, and it becomes clear pretty quickly just how massive this thing was. There's plumes of black smoke emanating from every which way as the flames rage. It's a terrifying sight, to say the least.
There are different reports on the official body count -- we're seeing estimates from 6 to 14 thus far, plus several other injuries and word of missing people as well. There's also extensive damage to numerous cars that were caught up in the explosion.
Check out this shot of the aftermath -- an entire vehicle is lodged into the side of the charred mountain, and car parts are scattered about everywhere. Pieces of the concrete barrier were blown to smithereens ... demonstrating the ferocity of the impact.
Authorities are said to be on the scene getting a handle on things. Scary stuff ...
15-year-old Quawan Charles appears to have most likely died from drowning -- the family's independent autopsy results now reaffirm that, but they still don't know the how behind his death.
The findings are in from American Forensics -- the agency that did a separate autopsy on Quawan's body -- and according to the report, obtained by TMZ, the experts discovered evidence of a possible drowning ... which they note the first autopsy also concluded.
They also say that the initial autopsy -- conducted by the coroner's office in Iberia Parish, LA -- was thorough. The independent autopsy also mentions no sign of trauma or natural disease, and that the body was undergoing decompositional changes upon arrival. With all that said, the jury's still out on Quawan's exact cause of death and the manner of death.
The autopsy says a final report is pending toxicology and histology results, as well as other investigative information as it becomes available.
For now, both examinations seem to jibe with what cops told Quawan's family ... that he probably drowned. Both autopsies found water was in his lungs, but the family wasn't buying the drowning theory because of the damage to his face -- which they compared to what to Emmett Till's 1955 lynching.
On that front ... Quawan's family attorney, Ronald Haley, tells us investigators believe the teen's face was gnawed on by wild animals in the sugar cane field where his body was found. However, we're told the family is NOT buying that explanation ... they still suspect foul play, and Haley also says cops are currently investigating this as a homicide.
You'll recall, Haley and other family members were adamantly opposed to the narrative of Quawan's death being accidental ... telling us last week there were too many holes in the police's story to justify that response. That, and just looking at him made them believe he was killed.
In any case, Haley now tells us he's troubled by the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office's slow response in finding Quawan in the first place -- noting it took them a total of 4 days just to ping his phone on Nov. 2 ... which led them to his body the next day. He'd been reported missing on Oct. 30.
Haley tells us Quawan's case proves why it's so important for cops to aggressively investigate a missing person's case as soon as it happens -- any delay could lead to a tragedy like this.
7:59 AM PT -- Tory's attorney tells TMZ ... he "has never offered money to any witness for their silence or for any other reason. Any reports to the contrary are false."
The rapper says Tory begged her to stay quiet and tried to pay both her and her friend off shortly after the July incident ... for which Lanez has been charged with felony assault.
Megan tells GQ she was really scared because what happened with Tory went down during the middle of the national unrest and protests over police brutality and systemic racism. She says her response to Tory's offer was ... "I can't believe you even think I want to take some money. Like, you just shot me."
MTS goes on to call the incident and the weeks that followed the worst experience of her life, which as we reported ... included her first coming out publicly to address rumors and speculation, and then flat out accusing Tory of pulling the trigger.
Though Lanez has been charged with felony assault for allegedly inflicting great bodily injury on Megan -- and ordered to stay away from her -- he's defended himself by saying a charge is not a conviction ... and went even further on his new album.
Several of the tracks on the album seemingly profess his innocence ... and suggest Megan is a liar.
Originally published -- 6:30 AM PT
A jetliner tragically hit a brown bear while landing in the dark of night, causing an alarming amount of damage to the jet -- but, thankfully, a nearby cub narrowly survived.
It was an Alaska Airlines plane that got caught up in the freak accident early Saturday morning, with the flight coming in from Cordova, AK and touching down at the Yakutat Airport before the sun had come out.
According to reports, all normal procedures were followed prior to landing -- airport personnel on the ground didn't see the mama brown bear and her cub crossing the runway ... this just 10 minutes after they'd done a scan and given the all-clear.
The plane struck the bear after it had landed and was coming to a stop, before taxiing to the gate. The aircraft's left engine hit the bear, and was clearly damaged afterward. Considering the size of a 737 compared to your average car ... you get a picture of just how dangerous an afternoon drive could be in Alaska.
No one on board the plane was injured, and a 2-year-old cub that was with its mom avoided the jet.
Folks in Alaska say they've seen animals like deer, caribou, geese and other critters getting swept up in a jet -- but this might be a first for a bear.
The "Tropic Thunder" star threw on nothing but a red Speedo to pull off the hilarious challenge in a TikTok video he posted late Sunday night and captioned it, "Challenge accepted." The actor karate chopped, twerked and gyrated the hell out of the dance while getting soaked by a so-called "water technician."
Check out the video ... there's no way curiosity will let anyone not want to see the challenge -- which originated in August after the track dropped -- but beware ... because there's also no way to unsee it!!! It's worth it ... if starting the week off with a laugh is kinda your thing.
BTW ... the comments will also have ya rolling. One person responded saying Jack's dance looked like when a "fish accidentally jumps out of the bowl and lands on the floor." Robert Downey Jr. also implored, "Get it!!!"
Nathan Apodaca -- the viral Fleetwood Mac "Dreams" skateboarder -- can add a new title to his long list of monikers ... HOMEOWNER!!!
According to sources familiar with the deal ... Nathan paid $320,000 in cash for a 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom crib in his hometown of Idaho Falls. We're told Nathan gets the keys to the house next week and he's still in shock over the purchase.
Remember ... before taking social media by storm after posting a video of himself drinking Ocean Spray juice and vibing to Fleetwood Mac on his skateboard, Nathan was living in an RV with no running water. The RV was parked in front of his brother's house, where he'd use the shower and toilet.
Not long after racking up more than 11 million views on his TikTok vid ... donations started pouring in from strangers all over the place. His merch also started selling like crazy. He had said he wanted to save up for a new ride and RV ... but after Ocean Spray gifted him a truck, it changed his plans for the better, which now includes a new home.
We're told Nathan liked the house because it's got enough room for him and his family ... his new fiancée, Estela Chavez and his 2 daughters and stepson -- 15-year-old Angelia, 14-year-old Makyla and 15-year-old stepson Andreas Chavez.
As if Nathan wasn't already raking in 2020 ... the dude's got even more reason to grin after recently getting new veneers worth a whopping $40k, courtesy of Dr. Aamir Wahab.
Moral of the story ... keep smilin' while steady vibin'.
4:31 PM PT -- The Crew Dragon capsule is airborne and on its way to the upper atmosphere -- the launch went down without a hitch ... with the rocket reaching over 1,500 MPH as it soars into the sky. The capsule and rocket have also detached, with the latter coming back down to Earth as the capsule continues on its way toward the ISS.
What a time to be alive, huh?!?
SpaceX and NASA are about to once again send astronauts into space -- laying even more groundwork for what might become a regular thing ... and we'll be streaming the event live, with lift-off slated for 7:27 PM ET.
Elon Musk's shuttle program is embarking on yet another launch Sunday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida -- where the SpaceX team is firing its famed Dragon capsule into orbit ... only this time, it's carrying a few more helmeted cadets on the mission.
Three American astronauts are signed up for this job -- NASA's Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor Glover -- and so is a Japanese astronaut named Soichi Noguchi. Check out their suits, BTW ... super sleek compared to what they used to rock back in the day.
That's technology, baby!!! Also ... fashion.
The 4-person crew is heading to the International Space Station, where they'll conduct scientific research for NASA. This is the second time this year that SpaceX has sent up humans in partnership with NASA -- in May, they sent up astronauts Doug Hurly and Bob Behnken to the ISS for a couple months ... now, they're upping the manpower. It's the first SpaceX commercial crew trip to the ISS.
This latest mission is a huge milestone -- it marks a huge pivot away from our reliance on Russian space travel -- something the U.S. has been heavily reliant on in recent years.
The fact SpaceX is helping with these types of trips more regularly proves it's a leading company for a lot more travel in the near future -- which could open the door for space tourism. The possibilities are endless, really.
The launch is scheduled for 7:27 PM ET. Houston, we have lift-off ... hopefully.
Originally Published -- 4:15 PM PT
Kellyanne Conway seems to be on her way out at the White House, but she could still ride the coattails of her 16-year-old daughter ... who might be the next "American Idol!"
Claudia Conway just teased the fact that she's trying out for the reality singing competition show -- posting a video on TikTok in which she says she's about to audition and was in the process of filming her confessional. Claudia also says she's already met Seacrest 👀.
In her brief clip, Claudia turns the camera around and sure enough ... there's a film crew there. You can also see the 'Idol' logo behind her in what appears to be a soundstage setting -- so yeah, it seems legit. Word is 'AI' is, in fact, filming right now -- out here in Cali, no less.
A couple things about this ... for starters, welcome back to TikTok, kid!!! Remember, it looked like Claudia got grounded from using the app a little while ago after spilling alleged tea on Trump's COVID diagnosis, which her mom did NOT like ... as we saw first-hand.
Looks like Claudia's been back online for a minute now -- but the other question this brings up ... who the hell knew she could sing?!? While we mostly see Claudia lip-syncing and dancing to songs on TikTok -- like so many other users -- she actually has some videos of herself where she shows off her pipes. We gotta say ... she ain't half bad!!!
Now that she's 16 and meets the minimum criteria to try out ... it seems Claudia's gonna get some face time with Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry soon enough here. Considering her rebellious streak, you also gotta wonder if mama bear knows about this 😅.
Anyhoo, something tells us she's got a TV career in the making -- and we might very well be seeing her get some air time when the new 'Idol' season kicks off next year. Stay tuned!
This woman's memory might be slipping away because of her dementia, but she certainly hasn't forgotten how to perform a classical piece of music ... which is incredible to see.
This is Elaine Lebar -- a 92-year-old with dementia. Check out this video of her masterfully playing the third movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." Right before she goes to town on the piano keys, she tells the camera girl that she doesn't know it ... clearly she does.
Apparently, music therapy is a common practice for those afflicted with the memory loss disease -- not only can it help combat cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia in general ... but scientists say whatever you know musically stays relatively preserved.
They say musical memories are stored in a part of the brain that remains, more or less, intact amid dementia ... that jives with what we see here -- almost like she has Beethoven's music on file and ready to whip out whenever she's at a piano. It's like riding a bike, sorta.
Anyway, take it away Lainey!
The Foo Fighters are the latest big-name act to help out the crumbling live music industry -- the guys are about to put on a virtual show ... and the price of a ticket is worth its weight in gold for many folks hurting behind-the-scenes.
Dave Grohl and his bandmates are performing live Saturday from the Roxy in Hollywood -- and while you won't be able to join them in person ... you can watch them from your TV set at home for a low price of just $15, which gives you exclusive access to the intimate set.
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
If you're looking for a reason to tune in besides catching a sick band rock out -- here's one ... part of the proceeds collected here are going to an org called the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which collects cash for musicians, stagehands, venues, and other music industry workers who've taken a hard hit during this pandemic, with many being out of work.
Fact is, a lot of these guys and gals are in dire straits these days ... and they can use any help they can get, especially as these new stimulus checks continue to stall out in D.C.
Enter the Foo Fighters, not to mention a TON of other artists and bands who've stepped up and lent their talents to this cause. You might've recently heard about a multi-day virtual festival called Save Our Stages, which saw performances from Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Dave Matthews, Dillon Francis, The Roots, YG, Reba McEntire and even ... yes, the Foo Fighters (again).
The fact the boys are back for a second dose just shows how much they care about this -- as much as we talk about restaurants, movies and other industries being affected in this crisis ... music is often forgotten.
11:15 AM PT -- The family attorney, Ron Haley, tells TMZ ... he refutes the Sheriff's conclusion that Charles drowned. He said, "When you see his mangled body it does not look like he drowned." He said the Sheriff's explanation doesn't add up ... because Charles' body was found in a sugar cane field and the bodies of water there only amount to 1 to 2 feet.
Then there's this ... the family has not received an official autopsy report. So, they've commissioned an independent autopsy, which the family should get back by the weekend. Ron says the Sheriff's details so far are hazy, at best.
The death of 15-year-old Quawan "Bobby" Charles has all the markings of a modern-day lynching according to his family -- who say the case reminds them of the Emmett Till tragedy.
The Black teenager's body was found in a sugar cane field in Louisiana on November 3 after he'd been reported missing on October 30. Although the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office has said it's investigating the "suspicious circumstances" of his death, it has not released many details.
Cops did tell Quawan's family that he drowned and water was found in his lungs. His family, including his cousin, Celina Charles, calls that explanation "bogus" ... saying Quawan's terribly disfigured face tells a much different story.
Quawan's mother, Roxanne Nelson, chose to release a photo of his face -- apparently taken at the morgue -- which bears a tragic resemblance to Till ... the 14-year-old who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, and whose horrific death helped spark the Civil Rights movement.
An autopsy has reportedly been performed on Quawan, but the Sheriff's Office says results could take up to 12 weeks. Quawan's family says it has not seen preliminary results nor a police report.
Quawan's family claims cops dropped the ball from the start, when he was reported missing to the Baldwin Police Dept. on Oct. 30. Quawan's family attorney says the cops gave no indication they were actively looking for him, and instead suggested he might have just gone to a football game.
According to the family, they discovered on their own that Quawan had been picked up on the day of his disappearance by a 17-year-old white friend and his mother ... but Quawan's family claims it does not know this family and did not give them permission to take him.
The family reportedly confirmed they picked up Quawan because the kids wanted to hang out, but say Quawan later left alone.
Quawan's family and civil rights advocates believe racial bias played into law enforcement's delayed investigation, and Quawan's mother wants more answers from the white family that last saw him alive.
So far, no suspects have been named in the case and it has not been designated as a homicide.
Quawan's family has launched a Gofundme to conduct an independent autopsy and help cover costs of investigating his death.
Originally Published -- 7:33 AM PT
The only thing Americans have to fear from murder hornets is fear itself ... experts say odds are low the remaining queens out there give birth to an army of killers.
Here's the deal ... a lot of folks were alarmed by recent reports that scientists in Washington found nearly 200 queens in the nest that was eradicated last month, the fear being ... how many escaped alive and are now buzzing around?!?
But, you can breathe a sigh of relief ... Chris Looney from the Washington State Department of Agriculture, which is studying the insects, tells us there's no particular reason to believe a lot of murder hornets got out of that nest, and even if they did, the majority of those queens are unlikely to start their own nests. Phew.
Of course, there are scenarios where those queens might start their own nests, but fortunately, we're told those odds are low ... even in 2020.
The doomsday scenario would have to play out like this ... a queen would need to mate with a male murder hornet, but that's no simple task. It's not like they have Bumble.
Let's say the queen mates ... the queen would then have to spend this winter hibernating. Well, surviving hibernation is not a given, and we're told some of the queens would surely die in the process, just like any other bug.
There's more hurdles after mating and hibernation ... in the spring, a queen would have to find food and an appropriate nesting site. Again, no easy task, and the process exposes the queen to more potential danger and puts them at risk of dying.
Feel better now?!?
And, there's this ... Chris says murder hornets have only been found in Northwest Washington, so folks in nearby states have no reason to fear murder hornets flying their way.
In fact, he says WSDA scientists recently conducted a study showing it would take about a decade or more for murder hornets to invade another state ... and that's the worst-case scenario, because it's likely to take even longer.
And, if you do live in Washington, we're told the only worry should be about the murder hornet nests that are already made and haven't been found. Just like the nest the WSDA eradicated last month, we're told there could be a nest out there with a ton of queens, some of which will go off and form their own nests.
But, while some of those queens may be successful, by and large, they won't be.
Ahmaud Arbery's mother says the father and son accused of murdering her son did not give him a chance to go home ... so they shouldn't get to go home either.
Wanda Cooper-Jones spoke in a Georgia courthouse Thursday at the end of a long bond hearing for Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, who are trying to convince the judge they should be released. They've been in jail since May when they were charged.
Ahmaud's mom says the 2 men are trying to present themselves as the good guys and her son as the criminal, while ignoring what she believes is an absolutely unjustifiable killing.
According to Cooper-Jones ... the McMichaels are just as dangerous now as they were on the day Ahmaud was killed, and it would be another injustice to let them go home while they wait for their trial.
Earlier during the hearing, a handful of character witnesses spoke on behalf of Travis and Gregory and why they believe they should be granted bond. Travis' mom and friends said he's a great father and a happy person who would pose no threat of fleeing.
Likewise, Gregory's wife and coworkers said he poses no flight risk, and his landlord said he's always been a good tenant.
The judge did not make a decision yet, but is expected to when the hearing continues Friday.
William "Roddie" Bryan, the man who authorities say recorded Ahmaud's slaying, was not involved in this hearing, but was first denied bond back in July, when a judge deemed him a flight risk.
As we've reported ... all 3 men were indicted by a grand jury back in June, and they're facing 9 felony charges ... including 4 counts felony murder, 1 count of malice murder, 2 counts aggravated assault, 1 count of false imprisonment and 1 count of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
The 3 defendants last appeared in court together in July, when they all entered not guilty pleas.
Authorities say Travis fired the fatal shots during a struggle with Ahmaud on February 23 while Bryan recorded the incident. A GBI detective previously testified Bryan told police he heard Travis call Arbery a "f***ing n*****" after shooting him.
Protesters gathered in front of the courthouse Wednesday before marching and chanting "no bond."
Originally Published -- 6:45 AM PT
A reporter and photographer are beyond lucky to be alive after raging floodwater washed away a bridge right from under their feet ... and it happened while they were live on TV.
The scary incident went down Thursday in Alexander County, N.C. on the Hiddenite Bridge where FOX 46 reporter Amber Roberts was in the middle of her live report when a huge chunk of the bridge broke off and fell into the water.
Check out the video ... Amber screams in terror as she quickly realizes the danger just a few feet away from her and her crew. The collapse left about a 10-foot wide gap in the bridge, and you can see a man on the other side fleeing to safety.
Amber didn't waste any time sending it back to the studio after narrowly avoiding catastrophe. The Carolinas are getting slammed with heavy rain ... triggering flash flood warnings across several counties. More than a dozen campers were trapped by the rising water.
Rescue crews are still trying to reach them -- hopefully, they make it out safely like Amber and her crew.
A Trump supporter threatened to punch a woman who flipped him the middle finger over Trump flags on his pickup truck -- a frighteningly tense confrontation that shows just how divided America remains.
Their heated exchange went down in Dunedin, FL, and the video starts with the man charging out of his truck like a bull toward the woman. He immediately threatened to knock her phone out of her hand, and begged her to touch him ... presumably, so he'd be justified in knocking her out.
The video is intense as he shouts, "Touch me. I dare you. I'll remove your f**king head." He also hurled homophobic insults at the woman, and she continued to taunt him over Trump losing. She tried to record his license plate, and he tried to back his truck over her.
The insults keep getting worse, and then an older woman with an accent shows up, and the woman recording yells, "Go back to your own country, b*tch."
Point is ... there's a whole lot of disgusting shots taken here -- 9 days post-election day -- and makes ya think President-elect Biden's gonna have a tough time unifying America.
Steve Kornacki's election map coverage did more than inform America, it energized America ... to dress like Steve, and it's paying dividends for the Gap.
The MSNBC "Map Daddy" became an unexpected star during the vote-counting chaos, as he won over viewers with his energy, commitment and his wardrobe ... especially his khakis.
After several media outlets reported they were Gap brand trousers, the company's sales got a huge boost within the first 24 hours.
According to a Gap spokesperson ... the clothing retailer saw a "dramatic increase in online traffic and within a day, we saw around 90% unit sale increase online."
For those who really want the fast track to being more like Steve -- aka the "Chart Throb" -- it was further discovered he wears the "palomino brown" pair ... of which he says he has several. No one's surprised.
Though Kornacki's khakis became the trending darling of Twitter ... his tie didn't fare as well.