American Scene

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In a series of criminal complaints filed in the case, the FBI said the scheme originated with information gleaned from computers through the use of a virus that could access the bank accounts of small and midsized businesses and municipal entities in the U.S.

NORTH CAROLINA

5 motorists killed in heavy rainstorm

WILMINGTON | Five people were killed Thursday when a vehicle skidded off a road that had been slicked by a massive rainstorm that drenched the East Coast, the North Carolina Highway Patrol said.

The storm flooded parts of coastal North Carolina, driving some people from their homes, and snarled train, air and car traffic in the Northeast. Tornado watches extended from the Outer Banks to New Jersey. State Highway Patrol Sgt. J.E. Brewer said five people were in the car that wrecked in Creswell, about 145 miles east of Raleigh. The car hit a patch of standing water, hydroplaned and skidded into a ditch, Sgt. Brewer said.

The hardest rain fell in North Carolina, where Jacksonville picked up 12 inches between 3:30 and 9:30 a.m.

The rain was part of a system moving ahead of the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole, which dissipated over the Straits of Florida on Wednesday.

PENNSYLVANIA

Duck boat captain sues towboat operators

PHILADELPHIA | A tour boat captain has sued the operators of a towboat that pushed a huge barge into his vessel in Philadelphia, leaving two passengers dead.

Gary Fox of Turnersville, N.J., said he cannot work and may not recover from physical and emotional injuries suffered in the July 7 crash.

The parents of two Hungarian tourists killed also have sued K-Sea Transportation Partners, the city and others.

K-Sea operated the towboat, which the city had hired to move sludge in the Delaware River.

Mr. Fox worked for Ride the Ducks. His 33-foot amphibious boat was stalled in the river’s busy shipping channel when the 250-foot-barge struck it. The crash sent Mr. Fox, his deckhand and all 35 passengers into the water.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Mr. Fox’s distress calls to the towboat went unanswered.

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