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NEW ORLEANS | A construction crane toppled into the lobby of a Louisiana retirement home on Monday, but missed patients’ rooms and no residents were injured, officials said.

One employee was taken to a hospital to be checked for possible injuries as a precaution, a spokesman said.

“It was really fortunate. It didn’t hit any patient areas or rooms,” said Charlie Cavell, spokesman for Willis-Knighton Health System, which operates the Oaks in Shreveport.

The crane was brought to the site Monday to replace air conditioning units in the home of 112 residents but had not yet been hooked up, Mr. Cavell said.

“One of the outrigger supports fell and that toppled the crane. It was almost like someone taking a knife and cutting it. It went right down the middle of the common area,” he said.

Some patients in one wing were moved to other areas as a precaution but others were allowed to stay in their rooms.

Another crane was to be brought in to remove the toppled one.


Group, university to study rape kit backlog

WEST SAYVILLE | A recently formed organization that contends there is a nationwide backlog of untested rape kits told the Associated Press on Monday that it was teaming with a New York university to try to figure out how many are sitting on police department shelves as a first step in clearing the logjam.

Natasha’s Justice Project, based on New York’s Long Island, believes there could be as many as 180,000 untested rape kits in the U.S., said founder Natasha Alexenko. Her group, Stony Brook University researchers and a consulting firm named Strategic Planning will try to determine what the number really is, Miss Alexenko told the AP.

A May report by the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the U.S. Justice Department, said the exact number of unanalyzed sex assault kits nationally is not known, in part because of an “antiquated process” of reporting in many jurisdictions.

The institute’s survey found that 43 percent of law enforcement agencies lack a computerized system for tracking forensic evidence. It also found that in 18 percent of unsolved sexual assault cases between 2002 and 2007, forensic evidence was collected but never submitted for analysis.