FIRE AT REFINERY BEFORE FATAL BLAST A SMALL fire broke out at a BP oil refinery in Texas City the day before the deadly blast at the site killed 15 people and injured over 100 in the worst accident in the US's gas and chemical industry in 15 years. A BP spokesman said a valve on a furnace line caught fire on Tuesday, and was put out within seconds.

PRINCE RAINIER'S HEALTH WORSENS THE health of Prince Rainier III of Monaco continues to worsen, a bulletin issued by the palace said yesterday. Despite appropriate care and control of his lung infection, the palace said the prince's heart, lung and kidney functions were gradually worsening and the prognosis remains "very reserved".

CCTV BID TO TRACE UK CHILD RAPIST POLICEwere studying CCTV footage yesterday to try to track down a rapist who attacked a British child as she slept in her bed. The victim, who is believed to be aged 6, was raped at her home in Basildon, Essex.

Her mother and five other children were asleep when she was assaulted some time between 9.30pm on Wednesday and 8am.

'STREET' STAR TO BE HIT BY ALZHEIMER'S CORONATION Street's Mike Baldwin is to be struck by Alzheimer's disease in a dramatic storyline. Millions of fans will see the factory boss go into a gradual decline. Mike, played by Johnny Briggs, 69, has been in the show for 30 years.