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TWO Australian women on a bus tour of Hollywood stars’ houses have told of the chaotic scenes as they accidentally witnessed the King of Pop’s final exit.

Helen Battaglia of Alfred Cove and her friend, Sally Wilson of Melbourne, were on a Starlight bus tour when their driver decided to show them Michael Jackson’s mansion.

“We turned into where Michael Jackson’s been staying and as we came round the corner we saw a fire truck.”                                                                  The+Best+Of+Michael+Jackson

“The driver said ‘Oh there’s a fire truck here, there’s a bit happening’.”

Ms Wilson said the bus pulled up in front of the gates of the mansion while photographers milled around the entrance.

“All of a sudden the gates open and out came the ambulance while paparazzi were all running and banging and trying to take photos in the back of the ambulance,” she said.

Ms Battaglia said the scene became chaotic as Jackson’s staff fought to block the paparazzi from grabbing final pictures of the dying star.

Ms Wilson said passengers on the bus had no idea what they were witnessing.

“It was all happening. We weren’t sure who was in the car at that stage,” she said.

“They were just yelling out and then the ambulance took off and two black SUVs came out of the driveway and followed it.”

The women said photographers dashed to follow the ambulance.

“The paparazzi were running towards our bus saying ‘go go go’,” Ms Battaglia said.

“They got in a car and took off driving erratically, chasing the ambulance,” she said.

“I couldn’t believe what was going on. It was surreal.”

As their bus then left the scene, the driver paused to speak to a local woman who sells maps to the stars’ houses.

“She was crying on the phone and the bus driver stopped and said “Mary, what’s going on? Is it him?” Ms Wilson said.

“She was wailing and crying but she couldn’t talk, she just said “Yes, it’s him. It’s Michael.”

The two women were feeling flat after their brush with celebrity death.

“Today we’re a bit sad about the whole thing,” Ms Wilson said.

The event lent a bizarre and tragic twist to a celebrity-filled day for the two Australians, who were staying at the historic Hotel Roosevelt, once home to Marilyn Monroe and Clark Cable.

Earlier that morning, Ms Wilson ran into Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as they were leaving the hotel.

“That was about 10.30 in the morning. I was just walking down a corridor with no one else there and this door flicks open and there’s Brad and Angelina,” she said.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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Two more swine flu cases in WA, Scotch College student ill

NEARLY 100 staff and students at WA’s exclusive Scotch College are being tested for swine flu after an 11-year-old boy fell ill with the virus.

Eleven-year-old Scotch College student, Harry, who returned from Melbourne on June 1, has tested positive for the H1N1 virus.

A 23-year-old woman, who returned from Melbourne on June 3, was also confirmed to have it.

Harry had flown to Melbourne with a youth football team and on returning to Perth went on a school music camp before developing symptoms.

He did not return to school after the camp because he was feeling sick.

“I had a really burning temperature,” Harry said yesterday from home quarantine.

“It was really hot. I was sweating.”

Harry’s mother, Jennifer, said: “It was a really big shock. If there was no talk of swine flu and no Melbourne issue I would have just thought it was the same old cold or flu he has had before.”

Eighty-nine students and 10 staff also on the Scotch College camp are being tested for the virus and anyone with flu-like symptoms is being urged to stay home.

Four teammates suffering “flu symptoms’

It is believed four other boys in Harry’s football team are suffering from flu-like symptoms.

Scotch College acting principal Peter Freitag said there were no immediate plans to close the school down.

“It would be very difficult to close the school,” he said.

“It’s a boarding school, we have 170 boarders.

“We wouldn’t want to close the school unless we have to.

“At this stage we’re not anywhere near that.”

However, Health Department’s communicable disease control director Paul Effler did not rule out temporarily closing the school if students on the music camp tested positive to swine flu and had since been to school.

WA flu tally reaches four

The Health Department confirmed that WA’s swine flu tally had reached four.

“We are contacting the students, parents and teachers who participated in these events with the young boy and the close contacts of the young woman,” Dr Effler said.

“The close contacts of the cases have been asked to remain in home quarantine and have been provided with anti-viral medication as a precaution.

“The school has been very co-operative in helping us reach students, families and staff in a timely manner.”

More than 1000 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Australia, with the most in the eastern states.

On Thursday the Health Department issued a statement extending its voluntary quarantine policy for children who have recently travelled to areas affected by swine flu, including Victoria.

Dr Effler said there was no need for the public to panic because in most instances the swine-flu virus appeared to cause a relatively mild illness.

“I would encourage people to make sure they cover their nose and mouth if sneezing or coughing, to wash their hands frequently (and) most importantly, stay home if you are sick to limit the spread of the viruses in our community,” he said.

Dr Effler said people should continue to get their annual influenza vaccine, particularly people in vulnerable groups, including those aged over 65 and under five.

While the influenza vaccine won’t protect against the new strain of swine influenza, it will protect against serious illness caused by seasonal influenza.

If you think you have swine flu phone your doctor or call healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222. For more information on swine flu visit 

Department of Health website  www.health.wa.gov.au

Source  www.news.com.au

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