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Condition Upgraded for Ala. Nurse

February 2, 1998

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ The condition of a nurse severely injured in the bombing of an abortion clinic was upgraded today from critical to serious.

Emily Lyons, 41, the head nurse and counselor at the New Woman All Women clinic, remained hospitalized in intensive care today, University Hospital spokesman Hank Black said. She lost an eye, and her other eye was injured, as were her legs, hand and abdomen.

She was injured in the same bombing Thursday morning that killed Robert D. Sanderson, 34, an off-duty police officer who was moonlighting as a security guard. It was the first fatal abortion clinic bombing in U.S. history.

Meanwhile, investigators continued the search for Eric Robert Rudolph, a North Carolina man whose pickup truck was seen near the abortion clinic shortly after the bomb went off.

Federal agents have said Rudolph, 31, is sought as a witness, not a suspect, and they are unsure if he is the wigged man who reportedly was seen getting in the truck after the bombing.

The probe is moving in a number of directions, the FBI said Sunday.

``We are still covering several leads,″ including some unrelated to Rudolph, said FBI spokesman Richard Schott. He didn’t elaborate.

Bomb fragments and scraps of evidence recovered from the bombing site were being analyzed at an Atlanta crime lab, the same one that processed evidence in the still-unsolved 1996 Olympics bombing.

U.S. Attorney Doug Jones said the lab is attempting to reconstruct the Birmingham bomb, which authorities have said included nails and was designed to kill or maim. But Jones said he would not make too much of any similarity in the construction of the two bombs.

Update hourly