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CNN Today

Prayers and Question in Walkerton, Ontario

Aired May 29, 2000 - 1:19 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: One patient is in a terminal care unit, five others remain in critical condition, but Canadian authorities say the health crisis in Walkerton, Ontario, appears to be ending. E. coli-contaminated water has killed five people so far.

CTV's Jennifer Fraser (ph) brings us up to date.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JENNIFER FRASER, CTV REPORTER (voice-over): At St. Thomas Anglican Church in Walkerton, parishioners asked God for clean water and for answers.

REV. SUZANNE HOLLANDS, ST. THOMAS ANGLICAN CHURCH: There's so much pain associated with what is happening that you know we need to stick together.

FRASER: They also prayed for the dead, the sick, and for Stan Koebelm, the man at the center of the town's water crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they can't find him, I hope he doesn't shoot himself or something.

FRASER: Stan Koebelm, the man who headed the Public Utilities Commission, has gone into hiding. His sister said he is extremely distraught and the blame for the E. coli crisis shouldn't fall solely on him.

Now also under the microscope, the Ministry of the Environment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it takes a while to discuss the issue with them. It's very complex.

FRASER: Questions surrounding the ministry's prior knowledge of contaminated water samples are being asked.

JOHN STEELE, ONTARIO MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT: Keeps on going, and you are wondering how long it is going to go. Still a couple of questions that I would like to know about that I haven't heard about.

FRASER: The flow of weary residents picking up clean water and bleach continues. So does their thirst for answers. But most of all, they want to put their water woes behind them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seemed like a really long week for us.

FRASER (on camera): Although the number of news visits to the local hospital is beginning to level off, the healing here in Walkerton is far from over. Many residents believe that won't happen without some form of accountability.

Jennifer Fraser, CTV News, Walkerton, Ontario.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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