ad info

 
CNN.comTranscripts
 
Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 

TOP STORIES

Bush signs order opening 'faith-based' charity office for business

Rescues continue 4 days after devastating India earthquake

DaimlerChrysler employees join rapidly swelling ranks of laid-off U.S. workers

Disney's GO.com is a goner

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

 
TRAVEL

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


CNN Today

Federal Investigators at the Scene of Deadly Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion in New Mexico

Aired August 21, 2000 - 2:11 p.m. ET

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

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Federal investigators are at the scene today of that horrific natural gas pipeline explosion in New Mexico. The blast killed 10 people and it punctured a huge hole in the desert.

Here is CNN's Jim Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators in New Mexico continue looking for clues to the deadly natural gas explosion that one likened to a giant flame thrower that engulfed a group of weekend campers.

JOHN BLADERSTOM, NEW MEXICO STATE POLICE: The evidence out there at the scene indicates it was horrendously hot, it incinerated everything in its path.

HILL: The intense heat and fireball early Saturday morning melted the campers' tents and sleeping bags, charred their automobiles, and was seen by people as far away as Carlsbad to the north.

JOE CARTWRIGHT, WITNESS: We thought it was a large house fire relatively close to Carlsbad, but it must have been so large for us to have seen it because it was about 25 miles away.

HILL: Authorities say six of the campers died at the scene along the Pecos River; six others were flown by helicopter to a burn center in Lubbock, Texas, some 150 miles away. Four of them died Saturday evening.

Officials say, half the fatalities were children, among them, six-month-old twin girls and their 22-month-old sister.

Authorities say all of the victims were members of two families fishing and camping along the river. Investigators say the underground gas pipeline ruptured 200 yards east of the makeshift camp and ignited. The resulting blast ripped a whole in the hard-scrabble ground 20 feet deep, 85 feet long and 25 feet wide.

(on camera): This is open rangeland. The nearest homes are 10 to 20 miles away. So it was a cruel act of fate that anyone was in the area when the gas main broke.

(voice-over): The line is operated by El Paso Natural Gas Company, which says the line had been inspected on the ground and by air during the past year.

JOHN SOMERHOLDER, PIPELINE GROUP PRESIDENT: We saw no indication that it was third-party damage or foul play, it does appear that the pipeline ruptured underground.

HILL: Remote as the area is, observers say a number of signs warn of the natural gas pipeline.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HILL: Now the force of that blast, the intense heat obliterated a lot of the evidence at the scene. So authorities, both from the National Transportation Safety Board and from El Paso Natural Gas, say it's possible they may never know exactly what caused the rupture or what ignited the natural gas.

Meanwhile, in Lubbock, Texas, doctors continue fighting for the lives of the two people, the only two people to survive, a man with burns over 60 percent of his body and his daughter-in-law with burns over 20 percent of her body. Both of them remain in critical condition.

I am Jim Hill, CNN, reporting from Carlsbad, New Mexico.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top  © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.