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CNN Today

Work Under Way to Repair Damage to USS Cole

Aired October 13, 2000 - 2:32 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: Many of the dead and wounded from the USS Cole are being flown to a U.S. military base in Germany today. The Pentagon says the number of fatalities from the apparent terrorist attack will likely reach 17. U.S. investigators are headed to Yemen now to get down to work on the evidence.

CNN's Matthew Chance is in the port of Aden.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First video images of the damage inflicted on the USS Cole anchored in the port of Aden: hidden by the white sheeting, a hole 40-feet wide, caused by what eyewitnesses say was a small boat packed with explosives detonating as it approached the ship.

LT. TERRENCE DUDLEY, U.S. NAVY: The condition of the ship is stable. It did take on some water with the -- with the damage with the initial explosion. However, the current situation is that the ship is being de-watered. We have pumps that are getting the water off the ship, clearing out those damaged spaces, and we're -- in hopes that we can make the ship seaworthy enough to take it into a port where we can do some minimal repairs.

CHANCE: Since Thursday, when the incident took place, Yemeni television has been showing pictures of some of the U.S. servicemen injured in the blast. Remains of those who did not survive have been received at a U.S. base in Germany with full military honors. Officials say U.S. military aircraft have evacuated others for medical care, and at least 22 to facilities in Germany, 11 more sailors to a French-run hospital in Djibouti in northeast Africa.

But as the work continues to patch up the USS Cole, the ship is stranded in the port of Aden. And the search is beginning to find the answers.

(on camera): In the days ahead, officials say the ship will become the focus of an intensive investigation led by the FBI into who caused the damage and such a high loss of life.

Matthew Chance, CNN, at the port of Aden in Yemen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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