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Apartment Building Collapses in Los Angeles

Aired December 8, 2000 - 1:56 p.m. ET

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

STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: While we've been focusing on events in Florida, a rescue effort is under way in Los Angeles, where a small apartment building has collapsed and people are considered to be trapped.

Let's go to Charles Feldman, who is standing by at the scene -- Charles.

CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, let me show you behind me what is left of this 24-unit, two-story apartment building in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles. About two 1/2 hours ago, there was a collapse. It is unclear at this time whether the cause was a gas explosion or some sort of structural damage to the building. It is an old building, although we don't know exactly how old.

More than 30 people were evacuated after this building collapsed, with some of them being sent to area hospital. We are told, though, by fire department officials that their injuries are minor. There is one, however, fatality reported, one man who was killed in this building collapsed.

Now, earlier today, fire officials indicated that based on the speculation of some of the residents in this building, there might have been, might have been, two or three people trapped inside. But we were just told minutes ago that they have done a cursory look through the building using the fire department and rescue teams' infrared equipment, and thus far they have found no indication, no indication, of anybody trapped.

However, what they're going to do next is bring in some specially trained dogs to the scene, and they are going to sniff around.

So, that is the latest here from the Echo Park section of Los Angeles.

Charles Feldman, CNN, reporting live.

FRAZIER: Charles, thank you.

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