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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Balloonist Tim Fossett Reportedly Touches Down in Brazil

Aired August 17, 2001 - 09:12   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We have got an update, I believe, on the Steve Fossett story.

Jeff Flock joins us again from the command center.

Jeff, what have you learned?

Jeff Flock, are you there?

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm here. Can you hear me?

HARRIS: Now. Yes, I can hear you now, Jeff.

FLOCK: You got me now?

HARRIS: Yes.

FLOCK: Yes.

HARRIS: Sorry that you didn't have me there, but we've got breaking news.

And that is Tim Cole, who you see perhaps on the phone there in the red shirt. He was talking to people on the ground in Brazil who have sighted Fossett. They say he has come down in a reasonably populated area. He appears to be safe. People who have seen him on the ground say he appears to be safe.

A lot of people apparently are surrounding the balloon capsule, which is now on the ground. Again, they believe it's about 25 miles southwest of that airport in Bage. And I'm trying to listen to Tim if I can. He's just getting off the line. So I couldn't hear the last part of that phone conversation.

But he was on the line, had a very difficult phone connect with someone on the ground in Brazil who had seen Fossett -- so now pretty good confirmation -- they feel pretty good confirmation that he is on the ground and is safe.

Again, we expect a press conference here shortly to get the full details of that, and obviously talking now about the next step and what they do next. That's a big -- that's a big job, too. But at this point, good news: Steve Fossett appears to be safe and on the ground -- Leon. HARRIS: Can you -- Jeff, from your position -- it's kind of hard to tell for us how far away they are behind you. Can you hear their conversation right now?

FLOCK: Well, I heard him largely listening this person he was talking to in Brazil who was on the ground. I don't think -- they've reestablished a connection there, but I don't know if that is -- if they are back talking to them again.

But we have got a microphone there.

HARRIS: OK. Got you.

FLOCK: We will get back to you.

HARRIS: We will let you get back to it, Jeff. And we will get back to you in about another 15 minutes or so when that press conference gets under way.

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