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St. Vincent's In High Gear For Recovery Operation

Aired September 12, 2001 - 05:07   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.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to talk about the recovery operation. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says hospitals have so far treated 1,100 people. Catholic Cardinal Edward Egan arrived at St. Vincent's Hospital to administer last right to a dozen victims.

CNN's Michael Okwu is monitoring the situation at St. Vincent's, and he joins us now live. Michael?

MICHAEL OKWU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, in a couple hours most New Yorkers will awaken a city with a gaping hole in its skyline. But there is absolutely no lack of compassion or empathy in many of the people at this scene on this night.

Walking along -- I should say that many of the pedestrians here at St. Vincent's Hospital, which of course has become the main triage center here in New York, have greeted each other with knowing nods, which as you can imagine is not common practice here in New York.

It's been a very strangely silent night. Just north of here a couple blocks, on 14th Street, the police department has set up barricades, and that's limiting the traffic just south of 14th Street to residents, police vehicles, and occasionally emergency medical vehicles who's sirens occasionally punctuate and break the eerie silence.

Now, about 40 minutes ago we saw three victims, and in fact in the last one minute we saw a fourth victim, who we identified as a police officer. They were rushed into the hospital, but it is unclear whether any of those victims sustained injuries associated with the World Trade Center attack. Hospital officials here at St. Vincent's said that they have admitted 327 patients associated with the attack, 50 to 55 of whom were in critical condition as of 10:30 last night eastern time. Many of those victims sustained severe burns, many of those burns to the face.

Officials say that they will have another briefing at about 6:30 this morning, and we will be here, of course, live for that. Back to you, Carol.

LIN: All right. Thank you very much. Michael Okwu outside of St. Vincent's Hospital this morning. It could be weeks before we know the absolute total number of people who were injured and killed.

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