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Day Break On 2nd Day of Terror

Aired September 12, 2001 - 05:34   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: This as dawn begins to break over the East Coast. We take you now live for what many - for many of you could be the first look here on this day after of this devastating terrorist attack. The gap in the sky where you are looking is where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood, the New York skyline completely changed this morning as hundreds of firefighters are going through the rubble, trying to find if there are any survivors, trying to count the dead. We may not know for weeks how many people died in this attack on one of America's most significant financial power centers.

And then, on to Washington now, where we have this devastating scene of the Pentagon. There you see the collapsed area of the building, where a passenger jet plowed through to the inner circle of the Pentagon. Once again, rescue operations there underway as many - as 800 or more Pentagon employees may have died in this attack. We are covering this throughout the day.

But in the meantime, of course, Garrick Utley, on the scene in New York, reviewing the damage, counting the losses. Garrick?

GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, Carol, also at this moment, we want to take a few moments and think about some of the heroes in today's tragedy or yesterday's tragedy. Of course, we don't know how many they were and what was happening on that airplane that crashed in Pennsylvania or in the Pentagon offices or even here in lower Manhattan.

But we do know this. We do know that 80 or more members of the New York City Police Department men and women are missing and feared lost. We know that 300 or perhaps even more members of the New York City Fire Department are missing or lost. Who were they? They were people doing their jobs. So they were the ones this morning or yesterday morning who were racing into those twin towers to save people, going up the stairwells while everybody else was racing out. And they raced into a trap.

Here's a report from correspondent, Deborah Feyerick.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Many of the 300 firefighters missing and feared dead were believed to be inside the World Trade Center when it collapsed. THOMAS VON ESSEN, NYC FIRE DEPT. COMMISSIONER: Well, I can't find anybody from five rescues and seven squads. And it's just a - it's a devastating thing. I don't know - well, the fire department will recover but I don't know how.

FEYERICK: Arriving first on scene, they ran into the burning towers, carrying hoses and trying to get people to safety.

VON ESSEN: The horror of it all is all the first alarm, second alarm, third alarm, fifth alarm companies, they were rolling in. And there was a lot of companies were wiped out from what I understand.

FEYERICK: Fire engines were crushed, a strategic command center silenced. And several of the highest ranking fire officials buried beneath tons of dust and steel.

VON ESSEN: I don't know what to say. We lost people that have given over 40 years ...

FEYERICK: Those who got out in time went back, injuries and all, to search for their friends. Others off duty grabbed their gear and raced to help dig out any possible survivors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My brother works on the 91st floor. My brother and he's unaccounted for at this time. So I'm just, you know, doing my praying.

FEYERICK: Praying amidst an unnatural silence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's probably what amazed me the most. There was no people to be seen. Even the dogs couldn't find people.

FEYERICK: At firehouses in Manhattan, there were flowers and mourning, as everyone waited, holding out hope.

VON ESSEN: They should have been here already. They're really is not back - they're not back. They should have been back.

THAYER: More than 30 police officers also died. Choking back tears, several firefighters summed up the catastrophe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are your - these are your buddies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lost a lot of friends today, a lot of friends.

THAYER: A loss that will be shared by all New Yorkers.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CELLINI: And now, we have some of the names of the four most high ranking members in the New York City Fire Department. We'd like to mention them to you because we're getting so few names of victims in yesterday's disaster. Peter Ganci, the Fire Department Chief; William Feehan, First Deputy Commissioner of the Fire Department; Ray Downey, Chief of Special Operations Commands; and the Reverend Michael Judge, the New York Fire Department's Chaplain, missing and feared lost down in lower Manhattan today.

What more can we say? What are New Yorkers waking up to? Well now, they're waking up to the morning newspapers and now, the "New York Times" is there. That says it all, U.S. attacked, the picture and the stories of what happens, today's headline, the headline that'll not be forgotten.

And back to you now, Carol, Vince, Atlanta.

LIN: Certainly not the pictures that we're seeing and continue to see. Garrick, Deborah Feyerick was reporting on what she called an unnatural silence in this city that never sleeps. What is the theme below you? What is the city like compared to how it would normally be at this very early morning hour?

UTLEY: Well, at this morning hour, it would be pretty busy, 5:40. Workers would be pulling into town already, even before the sun has come up. But behind me here, to the east, we have the streets, as you can see, which are empty. Some of them in lower Manhattan are sealed off.

But the streets around us, at 34th Street, traffic is being allowed or some traffic at least. However, when you look over to the east of us, just two blocks away, is the - there's the Empire State Building. It's shrouded in darkness right now. But we're told that the streets around the Empire State Building have been sealed off, as has the headquarters of the United Nations on the East River, which was evacuated on Tuesday.

The fact is that these are obviously two prime targets, two big high rise, two of the biggest buildings in New York City. The fear is that there may be more terrorists out there somewhere after (ph) the car bomb. And so, security will continue to be totally tight during this day.

LIN: Sure. Sure. So what are you hearing in terms of how people are going to deal with their day? Are people going to try to get into the city, try to go to work, try to go about their business?

UTLEY: No, I don't think they are. They've been told, first of all, stay away from town if you don't have essential, absolutely critical business here. The bridges are closed to vehicular traffic, except for the George Washington Bridge, which may have just one lane - they're very strictly controlled. So are the tunnels.

Airports, of course, are closed. Much of the rail traffic has been shut down. Schools, private, public, parochial schools will be closed. The stock exchanges will be closed. Time Square, Broadway will be closed. No traditional Wednesday matinee performances tomorrow. So life is going to be very, very slow, very, very difficult. And one added a little indication on how life changes here and the concern over security, Carol. Right below us down here at 33rd Street, about 15 stories below us here, is the central post office of New York City. This is not only the central post office in the city. It's zip code 10001 (UNINTELLIGIBLE) taken by people in this 10001 zip code area. Well, the mail will go through. But on top of that post office is inscribed the famous saying about how no sleet or rain or storm or snow or whatever it's going to be will delay the letter carrier in carrying out his appointed rounds.

Well, they'll be out tomorrow, but not totally because tomorrow there will be no pick ups from the Postal Service mailbox on the streets of New York City. The reason, obviously, the concern that some terrorists might put a bomb in a package and try to mail it out. They'll be closed and safe.

LIN: Tomorrow already being today ...

UTLEY: Right.

LIN: ... as we look at the scene now and it looks like the sky is beginning to grow with the possibility of the sun rising on this devastation.

Garrick, also, I heard that some 3,000 National Guardsmen are going to be deployed throughout the city. Potentially, New Yorkers could be waking up to armed guards standing on their street corners.

UTLEY: Well, armed guards -- the 3,000 mobilized by Governor Pataki have been moved in. They're there to supplement the Police Department, who's, obviously, stressed and then over-burdened. You can't maintain full force 24 hours a day.

So, yes, we expect to see them there. There has been -- this must be emphasized -- no indication of security or increase in crime or looting or anything like this. The -- for all the chaos we've seen today and -- or yesterday -- and the human misery which continues today, the fact is that people have been amazingly orderly and disciplined in their behavior. I think people in this city -- in the metropolis are taking a great deal of pride in that.

So, the National Guardsmen and women will be here. But, there's no real security problem of that nature in the streets of New York today.

LIN: Yeah. And, certainly, we expect to see that typical New York can-do spirit. I don't know about you, but yesterday as I was watching these pictures on the monitor, I was going through a mental rolodex as to who I knew in New York. Where they were working. Did I know anybody in the World Trade Center?

If people have those questions, what should they do? Yesterday the telephone companies and the authorities were saying, "Please lay off the telephone lines. We need to keep those clear." What are the instructions for people if they're still trying to get information? What should they do?

UTLEY: Well, there are a number of the lines that have been set up -- 800 lines and other lines. Not just by the government and the officials here, but also by individual companies. There are scores of companies and enormous businesses in the World Trade Center for Twin Towers. So, some of these financial companies had 10, 20 -- even 22 or 25 floors full of employees. They have set up their own hotlines -- their own emergency lines to allow families and friends to call them. And that's about the only way we're really going to know -- get an early estimate as to how many casualties there have been in this tragedy.

It'll take weeks to get the remains out -- the bodies out. But, if a census can be done -- the fact -- a de facto nose counting of who is still around, who can be reached, and who isn't. Then, perhaps, by the end of today we'll get a rough idea of how many missing there are among the civilians, or non city employees working in the Twin Towers. And the full scope and human cost of this tragedy in New York City will begin to be known.

LIN: Well, we're just seeing some closer pictures of the devastation down there by the World Trade Center. Firefighters going through some of that wreckage. It does look like a war zone. And I'm wondering are people facing any sorts of shortages there -- any food shortages, fuel shortages?

UTLEY: Well, I went out earlier last night to get a quick sandwich. Walked into a diner here on 34th Street to get a little cheeseburger and he says, "No hamburgers." I said, "No hamburgers?" "No hamburgers delivered today. All deliveries have stopped." I said, "What do you have?" And he had some soup and a salad and that was it.

Ah, but that's a minor incident. There are no signs of serious shortages. However, if the tunnels and bridges are kept closed to general delivery by trucks of foods, then in a day or two, it could -- you could have shortages.

However, I would imagine -- nobody said this officially -- that by the end of business of this day, I'd think city officials would want to get traffic moving again -- commerce moving again and supplies coming into Manhattan, which, after all, is an island with only a few bridges across the East river and a couple of tunnels and a bridge across the Hudson here. This is an island. And the drawbridges have been drawn up.

LIN: Yeah. And I'm sure, as Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki were saying yesterday, they want calm on the streets. But, I think they also want a show of faith in their administration. And a show of faith in the firefighters and the police officers who are responding, the National Guardsmen and women who are going to be responding and on the street corners.

New Yorkers seem to have risen to the occasion. I haven't heard much about looting or crime going on. UTLEY: No, we said that -- I just mentioned that the fact is that there is no reports of looting or -- of any sort. And, certainly, the opportunities were there in lower Manhattan. Businesses were being closed and merchants were racing away to save themselves -- owners of shops, just as everybody else was today. But, we've had no indication of that.

And, again, people take great pride in that. I think what people are going to be doing here -- as those across the Nation and around the world watching these scenes right now -- these big earth moving machines that are going to work down there in lower Manhattan, is to really spend this Wednesday -- as many as possible at home -- yes, trying to find out what's happened to friends or relatives who might have been trapped in the -- in the Trade Towers -- the two towers and the third building which collapsed next door to it. And just pray and hope for the best.

LIN: Pray and hope for the best.

UTLEY: That's the spirit.

LIN: Yes.

UTLEY: That's not -- that's not New York's spirit alone, that's human spirit.

LIN: The human spirit, absolutely, under trying times. Thank you, so much Garrick Utley. Reporting live from New York at our New York bureau.

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