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America Under Attack: Inside The Pentagon After The Attack

Aired September 13, 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.
VINCE CELLINI, CNN ANCHOR: Now to the Pentagon, in fact inside that damaged building, CNN's Mark Potter is there with more on the search and the investigation -- Mark.

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Vince, Pentagon officials are saying that it will take months, if not years, to repair the damage from this horrible attack on this building. At this hour -- at this early hour this morning, workers are still on the scene -- the area lit up by big floodlights.

Officials say the fires are out now, although there still are a few hot spots for them to deal with occasionally.

Workers are shoring up the building as needed, so that they can move further into the rubble. They are looking for bodies, and they say they do not believe that there are any survivors to be found. The estimated death toll here now is around 200, including the 64 people who were on the plane.

Now, joining the workers are FBI agent, who are looking for evidence said to support a criminal case. Officials are also looking for the black boxes from the American Airlines 757 -- the voice and data recorders. They hope that those boxes, if they are found, will shed light on how the hijacking occurred, and whether the White House may have actually been the original target of the hijackers, rather than the Pentagon -- that suggestion coming from the White House spokesman.

Now, about half of the entire Pentagon complex is shut down now, because of damage from the attack and the fire and the smoke. Thousands of employees will have to work in temporary offices because of this, and that includes the chiefs of the Army and the Navy. Nevertheless, Pentagon officials say the building will be fully operational later today with all employees expected -- all available employees expected to report for work later today -- back to you, Vince.

CELLINI: All right, thank you very much, Mark Potter at the Pentagon.

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