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America Under Attack: New York City to Open Below 14th Street by Midnight

Aired September 13, 2001 - 16:12   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.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Down on -- I'm not sure if I mentioned this. You know, you sit here for a while and you forget sometimes what you said and what you haven't. The mayor is hopeful, Mayor Giuliani is hopeful that the city will be able to open up below 14th Street. 14th Street's the line where it's been cut off basically. It's virtually impossible to get through there. And the mayor hopes by midnight tonight that will change.

Martin Savidge down on the ground not far from there, I suspect, to update us on the situation there -- Marty.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the situation continues to be somewhat confused as these buildings that we have talked about.

The One Liberty Plaza building is one that we are told right now is very much at least questionable, in fact. We're hearing that there has been some partial evacuations in that area because of instability reasons. There was a time earlier today they were saying, at least according to people who have claimed they've gone in and looked at that building if it's structurally sound. Something has happened in the meantime or someone was incorrect because now they are concerned about that building.

There is another one as well that they are worried about. But the work in trying to get survivors is primary function here. And that is continuing at this time. One of the things we noted is that there has not been a significant flow of equipment and trucks mainly down the west side highway here, which is one of the main arteries that feeds into the site of where the twin towers collapsed. That may be an indication.

But also, too, there are literally thousands of people that have been working. It may be that the site is up to capacity.

One thing they are also concerned about, weather. We've talked about it before. It's expected to change abruptly after midnight tonight. They've enjoyed good weather for the searches that they have had to do, but it will begin to rain, could rain quite heavily. And the winds are expected to pick up. That is not good news at all, not good for the search effort, not good for all the equipment that is out in the open and that they are now trying to find some sort of shelter for. And then there's the good news. The recovery of five firefighters that apparently, we are told, had been entombed inside of their vehicle, which in this case was a Chevy Suburban. For two days, they were trapped inside there until it was dug out this afternoon. And when the rescuers opened the doors, police tell us that three of those firefighters were able to make it out on their own. The chant that went up from rescuers "USA, USA!" It is one brief, bright moment, in what otherwise has been a very gloomy for those working here at the site of the World Trade Center disaster -- Aaron.

BROWN: Martin, somebody was in the area at the time said when these guys came out, everyone went crazy. And you knew exactly what he meant when he said it. It is good news. It's been tough to find down there. It has been a very difficult situation to work in. There have been very few successes. And so, while five may not seem like a great number and put against the number of people down who are still missing. It is not, but it is five people who are alive today that this morning, we didn't know about. And that is terrific news indeed.

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