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America Under Attack: Authorities Look for Flight Recorder Box

Aired September 13, 2001 - 16:15   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.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: At the Pentagon, our Bob Franken, whose been stationed there for the last three days, has picked up some information about the black box on that United Airplane that went into the Pentagon on Tuesday morning.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The American Airlines plane, Judy, the 757. Of course, always one of the most important things is to try and find that so-called black box. As we know, it's not black box at all. That has been a particularly hard search, but one of the leaders of the search-and-rescue unit from Arlington County, Virginia, which is the primary police force out here, a Captain W. Scott McKay, who attends daily briefings of the people who can complete official situation reports, has told CNN that in fact, there has been some clues about where the black box is.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

W. SCOTT MCKAY, CAPTAIN, ARLINGTON FIRE DEPT.: We got word that there was some indication that they picked up some signals from the transponder that identifies where the black box is or gives them a starting point to look for. We haven't actually located the black box. We've gotten it narrowed down, I believe, is what they said. So we're anticipating we're going to find it. And -- but we haven't actually found it.

FRANKEN: When did they first hear it?

MCKAY: I understand that they first picked up a signal last night.

FRANKEN: And again today?

MCKAY: And again today.

FRANKEN: Who told you this?

MCKAY: I got that in a briefing first thing this morning. I can't give you anybody's name right now.

FRANKEN: But was it somebody at the Pentagon?

MCKAY: Oh, it was somebody here, yes.

FRANKEN: But somebody who would know? MCKAY: Somebody who would know.

FRANKEN: So are you searching for it now?

MCKAY: Yes. And that search has been going on since we started. And it will continue until we find it. But we're making dramatic progress and are shoring operations, which allows us to search more and more of the building. So we're hopeful that we'll find it. And we always maintain hope that we find people in there, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So they've actually heard the ping from the box?

MCKAY: I haven't, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But reports are?

MCKAY: Reports are that they have heard pinging from the box, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How close do you think they are?

MCKAY: It's impossible to say. It really is. It's impossible to say how close we are. (END VIDEOTAPE)

FRANKEN: Impossible to say because of the chaotic condition inside with so much of the area blocked as we've heard so much. One of the things that has been so important is that they try and shore up some of this. Now Captain McKay is among those who has been looking not just for casualties, looking against all odds for some sort of miracle survivor inside. He said he's going to continue to look.

In any case, what we have heard now from Pentagon officials are that they are estimating that when you combine the people who were on the American Airlines plane and those who they expect to be found inside, they're estimating that there will be 190 victims, 190 who lost their lives here at the Pentagon when the plane crashed into it -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Bob Franken standing vigil at the Pentagon.

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