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America Under Attack: FBI Briefs the Media on the Crash in Pennsylvania

Aired September 13, 2001 - 16:39   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: The FBI is briefing now in Pennsylvania, and we want to take that.

BILL CROWLEY, FBI: ... Dr. Dennis Dirkmath (ph), professor of anthropology at Mercy Hurst College. To my left is Coroner Miller from Somerset County.

Something I want to correct right off the bat: There were some discrepancies, and for my part I apologize. There was no military involvement in what happened here. I believe I might have misspoke with concerning potential for a bomb on the plane. And if that was the case, and I apologize for that, but there was no military involvement. I hope that ends that line of questioning and we can move forward with other issues.

The other issue that came up this morning that I want to address is there was some concern regarding the locations of Indian Lake, the distance from the scene, the crime scene, and also New Baltimore. Indian lake is approximately 2 1/2 miles, the entire lake is approximately 2 1/2 miles from (AUDIO GAP) the crime scene, the actual site of the crime scene. It is -- New Baltimore is approximately 8 miles from the crime seen.

At the outset of this investigation, Indian Lake was a part of that crime scene that was staked off by the Pennsylvania State Police. This -- early this morning, it was discovered that there was some debris in New Baltimore. There was a question at the 10:30 news conference regarding whether it was feasible that debris from a crash at this location could travel 8 miles. After review this morning by both the NTSB and the FBI, they reviewed what was found at the New Baltimore site. They determined it was all things that would -- very light materials, such as paper, nylon, thin nylon, things that would, if in the air with the wind, would easily blow.

We're searching the point, what was going on with the wind at the location. At the time of the plane going into the ground, there was a 9 knot wind in a southeasterly direction. Both New Indian and New -- Indian Lake and New Baltimore are southeast of the crime scene at that 2 1/2 miles and 8 miles.

According to the NTSB, not only is it plausible that the debris from this crash could be in both of these locations, it is probable that they are -- that this stuff is debris from the crash that we've been talking about for the last couple of days.

There's no evidence that's been uncovered as of yet of any other second plane or of anything else being -- or of a second crash or of any other plane being involved. And as I mentioned earlier, there's absolutely no -- unequivocally, there's no military involvement in the plane going down.

We did have an incident earlier today regarding a breach of security that I'd like the major to address at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Pennsylvania State Police continue our task of maintaining security at this crime scene. Shortly after 2 o'clock, we had two members of the media talk to our troopers and request that they take photographs in an area that we would have permitted photographs to be taken. They were told to specifically park in the field but that under no circumstances were they to attempt to cross that field or walk down the dirt road that was there.

The trooper began to walk away, looked back, they were headed across the field toward the dirt road. They were immediately arrested, handcuffed, and they are being arraigned at a district justice office. From information that we obtained, we believe they are what you call stringers from New York City.

I cannot stress enough this is a crime scene. Not only is this a crime scene, this right now is a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) burial yard for those victims. We must maintain the integrity of that scene.

Thank you.

BROWN: Briefing by the FBI, the state police in Pennsylvania, the coroner of Somerset County there as well on the situation surrounding the crash of the plane in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

A quick note -- and we'll move along here -- the Coast Guard has said that it will reopen New York Harbor to limited commercial traffic today. One small sign I guess that normal returns, or at least slowly returns.

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