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America's New War: Taking Time to Mourn the Victims

Aired September 17, 2001 - 04:42   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.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Well, New Yorkers are also taking time to mourn, even as they keep up hope. Rescue efforts have been going on, as we've been reporting, nonstop, of course, since Tuesday's attack.

Let's go back to Alessio Vinci now who's been in New York City in these wee small hours.

Alessio, what have you got for us?

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, one thing I knew about New York is that it was a town that never sleeps and then we have really a proof of that here on the ground where the two towers of the World Trade Center collapsed. The rescue operation is in real full swing. Officials here continue to call it a search and rescue operation because they believe that some people may still be alive underneath that rubble. The rescue operation has been going on now for over six days. The 20,000 tons of debris has been removed from the site so far, but rescue officials are telling us that as much -- as many as 500,000 tons of debris will be removed from this site. It is a staggering number of debris.

Now most of the rescue workers with whom we have worked -- we have talked to are extremely frustrated, especially because so far what they have been able to dig out of the rubble is mainly either bodies or parts of bodies but no survivor. But today, we were able to speak to one survivor, one police officer, who was inside one of the two towers which collapsed after being hit by the hijacked planes. And this police officer talking to one of our reporters basically offered some words of encouragement to the rescue workers and told them not to give up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE LIM, PORT AUTHORITY POLICE: I'm here today and I'm here to tell everybody, especially the rescuers, that I know that they haven't found anybody in a while and that you can survive something like this, and I'm living proof of that. If that helps you to keep going, then I've done my job today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VINCI: Well, to give you a better sense about the magnitude of the disaster, these aerial pictures that we shot earlier today or earlier yesterday, I should say, can tell you how big the devastation is of seven buildings collapsed. The two towers, of course, of the World Trade Center but also the other five buildings surrounding the area. And of course there are other buildings around the World Trade Center who remain unstable. We understand from engineers here that are -- they are looking very closely these buildings. Once the rubble has been removed completely from the site, eventually those buildings will have to be torn down as well.

Back to you, Michael.

HOLMES: All right, Alessio Vinci in New York. Those aerial pictures are extraordinary. Somehow it makes it all look that much bigger. Thanks, Alessio

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