Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript

CNN TV

EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America's New War: New York Fights To Find Survivors

Aired September 17, 2001 - 03:04   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, for the very latest from the former World Trade Center site, we're joined by Alessio Vinci. Alessio, what's happening there?

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello, Michael.

More than six days after the two World Trade Center Towers collapsed, the officials here are still calling the operation a rescue and search operation because they believe that underneath the big pile of rubble, there are still the possibility of finding any survivor. As you know, there are more than 5,000 people still missing at this time. Only 190 are the confirmed dead, and the rescue officials here still believe that underneath the big pile of rubble, there is a possibility that perhaps underneath the lower level of the ground -- the underground levels of the World Trade Centers, there there were shopping malls and there was a train station and a subway station -- perhaps there some of the people may have -- may still be alive if, indeed, they would have perhaps have access to some water, some food from the shopping malls or from the restaurants down there.

I must tell you there's a lot of frustration here among the rescue workers especially because after the sad six days, the only thing they have been taking out of this debris are bodies or parts of bodies. However, one scene we have seen a couple of hours ago as we came here earlier last night -- earlier tonight, we saw a crowd of people cheering the rescue workers who were coming out of the area where they'd been working all this time.

The rescue workers here in much -- very much need of this kind of support from the people of New York who have been coming here close to the area where the World Trade Center once stood in order to bring them food, to bring them supplies, and especially to bring them comfort. It is extremely hard. These people are working -- these rescue workers are working for up to 12-hours shifts. They are working under dark conditions. There is still a lot of smoke coming out of the debris. It is very hot.

We understand just today one of the rescue dogs -- one of the search dogs that have been employed by the search teams to locate some of the survivors -- has died because of exhaustion.

Back to you.

HOLMES: That's bad news, Alessio. At what point does it cease to be a rescue operation? I mean, at some point several days now five, six days on, is there a time when that will happen? Or is it simply a matter of that not being contemplated right now?

VINCI: You know, Michael, in walking around the area here looking closely at the debris, one really wonders why the officials here continue to believe that there might be still some people alive underneath this huge pile of rubble.

I mean, you must understand -- you must remember perhaps in the first early days of this tragedy when the two towers were still on fire and then they went down -- they collapsed, it is really unlikely as Mayor Giuliani said, that anybody would be find alive -- excuse me -- that Mayor Giuliani said that it would be possible that no bodies would be found, especially because most of them perhaps burned. There was two jetliners that crashed into the Towers that were supposed to fly across the United States that were filled with jet fuel, and that fire certainly has burned many, many, many, many, many people.

And, therefore, it is very difficult to say at this point when the operation will begin a recovery operation. It is well now into the sixth day and the officials here still want to give some hope especially because they have a lot of the people -- a lot of the parents and the survivors of this tragedy still believe that there is a possibility that underneath that pile of rubble, some people may still be alive.

And therefore, perhaps, by trying to keep the spirits high, they want to keep this operation still ongoing and try perhaps -- underneath, as I said -- underneath this rubble be able to find somebody alive.

HOLMES: OK. Looking at those aerial pictures there again. What a scene. Alessio Vinci, thanks. Colleen?

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top