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America's New War: Update from Ground Zero in New York City

Aired September 18, 2001 - 00:40   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.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: I want to get an update from Alessio Vinci who is our CNN correspondent who is down at ground zero here in New York tonight, the site of the collapsed World Trade Center.

Alessio, what can you tell us and who is with you down there?

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Jack, first of all, still no survivors. This is the only number that hasn't changed here since last Wednesday. No survivors have been found still alive in the rubble. You know we've been reporting for quite a bit of time here how dangerous it is for the rescue workers to go through this amount of rubble.

And I have here with me, Steve Adams with the site server manager of building number seven, one of the buildings that collapsed after the attack. Steve, thank you very much for joining us.

First of all, can you give us a sense a little bit about how -- what kind of danger the rescue workers are facing by going through this rubble.

STEVE ADAMS, RESCUE WORKER: Well Alessio, there's a lot of dangers that are here. Between the heat, the fires, the smoke, the debris that's there, the unstability of the debris, there's a lot of concerns. And we're trying to address them as they come up, ensure that we're working safely.

VINCI: Your team is obviously made up of professionals, how do you prepare for something like this? I mean this obviously something completely new to everybody, right?

ADAMS: Yes, this is definitely new to a lot of us. I think everyone's expertise in what they do coming together. A lot of its learning as you go. But we are working hard to make it better.

VINCI: How do you prepare psychologically for something like this? I mean after all you're digging, you're digging, you're digging, and then you know you might find pieces of remains, human remains.

I mean how do you prepare physically for that? And especially psychologically?

ADAMS: I don't think you really prepare. I think you go in. You do the job that you have to do to the best of your ability and I know for myself I have not prepared and I really have not sat down and had the time to think about the consequences. Right now, I have a job to do and that's what I'm here for.

VINCI: What are your guys telling you?

CAFFERTY: Alessio let me interrupt just a second. I'm back at the studio.

VINCI: Yes, Jack.

CAFFERTY: Ask Steve if they've got everything they need. I know that there's been a tremendous outpouring of equipment and food and water and all of those things. Ask them if they've got anything they need? And if there's anything they need what is it?

VINCI: Jack was asking do you have everything you need to do this job? I mean don't -- if you don't what do you really need?

ADAMS: Well at this time, we have everything that we need. I think if there's anything more that we could use is more light. We have a lot of light at this time. The support that we've had from all of the different people helping us has been tremendous. It's really been something you could not imagine.

VINCI: Right. Besides, of course, the safety of your men, there is another big question on everybody's mind is the possibility of finding any survivors. I mean what is your take on that?

ADAMS: Well I'm sure there is a possibility. I've been in there since Tuesday. And I've seen quite a few things happen that I didn't expect. And I'm sure that there is a possibility that someone can be in pocket somewhere. And that's what we're all working for to find.

VINCI: All right. Well Steve, thank you very much for joining us. Take care to you. Bye, bye. Good luck. Jack back to you.

CAFFERTY: Those are among the guys at the top of the list, Alessio thank you. Alessio Vinci.

This is only our third night of this program. And we're going to do a commercial break here. But the first night they told me we're going to go on you're going to do two hours about this. And it seemed like a very long time. And all of a sudden it seems like it's not long enough. We have much more to do. Interesting people to talk to you, including a member of the Hoover Institute which is a think tank out in Colorado, California.

We're going to have Thomas Henricksen on here during the next hour. And he's going to talk about the kind of war this country may be called on to fight. It will be unlike anything the military has probably every done before. And he's going to talk about how it will be fought, and how long it might take and how tough the assignment actually is.

You're watching CNN HOTLINE, I'm Jack Cafferty. This is live in New York City and we'll be back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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