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America Recovers: Greyhound Bus Veers Off Interstate 24 After Altercation Between Passenger and Driver

Aired October 3, 2001 - 09:30   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.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's bring you up to date on that bus crash. Just to recap for our viewers just tuning in, about 5:13 a.m. Eastern Time this morning, central Tennessee, a Greyhound bus veered off interstate 24 after what witnesses on that bus described as an altercation between a passenger and the driver of that bus. The driver's throat was slit, but we are told he has apparently survived.

Let's get a little bit more on the number of fatalities and injuries from Shelley Turner, who is with the Medical Center of Manchester, Tennessee.

Mrs. Turner, can you hear me?

SHELLY TURNER, MANCHESTER, TN. MEDICAL CTR.: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Bring us up to date on the number patients you received there?

TURNER: Basically, since the onset of the situation, we've treated 11 patients. We're not expecting to receive any more patients at this point in time. We've treated one of the patients, has had surgery for the repair of laceration.

O'BRIEN: Was that one patient the driver of the bus?

TURNER: Yes.

O'BRIEN: And his condition is -- how would you describe condition?

TURNER: His condition is stable at this point.

O'BRIEN: Stable. What is the condition of the other 10?

TURNER: Again, they are stable. One of the patients was transferred to an alternate facility upon arrival.

O'BRIEN: OK. Was that because of the seriousness of the injury perhaps?

TURNER: Correct.

O'BRIEN: How many other patients are at other facilities? Do you have any numbers on that?

TURNER: I have no idea about that.

O'BRIEN: All right, and do you -- we've been receiving conflicting numbers on the number of fatalities. Do you have indication as to the total number of fatalities so far?

TURNER: No, we haven't received any fatalities at this point in time.

O'BRIEN: All right, thank you very much. Shelley Turner with the Medical Center of Manchester bringing us up to date, confirming to us that the driver of that bus, perhaps miraculously, after having -- apparently throat split, survived this accident, which ultimately led to the bus going off of Interstate 24, flipping over, and causing we believe the fatalities of at least six peoples, perhaps as many as 10. There were a total of 36, maybe 40 on the bus. Once again, the numbers are hard to pin down because there is no manifest on the Greyhound buses -- Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much, Miles.

As you just mentioned, Greyhound bus service has been suspended across the country. It follows word of a passenger attacking a bus driver in Manchester, Tennessee. Beyond Tennessee, though, that incident is having a major effect on transportation this morning, travel to big cities as well as small towns.

Let's go to CNN's Jason Carroll, who is standing by the Port Authority in New York City, which is just about eight blocks from where Miles and I are sitting this morning.

Are people nervous?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I got to tell you, Paula, this is really bad situation down here at the Port Authority. As many people may know, Port authority is the busiest bus terminal in the entire country. And when someone like Greyhound suspends service, you can imagine what effect it has. This morning, we've had the opportunity to speak to people who are trying to get to Boston, people who were trying to get to Florida, to Ft. Lauderdale. Everyone simply saying they just don't know what they are going to do at this point.

One young women this morning said she felt very nervous and very scared because of the whole incident, didn't know what she would do, who she was going to call. She didn't want to fly because of everything that had gone on with that situation, thought the bus would be the best way for her to go, and she said, look what happened.

At this point, we have thousands of passengers that are basically stranded here temporarily at Port Authority until further notice. Many people at this point simply wondering what they are going to do next -- Paula.

ZAHN: What do you think they will do next? CARROLL: Good question. At this point, I had the opportunity to speak with one of the representatives from Greyhound down here at the ticket counter, and said, do you have any idea when service will be resumed? And she says, we're not hearing anything at this point. Right now, all we can say is people just have to sit tight until further notice, until we get more information in -- Paula.

ZAHN: Thanks for the update, Jason. See you a little bit later on this morning.

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