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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Two Airplanes Collide in Milan, Italy

Aired October 8, 2001 - 06:16   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.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: Now to Leon with news of a breaking story.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we've got a breaking story here, and as I'm sure you're aware of with this climate of heightened security at airports around the country -- around the world, actually, we're keeping our eye on various airports. And we've gotten word this morning of a tragedy that occurred at a Milan airport in Italy. However, there's no word that this is any sort of a terrorist attack. We're talking here about a plane crash.

We're joined on the telephone by a journalist from Italy, Desi Deria who's got the very latest for us.

Desi, what can you tell us about what happened there?

DESI DERIA CAVINA, ITALIAN JOURNALIST: Yes, hi. What we know is that this morning there was a collision in -- between two planes, an SAS flight, (INAUDIBLE) Milan to Copenhagen with 104 people on board and a small Cessna heading to Paris. It was 7:35 in the morning, the time that the SAS flight was scheduled to leave. It left actually with a half-hour delay caused by fog -- dense, thick fog that was here in the airport this morning.

We do not know yet why the collision occurred, and we are now waiting for a press conference that should start any minute from now. All that we know is that two planes crashed and probably the SAS pilot saw the small Cessna crossing his way and tried to take off but had not enough speed yet and crashed on top of the big large hangar that holds all the luggage deposit that is here at the airport. A big fire took place, and apparently none of the people on board of the two planes is now alive.

HARRIS: So that -- it sounds as then like the plane was accelerating as it hit into the building, is that the sense you get there, Desi?

CAVINA: Yes, this is what we have heard. This is the (INAUDIBLE) that has been made. But there is a press conference with the airport authorities that is starting in the next few minutes and we will have -- we are waiting for them to confirm the (INAUDIBLE) construction of the events and also for -- to reconfirm that we have not seen ambulances going by from here to the Milanese hospitals. And this makes us assume that there are no people alive. HARRIS: Well, Desi, if the plane was just taking off that means it was full of fuel. What's the fire situation like there? It is -- was there a fire? Is the building consumed right now?

CAVINA: Yes, there was a -- yes, there was a very, very large fire this morning when we arrived here just a few minutes after the events, of course, but the fire is now off, there's no more fire. There's a lot of smoke around.

HARRIS: And one final word, Desi, the number of people you think may have been in both of those planes, can you tell us that once again, please?

CAVINA: There should be in between 110 and 120 victims.

HARRIS: All right and I'm sure that this is a question that many people have got to be thinking immediately when they hear about an incident like this at an airport, is there any indication at all that this is in any way related to a terrorist act or any terrorist activity of any kind?

CAVINA: As far as we know until this moment there -- at fault of this accident has been found and the very sparse visibility that was here this morning at the airport is something that occurs quite often here in Milan International Airport. The fog is very thick and dense, especially in the wintertime, and we are accustomed to the fact that many mornings in between 7:00 and 9:00 the airport does not work. It was working, though, this morning.

HARRIS: Boy, that's an amazing story. Desi Deria Cavina, thank you very much. Desi Deria Cavina, a journalist from Italy reporting for us there on that crash --plane crash of two planes there in Milan, Italy. We will have much more coverage of that and other news (inaudible).

CALLAWAY: You know accidents do happen. Indeed we have -- our vision has been skewed on things that happened now, how we view them.

HARRIS: That's right. That's right.

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