CNN BREAKING NEWS
Police Search Plane at JFK Airport
Aired October 23, 2002 - 15:13 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Miles O'Brien at CNN Center in Atlanta.
Continuing our coverage of a breaking story at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, the FBI is apparently questioning somebody who arrived 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, about an hour and 15 minutes ago, on Aeroflot Flight 317 from Moscow, some reports of dangerous cargo aboard, specifically something radioactive.
For more on the story, we turn it now to CNN's Garrick Utley in New York -- Garrick.
GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, thank you, Miles.
We're looking at the live picture there of Aeroflot Flight 317. That's a Boeing 767 that arrived at about 2:00 p.m. this afternoon at Kennedy Airport on a scheduled flight from Moscow to New York City.
It was taken over to this remote area of the airport, what the airport authorities refer to as a hard stand. And there have been two brief statements from official sources here in the United States. First, as you indicated, the FBI said that the United States had been contacted by someone in Moscow that they should question a person aboard this plane. Presumably, that is being done.
A second statement just a minute or two ago from a source, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs, said that it had received information that it should search for possible radioactive substance, possible radioactive substance. That's all we know as of right now.
The pictures certainly show a rather tranquil situation there. There is no extraordinary security around the plane, no armed security people or fire trucks or anything like that. In fact, people are just strolling about in the afternoon sun, as you can see, on this Autumn afternoon in New York City.
There are approximately -- we're getting divergent opinions or facts as to how many were aboard the plane. One source says 118. Another says 176, plus the 12-man Aeroflot crew, coming in nonstop from Moscow this afternoon -- no indication as to what or who that source was that sent the information from Moscow. They are not saying if it was a Russian government source. It was an anonymous source. And U.S. authorities, both FBI and U.S. Customs, are following up on it right now.
And that's what we know, Miles.
O'BRIEN: All right, Garrick, you pointed out very well here, the picture probably speaks volumes. This does not seem to be a situation with a high degree of urgency there on the tarmac.
UTLEY: It does not, Miles.
And now we have the latest news right now. Homeland Security Department officials there have given an all-clear.
UTLEY: That's what we know: an all-clear, certainly as far as any possible radioactive substance. That's the report from Kennedy Airport. If there are any more details as to what really was going on here, of course we'll bring them to you as soon as we get them.
O'BRIEN: All right, we'll put that in the dead-end news file. Thank you very much, Garrick Utley, for keeping us abreast of it.
In this era, we err on the side of caution here at CNN, as well as the FBI, Homeland Security, everybody else.
That's it for now from here.
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