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CNN NEWSROOM

Tapes Reveal Moments Before Impact; Press Conference Regarding Plane Crash; Bloody Monday; Runaway Train Destroys Small Quebec Town; Murray Brings Wimbledon Championship Home; George Zimmerman Trial Continues

Aired July 8, 2013 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Friends of George Zimmerman testify about screams heard on that 911 tape. His second-degree murder trial entering week three now. We're going to go live and to the courtroom for coverage when the trial resumes. They're talking a brief lunch break but we're going to get you up to speed on today's testimony as well following these other big news stories.

What caused a plane to clip the end of the runway and crash land in San Francisco? You see the animation right there. Investigators are focusing on the crew, but they are also focusing on the aircraft as well. We also expect to hear from first responders live in just a couple of minutes.

And they are calling this "bloody Monday." Security forces and supporters of Egypt's ousted president are fighting it out in the streets of Cairo.

And a runaway train in Canada carrying crude oil plows into a small town and exploded. Why some of the 40 people who are missing may never be recovered.

This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. Want to get straight to it here.

We are learning more about the pilot, that is the Asiana Airlines plane that crash landed. This was in San Francisco at the airport there over the weekend. New questions now about what actually killed one of those two teens who died in the accident.

We also have this. This is from NTSB. This is video from inside of the plane. You see it there. It shows mangled rows of seats. You can also see the debris. This is scattered along the runway, including the part of a wing.

The cockpit recorders show the plane was coming in too low and too slow. The back end struck the sea wall. That is at the end of the runway, you see it there, the impact severing the tail, sent the plane spinning, skidding on its belly there.

Dan Simon, he is at the San Francisco airport there. Dan, we know that this pilot -- we're learning more about the pilot here, had only 43 hours of experience on the 777, never landed it in San Francisco. Do we believe the investigators think that this lack of experience flying this particular aircraft had something to do with the crash?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Suzanne, the bottom line is we just don't know. They're not ready to make any firm conclusions yet but one would think that based upon what we have seen from the data recorders, as well as the cockpit voice recorder, that they're going to be looking at pilot error very, very closely.

Suzanne, let me tell you about this press conference that we're expecting to see happen at any moment. We're going to be hearing from first responders, police officers and firefighters who responded to that scene in the minutes after this crash occurred. By all accounts, they performed heroically rescuing these victims but there is also something perhaps uncomfortable that they may discuss.

There is some speculation that one of the firefighter's emergency vehicles may have run over one of the victims, one of the two teenage girls who died. We're learning from the coroner's office that they were actually alerted by the fire department that one of the vehicles may have run over this girl. Of course, questions such as this are going to come up at this news conference. But meanwhile, the coroner says they have to perform an autopsy to determine definitively whether or not she died from this vehicle or died from the crash itself.

Meanwhile, the investigation rolls on in terms of what happened with this plane crash. We know that this plane was coming in at a low rate of speed. They needed to rev those engines up just second before the crash occurred. Four seconds before the crash occurred, they were in danger of installing and a second and a half before the impact, they actually tried to abort the landing. Of course, that occurred unsuccessfully -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. And, Dan, we're looking at those dramatic pictures. And, of course, as soon as that press conference happens, we'll go to it live, get more information on the first responders and what actually happened in the moments and hours after the plane crash.

We also know that investigators have done a preliminary review. This is of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders. This is from the airplane.

John Berman gives us a second-by-second look at what investigators have already learned from those crash tapes. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that one. Look at how its nose is up in the air.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the ground, many eye witnesses knew this was no ordinary landing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Air traffic control, they gave the crew at the Asiana flight a visual clearance. DAN ROSE, AVIATION ATTORNEY: You see the plane coming in from the right side approximately where the end of the runway is. You can see how low the plane is below the glide slope that it should be on. You can draw the line, you can see that it's not even going to make it to the runway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A call from one of the crew members to increase speed was made approximately seven seconds prior to impact. The speed was significantly below 137 knots and we're not talking about a few knots.

ROSE: The nose starts coming up. He obviously knows he's below and he's going to end up short of that runway and he pulls the nose up which is the wrong thing to do. And what that did is slow the aircraft down even more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The stick shaker occurs approximately four seconds prior to impact.

ROSE: The stick shaker is a system on the plane that gives a warning to the pilot that you're going too slow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was call out for a go around from one of the crew at 1.5 seconds prior to impact. That means they want to not land but apply power and go around and try to land again.

ROSE: The go around call was just useless. At that point, it was a done deal. They were already committed to a horrific outcome.

BERMAN: Remarkably, most of the passengers and crew walked away from this crash.

ROSE: If the plane was a few feet lower when it hit the seawall, I think we would be looking at a much more tragic result.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: All right. As promised, the first responders are holding a press conference at the San Francisco Airport. Let's listen in.

(BEGIN LIVE FEED)

FIRE CHIEF JOANNE HAYES-WHITE, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (live): The amount of teamwork that was displayed, heroism that was displayed to be able to attend to what we needed to do on Saturday. We also had great assistance from San Mateo (INAUDIBLE) with us today but they were a large part of our response and a large part of the reason why 123 people walked away from this airline crash on Saturday. I'd like to acknowledge those at the airport that we've worked with. Again, this is something, I said it before, that we trained for and thank goodness for our training but it's not something that many people would see in their careers.

And so, I wanted to be able to provide the opportunity to have our first responders, true heroes, people that actually went on to the plane to assist the passengers off in a very chaotic circumstance, be able to address to you directly. So, the goal then would be to give the narrative of conditions that we faced and the strategies that we put together, the organizational structure in incident command system to be able to address what we had to deal with on Saturday.

The other thing that I wanted to let you know is that there has been information and evidence to suggest that one of our fire apparatus may have come into contact with one of the two (INAUDIBLE) deceased at the scene. We will address that briefly. I will have the assistant deputy chief of the -- of our airport division address the steps that we took when we found out that that might be a possibility and assure that we're working closely with the NTSB as they conduct their investigation on all aspects but particularly on this aspect.

And as I said on Saturday, our hearts go out to those that suffered losses given the circumstances on Saturday. I had the opportunity to visit some of the patients at S.F. General the other night on Saturday and yesterday morning, phenomenal work by San Francisco General. They had 53 patients transported. I believe there's less -- as of yesterday, there was 19 that were still in the hospital. I think a few have been discharged.

But the incredible, again, team work that was displayed, people coming in off duty helping. Everyone rose to the occasion. And I couldn't be prouder of the members of my department for the display and their professionalism and the training that they did to basically save many, many lives. And with that, I'd like to now introduce the assistant chief. He works in San Francisco overseeing division three. But once we knew what we had, our three stations here were quickly overwhelmed. And so, we had resources come down -- approximately 110 of our members come down from San Francisco and the incident commanders of the incident, assistant chief Tom Siragusa, will give you an overview of how he set up organizationally the response. Thank you.

TOM SIRAGUSA, ASSISTANT CHIEF, SAN FRANCISCO: Good morning. I'm Tom is Siragusa, S I R A G U S A. I'm assistant chief of the San Francisco Fire Department. And on Saturday, July 6th, as you know, about 11:35, I was working at station seven in our mission district. As the chief said, when the airport has an instant of this magnitude, resources from the city proper are dispatched down here. We were dispatched by our communication center, provided information and a first alarm response was struck to the airport to provide assistance to what was indicated to us as a plane crash. And people on the plane were exiting via the chutes. To be quite honest with you, it was very limited information and we respond down here quite often for incidents and drills and feel like we have a very, very good working relationship training wise and response wise with the airport.

In route to the incident, I was given further information that, in fact, people were using the chutes to exit the plane and that there was information provided to us from San Mateo Fire Department that people were still trapped on the plane. I did not have any indication that there was a fire involved, at this point, I just understood that there had been an incident that took place. And that type of an exit was taking place off the airplane. When I approached approximately just past Candlestick Point, I noticed a column of smoke coming from the airport proper. It wasn't the dark smoke, indicating what was eventually to happen, it was more of a light haze. I requested from our communication center if they had any information that there being a fire.

And at that point, that information had not been passed on to our communication center. However, based on the fact that I did see a column of smoke, I raised the response level to a second alarm and we declared a yellow alert. And really, what a yellow alert means, from the medical perspective, is that we're putting hospitals on notice that there's a potential for them receiving victims.

When I got to the north field access, came off the freeway heading left toward the airport proper, conditions began to rapidly change from what I was viewing from the airplane. It now had a significant column of smoke coming from the airplane itself and I will save you -- you know, with all of the training that the chief mentioned, the preparation, the expectation for what we do on a daily basis, to be quite honest with you, this is not something that I expected to ever view in any career.

As I approached the airplane, as my initial report was to the communication center, I have a large plane down, it's well-engulfed in fire, and people are exiting the plane and the casualty collection point has been established. At that point, I raised it to a third alarm and declared a red alert. And a red alert is we do have victims and the hospitals need to be notified at a higher level. Requested our multi-casualty unit and our mass casualty units in the city.

As I arrived on the scene, quickly got into unified command with -- and I want to acknowledge the response of the San Mateo County fire departments, specifically the battalion chief from San Bruno, Charlie Barringer. We were joined at the hip. We quickly -- Captain Anthony Robinson was the on-field incident commander. We did a transfer of command and we quickly got into a unified command.

And I will tell you that I have never responded to a commercial airplane being down and being involved in fire and I would venture to say that nobody that was on the scene that day had participated in an event like this. However, when you go back to the ground work of what we are trained to do, some of the higher level of expectations when it comes to being an incident commander, I went right through the checklist. And those checklists included what the priorities were. And clearly, based on the information that we had people still trapped on the plane, we were in a life mode, life priority to get onto that plane and to begin a rescue operation. Number two, we needed to extinguish the fire, we needed to treat the victims, and we needed to search the tarmac and the waters (ph) area for potential victims. Therefore, my organization fell right into play.

On the outside of the plane, the aircraft rescue firefighting equipment was dealing with the exterior of the plane applying foam. Firefighters from San Francisco along with members of the San Francisco International Airport were doing something that many people might think -- and I'm telling it's above and beyond. The expectation that firefighters would enter a plane that's involved in fire. And one of the things that I haven't heard very much talk about is they're on the plane involved with fire and in those wings of that plane is jet fuel. Jet fuel is leaking out of the plane and our firefighters, under the direction of Anthony Robinson originally and Battalion Chief Mark Johnson, entered the plane, began a primary search and began to extinguish fire.

While that's going on, we have jet fuel that's leaking off of the plane. So, we're dealing with those objectives. Clearly, the other objective was dealing with the multi-casualty incident or mass casualty incident that we had in place and the rescue captain was assigned to begin the medical group supervisor roles. Simultaneously to that, I assigned a captain along with San Mateo Fire Department crews to begin a search of the tarmac for any potential victims that may be on the tarmac. And I also had information that we may have had victims in the water. So, along those lines, between San Mateo County, the Coast Guard and San Francisco Fire Department response, including the fire department fire boat, we had assets on the water.

(END LIVE FEED)

MALVEAUX: All right. You've been listening to the fire department just explaining the Asiana Flight 214 crash that happened over the weekend that Boeing 777 in San Francisco. You're seeing CNN exclusive pictures of that plane crash. And, obviously, he's trying to explain what led up to the series of events, talking about -- this was something that he and many other firefighters had not experienced before. A fire that was taking place live on plane from a commercial airliner that they had to deal not only with the jet fuel that was around the wings but also had to figure out how to search for those who had survived, rescue to get them out of scene. We're going to be playing close attention to some of the new details that we're learning from that live press conference.

But also, we're working on this for this hour. We've been hearing -- this is some of the people who knew George Zimmerman the best. We're talking about a coworker and his closest friend. So, ahead, we've got more live coverage of George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial. That's up next as well.

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MALVEAUX: In Egypt they are calling today Bloody Monday. That's right. At least 51 people have been killed. Hundreds more wounded. This is when troops opened fire on supporters of the deposed president Mohamed Morsy. They have been demonstrating since his arrest that happened last Wednesday.

Our Bed Wedeman is in Cairo, and Ben, let's try to sort out what's taking place here on the ground, because you have Morsy supporters who are saying they are praying, holding peaceful protests and the Egyptian military says security forces were attacked and they had to respond. Whose at fault? What's going on?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There really are two sides to this story and it's difficult at this point to sort it out. However, we were able to speak to someone who lives on a balcony -- in a flat overlooking the area where this incident took place. She told us she was woken up at 3:42 in the morning by loud bangs in the street. It's not altogether clear who started what.

As you said the Muslim Brotherhood or Morsy supporters are claiming that the army and the police who were outside the Republican guard headquarters opened fire without warning on them. However, the army and the police are saying, and we heard this on a live press conference on Egyptian TV, that in fact they came under fire. We do know that some of the supporters of the deposed Egyptian president do have weapons. They've been seen with shotguns and other weapons in the streets.

So, it's really hard to say but certainly this really does represent an incident that many people here find very disturbing. It's the most violent single incident since the fall the of Mubarak in February 2011. It really is clouded, some of the euphoria that followed the dismissal, so to speak, of Mohamed Morsy. Many people thought that was the end of this story. It seems to be just the beginning.

MALVEAUX: Do we have any idea on where Morsy might be? Is he still detained in a Republican guard headquarters?

WEDEMAN: Well, we understand he's in the social club or the officers club of the Republican guard headquarters and remains very much under lock and key. There's no indication exactly what eventually is going to be done with the deposed president. We do understand that the Egyptian authorities, however, are investigating any possible criminal activity.

MALVEAUX: All right, Ben Wedeman, we'll let you go there. Thank you.

This is a small town, almost destroyed. This is because a runaway train rolls downtown, explodes. This is north of Maine, the border there. Want to head what investigators say might have actually triggered the whole thing. -- look at those pictures. Unbelievable.

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MALVEAUX: Happening now, hundreds of people forced to evacuate by a deadly wildfire. This is in central Arizona. Well, they are now returning to their homes for the first time in more than a week. The fire is now 90 percent contained. Expected to be fully controlled by Friday. Yesterday there was a procession for the 19 firefighter who is lost their lives battling that fire last Sunday. Their bodies were taken home to Prescott from Phoenix. More memorials are planned for later in the week.

The wife of Secretary of State John Kerry is in the hospital. Now, this is 74-year-old Theresa Heinz Kerry. She became ill on Sunday. This was at a family home on Nantucket Island. She was taken by ambulance to the ER, and she is now at Mass General in Boston. A source says she exhibited symptoms consistent with a seizure. She's been upgraded from critical to fair condition. We wish her the very best.

And this could have happened in any number of U.S. cities or small towns. I want you to take a look at this. This is the heart of a community essentially vaporized when an unmanned freight train rolled in out of control. Happens in a small, Quebec town. This is a few miles from the border with Maine. The train cars loaded with fuel derailed right in the middle of downtown and exploded. At least five people are killed and 40 remain unaccounted for. Paula Newton explains what happened there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For too many there was simply no escape. An inferno so intense it incinerated everything in its path. Minutes before the unmanned runaway train pulling 72 tankers filled with crude oil went careening into the town of Lac-Megantic derailed with unimaginable consequences.

Earth shaking explosions followed and the fire burning for a full 36 hours. The devastation was apocalyptic, the silence ominous. There was no word of sons and daughters who never made it home. Friends and family that, yes, vanished. Town officials say some were likely vaporized by the sheer intensity of the blaze.

BENOIT RICHARD, QUEBEC FORCE POLICE SPOKESMAN: Of course, we are working hand in hand with the coroners office and with the victim unit from Quebec to talk with the families. All of bodies were transported to the Montreal forensics to be expertised (ph)

NEWTON: The fire utterly consumed the very heart of this town in every way., Waiting for words missing has been excruciating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're numb. We're just numb.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I have to news from my friends, she says, I haven't heard from them. I can't say more than that. We're waiting for confirmation. We're waiting.

NEWTON: Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, foreshadowed the grim news.

STEPHEN HARPER, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: But I know there is going to be waves of emotion. Over the next few weeks, as the extent of this, and this is a very big disaster in human terms, as the extent of this becomes increasingly obvious.

NEWTON: The Montreal Main and Atlantic railway company, the American owners of the train, said in a statement that after the crew parked the locomotive for the night the air brakes likely failed leaving a lethal load to barrel its way into town, crashing just a few feet from where people were enjoying a on warm summer's night. Paula Newton, CNN Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: After 77 years of disappointment Andy Murray has brought home, now, the coveted Wimbledon title for Britain. Murray's dramatic fight to the finish up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: The drought at Wimbledon finally over for Great Britain. Andy Murray won the championship, straight sets, to claim the country's first men's title. This is in 77 years. Andy Scholes has that and more in the Bleacher Report. Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN BLEACHER REPORT: Good afternoon, Suzanne. They're still celebrating throughout the United Kingdom as the championship they have longed for has finally come home. Just one year after falling to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, Andy Murray was back again this year, and this time he would not be denied. He battled back from down 4-2 in the second set and the third set. After three hours, he would finally put Djokovic away. The title was the first for Murray at Wimbledon, and the first for a British-born man since 1936.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDY MURRAY, 2-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION: I think when I get to take a step back over the next couple of days and sort of relax and think about what I did today, I'll realize it was a big day, in our sport in history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Well, the legend of Yasiel Puig continues to grow. The Cuban defector had another great game yesterday. The Dodgers beat the Dodgers 4-1. The debate on whether or not Piug should be an all star is now in the hands of the fans. The Dodgers' rookie phenom is one of five players up for the final spot on the National League roster. His teammate Adrian Gonzalez was also picked for the online fan voting but he says he's voting for Puig. Voting MLB.com ends on Thursday.

Scary moment in yesterday's Formula One race in Germany. Mark Weber was coming out and his right rear tire wasn't fastened correctly, and check it out, it's going to come flying off and go right into a camera man. He goes down and he suffered a broken collarbone and broken ribs. Weber's team was fined over $44,000 for the incident. That's it for today's Bleacher Report. Suzanne, back to you.

MALVEAUX: All right, thanks, Andy.

We're keeping a close eye on the Zimmerman trial. They are at a lunch break, but it's expected to resume very shortly. There you see the attorneys gathered around the judge. At the bench the jurors have not yet come into the court room. As soon as they do, and they get underway, we will bring that back for you, live. We're going to take a quick break.

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