Return to Transcripts main page
Flight 214 Pilot in Spotlight; Deadly Protests in Cairo; Canada Train Disaster; Update with Dr. Margaret Knudson on Victims' Conditionis; Zimmerman Defense Prepare to Make Its Case
Aired July 8, 2013 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stabilize approaches have long been a safety concern for the aviation community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Tale of the tape, a CNN exclusive, the moment Asiana Flight 214 crashes caught on tape. New details about the pilot at the controls, only 43 hours flying that kind of plane.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: George Zimmerman's defense team making their case today. His trial is said to start in an hour. Can anything match the emotion of the two mothers who took the stand Friday?
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And look up. New evidence that walking while texting is more dangerous than we ever thought. The videos are funny. The dangers are all too real.
CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.
ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're seeing is that democracy takes a while to stick.
ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I thought to pull him up and then yell for help because I don't want anything to happen to my little brother.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.
BOLDUAN: Good morning, everybody, and welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Monday, July 8th, 8:00 in the East, busy day. I'm Kate Bolduan.
CUOMO: And I'm Chris Cuomo. We're with our friend and news anchor, Michaela Pereira.
We're tracking a lot of breaking news this morning.
Deadly violence in Egypt, dozens missing after a fiery train crash in Quebec, and a tropical storm brewing.
We're going to start with the very latest on the deadly San Francisco. Investigators are now focused on the pilot who did not have a lot of experience flying a Boeing 777. And listen to his, had never landed the jumbo jet in San Francisco before.
BOLDUAN: And take a look this exclusive CNN video. It is just breathtaking and terrifying. You can see the moment the Asiana flight hits the seawall and goes almost vertical and then crashes back down on its belly.
CUOMO: Plus, a particularly tragic turn in this story. One of the two 16-year-old girls who died in the crash may have survived only to get run over by a rescue vehicle. That is some of the developing information we're trying to get tracked down right now as we learn more about the two girls and why they were coming to California.
BOLDUAN: We are covering this like no other network can, from San Francisco, to New York.
First, let's begin our team coverage with Miguel Marquez in San Francisco's International Airport.
Good morning, Miguel.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate.
And we have just gotten new video from the National Transportation Safety Board. And it shows one of the most shocking things it shows is the inside the plane, video of it. You can see the seats jumbled together and down at the bottom of your screen, if you can see it, it looks like some of the seats are crushed down. Also one of the highlights, the landing gear down at the runway, both landing gears literally off of that plane as they hit that seawall and were taken off as it was coming in. All this as investigators try to understand why this plane was moving so slowly.
FRED HAYES, PLANE SPOTTER: Oh my God.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): This morning, a stunning revelation, Asiana Airlines saying at the controls of the doomed flight was the co-pilot with 43 hours of experience in the 777. And he had never landed a 777 at San Francisco before.
Though he was a veteran pilot with 10,000 hours of flying time --
HAYES: Oh, Lord, have mercy.
MARQUEZ: -- this was considered a training flight. Flight 214 clipping the seawall, sliding down the runway, and pin- wheeling at one point almost fully vertical, and then erupting into a cloud of dust and smoke.
HAYES: I was watching it come in and my initial reaction was that it was trying to abort the landing.
MARQUEZ: Officials say the pilot tried to increase speed seven seconds before impact. At four seconds, the 350-ton plane shake stick jolted violently, a warning the massive jet was going too slowly, stalling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I looked out through the window and I knew we were too low.
MARQUEZ: Just 1.5 seconds before slamming into the seawall, the pilot called to abort the landing.
DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB CHAIRWOMAN: There is no discussion of aircraft anomalies or concerns.
MARQUEZ: These new NTSB photos show seats crushed and jumbled together. Amazing so many survived.
WEN ZHANG, CRASH SURVIVOR: Everybody screamed. Dark and most of ash -- everywhere was ash.
MARQUEZ: Some passengers thrown from the plane, suffering road rash from skidding along the runway.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got there within three minutes. There were flames were coming off the planes.
MARQUEZ: The parents of two teenage girls killed in a crash, grief stricken. Their daughters headed for summer camp here in California. More than a dozen are still hospitalized, two of them paralyzed. Still, such a violent crash and so few injuries, and deaths?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is nothing short of a miracle that we had literally 123 people walk away from this.
MARQUEZ: A miracle prompting many questions.
HAYES: Oh my God. Oh my God.
MARQUEZ: Now, adding to the tragedy of all this is one of the young women who was killed the coroner here says that she may have been hit by an emergency vehicle. Firefighters reported that to them when they brought her in. It's still not clear, though, if she was hit by a vehicle was it that that killed her or the plane crash itself. But confusion and chaos here in a very terrible scene -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right, Miguel.
Have to figure that out. But the big question remains, why did this happen?
I'm back with Mary Schiavo.
Thank you for being here.
MARY SCHIAVO, AVIATION ATTORNEY: Thank you.
CUOMO: Tons of experience with this. Here is the video.
All right. The plane is coming down and going to assess what you guys call the attitude of the plane. Now, as we see it coming down, quick question about context.
There was equipment that wasn't working on this runway, right? An automated system to help land?
SCHIAVO: Yes, the instrument landing system was out. However, it was noticed, there's something called notice to airmen, NOTAMS, and that had been published, so the pilot should have been aware of it. You always check those.
CUOMO: So, you check that box, not why this happened?
SCHIAVO: No, way before you check that box. And that has not why it has happened.
CUOMO: OK. The experience we keep talking about. Thousands of hours flying, you had three captains and a pilot, he had thousands of hours, but only 40-some-odd hours flying this plane.
SCHIAVO: Very, very relevant, because not only you're flying this plane, you're flying this plane with visual. You're not flying on an auto pilot, even if you've trained in a simulator. This is going to be different and you're coming in over water in San Francisco. That affects your sink rate. How fast your plane is going to come down.
CUOMO: OK, the attitude of the plane, too fast, too low?
SCHIAVO: Low and slow as they say, an attitude, in other words, is your nose up or down. And here you can see, this is extremely important because it has a nose-up attitude and just two seconds later they're going to get a stick shaker and that's going to tell you that your plane is stalling and you're in eminent danger of losing it.
CUOMO: So, we move through, you're going to make the point this plane is waiting to take off and this landing is going to take off after it. But what do we see when it hits the seawall?
SCHIAVO: Well, he's already down on the ground. He's already in the crash sequence. This plane is waiting to taxi on to the runway to take off. So, you can see how far back this happened before you ever should have touched down. You should have touched down about here.
CUOMO: And that is the evidence of what is going to be a tragedy. Now, as this runs through, we know what happens, it hits and the tail flies off and it moves around and luckily lands on its belly so people can survive. You say that was the pivotal moment when it landed back on the belly, that's why people walk away.
SCHIAVO: It is. This is a very important sequence in this video because this is not smoke. Right here is dust from the runway --
CUOMO: Coming off the runway.
SCHIAVO: -- or the sides of the runway. Had this been smoke, these people didn't stand as much a chance. This is not a fire and then the plane flips up, but it lands on its belly. So, they have access to the emergency chutes, to the doors, they can get out, and the flight attendants can start pushing people out the doors.
CUOMO: Now, one thing that we wanted to look at with the photos here, if we can go to them. They have photos of this that we saw of the runway. At the last one of these photos, we see the debris field as it comes down. The last one, you see this tail. When you see the fuselage of the plane, there's one thing that you did want to point out for investigators to have to look. We see that it comes off the roadway, it comes here.
The integrity of the aircraft, it will be one of the questions. Did you see anything that's worthy of note?
SCHIAVO: Yes, I mean, the -- you know, big, strong aircraft like this, they're tough and they have great aircraft integrity, but they will look at this bulk head here and look to see if the impact was such it should have survived or such a strong impact, that -- no, you cannot expect the plane to survive and that is the bulk head here that's gone from the back of the plane and they will be looking in that to see if there is anything, perhaps, it would not have affected the crash, but increased survivability.
CUOMO: But other than that, hitting the seawall, being too slow and too low, that's what this was about?
SCHIAVO: That's what this is about.
CUOMO: Mary Schiavo, thank you very much.
SCHIAVO: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris.
Explosive new developments coming out of Egypt. Witnesses report at least 42 people are dead and more than 300 wounded in Cairo after the Egyptian military, some say opened fire on supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsy. State radio also reporting that two Egyptian soldiers had been kidnapped.
CNN's Reza Sayah is live in Egypt.
This situation seems to be developing every hour, Reza. What's the latest?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bloody Monday morning here in Cairo, Kate. And unless something changes, this is a conflict that's headed on a very dangerous path. This is a clash that took place between supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsy, and security forces. It took place before dawn in front of the presidential guard headquarters.
This is where he is being held in custody. It's incredibly difficult to figure out exactly what happened, who fired first, because there's all sorts of conflicting reports. The armed forces, they say it was an armed terrorist group that fired first. They released video purportedly showing protesters fire on security forces.
Protesters are saying, no, we were not armed. It was security forces shot first. They released their own video. The aftermath: bloody and chaotic, hundreds of the victims raced to a nearby field hospital, many of the fatalities, at least 42 placed on the ground covered with blankets.
And now, we wait for the fallout from this. And some of it is already coming. The ultraconservative Islamist group, the Nour Party, which was such a critical part of the coalition here, charged with establishing a transitional government. They pulled out of this, suspended talks condemning this incident today and now we see where this turmoil goes in the coming days -- Chris, Kate.
BOLDUAN: All right, Reza. Thank you so much. He has been working that story and changes every day. There's something new coming out of Egypt.
CUOMO: Egypt a developing situation, here at home and also in Canada, a developing situation.
BOLDUAN: Yes, it's crazy.
CUOMO: The quote, "It looks like a war zone". That's how the Canadian prime minister describes a small town where a massive freight train derailed. It destroyed dozens of homes, and killed at least five people. The death toll is expected to rise as the search continues for nearly 40 people still who are missing at this hour.
Paula Newton is in Lac-Megantic in Quebec.
Paula, what do we know?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, in the last hour, we have an update from police and they have not been able to get to the site in order to search for the missing, but they do expect to get there soon and more evacuees will be allowed back home.
The problem, Chris, is what lies ahead for this small town? Absolutely grim as they try to piece together exactly how this happened.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NEWTON (voice-over): For too many, there was simply no escape. An inferno so intense it incinerated everything in the 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, a 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 coroner's office and with the victim unit from (INAUDIBLE) Quebec to talk with the families. All of the bodies were transported to the Montreal forensics to be expertised.
NEWTON: The fire utterly consumed the very heart of this town in every way. Waiting for word of the missing has been excruciating.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are numb. We are just numb.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I have no news for my friends, she says. I haven't heard from any of them. We can't say more than, we're waiting for confirmation. We're waiting.
NEWTON: Canada's Prime Minister Steven Harper toured the devastation and foreshadowed the grim new that is sure to come.
STEVEN J. HARPER, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: 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, Maine 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 warm summer's night.
NEWTON: And that's where the fears for this town really lie. There was a bar, people outside, inside, having a drink. No one in this town has heard from anyone who they know was at that bar at that time in the evening.
Chris and Kate, it's going to be a long day today. The very first time that the team will be able to get in there and start that crucial search for the missing.
CUOMO: All right. Paula, thank you very much. In a town that size, nobody will be spared by the loss. Everybody will know somebody or have something affected. BOLDUAN: Absolutely. When you see the video and hear that story that Paula was telling. Some of those folks, they had no chance when that was coming right at them.
Well, there's clearly a lot of news developing this morning, especially at this hour. Let's get straight to Michaela's other headlines.
PEREIRA: And sadly, we start with tragedy and other aviation accidents to tell you about and making news.
An NTSB Go Team heading now to Alaska investigating another airplane crash southwest of Anchorage killing 10 people. The air taxi was fully engulfed in flames by the time emergency cruise got to the scene. The FAA says it's still unclear whether the aircraft was actually taking off or landing at the time of the accident.
A privacy rights group plans to file an emergency petition with the Supreme Court in an effort to stop the NSA program Edward Snowden leaked. Privacy group called the Electronic Privacy Information Center going straight to the Supreme Court because it says the surveillance creates exceptional circumstances only the high court can address.
Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer is trying to make a political comeback after five years after resigning in disgrace over a prostitution scandal. Spitzer confirms he's running for New York City comptroller. The primary will be held in September. Spitzer was forced to leave office in 2008 when he was caught on a federal wiretap arranging a meeting with a high-end escort.
New York Giants linebacker Dan Connor arrested at Philadelphia International Airport for allegedly carrying a switchblade in his luggage. Philly police say a TSA officer spotted the knife and called police. Connor was charged with possession of an offensive weapon and was released on his own recognizance. A Giants spokesman says team officials have spoken to Connor.
And finally, how about this for a brother? He's a brother and a life saver. 8-year-old Michael Myslinski saved his little brother from drowning in their backyard pool. 2-year-old Jaden went underwater and Michael sprang into action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MYSLINSKI, VICTIM'S BROTHER: I thought to pull him up and then yell for help because I don't want anything to happen to my little brother.
JAMES MYSLINSKI, VICTIM'S DAD: It can happen in a split second. You may be right there, you turn your back for one second, and they could slip right into that pool.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: The parents have apparently since returned the pool to the store and have opted for a backyard playset instead. How about that? A little guy, 8-years-old, knowing that he wants to take care of his little brother and acted quickly and just in time, too.
CUOMO: Did it all. He pulled him out of the pool, he ran inside, he made sure there was help. Good dose of the good stuff.
BOLDUAN: All right, we do want to return now to our top story of the day, the San Francisco plane crash.
Joining me now, we have been talking about the investigation, but let's also talk about the victims. For the latest on the injured and the victims, Chief of Surgery at San Francisco General Hospital, Dr. Margaret Knudson.
Doctor, you have had a long couple days, that is for sure, but thank you for joining me this morning. I want to ask you right away, the last numbers we have heard, your hospital has taken in the most patients from the crash. The last I had heard were that there were 17 still in the hospital, 6 in critical condition. What's your latest update on the patients?
MARGARET KNUDSON, MD, CHIEF OF SURGERY, SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL HOSPITAL: Yes, that is correct, Kate. We do still have six in critical condition. We have several people who are waiting surgery today, three from the crash. Two more went under surgery yesterday. I can't give you the exact number who will be discharged today, but we still have a number of people who will need surgery -- multiple surgeries, actually, in some of these patients.
BOLDUAN: We had heard that one child was in critical condition. What's the update on this child? What injuries did he or she sustain?
KNUDSON: I'm not really at liberty to release the nature of the injuries in individual patients, but there is a child who did sustain some severe injuries and underwent surgery yesterday.
BOLDUAN: So, one of the main injuries that you're seeing coming in from this crash -- seen were spinal injuries. Talk to me about that. What type of impact are we talking about, Doctor? Have you seen anything like this before?
KNUDSON: We have seen this type of injuries, but not this many people with this type of injuries all at once. This is a severe flexion injury that happens when someone is restrained and comes up against a immovable object and they flex forward and then flex back again. And we're seeing spinal cord disruption as well as spinal column disruption.
Almost, I would say, 50 percent of the people that we admitted to the hospital have at least one spinal fracture. Not all of them are paralyzed but some of them are. This is the type of injury you see when you wear a lap belt in a car in the back seat without wearing the harness. Most cars now have the shoulder belts to protect us from this type of injury.
BOLDUAN: And I also saw that there was some serious road rash that some of these patients have been suffering. Does that indicate to you -- when I hear road rash, that's normally a motorcycle accident that I've heard of. But this indicates that some of these folks were dragged down the runway?
KNUDSON: I'm not sure what they were dragged over, but it certainly looked like road rash to us. This is a type of rash that we see with people who abandon the motorcycle crash and haven't been wearing leathers and they get dragged over the pavement. We were surprised to see these type of injuries. We were expecting burns from the planes, but apparently most people were taken out of the plane before it went on fire.
BOLDUAN: And, Doctor, clearly every patient's recovery is going to be very different, especially those who are suffering paralysis. They have a very long recovery ahead of them. But what can you say, generally speaking, the type of recovery and recuperation that these patients are going to be facing?
KNUDSON: Well, as you say, everybody's different. We do have patients with head trauma and their recovery could be months and months and maybe not even to full recovery. Certainly the patients who are critical in the ICU, have undergone surgery, have to recover from their abdominal and thoracic surgery first and then of course the rehab that will come along with patients who are paralyzed for life. So, yes, their lives have been changed completely.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Dr. Margaret Knudson, Chief of Surgery at San Francisco General. You have done such an amazing job already and we're just thankful that the patients made it to you in time, trying to limit the injuries that they're suffering and the recovery times that they're going to have. Doctor, thank you so much for your time this morning.
KNUDSON: Thank you very much.
BOLDUAN: Of course.
Amazing. I even read that she said that she is thankful, and many of the doctors are thankful, that they triaged so well on site because they were able to keep those patients stable before getting them to the hospital.
CUOMO: There's no question after the mishaps that led to the crash, the response was amazing both in that plane and outside.
BOLDUAN: Yes, absolutely right. All right, still ahead on NEW DAY, what if you're in, unfortunately - you never want to be - but what if you are in a crash landing like the one in San Francisco? How do you survive? Why where you sit could be the difference between life and death. There's actually analysis this and we're going to talk about it.
CUOMO: And this could be the critical week in the George Zimmerman trial. The defense has decided to make a case, they believe they can prove that George Zimmerman was defending his life when Trayvon Martin was killed. Can they? We'll talk about it with an expert when we come back.
CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. In less than an hour, what could be the most critical week of the George Zimmerman murder trial gets back under way. Friday, jurors heard emotional testimony from the mothers of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, both thinking it was their son screaming on that 911 call. The big question: can the defense prove Zimmerman was defending his life when Trayvon Martin was killed?
Let's bring in criminal defense attorney Mark Nejame, joining me from Orlando, Florida. Mark, thank you very much for joining me. The first question here is, the defense did decide to make a case. They didn't have to. The burden is on the prosecution, obviously. What went into that?
MARK NEJAME, HIGH-PROFILE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, they went ahead and assessed that the state had made a better case than many expected them to. So I think that the critical issue, when we heard it at the very end of the state's case and the beginning of the defense's case, and that is "Who is that voice? Who is the one screaming and yelling help, help, help?"
And I think the defense definitely believed that they needed to go ahead and counterbalance the emotional testimony of Trayvon Martin's mother, and that's how they started their case off. I think they're going to go ahead and try to plug up a few holes that they believe the state had created, and so they can go ahead and make a clean -- a clean defense.
I think we're going to see about another three days of testimony. I don't expect the defense is going to put on a long case. I think we'll see this going to the jury some time this week.
CUOMO: When you look at the defense case in proving self-defense, what do you believe is the biggest obstacle to them?
NEJAME: For the defense is the emotional part, all the other -- all the other things that are surrounding this that are really not in the courtroom. Jury is very aware of this. You know, all the special jury selection, the sequestration, the fact that cameras are in the courtroom every day. It's a full gallery. They know that something is going on, although they were relatively uninformed about this case.
So it's going to be the emotional aspect and all the consequences that they know that this verdict will bring in society once it's rendered. So I think that those intangibles are really the bigger issue. If this were just a regular case in a regular courtroom not getting all this attention, this is a very hard case for the state to prove. Proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt with what we've heard, everything from the medical examiner to the lead investigator, who've all ended saying very favorable things for the defense, this would be a hard case under normal circumstances for the state.
CUOMO: Looking at it in this way, just kind of a bare analysis, you have a man who pretty much has proven on the record at trial, said ugly things about people like Trayvon Martin, ignored the 911 call operator saying, "Stay in the car." Had not just -- had a gun, which he was legally able to have -- but had it loaded with a round in the chamber. An altercation started. It is open to who started it, but certainly Zimmerman was in it. And Trayvon Martin, without a weapon, winds up dead.
On those facts, why do you believe it's tough for the prosecution to get a conviction of some kind?
NEJAME: Well, because there's doubts in many people's minds about the scenario you just laid out. What you just laid out is exactly what the state hopes to prove although the malice and aforethought and the evil intent is, I think, by most analysts' opinion, is going to be challenging for the state.
The best state option would be to go for the manslaughter, that in fact this was a complete overreaction. This was a negligent shooting that did not need to take place. And I think that's the state's best play. I think they could possibly overshoot this and have possibly overcharged it.
With that said, remember, the scenario you just laid out is an absolute excellent scenario for the state, but everything you stated, there are counterpoints that have been presented by the defense -- .many, if not most, through the state's own witnesses on cross- examination. That, in fact, there's a question as to who confronted who. There's a question to who was on the bottom. All these things create reasonable doubt.
And, remember, a draw does not win it for a prosecution in a criminal prosecution. They have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, of course. So when you get a draw in any case, that inures to the benefit of the defense.
CUOMO: Mark Nejame, thank you very much for setting up both sides of this for us. Appreciate it, look forward to talking to you again.
NEJAME: You, too.
BOLDUAN: All right, thanks so much, Chris. Coming up, the crash of Flight 214. We'll show you what the experts say is the best way to improve your chances to survive a crash landing like the one we saw in San Francisco. Your seat assignment makes all the difference.
And also, we wouldn't think of hassling the Hoff. "Bay Watch" star David Hasselhoff will tell us all about his hilarious new commercial. He's getting some pretty high marks from our own John Berman.