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Pakistan Tanker Explosion; China Landslide; London Fire; Details of U.S.S. Fitzgerald Collision. Aired 2-2:30a ET

Aired June 25, 2017 - 02:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong with breaking news this hour.

At least 120 people are dead and dozens more injured after an oil tanker exploded in Pakistan on Sunday morning. It happened in the city of Bahawalpur (ph) in Eastern Pakistan when a tanker fell off the road.

CNN producer Sophia Saafi (ph) joins us now from Karachi, Pakistan.

And Sophia, we are learning that villagers, hundreds of villagers were collecting the oil around this fallen tanker when it exploded. Tell us more.

SOPHIA SAAFI (PH), CNN PRODUCER: Well, Anna, it's the day before the massive Eid celebration of the Muslim calendar. And there's been complete public holiday. There's been a air of festivity and (INAUDIBLE) very horrific to have this happened in Pakistan.

You had the incident take place 6:31 in the morning when an oil tanker was traveling from the city of Karachi to the Punjabi city of Lahore. And there was a collision and the tanker then fell off the road and into the nearby field.

Now there was a second one nearby and what we have been told is that a lot of villagers got onto their motor bikes and despite security officials trying to prevent them from going forward, they went in with their jerry cans, with their containers and tried to collect as much oil as they could to take back to their homes.

It was then when they were actually quite close to the container itself that the explosion took place. We are getting reports of over 100 vehicles being damaged, 18 motor bikes which have completely incinerated. We have been told that over 100 have been injured; the death toll is expected to rise and there are massive emergency rescue efforts underway in the area -- Anna.

COREN: Sophia, we know that the government has called in helicopters to evacuate the survivors and obviously the burns, those injuries just must be horrific. We also understand that the city's hospitals are full.

So where are they taking these people?

SAAFI (PH): The city's hospitals are, in fact, full, some (INAUDIBLE) in the adjoining areas. The largest hospital in that area, which is the Bar Harbor (ph) Victoria Hospital, does not even have a burn center.

So like you said, the government, the local government has sent out helicopters to take these victims to nearby hospitals and (INAUDIBLE) in other cities close by in the province of Punjab.

All of the hospitals in the area are on emergency alert. We've also heard from the military that helicopters have been sent out to get these victims. What we are hearing from hospitals, like you said, are very horrific scenes. A lot of the injured that have been brought in have 60 percent burns, 70 percent burns; many of them are in critical condition.

And there is a complete sense of tragedy unfolding in that area and across Pakistan at the moment --- Anna.

COREN: Sophia Saafi (ph), we appreciate the update, thank you.

We are turning now to China. A tragedy is unfolding there after a horrific landslide; 1,000 rescue workers pushed through the night looking for survivors but, instead, found 15 bodies. Earlier a couple and their baby emerged live from the rubble.

State media report 118 people are still missing and dozens of homes are buried. The disaster happened in the southwest of the country, striking a village in Sichuan province early Saturday morning.

For more now, let's go to our Matt Rivers, tracking developments from Shanghai.

Matt, we know it's more than 30 hours since this landslide buried that village entirely. Obviously, the hunt for survivors is looking extremely grim.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is, and that's what we are hearing from government officials, that their hopes are fading on the chances of possibly finding more people alive.

And we have just gotten some new figures within the last couple of minutes from state broadcaster CCTV. We know that an additional nine bodies have been pulled from the rubble. That brings the total people who have been pulled out dead to 24, which would bring the total amount of missing people down to 109 at this point.

So obviously this is very grim work for these rescuers. We know that there are a few less rescuers than were initially reported last hour. So they are down to about 2,600 people, according to government officials, working at this operation, using 150 different machines there onsite to try their best to reach anyone who might still be saved within this rubble. Government officials are really acknowledging the reality of the situation. The --


RIVERS: -- vice governor of this province gave a press conference where he addressed some of the challenges facing rescue crews. Let's listen to what he had to say.


GAN LIN, VICE GOVERNOR, SICHUAN PROVINCE (through translator): According to the geologists who have participated in the rescue operations, the chances of the missing persons surviving a landslide from such a height are small particularly because the landslide site is so narrow that large-scale search operations are hard to conduct in the area.

In addition, the rescuers cannot dig too deep so as to avoid triggering a new collapse of the rocks. However, despite all these adverse factors, we will spare no effort and regard saving people's lives as our top priority.


RIVERS: So in terms of what caused this, researchers said there was a big earthquake back in 2008 that killed tens of thousands of people in the same province and that loosened the structure of the mountain and then rainfall more than likely triggered the landslide.

But this is an operation that could very quickly turn from a rescue operation to one more centered on recovery -- Anna.

COREN: And Matt, obviously many people are now asking whether the government could have provided any warning and also if that village should have been built in that particular location.

RIVERS: Yes, it's a very fair question, especially because this is the kind of thing that we have seen happen in Sichuan province before. In fact, it was just back in 2010 where there was landslides about 500 kilometers north but within that same mountainous region, that killed upwards of 1,600 people.

These are very remote villages and very poor people living there for the most part. And there's no warning for a lot of these landslides. So you have to wonder why they are allowed to live there.

Does the government have the ability to do anything?

And perhaps the government will take a look at this and see if they could do anything different. But what we know about the Chinese government is that they are not once for self-criticism, at least not publically. So even if there is something that could be changed, you likely will not hear anything about it publicly from the Chinese government.

COREN: Matt Rivers in Shanghai, thank you.

The number of high-rise apartment buildings deemed unsafe in Britain is rising. Officials say 34 have failed fire safety tests since last week's Grenfell Tower tragedy and that number could rise.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We have urged local authorities to send in samples of cladding and materials on their tower blocks. These have been tested. Many of those have been found not to be up to the fire safety standards that are required.

And that is why action is being taken. Now in some cases, it's possible to take mitigating action and the fire service are content that the blocks are safe. In others, it's been necessary for people to move out on a temporary basis. And that is what happened in Camden last night.


COREN: Well, as pressure mounts on the U.K. government, thousands of Camden residents had to evacuate their homes Friday after the London fire brigade deemed their buildings unsafe. But some residents decided to stay put. Rebecca Barry reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you moving back in?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you moving back in?



REBECCA BARRY, ITV CORRESPONDENT: They have been told to go but some are refusing...

BARRY: Why are you staying put?

Why are you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want us to stay on the streets?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They couldn't find a place for us. (INAUDIBLE) kids out of school here and they want to put us somewhere (INAUDIBLE)

BARRY: -- even though officials say their building has failed fire safety tests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) BARRY (voice-over): Steve Peroli (ph) was told to leave at three o'clock this morning because of concerns over the fire doors, external cladding and gas pipes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where I live. This is the (INAUDIBLE) I've got (INAUDIBLE) but apparently, what's behind those is wrong. The (INAUDIBLE) looks at it, (INAUDIBLE) stench.

BARRY: In the past?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the past. Some of these (INAUDIBLE) that's fine.

BARRY: Does it concern you that that's right by your front door (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It didn't, until yesterday.

BARRY: So you've been told that you should leave. Tell me why you're not going to leave and if you're ever going to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because it's pointless. And it's just making Camden look good. (INAUDIBLE)

BARRY: Do you think this is just people covering their backs?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's disgusting. Absolutely awful. (INAUDIBLE) hopeless.

BARRY: Overnight, residents from the Chilcott Estate in North London were put up in a local sports center and hotels, almost 4,000 people are now facing weeks in temporary accommodation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well obviously, last night was deeply stressing for people, you know. People knocking on your door with no notice, saying you need to leave your home. I completely understand people's distress, in light of Grenfell, this changes everything. We have been doing tests on all of our blocks and they said to me we do not think people are safe to sleep in these blocks tonight. That is our view. And I think when someone says that to you, you just have to ask.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I came to pick him up and I heard about it from a friend in Scotland and are very nice. (INAUDIBLE) get your medication, get what you need, I'm on my way.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I came up from Surrey to pick him up.

BARRY: Camden Councils say it could take a month to get the tower blocks safe, but they need the buildings empty. Whether residents have chosen to stay or go, it will be an uncertain few weeks ahead.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COREN: ITN's Rebecca Barry reporting.

Well, Israel launched airstrikes on Syrian military positions Saturday near the country's disputed border in the Golan Heights. The Israeli military says it was in response to projectiles fired into Israel from Syria. Syria's state-run news agency reports several people were killed in the strikes.

It's been a week since the U.S.S. Fitzgerald collided with a Japanese cargo ship and many questions still remain, including why the Fitzgerald crew didn't see the other ship coming. CNN's Ryan Browne has the latest on the investigation.


RYAN BROWNE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. Navy investigators are starting to learn some new details about the collision between a cargo ship and the U.S.S. Fitzgerald that cost the lives of seven U.S. Navy sailors.

This investigation is ongoing in additions to investigations by the U.S. Coast Guard and Japanese authorities. But some of the initial details are beginning to emerge, such as where the collision took place, on the starboard side of the Fitzgerald, impacting directly in the sleeping quarters, the berthing areas aboard that ship, as well as hitting the communications node, forcing U.S. sailors aboard the Fitzgerald to use satellite cell phones in order to communicate with their higher headquarters as they attempted to keep the ship afloat immediately after the collision.

Now investigators are most interested in finding out how this collision could have taken place without any of the crew aboard the Fitzgerald being able to detect the incoming cargo ship and avoid the collision.

They are going to review radar data from the sophisticated Aegis weapons system aboard the Fitzgerald as well as other data and information from the cargo ship in an effort to find out exactly how such a tragedy could have taken place that cost the lives of seven U.S. Navy sailors. Back to you.


COREN: Well, China's president will visit Hong Kong for the 20th anniversary of the British handover. Xi Jinping lands here on Thursday in his first visit to the city since becoming president.

Mr. Xi will help swear in Carrie Lam as the new Hong Kong chief executive. Protests against the visit are expected, pro-democracy activists are saying Beijing is undermining Hong Kong's one country, two systems rule.

South Korea is open to creating an inter-Korean sports team in the future. At the opening ceremony of the World Tae Kwon Do Championships in Mushu (ph), South Korea, President Moon Jae-in said he hoped to see a joint team with North Korea at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Well, North Korean athletes were in attendance and the two Koreas have

a history of competing together.

Thank you so much for your company, I'm Anna Coren. "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" is coming up next.