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Breaking News

Witness Describes Crash of Singapore Airlines Flight 006

Aired October 31, 2000 - 11:23 a.m. ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Going back to our breaking news coverage that is taking place out of Taipei, Taiwan: Singapore Airlines Flight 006 taking off at nighttime Taipei time headed for Los Angeles, California crashed upon as it was taking off, and early reports saying that it exploded as it fell flat to the ground.

It is a 747. Once again, Singapore Airlines Flight 006.

We don't have word on the number of people who were on board that plane or on casualties or possible survivors.

We have on the phone with us a gentleman named La Ding. He is a hotel manager in Taipei, and as I understand it, sir, you saw the crash take place.

LA DING, WITNESS: Hello.

KAGAN: Hello. Are you with us? You're on the air on CNN here in the U.S. Can you tell us what you saw when the plane crashed?

LA: Yes, we can just look through our window of the hotel. Yes, the Singapore Airline has crashed. Yes, now still in the fire.

KAGAN: What did you see when the plane crashed?

LA: Yes, it's about (UNINTELLIGIBLE) half an hour before now.

KAGAN: We can have you stand by. We're getting our first pictures from the scene from Taipei. Once again, this is Singapore Airlines Flight 006. It was taking off from Taipei headed to Los Angeles, California. It's a 747. Once again, no word on survivors or casualties, but as you can see, this is rescue efforts as people try to get to the plane.

Mr. La Ding, are you still with us, sir?

LA: Yes.

KAGAN: And you can still see the crash site from your hotel right now?

LA: Yes. Still in the fire.

KAGAN: Tell us exactly what you see. LA: Yes, I also heard the sound from the -- from the crash.

KAGAN: What did it sound like?

LA: Very powerful fire (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KAGAN: Very powerful explosion. We also were getting reports, sir, of very bad weather in the area when the crash took place.

LA: Yes, it was very windy because today is typhoon day. We call it typhoon.

KAGAN: Typhoon day. And so the conditions were very bad when the plane...

LA: Yes. Typhoon night. Yes, now is very windy and also raining very -- rain out here, in this area, in the airport area.

KAGAN: And what time of night, sir, where you are did this crash take place?

LA: You mean the local time?

Local time today? Hello.

KAGAN: Yes, hello. What time was it when the plane crashed in Taipei?

LA: Should be -- it's around 11 -- 11 o'clock. Around 11 o'clock at the nighttime.

KAGAN: And from your hotel, sir, can you see any sign of survivors or can you just see the rescue and the fire and what people are trying to do to rescue people?

LA: Yes. Only we can -- only look (UNINTELLIGIBLE) powerful fire there.

KAGAN: OK. Thank you very much. That's La Ding. La Ding, a manager of a hotel, very close to the crash sight where Singapore Airlines Flight 006 went down, describing for us the scene that he saw and that he can see right now.

As he said, it's just a fire on the ground. We showed you those early pictures. Maybe we can get those pictures up again of the Singapore Airlines 747 on the ground at the Taipei Airport.

It crashed about 11 o'clock local time. The flight was headed from Taipei to Los Angeles, California. CNN does have crews on the way to LAX, Los Angeles International Airport, for the latest on that end of the story.

We're going to take a break, continue to gather information as we show you these pictures, and we'll bring you the latest on the crash of Singapore Airlines Flight 006, right after this.

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