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America Under Attack: FBI and State Police Cordon Off Debris Area Six to Eight Miles from Crater Where Plane Went Down

Aired September 13, 2001 - 11:43   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: The FAA set has up a Web site for those of you who are concerned about the airport that you need to be going to or getting airway from. The Web site address is www.fly.faa.gov. I've checked that Web site, and I just noticed that Dallas Fort Worth, DFW, is not on the list.

We have our Ed Lavandera standing by there live. Let's go check in with him.

Ed, what are you seeing an hearing there?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Leon, just about an hour ago, we spoke with officials here at DFW Airport, and they had told us that the FAA has certified the security arrangements that they've made over the last 48 hours. We were told by the airport here that we could expect flight to start resuming later on this afternoon. You can see here at one of the terminals that American Airlines. Of course, American Airlines corporate headquarters located here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. A lot of folks make arrangements to try to get to destinations. A lot of people who are en route had to stop here. Some 900 passengers we understand were put up in accommodation in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

But as far as we understand, DFW officials anticipating about 30 flights to arrive around the 1:00 hour, and from there, they are anticipating for flights to takeoff from here later on this afternoon. But all that hinges as well on the airports, that the planes will be flying to depending on what the security situations are at all of those airports. Again, they have to be able to fly from one secure airport to another. All have to be certified by FAA. That's what we are told here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

We've got one passenger who we've speaking to with this morning, Javev Iran (ph), and he lives in Israel. Got stuck here in Dallas on business. You're trying to get home. What kind of obstacles are you running into? And what are your plans?

JAVEV IRAN: The obstacles, first of all, for the two days were desperate. We try to arrange flight from my hotel, which was impossible. So I came over here. Over here, I got together with the American Airline agent. We tried to find all the options going through Europe, Mexico, Canada and, and, and. And in the meanwhile, they arrange for me in the afternoon flights to La Guardia, and from there I can hit Europe or any destination getting me close to my last destination.

So I think my decision to come to airport and hop on the first plane that goes some way in my direction is correct, because you can't do that from home, or you can't do that on the telephone. You have to wait three hours for them to answer you. And after they answer you, they can't do anything about it.

LAVANDERA: Like you said, you're trying to get to Israel. Are you concerned at all given the situation what you've seen in the last 48 hours, or are you worried at all about traveling? I think that's the big issue here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not worried about traveling. I'm worried about driving more than traveling. Statistics: Flying is safer than anything else in the world. And of course, there's big trauma here. But if you look at reality, driving to airport more dangerous. I don't think people should be afraid of flying. It's more scary because it's flying in the air and movies and the drama. But I think that's one of the safest places you can be in an airplane, still.

LAVANDERA: When you heard what happened Tuesday, what went through your mind?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- there's no word -- it's a shock. It's hard to understand it. I don't think that anybody still understands it. It will take time to understand the issue.

LAVANDERA: Thank you very much. We have toss it back to Atlanta.

Leon, back to you.

HARRIS: Thanks much. Ed Lavandera in Dallas. We'll get back to you later on.

Throw it over to you, Daryn.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we want to take our viewers live to Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Our Brian Cabell is standing by. This of course is the site where United Airlines flight 93 crashed on its way from Newark to San Francisco, crashed on Tuesday, and I understand, in this investigation, there's some breaking news.

Brian, what can you tell us?

BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Daryn, in the last hour or so, the FBI and the state police here have confirmed that have they cordoned off a second area about six to eight miles away from the crater here where plane went down. This is apparently another debris site, which raises a number of questions. Why would debris from the plane -- and they identified it specifically as being from this plane -- why would debris be located 6 miles away. Could it have blown that far away. It seems highly unlikely. Almost all the debris found at this site is within 100 yards, 200 yards, so it raises some question. We don't want to overspeculate of course. But there were some cell phone callers, one cell phone caller in particular, who said saw a bomb, or something that looked like a bomb with one of the hijackers. Also, the man who took over the plane apparently announced at one point, he had -- there was a bomb on board the plane.

Again, we don't want to speculate, we don't want to jump to conclusions. But what we do know is that there's a site about half mile behind me, where the plane went down, where most of the debris is, and then about six miles away up by a lake, there is another area that's been cordoned off, and state police and the FBI have said definitely there is debris from the plane located there. We have a crew on the way right now. We should have pictures of that a little bit later on.

In the meantime, the search here goes on, 80 searchers going foot by foot, combing the area looking for evidence. They have not yet found the black box -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Which was first question, so I'll move on to my next one, Brian.

WE don't want to speculate about this large debris field. But it seems to me from covering a number of plane crashes on the scene, that if nothing else, this is not typical for a plane crash to be spread across an area this large.

CABELL: It's certainly doesn't make sense, because most of the debris has been found in a very compact area, within 100 yards, 200 yards, maybe a little bit beyond that. Then all of a sudden they're telling us six miles away, they have another concentration of debris, very small pieces. Most peoples here no bigger than the size of briefcase. The debris six miles away may be smaller. We have talked to a number of individuals here. They say they have talked to people who saw this plane during the final moments. They haven't confirmed whether they saw -- whether they talked to anybody who saw this plane actually land, or crash rather, and as to whether it broke up on the way, we don't know that. The FBI being very tight-lipped about that.

But again, at It leads to that possibility. It certainly leads to a number of questions.

KAGAN: You mentioned they have yet to find the black box. It would seems to me when you compare the four plane crashes of Tuesday, this would be the site where they would be most likely to find a black box.

CABELL: That's what they told us initially, and I think they're somewhat disappointed they haven't found it. It's been 48 hours, but they are still hopeful they will find it. There is a pond nearby this particular site. They may have to send divers into the pond. They haven't done that yet, but conceivably, it could be in the pond, it could be anywhere, it could be at this other debris side. They've also found some other debris scattered around this area. They say in fact some individuals have been collecting it. Again, we're talking about very, very tiny parts. The biggest part they found at this site is an engine, an engine part, and most of the other pieces are probably no bigger than this particular notebook.

So again, very small pieces. They had hoped to find the black box by now. They're still voicing optimism they will find it.

It's not an assignment I would wish on anybody, but I would say you have to have an assignment like that to appreciate what that looks like when the plane comes crashing into the ground and basically drops out of the sky.

Brian Cabell in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, thank you very much.

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