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Rescue for Six Miners Continues; More on Minneapolis Bridge Collapse; Three Students Executed
Aired August 7, 2007 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ollie's owner jokes he can sniff out performance-enhancing drugs. And if booing doesn't satisfy animal lovers upset with Michael Vick, there's always the Michael Vick doggie chew toy.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: The next hour of the NEWSROOM starts right now.
It's a midsummer afternoon's nightmare, stifling heat, oppressive humidity, add a little smog, widespread drought. And from the Midwest to the MidAtlantic seaboard, it's a miserable time out there.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What more do you have to say. Here in Atlanta, we expect to hit 98 any minute now. Lucky we're in the air conditioning. And we could get even farther in St. Louis. It could get hotter. When's the cool off happening? It's so hot out there.
Hello, I'm Don Lemon live from the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta with the climate control.
PHILLIPS: And I'm Kyra Phillips here live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
LEMON: But first up, armed with special tools to cut through rebar and concrete, FBI and Navy divers are searching for bodies in the Minneapolis bridge collapse. They removed one vehicle today to get a better look at that wreckage. And our Susie Roesgen is on the scene for us in Minneapolis.
Susie, is this a car they found, do we know, sonar earlier in the week, the sheriff's department?
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The sheriff's divers had earlier identified this car underwater, Don. They had found the car. They had checked it. There were no bodies in the car when they first checked it and they later found out that the driver of this car did make it out alive.
But the especially trained divers from the FBI and the Navy needed to get this car up, out of the river and out of the way because they believe they found an area in the wreckage that might have trapped some of the victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Navy divers are especially trained to penetrate wreckage like this. They're salvage divers. Most of the time they penetrate wreckage like this that's damaged ships to effect repairs and do the same sort of operations that Sheriff Stanek has asked us to do.
They're determining the optimum points of entry into the wreckage. And as they discover the findings, they relay that both to the FBI, to the sheriff's office. And we regroup and then take the next steps as appropriate under the direction of the sheriff on how he wants to continue based on the findings that they have in the wreckage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROESGEN: So here's what's happening right now, Don: they've got sheriff's deputies literally walking the banks of the river down six miles from the collapsed bridge behind me here just in case there might have been any evidence or potentially a victim that has gone downstream of the river. But actually they believe that these eight missing people here, that their bodies will be found right around the very site of the collapse under the heaviest debris. And that's why they've brought in the FBI divers and the Navy divers with specialized equipment to get under the water, especially trained, as you heard the Navy chief there say to do salvage, to do rescue and to retrieve bodies.
LEMON: Yes. It is a tough job. Susie Roesgen on the scene there for us in Minneapolis. We appreciate your report.
PHILLIPS: Well now that that heat wave is gripping much of the nation, let's get straight to CNN's Keith Oppenheim. He's in St. Louis where health experts are urging everyone to take it easy and find a cool place to ride out that heat wave.
KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kyra. I'm getting the harsh reality from my handy, portable thermometer which says out here in St. Louis on the streets, it's 100 degrees but it feels more like 110 with the humidity. And the bad news for a lot of the folks who are working outside is it's going to stay like this all week long, through Friday according to the forecasts and just cool a little bit on the weekend.
So in response, the city of St. Louis is distributing about 200 air conditioners throughout the city area today. We caught up with one woman, Nadene Graves, who got an air conditioner just a couple of hours ago and she explained to me how dangerous it is to be sleeping in an apartment with her son when the temperatures are more than 90 degrees at night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NADENE GRAVES, RECEIVED AIR CONDITIONER: I have diabetes and arthritis.
OPPENHEIM: Do you heat up faster because of that?
GRAVES: Yes, I do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OPPENHEIM: St. Louis also has about 80 cooling centers. And, you know, one of the things I've been finding out on this story, Kyra, is that a lot of the elderly who have air condition units in their apartments sometimes don't use them. Why? Because they're on fixed incomes and they're concerned about paying their utility bills. It may sound kind of crazy in weather like this but apparently it is a great concern that the city of St. Louis has. That's one reason that they have the cooling centers for folks to come into and cool down.
Back to you.
PHILLIPS: All right, we'll keep checking in with you, Keith, as well as following all the temperatures across the nation. Thanks so much.
And our own Chad Myers can tell us even more. It's not just the heat; it's also the humidity, right, Chad?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. The heat and humidity even got to a car alarm behind me. I think it's going off here.
A lot of things are -- that break when it's this hot. And you know what it'll happen that sometimes you'll see thunderstorms pop up. You'll see -- are you guys hearing me because I'm hearing static in your ear.
PHILLIPS: No. Yes, move -- you're getting static. Move a little bit to your right. That's when it gets better. Yes, exactly.
MYERS: How is that?
PHILLIPS: If you could just get the rabbit ears and sort of maybe a little bit over -- yes on the other side. There you go.
MYERS: The same issue. There -- OK, there we go.
PHILLIPS: Don't move, Chad.
MYERS: OK. OK. This will be the stillest live shot of all time.
We will see temperatures though around 100 degrees in a lot of big cities today. And what you're going to see is when you add in the humidity, because your body can't cool itself off, your body wants to sweat and the sweat evaporates and that cools you off. That's the whole process. It's like going to get a shot at the doctor's office, put a little alcohol our arm, well, the alcohol evaporates. It's cold. Well, that's what your body's supposed to do. But when there's so much humidity in the air, the humidity just won't let that sweat evaporate so it just feels hotter.
And right now Charleston feels like 112 degrees.
Here's some of the graphics I have made up for you though just because it's dreadful everywhere I mean not -- except for probably Seattle, you don't want to be anywhere across the country today except the West Coast and into Seattle. 101 right now in Kansas City, 102 in Dallas, 106 in Atlanta and 104 in Cincinnati.
Closer to the Southeast, there's that 112 in Charleston. That just must be brutal out there right now. The relatively humidity still around 60 percent and the dew point, what we call that, 75 degrees which means if you took glass of water that was 70 degrees, you would actually get steam on the outside of that condensation happening on the outside of a relatively warm glass of water.
And then for Atlanta, we're even seeing some showers pop up here around the city and that may help some folks out not so much that you might get a raindrop on top of your head, but you just might get a cloud. And a cloud will help significant to try to keep you cool for today. And that's all you're going to ask for.
There's the forecast highs, the forecast heat index high. In Memphis, 111, Orlando, 99 and even for Atlanta around 106 degrees. The heat stays with us with most of the U.S. not only today but into tomorrow and even into the end of the week.
Now the northern tier, the Northeast will begin to cool down tonight and tomorrow and significant cool downs for a lot of people. This is going to put a big strain on the New York system today. A lot of people get much cooler air by Thursday into Friday and that's where the cold front comes through. That's the cold air that's going to come down. It's just going to taken an awful long time to get to St. Louis or to Atlanta or Orlando for that matter -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right. Thanks Chad.
PHILLIPS: Well, tell us how you're beating the heat this week with a CNN i-Report. You can send one straight from your cell phone. Just shoot a picture or video, then e-mail directly to iReport@CNN.com. You can even add your own commentary. Now for more information, just go to CNN.com/iReport.
LEMON: Three days, it seems like an eternity at a collapsed coal mine in central Utah. But that's how long it could take to reach six trapped miners and that being optimistic. Let's go to Emery County, Utah and CNN's Dan Simon -- Dan.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Don. Seventy-two hours, that was a tough concession today from the owner of the mining company who took to the microphones who says that we're looking at a minimum of three days before we can reach the miners. On the plus side, he says he's brought in an adequate amount of resources. One hundred and thirty-four rescuers are going to be working in various shifts. He also says he's brought in 30 pieces of heavy equipment used to drill into the mine. Let's listen now to some of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB MURRAY, PRES. AND CEO, MURRAY ENERGY CORP.: I'm disappointed, disappointed with our progress in gaining access to these trapped miners. But of course to us progress is never fast enough in a situation like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: Robert Murray, the owner of the mining company, trying to project a sense of confidence that he is doing everything he can to rescue the miners. One point of contention, however, he seems to think that the collapse was caused by an earthquake. He was very defiant on that. But when you talk to seismologists, they seem to take the opposite -- they have the opposite take. They seem to think the seismic activity that was registered was caused by the collapse. Still no word at this hour what caused the collapse of the mine -- Don.
LEMON: All right, CNN's Dan Simon, we appreciate your reports throughout the day here on CNN.
A smoky red fills the sky over Seeley Lake, Montana. A vast wildfire is burning all around the resort town. About 675 families and tourists have evacuated. And firefighters say that many -- well, not able to hold the flames the back if the winds -- they may not be able to hold the flames back if the winds pick up. That fire began Friday and it has burned more than 14,000 acres.
I-Reporter Philip Parker sent us this video from his porch in nearby Darby. Check that out. He says some of his neighbors are even leaving but he says he's staying put at least for now.
PHILLIPS: Well, three friends killed execution style in Newark. Police are hoping a reward will crack the case. We'll have the latest in the CNN NEWSROOM.
LEMON: Keeping hope alive after yet another blow. The parents of a missing British girl discuss a disturbing report about new evidence. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
PHILLIPS: Live pictures from our affiliate WSVN of Miami, Florida, a pretty cool rescue under way, firefighters responding to a construction accident. The guy you see there being brought down with the rescue worker, apparently he suffered some type of leg injury. He was working on this construction project up on the 13th floor. Trying to confirm which side it is, what they were working on, but we got word that the airlift was in progress. So they brought him off the building. Firefighters bringing him down now. They're going to take him to the hospital. We'll try and work -- this is how we saw it initially as we were monitoring our routers and talking with our affiliate's desk. That's WSVN out of Miami, Florida. And one of the -- it looks like one of the helicopters hovering above heard about this construction accident that happened on the 13th floor of this site. So the firefighters responded. And it's a pretty intricate process. Obviously, the only way to get him down quickly and get him to a hospital was through their air assets bringing him down and going to take him in. It looks like it's just a leg injury at this time and that he's OK. They're going to work on treating him.
LEMON: We're following that story. And it's 3:14 here in the East. We're following other stories for you as well in the CNN NEWSROOM. Just a couple of ones we're following: at least three days, that's how long it could take rescuers to reach six coal miners in a collapsed mine in central Utah. The men haven't been heard from since they were trapped or worse early yesterday.
162,000 American troops are in Iraq today. That's the most since the start of the war. The Pentagon says this fight is due to overlap as troops rotate in and out.
And it's not warm, it's not balmy, it's dangerously hot. Temperatures could reach the triple digits in much of the eastern half of the country. Humidity makes it feel even worse.
PHILLIPS: Well, three college students cut down by mystery gunmen, a fourth shot in the face and left for dead. The city of Newark, New Jersey is up in arms over the weekend shootings and police have few clues to work with. CNN's Allan Chernoff is following the case. He joins us now live with more -- Allan.
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, what happened over the weekend has Newark filled with outrage and frustration. Three college students shot in the back of the head execution style in back of an elementary school where children as young as 4-years-old in pre- K will soon be heading back to class.
The investigation relies heavily on the sole survivor, 19-year- old Natasha Aeriel who was shot in the face. CNN has learned that her condition has been upgraded to stable. She's out of Newark Hospital where she has been able to provide some details to the police even show she remains heavily medicated.
Other leads, knife wounds to the victims and broken jewelry on the scene indicating to police that the students were being robbed and had resisted. The three victims, Natasha's brother, Terrance Aeriel, Dashon Harvey and Iofemi Hightower, were students at Delaware State University which Newark officials say makes this killing especially tragic. They were good kids who had avoided the kind of trouble that has ensnared so many teens in Newark.
Dashon's father, James Harvey, is urging fellow citizens to help stop the killing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES HARVEY, DASHON HARVEY'S FATHER: They're out here hurting innocent kids. Innocent people are dying needlessly, unnecessarily. And for what?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHERNOFF: That is a cry too often heard in Newark.
Now an important resource for the police investigation: there are two digital video cameras in back of the school that may have captured pictures of the assailants. The security chief for Newark Public Schools tells CNN the cameras showed no image when they were first checked, indicating they may have been damaged. Now technicians are trying to retrieve pictures from those cameras. Police also are offering a reward of $52,000 for information leading to an arrest -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: OK. Well, let's talk about what's being done to try to end these killings. I mean, the mayor, Cory Booker, under fire. There's protesters saying that he should be ousted out of office because he won on a campaign talking about bringing down crime and this is just not making anybody happy in Newark. They're wondering where their mayor and where their leadership is.
CHERNOFF: There's a lot of political blood in Newark as you know, a very tough battle with Sharpe James, the past mayor of Newark.
And Cory Booker indeed had promised to lower the crime rate. The fact is believe it or not, most crime actually is down in Newark but today it counts for nothing because the murder rate, as we've seen, continues to be very high just about as high as last year. And Mr. Booker has not been able to accomplish that even though there are more cops on the street. Also, the police are cracking down even on quality of life crimes, the same strategy that was very successfully used here in New York City.
Indeed, the police chief is one of the former heads of the police department here in New York City. One of the department heads from New York City came over and now leads the Newark Police Department. But thus far, they have had incredible, incredible frustration in Newark at stopping all these killings.
PHILLIPS: All right, Allan Chernoff. We'll still follow it. Thanks so much.
LEMON: 2002, the flooded Quecreek Mine in Pennsylvania, no victims, only survivors. We'll talk to one of them straight ahead in the NEWSROOM. And guess what? He still works there.
PHILLIPS: We just got this video in from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. And we want to warn you, it's -- this is right before the bridge collapsed. Somebody was monitoring the camera obviously on the bridge. And you just saw the last car go toward, I guess, it would be the left of what you're watching. And you can see the oncoming traffic comes to a stop because they realized that something is wrong.
LEMON: They realize that something is wrong. And then it takes whoever is operating the camera a couple minutes, at least probably about least 30 seconds to realize something is wrong. So then at some point -- and you see the cars moving. This actually -- see this person turned around. The camera starts to move around to go to the other side of this 35W interstate and bridge here. And there's the Mississippi and there you go.
PHILLIPS: And you can actually see people jumping out of their cars, running to the side. Some people stopping to see what's going on. But then you also see a number of people jumping out of the car running away and even turning their cars around and driving away from the scene. And you just -- you can't think -- it's hard to imagine that one person who just made it over.
PHILLIPS: We saw that one car that just missed this collapse.
LEMON: Just -- yes. And someone got in their car -- but being there on the scene every single person I spoke to said it was eerily quiet once this happened. People were driving by and walking by. And I wonder if it's because of the smoke, you can't really see it initially that you don't realize the impact of it. So folks were really quiet and then you know, all of a sudden start to realize what had happened.
And we're going to play it again from the beginning because this is new video. It's a different angle. We haven't seen it before. But as we were describing earlier on, this is traffic flowing normal here, Kyra.
PHILLIPS: There's the last car right there. See the last car on the right side of the screen?
LEMON: On the right side of the screen going up. And it's -- you know this happened at 6:05. This is 6:05 Wednesday night, quitting time, right? And so traffic has been -- from four lanes on each side had been moved down to two lanes in both directions because construction was going on. Now, here's the thing, had this been normal traffic -- this is going to turn around now.
PHILLIPS: It's amazing how the -- I mean obviously whoever was monitoring that camera...
PHILLIPS: ... they're supposed to keep it going on that one direction but saw that something had gone wrong and turned around immediately because they've got great surveillance cameras on the bridge. We saw the one from across the Mississippi, remember, from the other angle?
PHILLIPS: Now we're just getting this video in that shows the opposite angle.
LEMON: Yes. And the thing is, is here's what officials say, especially those who are familiar with these types of accidents, had traffic been moving at a normal pace, more lives would have been lost because people's cars would have just gone over the sides. They would have just driven right into the water rather than sitting on top of that bridge and then falling down flat with the bridge there.
And then you can see to the right, that parallel bridge that we've been showing you, where people are standing and looking? Well, that's just a gaping hole there in the middle of the Mississippi right over Minneapolis. Again, this video is courtesy of MNDOT.
PHILLIPS: A number of people standing there trying to figure out what's going on. But then just prior to that, you saw a lot of people u-turned and started driving back and getting away. You see -- right.
PHILLIPS: You see the one car that's right there on the edge and the guy's going out of his car and going back into his car and trying to figure out what's going on.
LEMON: And a lot of them were teetering, Kyra. Do you see that? That's --we're going to highlight that for you. These cars are teetering over the edge.
We interviewed a number of people. There was one person, a person who was physically disabled who had to get in the wheelchair. I don't know if you remember that report.
LEMON: His van -- he wanted to get out but he couldn't because if he had gotten in his wheelchair he would have just rolled right over the side. So he waited for someone to help him and luckily someone did. But...
PHILLIPS: And look at this driver, turning around and getting away. Imagine just a couple more minutes ahead, he would have been right there where the bridge collapsed. He's turning around and getting the heck out of there.
LEMON: Yes. We should re-cue. This video is amazing. We should re-cue this and play this because I don't think anyone has seen this.
But you know Kyra, I've been speaking to most people, a number of people, and most of us go across a bridge of some sort every single day of your life, right, driving.
PHILLIPS: By -- this whole story has shown us not only how many bridges there are in the nation, but how many bridges have problems....
PHILLIPS: ...and that inspections are very important, and a lot of funds are held up. And things -- this could happen someplace else in the United States if these reports aren't paid attention to and the proper inspections aren't done.
LEMON: We heard about the hundreds of thousands of bridges that have very similar ratings as this bridge. You know this bridge wasn't deemed in immediate danger of collapse that should have been closed. But certainly it was -- it needed some repair.
So, you know, now across the country we're scrambling to look at this infrastructure, which Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said we're very -- we're in dire need of new infrastructure and something needs to be done. But that's amazing video just to see there. It's hard to watch.
PHILLIPS: And we're going to show it again after the break. We're actually working someone from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to talk about this videotape.
Meanwhile we have been able to get six pictures of the eight individuals that are still missing possibly there in the Mississippi as Navy dive teams are out there trying to recover their bodies. We're going to remember their names and faces as we go to break.
LEMON: Hello everyone, I'm Don Lemon live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
PHILLIPS: And I'm Kyra Phillips.
In case you didn't see the video that we just brought to you a few minutes ago, we just received videotape from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. This was minutes before the bridge collapse, the last car, right there to the far right, you just saw crossing the right part of your screen was the car that just made it across the bridge before it collapsed.
Because on the other side of your screen, to the left of your screen, all of a sudden you'll see the cars stopping. They realize something is wrong and they come to a complete halt. While there's somebody that's monitoring this camera with the Department of Transportation, realizes something's wrong, starts to move that camera around. And in just a second here, you're going to see where that bridge collapsed.
LEMON: Yeah, and this is again right over the Mississippi and 35W and there it is. You see the smoke that everyone's been talking about coming from this. What you don't see in this is that there were one section of the bridge collapsed right after the other. One big chunk fell and then right after that, another big chunk. Which you could see from the surveillance video, the traffic camera from the first one that CNN had, exclusively in the beginning.
But there you go. And you see these cars that are teetering on the edge here. What we've been saying, imagine being there teetering or being the last person to make it across or, you know, the one who's right there at the edge.
PHILLIPS: We saw people running away.
LEMON: You see people running away.
PHILLIPS: People in the third car just backs up and turns around and gets out of there. You see a couple of the drivers get out of the cars and assess the damage. They're right there on the edge, right on the brink of where you see him getting out of his car right there.
LEMON: And when this happens, you know, adrenaline just kicks in and you don't, you know it comes as a shock. But for those who were involved in this accident for the people sadly, as we're watching this, we have to remember that there are folks who are down there probably scrambling when this video is going on to try to save themselves.
PHILLIPS: Remember when the school bus got caught right there on the other side just over that bridge, down in a little bit of the edge of the other side is where that school bus had dropped and we had even interviewed and talked to the 20-year-old camp counselor that helped rescue those 50-plus kids out of that school bus. And then you can see here, just, just right at the very edge, the one driver realizes what's going on, turns around and starts to come back. We're working somebody from Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Hopefully whoever was working that camera, someone within the department could talk to us about these surveillance cameras. We have this angle, Don, and also you remember the video that we got from the other angle just below the bridge which was pretty devastating.
LEMON: Do we have, if we have the other angle it would be interesting to put it in. I don't know if we can put it in a double box or something just to show the difference in sides here. Because, again, this is new video, as we've been telling you here in the CNN NEWSROOM, just moments ago in from MNDOT, the Minnesota Department of Transportation. This was taken from a different traffic camera. You may remember that first traffic camera that we got just hours after the collapse, the operator of this camera realizes that something is wrong. Because traffic is no longer coming from this direction, so he's saying what is going on? There are no more cars.
And then has the good sense to pan it around to see what's happening, and then he catches this. And this is obviously, you can see just because of what's happening here, and the smoke going up, just moments, just moments, after this horrendous, horrific crash. And then if you see there, look at the other bridge, the parallel bridge there, Kyra, cars are still going on that side. And then there's also an overpass that goes over this bridge. And, you know, it's much like a spaghetti junction that we call it here. A certain number of bridges and overpasses cross each other here. So, there's an overpass that goes across this perpendicular to this one. And their cars were on that and they're seeing this smoke come up and then once the smoke clears, they're looking at a gaping hole where the interstate below them once stood. So, you know, it's unimaginable.
PHILLIPS: And there are so many people that actually survived that bridge collapse when it happened. We've heard a lot of their stories. And in the next day since the bridge collapsed in Minnesota, we heard even more. And earlier today, our Susan Roesgen had a chance to talk with a woman, with a pretty amazing story. Heather Henning is her name and she heard a radio report as the news broke last Wednesday. She called her boyfriend to warn him to stay away from the bridge and he said, he was on it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROESGEN: Heather, your boyfriend's jeep is over there in front --
HEATHER HENNING: Yes, right over there.
ROESGEN: What did he tell you? You're on the cell phone with him, he says, I'm on it. What happened, what did he feel when the bridge collapsed?
HENNING: He said that he heard a big boom. And his friend and him looked at each other and they said, what was this? And he said he saw the 35W bridge sign that says Hiawatha and Washington Avenue fall down like an elevator. He looked at his friend and all of a sudden they saw the bridge collapse and the cars go into the river. And his friend said, get out of the car. The bridge started shaking. His friend jumped out of the car. Adam stayed in the car in shock. And the bridge collapsed, dropped 20 feet.
ROESGEN: And you've told me now that he doesn't want to see the wreckage. Your boyfriend doesn't want to come see the wreckage, so you've come to see it because he's too traumatized.
HENNING: Yes. He doesn't know how to deal with it. He just finally hit reality yesterday about really what's going on and doesn't want to be down there yet.
ROESGEN: How did your son take it?
HENNING: He took it fine. He was a little nervous at first, so I reassured him that his dad was OK and that his dad was a superhero, because he saved two people's lives and survived it himself.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Well, remarkable stories. And we're keeping an eye out for more and we're going to keep bringing them to you.
LEMON: All right, as we go to break, we're going to continue to watch this video. This is just in from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. A different angle, a new angle that we didn't know about on this bridge collapse. You see there that last car going to the right of your screen that is the last car to make it over that bridge. Everyone else behind him, sadly, got caught up in this tragic collapse. We're going to continue to bring you this developing story, talk about this video.
And we're also efforting (ph) someone from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to give us a better perspective on this. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM, we're back after a quick break.
LEMON: Every day at CNN we come across ordinary people who with little or no fanfare have an extraordinary impact in their communities, where they live or work. Well, today, a story of remarkable, a remarkable 28-year-old. He's taken his engineering skills to the isolated coast of Nicaragua and one of the few places in the world in total darkness. Meet Matias Craig, a CNN hero.
It's very difficult to explain to people how remote it is here on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. It's -- it's very remote. There are no roads essentially anywhere, so all transportation is by boat. Monkey Point has always been an abandoned community. They have a serious energy problem here. In these isolated communities only the wealthiest people have generators. Most people in the community will never have access to that power source.
My name is Matias Craig (ph) and I work to bring sustainable energy services to isolated communities. It's going to be good when we raise it. We're really based around the wind turbine, and then we have a power system with batteries, where we store the energy produced by the windmill. This converts battery power with alternating currents. This is what is being transmitted down to the school. The school also doubles as a community center.
Up! Up! Ready, up!
Our interest is in delivering sustainable energy services. So, we wanted to build our systems from scratch here and train local people here through the process of building, people would learn how to service them.
It has a tremendous impact. Any path they choose pretty much requires electricity and clean water. So by providing one of those basic services, you're opening up a whole new world of opportunities. [ Applause ]
We are living in a historical moment right now. Having electricity in Monkey Point is something great to have, developing the education and labor.
Everything looks all right to me. My most satisfaction that I can receive is really getting a chance to be in the community and see how the energy's being used and seeing the benefit that it provides.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
LEMON: Make sure you check out more of our CNN Heroes, just go to cnn.com/heroes.
PHILLIPS: When we come back, more on this video we just got in from the Minneapolis Department of Transportation. Another angle to that bridge collapse. We'll tell you more about it. The news keeps coming. We'll keep bringing it to you.
You're watching the CNN NEWSROOM.
LEMON: Plus, 2002, the flooded Quecreek Mine in Pennsylvania. There were no victims, only survivors. We'll talk with one of them straight ahead in the NEWSROOM as we wait for word on the trapped miners in Utah.
LEMON: New video in to CNN just moments ago. A different angle of that horrible bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that car that's highlighted there, the last car to make it across coming from the side that collapsed.
PHILLIPS: That individual definitely has a guardian angel. You can see just after that happens, the cars on the other side of the screen coming to a halt. And then the camera operator that works the surveillance camera up there with the Minnesota Department of Transportation realizes something is wrong. It takes about 30 seconds and then he or she pans the camera over, and you're going to see exactly where the bridge collapse was.
And watch, you'll see people running and you'll see cars turning around getting out of there. You see them u-turning and then there's two cars just teetering right there on the edge. And a third car gets out to assess and then eventually turns around and gets out of there. But you can see the two cars still teetering on the edge. And then just on the other side is where that bridge collapsed. And you'll remember there was that school bus that was sort of stuck on one side, and those kids, about 50 kids were pulled out of that school bus. A lot of other people surviving that drop-off.
But then as you know, eight bodies still needed to be -- need to be recovered. Possibly crushed underneath that rubble, Don. Navy team divers are out there now. They were brought in today. We've been talking a lot about that. And how they're using special equipment to work themselves through that murky water.
LEMON: We just got this information Kyra, just in. It's from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Here's what they say, they say this feed that you're looking at begins at 6:00 p.m. and it runs through 6:30 p.m. At the start of the feed, it says the traffic is moving normally, with two lanes headed north and two headed south. At 6:05 a car exits on to Washington Avenue and no other vehicles follow. At the same time, traffic comes to a complete standstill in the northbound lanes. Which we have just seen here. And then it says at 6:06 p.m. one car that was headed out of Minneapolis turns around and drives in the opposite direction on the shoulder.
The MNDOT camera operator swings the camera towards the interstate, 35W Bridge, over the Mississippi River and then zooms in. And then it just shows there that it focuses on the dust and then the mangled rebar that comes into focus after that.
PHILLIPS: As we continue to follow the recovery effort there for the eight missing individuals in the Mississippi River, we are hoping to get better news out of Utah today. They won't get there today. They won't get there tomorrow. But rescue teams may not reach six miners trapped in a Utah coal mine until Friday. And that's if everything goes right, which so far hasn't. Debris from yesterday's collapse is hampering rescuers who have made agonizingly slow progress, barely 50 feet overnight and now we're left with a lot of unanswered questions. I had a chance to talk earlier with Utah's governor about the rescue.
(BEGIN VIDEO AUDIO CLIP)
VOICE OF GOV. JON HUNTSMAN, UTAH: We're concerned about the community here in Huntington, a small mining town and by extension, price, Utah, and all of those who feel somehow tied into this -- this -- this tragedy. That's where our efforts have to be along with the professionals and the experts who we're deploying. The very best technology that is available and the very best equipment under the oversight of the mining safety and health administration, which is tasked to oversee these kinds of operations. I'm confident that everything that can be done is now being done. But first and foremost, we must do everything we can to keep that very important word, hope, alive.
PHILLIPS: Absolutely. Let's talk about those miners. Because the question is, how much air do they have or do we know if they would be OK without oxygen at this point? And do they have enough water? Bob Murray came forward, insisted that they had enough air and enough water to last possibly a couple of weeks. So, can you confirm that, that they do have enough down there to survive if, indeed, they are alive?
HUNTSMAN: What the experts, the mining safety and health administration people, are saying is that the air quality is -- is survivable, is reasonably good. It is methane free, which obviously is very, very important. So, if the miners survived that initial quake or disruption, whatever it was, the chances are very good that it is a survivable environment in which they're now located.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: The miners had been trapped since early yesterday morning.
LEMON: Applause, a welcome, almost unbelievable. Sound, more than three days after a mine disaster, that was back in 2002. Pennsylvania's Quecreek Mine, nine miners are pulled out safe after being trapped for almost 80 hours in a flooded shaft. Doug Custer was even luckier. He and some of his comrades were warned by the trapped miners that things were going bad and managed to get out. Well, Doug still works at Quecreek. He's in the mines as we speak now. He went to work earlier today, but his mind is on Utah.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DOUG CUSTER, QUECREEK MINE SURVIVOR: The six miners that are trapped are -- it's in Utah, it will definitely be on my mind. But I definitely have to keep my mind on my job, because my job depends on me doing it right for the 60 other guys that are under my roof supports.
LEMON: Yeah, you said they're your brothers. Do you think of them like brothers? You're going to be thinking about them all day today while you're working.
CUSTER: Oh, yeah, definitely. Knowing what they're going through and how the rescue effort's going and -- because I really and truly believe, just from what I've been seeing on the news, you know, the maps -- the maps are in line. These miners knew what they were doing, because their entries are straight, their crosscuts are straight. They knew what they were doing.
LEMON: If you can describe right now, and I know it's horrific, what the miners today are going through right now, just kind of waiting? Are they conserving energy? Are they huddled? Are they trying to keep warm, what are they going through?
CUSTER: Well, I'd say they're probably keeping warm. Hopefully they're not dealing with any water. Usually in a mine collapse, you know, there could be an aquifer in the strata above them. How high it cave? I don't know. But hopefully it was just rocks that come down. Usually if there's an aquifer you know it will break off there and you will have water. I'm praying to god that there is no water there, that they are high and dry.
LEMON: Mr. Custer, what do you say to the families of those who are waiting for those miners, those six trapped miners to get out?
CUSTER: Just keep praying. Pray to god and things will be OK. Because I really and truly believe those miners are still -- still alive. Because like I said, the maps -- these are smart miners. You know, it's not a hit-and-miss-type mining operation. Their cuts were straight. And it went for 3,000, 4,000 feet long in the rooms. There are butts that we call them.
CUSTER: You know, these were experienced, good coal miners.
LEMON: Why do you guys do this?
CUSTER: Provide for our families. That's the only reason. Number one and foremost is provide for our families.
LEMON: It's dangerous.
CUSTER: It's dangerous but it's not a bad living. It's not a good living. But it's something that needs done. And we provided for our families and for everybody that throws on a light switch.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: There you go. That was Doug Custer, a survivor and current worker at the Quecreek Mine.
PHILLIPS: More than 20 years have passed since tragedy made Christa McAuliffe a household name. Now NASA is getting ready to send another teacher into space. The woman who was McAuliffe's backup for the "challenger" mission in 1986.
CNN's space correspondent, Miles O'Brien, has her story.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barbara Morgan can teach us all a lesson in persistence.
BARBARA MORGAN: I never got the feeling I wouldn't get the chance to fly.
O'BRIEN: That's hard to imagine since it's now been 22 years since she first came to NASA from her elementary school classroom in Idaho. She was the runner-up to be NASA's first teacher in space.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She currently teaches second grade, congratulations. Can we have a little -- a little thing for you.
O'BRIEN: She and high school teacher Christa McAuliffe trained side by side for months in the fall of 1985. Together they learned the basics of flying on the shuttle, figured out what they would teach in televised lessons from space and became fast friends.
CLAY MORGAN, HUSBAND: They were the outsiders who came in to the astronaut corps and everybody was very kind to them here. But they're both seeing things from the same perspective, and, you know, they had a good time, became friends.
"Challenger" go with throttle up.
O'BRIEN: But, of course, it all ended very badly. On January 28, 1986, Christa McAuliffe and six others died when the space shuttle "challenger" blew up shortly after launch. The horrifying scene witnessed by schoolchildren all across the country who had hoped to watch Christa's lessons from space. Barbara and her husband Clay were there.
CLAY MORGAN: She never felt that that could have been me. It wasn't her. And she never -- she never, ever looked at it that way. It -- it didn't happen to her, and she didn't -- she didn't consider that that could have been her. And I don't see it that way either.
O'BRIEN: In fact, amid the tragedy, Barbara Morgan saw a teaching moment.
O'BRIEN: It was important that kids see that, you know, that adults in a really bad situation will try to work hard to figure out what's wrong, how can we fix it, how can we make it better.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
PHILLIPS: That was Miles O'Brien reporting. We're going to have more about Barbara Morgan, her mission and how time and tragedy could not keep her from her dreams. That will be tonight on "ANDERSON COOPER 360" 10:00 p.m. eastern, right here on CNN.
Now "Endeavour" is scheduled for launch tomorrow evening at 6:38 eastern from Kennedy Space Center live coverage right here on CNN, the most trusted name in news.
LEMON: The closing bell and a wrap of all the action on Wall Street, straight ahead.
PHILLIPS: Well, the closing bell is about to ring on Wall Street.
LEMON: Susan Lisovicz, take it away.
SUSAN LISOVICZ: Hey, Kyra and Don, we had a triple digit sell- off, we had a triple digit rally. Neither is going to happen at the closing bell. There will be a very modest rally. The fed kept interest rates unchanged. But it talked about credit tightening and downside risk to the economy increasing. See you guys tomorrow.
LEMON: Have a good one, Susan. Thank you.
PHILLIPS: Take it now to THE SITUATION ROOM.
LEMON: And Suzanne Malveaux.
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