Return to Transcripts main page
Drills Making Progress towards Reaching Miners; Dangerous Heat Sweeps Eastern U.S.; Earthquake Strikes Off Coast of Jakarta; Teacher Prepares for Flight on Space Shuttle Endeavour
Aired August 8, 2007 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BOB MURRAY, PRESIDENT/CEO, MURRAY ENERGY: In two days, if they continue this pace, that hole will be down to where we want it to be.
Now I've cautioned you all along, when you set a drill rate from the helicopter, because there are no roads to this wilderness area, you set it by GPS coordinates. And that can be inaccurate. And it's very possible that when we drill down there and find the coal seam, we may have drilled into a solid block of coal rather than the cavity to where the miners are. And it could be a matter of just inches, just inches.
So I caution you that, while we're now optimistic because of the 450-foot advance, that we'll be there in two days. We've done everything in our power to position that that drill will intersect the cavity where the people are. But it could intersect a filler, in which case we've got to start drilling again. And that would be another three days.
The other good news: the large drill that's drilling the 8 5/8 inch hole, that will allow the miners to be accessed in two days, started drilling this morning. It did not start last night, as we'd intended, because this mammoth drill rig is sitting on a mountain at a 23-degree angle.
I told you last night that this drill rig will come within inches of where we want it to be. It will hit the cavity. It will come down where we said it will be. It will hit within a fraction of an inch. A fraction of an inch of where we want it to be.
But to do that, you've got to position the rig in the right place on the surface. And it so happens the area directly above these miners is a mountain on a 23-degree slope. And this is a very huge rig to drill an 8-1/2 foot hole. And as a result they have had difficulty in getting it positioned within the fraction of an inch of where it has to be.
But it is now drilling. And it will be down there in two days, barring any delays in the drilling. Two days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two days from now?
MURRAY: Two days from now. Yes, sir. I consider this to be very, very good news.
Now, the other good news. The other activity that is going on is the underground recovery. As I have said to you, the 2 1/2-inch hole and the eight-inch hole will provide air, ventilation. It will provide communications. It will provide food. It will provide for all of the needs of the miners, if they are alive.
I've also have said to you that the concussion from the original seismic activity may have instantly killed them. And that is in the hands of the lord. But we will get to them and have gotten to them as rapidly as we can, from the surface and to the same underground.
I reported to you yesterday morning and last night that the seismic activity had continued underground. And because of this, we had to withdraw all of our miners, not rescue teams, our coal miners of Utah America Energy Inc., who are -- were driving towards the trapped miners, to protect their safety.
That seismic activity lasted all night, night before last. I told you, I was there when it started at 3 a.m. I was there when we pulled the men out at 4 a.m. in the morning. It lasted all day. It lasted all evening. And I'm told, early in the wee hours this morning -- I don't know the exact time -- it stopped.
During this period of time that we couldn't actually be doing the rescue effort, we had 134 men in the mine doing all of the things that are needed to support the rescue effort when we were able to recommence the effort, when the seismic activity slowed down.
And that meant bringing in props which you see drive by you here, timbers, jacks, wire mesh, cable, things that we need to support the entries. Plus, the mining equipment. We now have 32 pieces of mining machinery on site in the rescue effort.
And we worked around the clock, actually. While the driving torch of the miners was slowed down and then stopped totally, our activity on the ground was actually increased. We had an average of 42 men underground at all times around the clock for a total of 134 men, 42 and the total of 134, involved in preparing for the advancement. This is all good news.
The major drill has started the actual drilling, delayed for the day because of the very steep terrain above the trapped miners. And the fact that we had to build 8,000 feet of roads to get to that location. And we worked night and day around the clock to build those roads and get that drill going.
The drill brought in by helicopter was down 450 feet as of this morning at 7 a.m. The rescue activities start again as soon as the seismic activity has stopped to the point that we're told it's perfectly safe. And as I reported earlier, we're reasonably sure that has already occurred and we're preparing to move men underground.
I'm also advising you that I am going to go to the drill sites myself. I'm going underground myself today. And I'm taking with me the son of one of the trapped miners, who has 4 1/2 years' mining experience, and the brother of another trapped miner, who is on a rescue team and has many, many years of experience at another mine. And they are going to give the next report to the families and the loved ones of those trapped miners.
I thank you for your concern. I thank you for the interest. I thank America for being concerned.
I'll take any questions that you might have. And then I will turn -- then I will turn the meeting over to Mr. Richard Stickler, the assistant secretary of labor, who we are working hand-in-hand with together so we get the best effort.
Murray Energy and Utah America need the expertise of the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration, and I'm pleased to have it. And to this point, we have worked totally together in the effort to come out with the wisest way and the quickest way to get to these trapped miners, determining their state, and then recovering them as quickly as we can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What time do you think that the underground effort will resume? Can you give us any type of ballpark time?
MURRAY: I'm told this morning, sometime this afternoon. That's the best information I can give you. And when it is started, I will be among the first to go in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Murray, can you tell us when the -- when you had to pull your people out of the mine yesterday, how much of the 310 feet toward the men had you lost? Or can you clarify the numbers, sir?
MURRAY: I can clarify that, sir. And thank you for the question.
I originally told you, as a result of this earthquake and seismic activity, that the men could only get -- the rescue workers could only get within 2,000 feet of the trapped miners underground. We advanced 410 feet -- I'm sorry, 310 feet -- in the direction of the miners before the additional seismic activity drove us back out and completely wiped out all of our progress and put us back to square one as of about 4 a.m. yesterday morning.
But I am pleased again to say the seismic activity has subsided, and we are now well under way with the underground operation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... this whole thing was triggered by an earthquake. Geologists and seismologists beg to differ.
MURRAY: From our mining experience, we know that it was an earthquake, from the experience of mining and mountain bumps and how this occurred. I'm not going to address that issue any more, because it seems to be that the media is more concerned about trying the place blame than they are in the families and in the actual rescue effort underground.
I am totally focused on the families and the rescue effort underground, and I will make no more comments about that subject, because it makes no difference whatsoever as to what is going on in that mine as of this morning, August 8.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If your miners want to, will you permit them to talk to reporters?
MURRAY: I don't permit them to do anything -- I don't have any right to permit them to do anything. They are free American citizens who can say and do what they wish.
However, I have advised them not to talk to you, because they deserve privacy at this time, a trauma and when their entire lives are in front of them. And I have told them that if they want to talk to you, they can, but their privacy will be invaded. And I think these people need their privacy.
I'm the one meeting with them. I know the trauma they're going through. And their privacy needs to be respected. Now, I haven't told them to do anything, but I've advised them not to speak to you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long could it actually take before you got -- or get to the miners? You know, other than the drilling, how long would it take to actually get to them?
MURRAY: Well, that's the answer I can't give you this morning. You know, I started out by telling you at least three days, didn't I? And then last night I said I know it's going to be at least a week and it could be a lot more. And that's my answer this morning.
Sir, I really don't know. I don't know whether the seismic activity is going to start again. I don't know how much rubble is between our -- our activity of the recovery and where the miners are. Please understand that. That's an excellent question.
I don't know when the seismic activity may start again. I really don't know how much rubble there is between where our recovery operations are and where the trapped miners are. But I know from my mining experience and from the opinions of my management, it cannot be done in short of a week, and it may be more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... parts of the mine...
MURRAY: And the reason it's going to take -- the reason it's going to take a week or more is we're now setting sets 2 1/2 feet apart on timbers, on posts, tied with cables, additional roof pulling (ph), chain link fence. And that's going to slow the operation down tremendously.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How far back from -- from where they believed the miners are did this trouble and rubble begin (ph)?
MURRAY: That is what I don't know, sir. That's what I just said. The rubble can be right up to where the miners are, and that would be a distance of 2,000 feet from where our rescue team is. The rubble could be in there 100 feet, and there may be a cavity, a 1,900 feet open where these miners are. I have no way of knowing that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) MURRAY: That's correct.
KYRA PHILLIPS: Bob Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy. Well, we can tell you the good news: he thinks he's going to reach those trapped miners within two days.
Rescuers know exactly the location of the six trapped miners. It's unclear still whether they have survived the cave-in. As you know, the initial attempt to enter that mine had failed. Now, heavy equipment, including a helicopter-born drill, has been brought in.
The mine operator here insists that that quake -- the earthquake a couple of days caused that collapse. However, seismologists, other experts coming forward saying they're not quite sure that they believe in that.
The drill has already dug 450 feet towards those miners. They're believed to be 1,500 feet underground. The goal of this drilling is to make about 2.5-inch hole in that mine, allowing ventilation to access those trapped miners, who once again we still do not know if they are alive, if they have survived this mine cave-in.
We're going to continue to follow this, everything Bob Murray has to say, and update you on all the rescue efforts, two days, possibly.
Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
DON LEMON, CO-HOST: And I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for joining us today.
Our other top story in the CNN NEWSROOM that everybody is talking about, it is dangerous -- it was dangerous before; now it is deadly. The heat wave blanketing half of the country, well, it may not budge until the weekend. And it may not budge even then.
But heat is only part of the problem. There's also the humidity wave from the southern planes to the Jersey shore. Atlanta and Charleston felt hotter than Baghdad right now, and the worst is still ahead.
PHILLIPS: Especially dangerous in the big cities. Atlanta for one, where there's lots of concrete below and lots of smog above. We can attest to that, right, Chad Myers?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We sent our own Jacqui Jeras out there to swelter in this.
Jacqui, how does it feel out there? What do you think the temperature really is? What's the heat index?
JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: About 150. Does that sound about right, Chad?
MYERS: That's it. That's what I got now.
JERAS: It is, it's hot, and it really feels like it. And you know, I can attest to that. Sweating that doesn't evaporate.
JERAS: That's pretty much what's going on. It took me about five seconds out here before I started sweating. That's not something that happens to me each and every day.
But people trying to cool off down here in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, trying to stay cool in the water because I guess the heat index, Chad -- if that right -- 107?
MYERS: A hundred and seven. Yes, and it's spritzing, by the way. You're not sweating -- females spritz. Glisten, glistening -- oh, glistening, Kyra says. Glistening.
JERAS: Glistening. I know.
Anyway, you know, not only is the heat a dangerous thing; it really is. You have to take it seriously today. You want to be in the air conditioning. You know, we've already had at least three people die in this heat wave.
And more people die from heat than any other weather-related event, more than hurricanes, more than tornados, more than flash flooding.
And on top of that, we have air quality issues here. We want to show you a graphic that shows you where we have the concerns across -- especially the southeastern quarter. All those orange balls that you see, that means the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups.
And the red ball right there over Atlanta, that means it's unhealthy for everybody. We call it code red or smog alert.
Now, if that's not enough to make you want to stay inside by looking at my map. Check out my next map. This is a satellite image from NOAA taken yesterday afternoon from space, yes, 21,500 miles up in the air. You can see the haze and the smog. You can see that right there across southern Georgia, especially up here around Atlanta. All through the Carolinas and in to the Tennessee Valley. So if that's not enough to keep you inside, I don't know what is.
We want to talk to some tourists over here, trying to stay cool. And I believe you guys came from the Carolinas, didn't you? Where it's actually hotter than it is here. So you came to Atlanta to cool down. Is that right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We went to the aquarium this morning. And came over to the fountains to cool off.
JERAS: All right. And how does it feel out here to your bodies? Anybody suffering by staying out here? You going in the water to stay cool? What are you doing? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enjoying the breeze, going in the water, hanging with the kids. Having a fun time. Just enjoying the hot weather.
JERAS: And does this feel good for you for your summer vacation? The last few days that you have?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it's fun to be out here in the heat and be in the water.
JERAS: Well, you guys take it easy.
My suggestion to you guys and everybody else out there, is maybe to head out to the public library or to the mall and try and stay cool.
A couple more days left of this, huh, Chad?
MYERS: Yes, but the library is usually cheaper. At least when I send my wife to the mall, it costs me something. Jacqui, thanks very much. Get back inside if you can.
MYERS: Get out of the heat.
This is really -- this is what the people in Baghdad have been feeling now for the past month and a half. Saturday in Baghdad, it will be 115. And it is still a pretty muggy heat in Baghdad, as well. You may hear about dry heat -- not there.
Kyra, back to you.
PHILLIPS: Can you just imagine being a U.S. troop right now in that heat?
Yes. Not a pleasurable experience. It's already tough enough there.
PHILLIPS: All right, Chad. Thanks.
MYERS: You're welcome.
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 a video, then e mail it directly to i- report@CNN.com. You can even add your own commentary. For more information, just go to CNN.com/ireport.
LEMON: We're going to keep on top of the weather and also on top of this story, the news coming out of Utah. That's where six miners are trapped and rescue efforts are stalled. Utah's governor joins us next in the NEWSROOM. Plus Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama get warm welcomes in Chicago. Our political guru, bill Schneider, tells us who got the cold shoulder.
PHILLIPS: And Iraq insurgents and Iran's role in the war. We're going to get a senior U.S. commander's take on all of it.
You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
PHILLIPS: Getting information in now out of Indonesia, looks like near the capital of Jakarta. The USGS reporting an earthquake that has hit that area, 7.4 on the Richter scale.
Chad Myers is working this. We're going to try and get as much information as we can, let you know.
All right. Chad, you have already had a chance to take a look at your high technology.
MYERS: Just a little bit. But that's OK. The problem is we hope that these things aren't near populated areas.
And let me tell you, this is the big red dot right here. And this is the one that just happened in the past hour. And this big red dot is that seven. We're going to put our pointer right over it. And it will show you, 7.4. And that is very close and in the ocean, though. But very close to Jakarta.
And let me tell you, Jakarta is a big-time populated area. You get an earthquake that's this close. Don't have what the key would be, the distance would be on that. But hey, Dave, can you do that? Can you do a ruler and go across, see what it is. I'm betting probably less than 50 miles or so.
Go up -- no, go up to the top and go to ruler and just measure -- measure distance. The problem is that it was so close to the -- to the shore here. There we go, that's OK. Sorry, there you go. Do it in miles. And, oh, 61 miles, 61 miles from Jakarta itself, but just offshore.
So if there was any potential for a tsunami, it would have been on shore rather quickly with very, very little warning when you get this close to shore.
PHILLIPS: I was being told -- one of our producers called in, Chad, and said it lasted about a minute. So what did you just say about a tsunami?
MYERS: If there would be a tsunami, the distance from where the center of the quake is to the shore, although this isn't a greatly populated shore like the other side is, still 18.3 miles. It would take literally minutes for a wave to get there with little -- almost would get no warning. If you felt the shake, and they did right here, it would be time to go, time to move away from the shore. PHILLIPS: So is it possible that a tsunami could have already happened? We just haven't...
MYERS: Absolutely. No question.
PHILLIPS: We don't have reports yet. All right. So we'll follow up with out calls. We did get a call from one of our producers, said it lasted about a minute. So we'll stay on top of it. Seven point four earthquake there near Jakarta, about 18 miles from where it happened right there in the water.
Chad waters, thanks. Keep tracking it.
LEMON: Space Shuttle Endeavour, waiting patiently on the launch pad for this evening's liftoff. The crew has been waiting patiently, too. None more so than teacher turned astronaut Barbara Morgan.
Space correspondent Miles O'Brien standing by. He joins us live with more on that -- Miles.
Apparently -- Miles, can you hear me? Are you there, sir?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hello. Hello.
LEMON: Hello, it's Don. How are you, Miles? Good to talk to you, my friend.
O'BRIEN: I am well. I apologize. I...
LEMON: What's going on today? A little launch or something happening?
O'BRIEN: Well, you know, the heat is something here, Don. That's all I can say. We're wilting under the heat, and we've sort of lost our way here. I was talking to one of my colleagues over there. My apologies.
Let me tell you what's going on for the Space Shuttle Endeavour. First time on the launch pad in nearly five years. Last time it flew in December of 2002, before we lost Columbia, had a major modification and maintenance period since then. They say Endeavour is fit and ready to fly.
The weather so far is cooperating. Take a look at that haze, though. This heat, what you're feeling up there in Atlanta and all throughout the nation. I have never -- I cannot recall a hotter launch than this one.
But, the weather, nonetheless, 80 percent go for launch. Some showers, which are supposed to be inland, will apparently stay inland. We're watching that closely. But so far, so good.
This launch, as you know, Don, comes a little more than a week after that bombshell report by that outside committee, took a look at the way NASA and its flight surgeons deal with the mental health of astronauts. It was in the wake of the Lisa Nowak incident. That's the now former astronaut who was involved in that lovers' triangle, is accused of assault of her romantic rival.
In any case, as you take a look at the crew -- this is some pictures we shot just a little while ago.
There was a paragraph in that report which referred to the possible alcohol abuse by astronauts prior to launch. Now I talked to the NASA administrator, Mike Griffin, a little while ago about this.
And he points out a very important point. These astronauts have been up since 8 a.m. this morning. They'll launch at 6 p.m., after 6 p.m. Eastern tonight, 10.5 hours from wakeup to launch. That is typical. They launch at the end of their day.
The question he poses and we all have posed, scratching our heads here is, how could you violate the 12-hour bottle-to-throttle rule without drinking beer at breakfast. Let's listen to Mike Griffin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE GRIFFIN, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: My lack of belief does not mean that we will not do anything other than fully investigate the allegations, and if we find that there's any truth there, we'll deal with it.
But my initial reaction is if you know anything about the timeline of working up to a shuttle flight, you look at that and you say, that just can't be true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: They've looked back ten years so far, and they haven't found a single event that they think is credible. Stay tuned. There will be a congressional hearing next month, and we'll hear more about these allegations which, really, at this point, I would put in the category of rumors and hearsay.
Now, the main event for this mission shouldn't be alcohol and rocket fuel. The truth is, it's about teachers in space.
Barbara Morgan, after 22 years -- 22 years ago, she was selected as the runner-up to Christa McAuliffe to fly on the Space Shuttle Challenger as the teacher in space then. Has stayed in the NASA pool, persistently gone after that goal.
In 1998, was selected to become an astronaut, full-fledged, who happens to be a teacher.
She will be strapping in today, hopefully fulfilling the mission that Christa McAuliffe never got to fly because of the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger. So, Don, today, a lot of people are thinking about the sad moment in time back in January of 1986 when it was ever so cold here, on this very hot day, we'll be thinking of that lost crew -- Don.
LEMON: All right, thank you very much for that report, Miles O'Brien. And we're also getting information on the earthquake in Indonesia; 7.4, we're being told there, the magnitude there. About 60 miles from the capital, we're being told. Miles O'Brien on top of it. The USGS reporting this. We're going to continue to follow this story and bring it to you here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
PHILLIPS: More now, on the earthquake we've been reporting. The USGS reporting 7.4 out of Jakarta, Indonesia. Actually about 18 miles from Jakarta, according to Chad Myers, who's been tracking this for us, through our Google Earth.
It happened right in the body of water, 18 miles from Jakarta. John Aglionby, our producer in Indonesia, actually felt it. He said it lasted about one minute. He joins us on the phone.
John, what more can you tell us?
JOHN AGLIONBY, "THE FINANCIAL TIMES": I was just getting into bed. It's just after midnight local time. And I could feel things shaking. And it's very rare to have earthquakes in Jakarta, so I realized it must have been big. A cousin of mine who is on the 35th floor, of the tower block, getting to bed. She was awoken. She's eight months, two young kids in the flat. Panic like crazy, didn't know what to do.
And other people have been hearing that it was felt hundreds of kilometers away across central and western Java. Haven't gotten any reports of significant damage yet, a lot of people running to the streets in towns across the island, not knowing what to do. Seems that the telephone systems are slightly overloaded, everyone is trying to ring everyone else, trying to find out. At the moment, though, no reports of major damage, but a lot of very scared spooked people across Java.
PHILLIPS: When Chad Myers and I were talking, we were talking about the possibility of a tsunami because of it happening right there in the body of the water. Have you heard any reports of a possible tsunami?
AGLIONBY: Nothing yet, whatsoever. This is on the north coast of Java. And there have not been any tsunami systems or warning systems placed on the north coast. Everybody has been looking at the south coast of Java, which is where the tsunami was last year -- where the two tsunamis were last year. This is sort of like catching everyone looking the wrong way. So, we'll just have to wait and see and things should come clear in the next half hour, hour or so.
PHILLIPS: OK, John Aglionby, keep in touch. Are you going to work the story for us, or are you going to be able to go back to sleep?
AGLIONBY: I don't know, I've got to do my real job for my real newspaper, "The Financial Times".
AGLIONBY: I've got to find out what they want.
PHILLIPS: OK, good. Keep us abreast, John, please, as you get more information so we can continue to update our viewers. Because we know this is a popular vacation place. And also we want to know, indeed, if anything has happened there on the shores.
PHILLIPS: Thanks, John.
LEMON: We turn to now business and prices at the gas pump have slid 40 cents since May and a new report with more for drivers. Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange to tell us what we can expect.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Don.
Well, looks like gas prices will keep going down at least for the next few months, according to the government. Right now, the national average for self -serve regular stands at $2.82 a gallon, down from May's record of more than $3.22. The Energy Information Administration predicts prices could fall by another 20 cents by December before turning higher again -- Don.
LEMON: There's always a possibility of higher again. We don't like that. But these are just estimates, right? Things could change at any moment.
LISOVICZ: That's right. And, boy, have we been down that path again, whether it's Mother Nature or political instability. Just last month, refinery problems in the Midwest caused prices to spike in that region. And we all remember the surge we saw after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hitting the Gulf Coast, nearly two years ago.
Plus, considering that while prices are falling right now, drivers are still paying more than they did last summer. The government says by next may, the prices will be back near record levels.
On Wall Street, we're seeing higher prices as well. That's a good thing. Stocks staging a broad rally following the Federal Reserve's reassurances about the economy yesterday. A solid earnings report from tech giant Cisco Systems, also helping out, especially the Nasdaq. Cisco shares are jumping nearly 8 percent. So the Nasdaq is on fire.
Right now, the Dow industrials are up 125 points to nearly 1 percent. The Nasdaq up 57 points for 2.25 percent. Nice day, the tech stocks.
Virgin America's virgin flight takes off -- eventually. The flashy new airline gets a sobering reminder of the difficult road that lies ahead. I'll have details in the next hour of NEWSROOM.
In the meantime, Don -- we all know about rough travel today on the east coast. I can certainly vouch to that personally. Back to you.
LEMON: You're lucky you are indoors.
LISOVICZ: I am. Sweltering outside.
LEMON: Thank you, Susan.
PHILLIPS: We'll continue to follow the news of the 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia. This is what we can tell you thus far. It happened right there in the body of water, the Java Sea, about 18 miles from shore, about 70 miles from Jakarta, the capital.
We were able to talk to one of our producers there, in Indonesia. He actually felt it. He's working more information for us right now. No word of a tsunami thus far. We'll follow up. Our Chad Myers working it, in addition to the Indonesian producer. We'll take a quick break, we'll be right back.
LEMON: Police have encouraging leads to a triple murder in Newark, New Jersey. The city's mayor says false reports can compromise that investigation. Triple murder getting all of the attention, occurred behind in elementary school. Three young people were killed and a fourth seriously wounded. CNN's Allan Chernoff has been following the developments and he joins us now live from Newark.
What do you have, Allan?
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, there seems to be a little bit of a conflict between the press secretary for the mayor, and the press secretary for the police department. The mayor's press secretary, this morning, confirmed to me that the police have identified at least one suspect in this case.
But during the press conference that just occurred, the mayor and the police director both refused to make that confirmation. The mayor saying only that we have many good leads, and that we're pursuing them as quickly as possible, with all of our effort.
Now, he did say also that there has been tremendous cooperation in this investigation from the public, from the citizens of Newark, which unfortunately is not always the case in criminal investigations here. But in this case, it certainly has been. It has shocked the entire community.
And the most important cooperation has come from Natasha Aerial, the fourth victim, who was shot in the face, survived. She is at university hospital now in stable condition. And she has been talking with the police describing everything that she can recall, telling them everything that she knows, so they say that certainly has been extremely helpful here. Now, the police, until now, have been saying their suspicion was that this was a robbery that suddenly went wrong. There was some resistance and then the fighting happened. As you know, the crime Saturday night, not only was Natasha shot in the face, but her brother and two friends were actually -- against the wall -- they were told to kneel against the wall and they were shot in the back of the head, execution style -- absolutely shocking.
Now, the police have conceded that it's possible this indeed was premeditated. And here's some evidence that may point in that direction. The director of the school security system -- and keep in mind this crime did happen in the back of an elementary school -- the director of the system told me that two security cameras were, indeed, operational Friday afternoon, into the evening. They know that for sure. The security guards who were on duty saw the pictures coming from those cameras.
Some point between Friday night and when the actual crime occurred, those cameras went out. They were vandalized. And the security director for the public school system says that may be an indication that indeed this was all premeditated, indicating perhaps, perhaps, some gang involvement. There certainly are plenty of gangs that have been very involved in criminal activity in this town.
Don, back to you.
LEMON: Thank you, Allan.
PHILLIPS: A Florida judge ruled that Jessica Lundsford's killer is not mentally disabled, and is eligible for the death penalty. John Couey was convicted of the kidnapping sexual battery and murder of nine-year-old Jessica, who was buried alive. The jury recommended death for the repeat sex offender. His sentencing is scheduled for August 24.
Now yesterday we told you about a little girl who chased after a convenience store robber. Today we have the story of a man who's slightly less adorable, but just as gutsy. So, a guy tries to hold up a store clerk, only he's not that bright and leaves the shotgun on the counter as he pockets the cash. The clever clerk grabs the gun, the crook runs, only to come back to try to get his weapon. After a struggle, the guy leaves again, but is captured by nearby police, after just a short little standoff.
One week since the bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, are we any closer to learning the cause? Are we any closer to finding the remaining victims? We'll get an update straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
And we'll have more from our Chad Myers on the earthquake out of Indonesia. The news keeps coming, keep bringing it to you. You're watching CNN.
PHILLIPS: More now on that major earthquake to strike just past Jakarta, Indonesia, right there in the Java Sea. It had a magnitude of 7.4. Now we're being told it's gone up to 7.5. It happened just after midnight. We have a number of details to tell you about this. Where, exactly it is, and how it's affected that area.
Kathy Quiano, one of our producers, in Jakarta felt the earthquake. Kathy joins us now on the line.
What can you tell us about the effects of the earthquake, Kathy? >
KATHY QUIANO, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Kyra, I'm driving around Jakarta now. It's been almost 15 minutes after the quake happened here. There are no signs of any significant damage. In fact, we don't see any signs of damage in Jakarta. There might be a different story outside. Probably in parts of central Java, or central Java, where the earthquake was also felt.
But, as I said, I think that Jakarta looks fine now. Most residents have gone back to their homes. The streets are clear right now. But there was panic when it happened. Earthquake went on for at least a minute here, it was pretty strong and scary -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: So, do you know of anything -- any reports. Can you see anything with regard to the possible tsunami. That, of course, was the big concern, Kathy, seeing that this happened right there in the Java Sea, 18 miles from the shoreline?
QUIANO: That's right, Kyra. However, the earthquake also happened very deep in the ocean. And scientists have said already there's no tsunami warning because it is deep. And also because the earthquake, I believe, had a lateral movement and would not have caused any tsunami.
Here in Jakarta, which is really just on the north coast of the Java Islands, there are residential areas near the coast, and most of the residents panicked there and tried to run to safer ground thinking that a tsunami might follow. But of course, we're now being told that there are no chances of that happening -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Do you see any other effects from the earthquake, or does it look like it was felt or there was 18 miles from the shoreline, and there are those effect there is in the area.
QUIANO: So far, none here in Jakarta. People are shaken, that's for certain. People -- people panicked earlier on. Here in Jakarta, there are really no signs. We're going the look for areas outside of Jakarta where structures are poorly built in homes that are particularly in central and west Java. As you remember there was one big earthquake in May last year, in Jakarta, and many of the people died there because they were trapped and in poorly built homes and structures, Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right, Kathy Quiano, reporting to us from Jakarta. Thanks so much, Kathy.
LEMON: Our Chad Myers also on top of this.
You said, Chad, 18 miles from shore. About 60 to 70 miles from the capital of Jakarta. What new information do you have for us?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: The shaking in Jakarta is really now what I'm really concerned about, not so much the tsunami. It was, now, so deep, 180 miles, originally, 175 miles. But there's really no difference to that.
When you get a shake or you get a quake, or any kind of a tremor that's close to the top of the crust, you get a lot more violent push up. Whereas you get 180 miles of crust between where the shake happened, and where the bottom of the ocean is. There's a little bit of padding in there. It's like 180 miles worth of pillows. Although, obviously, it's crust, it' not a pillow.
But it doesn't move as much. So, you have movement down here. But by the time it gets up here, it is a little bit of a less movement. When you get a quake, that is four miles, 10 miles from the bottom of the ocean, it shakes here. The bottom of the ocean shakes as well.
This area right through here, not so populated. It's gardening district, it's a lot of agriculture. And not a lot of what you would know as big resorts. Yes, it's kind of a beachy area there. But this is one of the major growing areas here around Jakarta.
Now, Jakarta is kind of protected. There is kind of a little bit of a port here. So if there was a tsunami, it would have pretty much gone around Jakarta, and not hit Jakarta proper.
But let's get right down to Jakarta. Right on down to that move number two that we saw. Jakarta, almost, eight million people here. So look at all of the buildings, all the structures. And I know some of these had to be shaking pretty violently. I mean, at a 7.4, even by the time that quake got here, it still had a feel like about 6.0 right underneath.
LEMON: All right. We'll check back. Thank you.
PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, danger outdoors. Millions of Americans warned to stay inside. A closer look at the deadly combination of heat and humidity here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
LEMON: There's still no closure for the families of eight people presumed dead in the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Their bodies are believed to have been buried under rubble. The search has been very slow, but authorities say that can't be helped.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. MIKE MARTIN, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPT.: These vehicles had debris fall on them. That's why they are trapped where they are. And with the crushing forces of the debris, the bridge deck, the superstructure falling on them, these vehicles are not easily recoverable. They're not in the type of shape that they're going to be easy to get to. That's going to be a long process.
And, talking with some of them last night, it is a very dangerous, very tenuous situation down there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Five people confirmed dead in the bridge collapse. One person remains in critical condition.
PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, we're going to be following more on word that we are -- more information, rather, on the 7.4 earthquake that struck just outside Jakarta, Indonesia. We have producers working it. We'll bring you more information. Chad Myers bringing you the best technology to tell you more about it. We'll be right back.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com