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Incredible Stories of Survival in Nepal; The Fall of Saigon: 40 Years Later

Aired April 30, 2015 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: You`re only a day away from Friday and May 1st, and you`re 10 minutes away from being up to speed on current


I`m Carl Azuz with CNN STUDENT NEWS.

First up, a Nigerian military operation in the Sambisa Forest -- it`s in the northeastern part of the African country and it`s a stronghold for the

Boko Haram terrorist group. Nigerian troops were targeting camps used by Boko Haram. The military said it destroyed several of these camps. In the

process, it says it rescued 200 girls and 93 women on Tuesday and that troops may find more.

But according to a Nigerian army spokesman, these do not include the girls that Boko Haram kidnapped last year from a school in Chibok, Nigeria.

There are among hundreds who`ve been abducted by the militant Islamist group, not have been found yet.

From Africa, we`re traveling to Southern Asia. There are some incredible stories coming out of Nepal, following last Saturday`s 7.8 magnitude

earthquake. A 4-month-old baby boy was rescued at least 22 hours after the quake struck. Someone heard him crying in rubble. An initial check

indicated he had no internal injuries.

Experts say it`s rare for anyone trapped for more than 72 hours after a disaster to survive. This man did it. He was rescued yesterday, 80 hours

after the quake.

Helicopters have rescued scores of people from remote places, taking them to hospitals for treatment. But more than 5,200 people died in the quake.

And a Nepalese doctor says his country is facing a medical calamity like never before, that it needs help urgently from the international community.

UNICEF says 1.7 million children need aid. Some of the organizations providing it are listed on CNN`s "Impact Your World" Web site. You can

find a link to that at

The town of Yarmouth, Maine, is just north of Freeport and it`s first up on today`s roll call. We`re setting sail with the Clippers. Great to see

everyone there at Frank H. Harrison Middle School.

Jumping southwest to Aztec, New Mexico. It`s where you`ll find Koogler Middle School. The Tigers on the prowl there.

And we`ll wrap up back east in Bayboro, North Carolina. Watch out for the Hurricanes. They`re storming from Pamlico County High School.

It`s been 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War. It was a decades-long conflict between North Vietnam`s communist government and its allies and

South Vietnam, which was an ally of the U.S.

American combat operations in the Asian country had stopped in 1973. But the U.S. had continued to give military help to Saigon, the capital of

South Vietnam. The North ultimately won the conflict.

In late April of 1975, with 150,000 North Vietnamese poised to invade Saigon, U.S. helicopter pilots had a grueling mission -- to evacuate the

Americans who remained there, along with as many Vietnamese as they could. For everyone involved, it was an unforgettable and desperate day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was absolute chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All your regulations went out the door that day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was tremendous confusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a tsunami of people.

SUBTITLE: The Fall of Saigon: 40 Years Later.

On April 29, 1975, 20 years of fighting ended with a historic airlift as 150,000 North Vietnamese troops bore down on Saigon.

When it was nearly over, nearly 100 choppers airlifted 7,000 evacuees in less than 24 hours.

COL. GERRY BERRY, U.S. MARINE CORPS (RET): Gerry Berry, 25-year marine pilot, flew the ambassador out of Saigon in 1975.

TONY COALSON, FORMER PILOT, AIR AMERICA: Tony Coalson, I flew with Air America from 1970 to 1975. We never get the word that the evacuation has

begun. It evolved. That`s what I can describe it, it just evolved.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People (INAUDIBLE) in cars all chasing one American evacuation convoy after the other.

BERRY: The streets are full. The embassy grounds are absolutely packed with people. My first trip to the embassy was strictly to get the

ambassador and he didn`t get on. And that was like 1:00 in the afternoon. And so, we don`t know what to do now. So, we just start shuttling people

out and this goes on and on and the crowds --

COALSON: There was no end to it.

BERRY: Never dissipate.

COALSON: No end to it.

And you just kept flying until really you reach your physical and your mental limitations.

When you would land, you`re just being by people. And so, you look back, and then you see everybody climbing in and you could feel the helicopter

rocked a little bit. Who knows how many were back there? I have no idea.

You just slowly start to lift up. Occasionally, you take off and out of total desperation that they were hanging on to the skids. And what are you

going to do? It was beyond your control.

Landing in these, we call it, confined areas, was always a problem, and especially small areas like rooftops or whatever. You didn`t know if they

were structurally sound.

You`ve always got something that is going to be in your path. You taxi forward, now you`re looking straight down, you know, about four stories.

So, the helicopter is always hanging by a thread so to speak.

The only way you can describe it, it was like swarms of helicopters. That`s the way to -- it was swarms of it.

BERRY: The Hancock and the Midway both out there. They were both big deck fixed wing carriers and they changed them over, repainted the spots and

made them helicopter carriers --


BERRY: -- for the evacuation of Saigon.

Deck space is very limited. I mean, everyone in the ships pushed some helicopter over the side, there`s just no room for --

COALSON: And they had no choice.

BERRY: They had to clear the decks to make room for the evacuation.

You know, it`s an interesting question of how many trips you made, how many, I don`t know to be exact. But I think mine was close to l4 trips in

and out.

I don`t think I felt physical fatigue like I felt mental fatigue. It was just, those crowds would never get any smaller.


BERRY: You`re thinking, this can`t end. How do we end something that`s the same size crowd 12 hours into this thing as it was when we started, you

know? We`re not making a dent.



NARRATOR: See if you can ID me. I`m found in the Earth`s crust. I contain carbon. I can be used as a nonrenewable energy source. One

example of me is coal.

I`m a fossil fuel and scientist say I won`t be available forever as a fuel source.


AZUZ: That`s one reason for national efforts for homes, business and vehicles to use renewable resources. So, think water, wind and solar power

instead of coal, oil and natural gas.

Hydrogen-fueled cars are an example. They use renewable energy. Some models can get great mileage and they don`t add pollutants to the

atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. The cons: they`re more expensive. Their fuel cells may not last as long as gas engines and it`s

hard to transport hydrogen fuel.

Still, a fast moving sport is driving attention to it.


NARRATOR: Here it is, NASCAR`s first ever hydrogen fuel cell pace car. The Toyota Mirai burned zero fossil fuels and created zero air pollution

when it kicked off the 2015 Toyota owners 400-mile race in Virginia.

Hydrogen fuel cell cars run differently from battery-powered electric vehicles.

ROBERT WIMMER, TOYOTA NORTH AMERICA: And the vehicle itself runs on hydrogen gas. So, you combine the hydrogen gas with oxygen from the air in

the fuel cell stock. That generates electricity that drives the vehicle.

NARRATOR: There`s no carbon dioxide coming out of this vehicle, just harmless water.

So, how do you fuel it up?

WIMMER: Instead of overnight to recharge a battery EV, this can be refueled in three to five minutes and then go 300 miles on a tank of


NARRATOR: One problem, hydrogen filling stations are scarce. California, where the car will be available to the public later this year is planning

to build more.

Hyundai has already unveiled its own hydrogen car. And Honda is expected to roll one out to the public soon.

NASCAR has been turning to green technology. It boasts what it calls, quote, "the largest renewable energy recycling and clean air programs in

sports", which includes using special fuel blended with cleaner burning ethanol. But that doesn`t mean NASCAR will switch its race cars to

hydrogen. It says it has no plans for now to change its method of propulsion.


AZUZ: We love to watch and to show you the happy homecomings of men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces. This one brings a whole new perspective.

United States Air Force Crew Chief James Reeves (ph) and someone else in on the surprise were wearing cameras when the airmen came home, so you get to

see the reunion practically through the eyes of a returning serviceman. It`s a reminder of the service and sacrifices of U.S. troops.

And not just them. April is the month of the military child. It honors more than 1.8 million sons and daughters of U.S. troops. They endured the

moves, deployments and simply missing their relatives. And we thank them as well as their loved ones in the Armed Forces for their service.