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United and American Cancel Flights; Sadie Roberts-Joseph Found Dead in Baton Rouge; CNN Tours Notre Dame Cathedral; Man Catches Children From Burning Building. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired July 15, 2019 - 08:30   ET



[08:33:13] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Thousands of American and United Airlines flights have been canceled through early November. And Boeing's troubles with the 737 Max could stretch into 2020.

CNN's Tom Foreman is live in Washington to explain.

What's happening?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is just unbelievable, Alisyn. Another delay, more questions, more doubts about this state-of-the-art aircraft from Boeing. Look at what American had to say as they announced this delay, two months past when they thought the plane would come back in.

Their statement says, American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates in the Boeing 737 Max, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with the -- our union partners will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year.

Key word here, "confident." This is the big problem for Boeing right now, as this has gone time and again pushing back, saying, well, this part's OK, we're moving forward. Testing is OK, this is moving forward. We're going to get these planes back in the air. It has not happened. They have not reached the finish line at any point and that has clearly rattled confidence in this country and certainly in partners abroad.

So the problem now is you have people like "The Wall Street Journal" saying, look, we're getting indication from FAA and others that this plane may not be back in the air until after new year. This is another huge blow to Boeing, which simply cannot get this under control.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I know the airlines are reeling. They didn't expect this one bit.

Tom Foreman, thank you very much.

FOREMAN: You're welcome. BERMAN: A lot of questions and really few answers this morning in the death of a prominent civil rights leader in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who founded that city's African-American history museum.

CNN's Randi Kaye joins us now live outside the museum in Baton Rouge.

Randi, what have you been able to learn about what happened to Sadie Roberts-Joseph?

[08:35:00] RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, it is a real mystery here in Baton Rouge. It all began about 3:45 on Friday afternoon when police say they got an anonymous tip about a body in the trunk of a car. They went to check it out and it was the body of Sadie Roberts Joseph. She was 75 years old. So police are stumped about who would have done this to her and what happened. They will not say how she died, but we know that she saw her family earlier in the day. She apparently was cooking cornbread at home and her oven failed, so she brought it over to her sister's house, a few houses away, and she never went to pick it up.

But, as I said, she was a real icon in this community. She was a well- known civil rights leader. She was beloved here. She was a tireless advocate for peace.

We are outside here this morning at the Baton Rouge African-American Museum, which she created. She also helped at risk youth. She created a Juneteenth celebration here to help celebrate the emancipation of slaves. And we have a clip of her from one of those recent celebration. Take a look.


SADIE ROBERTS JOSEPH: Today we come to celebrate, to embrace our history, to learn of our past, and to be able to move forward in unity knowing that we all have contributed to the greatness of this country.


KAYE: Sadly, she was one of the last African-American oral historians here in this community, so her loss is really being felt. An autopsy is scheduled for today. Police hope to get some answers. Right now they have no leads, they have no suspects, they have no motive, but the district attorney says she was so beloved here that people are lining up, Alisyn, to help try and solve this case.

Back to you.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, let's hope they get a break in it soon.

Randi, thank you for that reporting on that horrible story.


CAMEROTA: Well, three months after a devastating fire, CNN's cameras get a rare look at the work that is underway inside the fragile Notre Dame Cathedral. So we'll take you inside, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:40:50] BERMAN: It has been three months since the devastating fire at the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, one of the world's most famous landmarks. It nearly destroyed that landmark.

CNN was given the opportunity to tour the worksite to see the progress and cleaning up and laying the groundwork for reconstruction.

CNN's Jim Bittermann live in Paris with this inside look.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, John, the fire at Notre Dame was one of those events, historical events, that everybody knows where they were when it took place. And ever since, the three months sense, people are kind of curious about what's been going on inside. And we were too. So we took a look and here's what we found.


BITTERMANN (voice over): Tourists still make their way to Notre Dame in Paris, but these days their holiday snapshots might look like they visited a construction site.

Whether from an overabundance of caution, or because those overseeing Notre Dame's rise from the ashes have never dealt with anything quite like this before, the work site is a high security zone. Few are let in. And given the high concentration of lead from the melted roof, all are required to wear special protective jumpsuits.

On the roof, a gaping hole where the fire burned most fiercely three months ago. The lead and other debris still litter the parts of the vaulted ceiling which did not give way, leading to worries the extra weight could still bring down parts of the building.

For the moment, the chief architect is concerned about shoring up the flying buttresses which support the walls and vaulted ceiling. Huge, precisely engineered wooden braces have been put in place beneath the ancient stonework to prevent it from shifting. No one is talking about rebuilding just yet.

BITTERMANN (on camera): In fact, the restoration of Notre Dame has not yet started. It could be another nine months or more before that gets underway. Right now the chief architect says the building is in such fragile condition, it could still possibly collapse.

BITTERMANN (voice over): And so work proceeds very slowly. Debris still remains in the central navary (ph) of the cathedral. The engineer on site says studies need to be made when the walls of Notre Dame are thoroughly dried out to determine how much weight they can bare. Still, he believes President Macron's 2024 deadline for rebuilding Notre Dame is possible.

JEAN MICHEL GUILMENT, PROJECT ENGINEER (through translator): I think by mobilizing everyone and by really committing large teams and major companies it's doable. It's absolutely doable, but we must not waste time.

BITTERMANN: Meanwhile, the treasures of Notre Dame, like the religious relics which were rescued during and after the fire are safely stored away, many at The Louvre Museum. The stained glass windows are gone, taken away for cleaning and protection. The cultural ministry's conservator on the project says the cathedral's paintings survived surprisingly well.

MARIE-HELENE DIDIER (through translator): What reassured us when we made the thorough inspection we saw the masterpieces were all intact. There we were, delighted, especially compared with the state of the building.

BITTERMANN: So given the state of the building, Notre Dame's rescue is cautious and slow. The cultural conservator says it's like working on an archaeological dig. Indeed, everything, burnt timber or scorched stone, everything brought out of the cathedral is marked with a grid number to indicate where it was found. Even the conservators aren't sure where it will all end up. But they and everyone else working to save Notre Dame know that from a religious, cultural and historical point of view, they are part of a monumental project unlike any before.


BITTERMANN: And, John and Alisyn, three months after the fire, the investigators still aren't completely sure about what caused it. They remain focused on the two original causes they thought, electrical short or cigarette gone astray.


CAMEROTA: Jim, it is so good to get your progress report from there. So many people have been wondering what the status is. So thank you very much for that insider look.

Meanwhile, New York Democrats Chuck Schumer and Jerry Nadler will be at Ground Zero today to mark the House passage of the 9/11 First Responders Funding Bill. They will be calling on Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to follow suit. The measure extends funding through the year 2090, and it passed overwhelmingly by a 402-12 margin in the House. Now, right now, the 9/11 Fund does not have enough money in it to pay out all of its current and projected claims.

[08:45:26] OK, we'll see what happens with Mitch McConnell.

Meanwhile, a quick thinking construction worker makes a lifesaving catch, saving a baby and toddler from this burning building. We will hear from him, next.


CAMEROTA: OK, time now for "The Good Stuff." And this is a really good one. There was a dramatic rescue at a burning apartment complex in

Albuquerque, New Mexico. So watch this.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. That is when a construction worker caught a two-month-old baby who was dropped by a desperate father trapped on the second floor. And, seconds later, he caught and saved a toddler as well. Another construction workers -- other workers, I should say, were able to save other people in this burning building.

[08:50:17] So with us now are two of these hero construction workers. We have Mason Fierro and Jermaine Gallien.

Great to see you guys this morning.

Wow, that is intense. You guys were just working on a building, as I understand it, next door to the burning building. And then what happened? How did you know people in the burning building were in trouble?


Well, we heard the father scream, like a scream that we had never heard before, desperate cry out for help. And as soon as we heard that, we just ran over as soon as possible. Got there in a matter of seconds.

And the next thing you know, we're seeing him hanging out the two- story window, black smoke coming out of his window, with the two- month-old baby out of his arm.

And so my immediate reaction was just to go under him and tell him to drop the baby so I can get her out of there as -- and as far away from the smoke as possible.

CAMEROTA: And I know that the father was understandably reluctant to drop his baby.

FIERRO: Right.

CAMEROTA: And so what was that conversation like when you were telling him, I've got this?

FIERRO: It really wasn't. It's just -- of course he was hesitant to drop her, but there was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to catch her. I caught her and then moments later he brought out his son, 3 or 4 years old, and we caught him. Me and Chris caught him and got them away as far as possible.

But after that, I believe it's one of those just like instinct feelings that he had trusting us to help him and help his children. So --

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. FIERRO: It was just tunnel vision, get the job done and get them as

far away from the fire as possible.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. Thank God that you guys were there and so capable and ready for this.

FIERRO: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: So, Jermaine, tell us what you did? Did you have to go into the building to help rescue some people?

JERMAINE GALLIEN, HELPED SAVE FAMILIES FROM BURNING BUILDING: Not necessarily the building that was immediately on fire. So, you know, we saw the smoke. We heard the cries. We -- me and my brother, without hesitation, we, you know, ran as fast as we could to where the gentleman was hanging out of the window.

Yes, I saw my brother, you know, ready with his hands underneath the child. And like he said, there was no doubt in my mind that he was going to catch it. So he -- he caught the little girl, handed her over to me so that I could, you know, secure her and take her away from the smoke. We didn't immediately know that there was a second child. So, you know, you -- in the video you could see us kind of walking away and then immediately turn around to go -- to go and help the other child.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

GALLIEN: So, yes, after we -- after we -- after we assisted that family, we continued to go around the entire property banging on doors and getting everybody out of there, and, you know, trying to -- trying to secure the area as quickly as possible because it was -- it was getting out of control very quickly.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. You guys are so brave to do that and such good Samaritans to do that.

But, Mason, see, I've seen these videos before and I'm afraid that I would drop the child if some child was falling from the sky and it was up to me to catch the baby. Maybe a baby I could catch, but a four- year-old or a three-year-old. Were you afraid that you might drop the child?

FIERRO: No. Absolutely not. Like I was telling my wife, it was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to catch the children. I didn't think about dropping them or anything. It's just, like I said, it's fight or flight. It's tunnel vision. You know what you have to do. And you can't waste any time. In a split second, anything can happen. So everything had to be right and that was just what happened. And God worked it out that way.

For everything to work out perfectly, because a couple seconds late, a minute too late, it could have been a different story that we're telling here. And it's actually incredible the way things were set up and that we were there at that time because it could have been really bad, really quick. CAMEROTA: I mean also you guys brought over your ladders. We can see

the ladders being put up on the wall there because you happen to have tools and equipment from your construction job.

And, Jermaine, you know, you guys aren't emergency responders, you know. You're construction workers. But, I mean, how do you explain that you guys just knew exactly what to do?

FIERRO: And it worked out perfectly, too, because the boss and the owner of the country, Greg Lavoie (ph), saw at the same time we did. He had the ladders set up by the time we got the children out so the adults can get out. And follow -- immediately following right behind us was Chris. He took just a couple seconds to call the police, call the fire department to get there and he was right there immediately right behind us. And you can see him in the video. He was helping me catch the 3 to 4-year-old boy. And it was just an all-in thing, just a brotherhood thing. And we were all on the same page. Not a word was spoken between any of us, and we just all knew what to do and how to react it to it.

[08:55:14] CAMEROTA: Well, thank goodness you guys were there. I know that the people in that apartment complex are grateful for you. and, of course, we're grateful for you all swinging into action there.

FIERRO: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: So, Mason Fierro, Jermaine Gallien, thanks so much for telling the story here on NEW DAY.

FIERRO: Thank you very much for having us.

GALLIEN: Absolutely.

FIERRO: And, again, we just want to give major credit to Chris Gray (ph), the workers, Alfonso (ph), Sergio (ph), we couldn't have done them -- done this without them. And we'd be telling a different story if it wasn't for everybody who jumped into action with us.


CAMEROTA: You guys are great to share all the credit, but you two are heroes as well.

So, thanks so much for all of that.

FIERRO: Thank you. Thank you.

GALLIEN: Thank you for having us.


BERMAN: I needed that this morning.

So we're waiting for any Republican to express concern or anger or disapproval at the president's racist comments. We will tell you who we haven't heard from, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)