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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Death Toll Rises Following Minnesota Bridge Collapse; America's Crumbling Infrastructure

Aired August 03, 2007 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
We will have the latest on the recovery effort in Minneapolis. The death toll rose today and will no doubt go higher still.

In the hour ahead, an exclusive interview with a woman truly lucky to be alive. She saw the I-35W bridge deck crumble right in front of her. She felt her car fall. She came to underwater, surrounded by rubble, trapped. Somehow, she made it to the surface. You are going to hear how in just a moment.

Also tonight, thousands of problem bridges needing billions of dollars in work. Why spending that money on bridging might also benefit the so-called war on terror.

Covering all the angles on the bridge collapse, we will also investigate the outrage over a stadium that some believe sucked vital money away from fixing bridges, including the one that collapsed. We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

And a bizarre story that will no doubt be much talked about. Actor Ving Rhames, his home and his dogs now at the center of an investigation that began with a dead man's badly mauled body on the lawn.

We begin, though, with the latest from Minneapolis. The fifth victim was identified today, Paul Eickstadt. He drove the truck we all saw engulfed in flames and died of blunt-force trauma.

As for the number of people unaccounted for, the estimates now range from 8 to 30. And searching the river remains very risky, very difficult. Crews have come up describing cars piled on cars underwater, that is, when they can see anything at all. One today called it braille diving, working almost by feel alone, up against a wall of water and concrete below and a wave of heartbreak above.


COOPER (voice-over): Divers drop into the murky and often dangerous Mississippi River as the grim task of recovering vehicles and bodies continued today.

RICH STANEK, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA, SHERIFF: Conditions on the river even more treacherous than yesterday. And you have got the water coming out of the -- the lower loch. You have got the current. You have got the debris. The divers will be taking extreme caution. COOPER: Many of those originally thought missing have been found alive. But officials stress numbers are likely to change as recovery divers continue their work. And it could be a while before the full extent of this human tragedy becomes clear.

STANEK: It's a terrible mess, quite honestly. We don't know how many cars were up on the bridge when it collapsed. We don't know how many victims were in the vehicles themselves.

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: It's shocking, unbelievable.

COOPER: First lady Laura Bush got a close-up look at the devastation that once the I-35W bridge, showing sympathy for victims, thanking those whose job it is to help them.

BUSH: I know that it's -- even though you're trained, it's hard. And it's hard for you, and I know it's hard for you psychologically, as well, to watch and to see the people who are grieving. And I know you grieve with them.

COOPER: The one question on most people's minds, why? Why did the 40-year-old heavily traveled bridge suddenly crumble, and why didn't anyone heed warnings issued as far back as 1990 that the I-35W bridge was structurally deficient?

GOV. TIM PAWLENTY (R), MINNESOTA: This bridge has been under inspection since 1990, and it's had all kinds of inspections. Clearly, just to net it all out, there were warning signs that there were problems with this bridge, concerns with this bridge. But no one came forward and said a collapse is imminent. Now, going back with hindsight, we're going to be able to say, well, should they have taken a different course?

COOPER: Now the governor has ordered the re-inspection of every bridge in the state, a measure that comes too late for those whose lives were lost when the bridge fractured, then fell into the river below.


COOPER: You know, we have spoken with so many people in the last couple of days for whom a split-second literally made the difference between life and death.

There was Deb Boatwright, who we talked to yesterday. She had just driven under the bridge when it came down in her rear-view mirror.

But the woman you're about to meet, she wasn't in the right place at the right time. She was in the worst place imaginable. That's when she saw a ripple in the pavement ahead of her turn into a terrifying moment that she thought would be her last.

I spoke with Dijana Andik a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: What was the first indication you got something was terribly wrong?

DIJANA ANDIK, BRIDGE COLLAPSE SURVIVOR: Well, it all went really fast. And I just remember looking up at one point. And, you know, prior to that, I saw bumper-to-bumper and, all of a sudden, there were no cars in front of me, and I just saw almost like a ripple effect of the highway. And I was just heading downwards.

COOPER: Do you remember the air bag opening up?

ANDIK: I do remember the air bag opening up. I remember seeing it open up. I don't remember hitting into it.

The next thing after is just a big cement block coming through my windshield. And it hit my head. And -- and, then, after that, I think I must have blacked out, because I can't remember the freefall and I don't remember anything really, up until waking up under the water and just kind of trying to breathe and plugging my nose, and trying to figure out where I am.

COOPER: That's got to be incredibly terrifying, waking up and finding you're completely underwater.

ANDIK: I don't think I was as terrified as I should have been, maybe because I was in shock, but I realized that I was underwater. It was really dark. I couldn't see, really, anything. I tried to move and I was just toppled with cement blocks. And I really thought that I -- I won't be able to make it out of there for -- for about 10, 15 seconds.

COOPER: You really had that thought; this is it?

ANDIK: Yes. I did have that thought. For the first time in my life, I guess I -- I thought, you know, are they going to come and rescue me? Is somebody going to get to here. And I realized I was under the water under all the cement, and that they wouldn't be able to find me in time. So, yes.

COOPER: And you were able to -- to find a loose piece of concrete that you pushed?

ANDIK: I kept pushing. I think there was a moment where adrenaline kicked in, and I just started feeling things around. And nothing was moving. And then my seat belt was holding me down, which was weird. I think it might have saved my life at the impact.

But that really scared me. And, somehow, I wiggled out of it. And then I just kept pushing, pushing, pushing, until I found a soft spot, and pushed my way out of it. Probably, for the next 20 seconds, I was just trying to find anywhere to go. And, in the dark, I -- I wasn't sure.

So, I would like to see where I came out of, just because I don't even know if I went through my windshield or the window, or -- I'm -- I'm not quite sure. COOPER: As you look back on this, I mean, now, you know, nearly two days later, what goes through your mind?

ANDIK: Well, I still can't believe I'm here right now and what -- what is happening. I -- I don't think I should have been here, just with the situation.

I think it's pretty amazing that I made it out of there somehow, and especially after falling and under the impact and being stuck under the water. Something helped me out. So, I don't -- I'm not -- I'm not sure, really.

COOPER: It's emotional for you, still?

ANDIK: Yes, very much.


ANDIK: I'm trying not to break down. I'm trying not to break down.


COOPER: Well, Dijana, you're remarkably strong. And we appreciate you coming on and talking about it. Thank you so much.

ANDIK: Thank you very much.


COOPER: One of the things Dijana wanted us to mention -- and she didn't get a chance to do it on the air -- is that some people helped her out of the water, helped her get to the hospital. She never got their names. She would like to know their names, because she would like to say thank you to each of them.

Perhaps the most powerful image of the early rescue effort was this one, Shanna Hanson in the river, a yellow rope tied around her, no other safety devices, other than that flotation device, desperately searching from car to car, looking for any survivors.

She's now telling the story that goes with these pictures.

Shanna spoke earlier with CNN's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Take me back to Wednesday night. What was it like for you in that water?

CAPTAIN SHANNA HANSON, MINNEAPOLIS FIRE DEPARTMENT: I was very focused on doing the search, trying to find the victims, and making sure that it was as thorough as possible. I was working with really good guys down there. I knew they had my back. And I was just focused on looking in those cars. KAYE: What it's like? What is -- what is involved in -- what are the challenges just in getting through the water, in trying to open these cars and get inside these cars?

HANSON: Some of the challenges were just getting out to it, not knowing what was under the water. It's incredibly murky. You can't see down very far. So, you're concerned about what you're stepping on. And you don't know where the gaps are on in the concrete or what the current is going to do underneath you.

Plus, we weren't sure of the stability of any of the structure at that point. So, we were concerned about some of the bigger slabs shifting or moving down there. And then you also have all the exposed rebar and the jagged metal that you could see that you're worried about. And you also need to worry about the cars. They had broken glass and some -- and some jagged metal out there.

KAYE: When you first got the call, what did you think you would find?

HANSON: I didn't get a call. I responded from home. I was at home. I live very close to where we're standing right now, actually. And I heard all the sirens. I called my home station. And the person out there told me that the entire bridge had collapsed and that I needed to report to the bridge. And I got down there as fast as I could.

KAYE: What did you think when you first saw it?

HANSON: I thought, this is what we have been training for. You never think you're going to see it in your own city.

The way I accessed the scene was past the rail cars. And I was concerned about what was in those railcars. There was a chief up there. He told me that was already being handled.

The next thing I was concerned about, as I got further down and closer to the river, was the -- the huge pieces of concrete partially standing up in the sky. Everyone has seen them on tape. But all of that was unknown at that time, how long it was going to stay where it was at, if there was going to be shifting, if some of the cars above that were on the decline were still going to come tumbling down on to the ground below.

KAYE: Do you realize your life was also in danger at this point?

HANSON: That was not my focus when I was down there.

When you look at the scene, you know the dangers that are there. You know you have got the swift water, the collapsed hazard. We also had electrical lines down that we had to assume were still hot, high- wires. And my focus was -- when I first got to the water, we had an enormous amount of rescue personnel down there long before I got there.

And we also had a large number of civilians that were still -- that had been involved in the initial effort, but that were no longer being used for rescue.

KAYE: When you see all of this video of yourself on CNN and elsewhere of you going through these cars and attached to this rope, what do you think when you see that?

HANSON: When I see the footage of me -- and I have tried not to watch too much, because there's a lot of stress about the focus being on me. And it wasn't about me.

KAYE: Did you come across anyone in any of the cars you searched?

HANSON: I did not.

KAYE: Not a single person?

HANSON: Not -- no, they had already been cleared.

KAYE: Was the -- at the time, did you think that -- was this frustrating for you? Or did you -- I mean, obviously, the point was trying to find as many people as you could.


KAYE: Was the search frustrating for you?

HANSON: Absolutely not. When we're doing a secondary search, they have already been through it once. And they did it hasty and they had to move on to check somewhere else. But we're hoping that that victim's best chance was that -- in that initial sweep.

KAYE: Have you been going -- you have -- you have continued to go out, right, and -- and try and help? Or...

HANSON: Now that we're in the recovery effort, they have scaled back a lot what the rescue teams are doing.

KAYE: Have you had a chance to talk with the families at all?

HANSON: I have not spoken to any of the families. There were some co-workers that I was able to talk to. And that is by far the toughest part of our job.


COOPER: Well, so many people, Randi Kaye included, started dialing their cell phones the moment they saw the bridge collapsed. She got -- she has got family and friends in the area who frequently took the bridge.

So did others. And most quickly managed to reconnect with them, but some never will. And others haven't yet. They are still waiting at this moment, praying for news, even if it's bad news. They just want to know.

More on that now from CNN's Gary Tuchman. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eighty miles north of Minneapolis, in the tiny town of Hinckley, Minnesota, Dorothy Svendsen got a phone call that the I-35W bridge collapsed. She knew that was the bridge where her son was doing repair work.

DOROTHY SVENDSEN, MOTHER OF BRIDGE DISASTER VICTIM: I just thought, well, he must be -- he must be down there helping people get -- get out of the situation. I never thought he had gone over already or anything.

TUCHMAN: So, Dorothy called her son Greg Jolstad's cell phone.

(on camera): And what happened when you called the cell phone?

SVENDSEN: He just said: "This is Greg. I will call you as soon as I can."

TUCHMAN: His voice mail. She heard it over and over again in the hours that followed. Then she heard from one of Greg's co-workers that the 45-year-old was in a vehicle called a skid loader, and it had been seen plunging into the river.

Dorothy will not allow herself to have false hopes.

SVENDSEN: He's in the bottom of the river.

TUCHMAN: Greg's wife and three stepchildren have joined other families of the missing in seclusion at a downtown Minneapolis hotel.

But Greg's mother and her companion, Floyd Holmes (ph), are staying put in the comfort of their small town, trying to come to terms with the horror.

SVENDSEN: It was terrible, I'm sure. It had to happen so fast. That's the only good thing, is that he didn't suffer a long time. He just went fast.

TUCHMAN: The loss is devastating, and it's compounded by how long it's taking to find her son. But Dorothy says she doesn't want to complain.

(on camera): How hard is it, though, waiting all this time?

SVENDSEN: Yes, it's terrible. It's terrible. But I think it's our Minnesota demeanor. We like to think we're nice. And so we will just be nice and just wait. That's what it is.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): She's been told the recovery of her son's body could be today. It could be next week. For now, she just waits for a phone call.

SVENDSEN: I don't wish it on anybody. I think it was probably God's will. You know, it's -- it's one of those things you just can't plan on. Accidents happen. And he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. That's all.


COOPER: God. It's got to be so difficult.

What -- what happened to the other workers on the bridge, Gary?

TUCHMAN: We believe, Anderson, that Greg was working with 17 other people on the bridge. And all 17 people got off safely.

Apparently, Greg was in this skid loader. It has a big shovel in the front. And it's a vehicle that, for safety reasons, while you're in it, you cannot get out of it while was moving. So, if it was moving while the bridge was collapsing, there was no way he could have gotten out of it.

COOPER: Gary, last night, you did a remarkable story about a paraplegic driver who survived by slamming his car into a wall. I hear there's been a development. What -- what's the development?

TUCHMAN: Yes, that was an amazing, Anderson, story, that Marcelo Cruz slammed his vehicle into a wall. It stopped just feet short of going off the bridge. He was rescued.

After the story aired last night, a California-based charity called Marcelo and said they will give him another handicap-accessible van for him to use as long as he needs it, until he can get a new one. And they want to fly him and his mother -- because his mother was in our story, too -- on a trip to California, so they can meet celebrities and go to Disney Land, all on the charity's dime.

COOPER: Well, that's nice that he's getting a new vehicle.

It's that incredible picture of that van just, you know, swerved off to the side of the road, with the -- the actual -- the handicap- accessible elevator in the van still open. And, had he taken that, he would have rolled right off the bridge. Remarkable.

Gary, appreciate the reporting.

TUCHMAN: Thanks.

COOPER: For some facts on the type of bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis, here's the "Raw Data."

It was constructed with a steel deck truss design. In 2006, there were 760 deck truss bridges in the U.S. Troubling news, 264 are structurally deficient. The state with the most deck truss bridges is Ohio. They have 191. Of those, 54 are considered structurally deficient.

Fixing them will cost billions. So, why is money being spent on those bridges to nowhere that few people will never use? We think we have found another, and we're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also tonight: how fixing bridges can prevent another catastrophe and maybe even make life harder for terrorists.


COOPER: We take them for granted until disaster strikes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're absolutely not doing what needs to be done to -- to make sure our bridges are adequately maintained, are safe.

COOPER: And that's not all he's saying about the bridges our economy and millions are riding on.

Also: no money for bridge repair, but some say plenty for baseball.

LESLIE DAVIS, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: But these are the things they're interested in Minnesota, real frivolous kinds of things, ballplayers, a ballpark, things like that. And they're not looking after our infrastructure.

COOPER: Did lives come in second to stadium dollars? We're "Keeping Them Honest" -- ahead on 360.



COOPER: The House today passed a bill authorizing up a to quarter-billion dollars in federal emergency funding to rebuild the I- 35W bridge. The measure went through without a single no vote.

It is a bitter fact. Disasters have a way of forcing people to think about what's really important. These kind of pictures remind people. Bear in mind that as you watch this next report on the allegation that, before this tragedy, some Minnesotans were more concerned about baseball stadiums than safe bridges.

CNN's Ed Lavandera tonight "Keeping Them Honest."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... you're going to a ball game.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To some, this ballpark, called Twinsville, is a coming $522 million treasure, to others, a glaring example of Minnesota's out-of-whack priorities.

LESLIE DAVIS, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: But these are the things they're interested in Minnesota, real frivolous kinds of things, ballplayers, a ballpark, things like that. And they're not looking after our infrastructure.

LAVANDERA: To pay for the stadium, state lawmakers created a new sales tax last year. The Minnesota Twins baseball team will pay $130 million of the cost. But taxpayers are hit with a $390 million bill.

State Senator John Marty fought against the plan. He said at the time the money could have been used for other projects.

(on camera): Do you think it's fair to say that this baseball stadium is being built at the expense of maybe bridges and roads?

JOHN MARTY, MINNESOTA STATE SENATOR: If we didn't spend the money on this, we could spend it on other priorities. And, yes, it's very clearly a question of mistaken priorities.

LAVANDERA: When the funding was approved last year, polls showed most Minneapolis residents opposed the stadium plan. But the governor celebrated with a pregame bill-signing ceremony. Supporters say the stadium will create jobs and spark an economic boom for the city.

The governor says how the stadium is funded and the bridge collapse are two completely separate issues.

PAWLENTY: But, you know, this whole issue of this have happened -- would not have happened but for the gas tax debate or increase or the rejection of my funding proposal seems a little distorted.

LAVANDERA: It might seem like a distorted comparison to the governor, but John Marty doesn't think so.

MARTY: That's the issue. People, when they're driving over a bridge, they assume somebody is looking after it; $400 million is $400 million. That would pay for an awful lot of bridge inspections and bridge repair work.

LAVANDERA: Minnesota lawmakers spent a decade figuring out how to pay for the Twinsville ballpark, while government reports say the I-35 bridge was starting to crumble.


LAVANDERA: And the city of Minneapolis will be put to this test once again here in the next year or so.

The Minnesota Vikings football team is also pushing for a brand- new stadium. And many people around here who opposed the baseball stadium are wondering whether this disaster, this bridge collapse, will have any effect on how people will think about that stadium -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, supporters are going to argue, of course, it brings in a lot of money, other money, to -- to the local economy. We will see where the debate goes.

Ed Lavandera, appreciate it.

Now here's Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."


KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, Anderson. On Monday, we bring you the most news in the morning, including a story that we promised you before the bridge collapse happened: American troops training Iraqi troops right here on our shores. We sent Chris Lawrence on one of the most important missions in the fight for Iraq. It's happening on the Mississippi coast.

So, wake up to the most news in the morning. It all begins 6:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN -- Anderson, back to you.


COOPER: Well, still ahead tonight, more on the bridge collapse in Minneapolis and our nation's crumbling infrastructure. The government needs a lot of money to fix it. Critics say it's spending your tax dollars instead on some unnecessary roads. Wait until you hear the pork story we have for you. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Plus, a death at the home of a movie actor, Ving Rhames -- how his dogs may be to blame, a bizarre story. We will have the latest on that.

And we want to hear from you. Send us a v-mail. That's video mail. It's easy. Just go to


COOPER: You see the numbers there. That's just five states. Across America, nearly 74,000 bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Some estimates say the government needs to spend about $20 billion a year for the next 20 years addressing the problem. Yet, it is only spending $8 billion, spending and, some might say, wasting it as well.

CNN's Jim Acosta "Keeping Them Honest."


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you're wondering why America doesn't have enough money to fix its crumbling bridges, critics of government waste say, hold on to your hats and take a drive down Interstate 99 through central Pennsylvania.

That's where the federal government has spent $690 million to build Interstate 99. The largest city it will ever serve is Altoona, with a population of roughly 50,000 people. The project was spearheaded by former Pennsylvania Congressman Bud Shuster when he was the chairman of the House Transportation Committee. The state later named it the Bud Shuster Highway.

(on camera): I-99 technically is not an interstate, because it never really leaves the state of Pennsylvania. It's actually more of an intrastate, or, as one critic described it, intra-Bud Shuster's congressional district.

STEVE ELLIS, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: Essentially, we're deciding what is going to get funded in our infrastructure not on the basis of need, but on the basis of political muscle.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Steve Ellis is a critic of congressional pet projects, known as earmarks, that are written into transportation bills. He says the Bud Shuster Highway is no different than the so- called bridges to nowhere in Alaska, which, if they're ever built, would cost taxpayers close to a half-billion dollars. Ellis slams them all as congressional pork.

ELLIS: There are projects that are not getting funded that are critically important.

ACOSTA: Today, Pennsylvania has some 5,900 bridges deemed structurally deficient, more than any other state in the country. Spans like this one near Scranton are patched time and again.

The state's governor, Ed Rendell, is looking to Washington for help.

GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: The American infrastructure is crumbling.

ACOSTA: While Rendell says Congress should eliminate wasteful earmarks, he admits his state has had its fair share of Potomac pork.

RENDELL: I'm not a hypocrite. We benefited by having Bud Shuster as the chairman of transportation. And he was awesome in what he did for us. But, for the overall country, was that good or right or fair or appropriate? No.

ACOSTA: As we drove down the Bud Shuster Highway, we found that it ends just miles from the Bud Shuster Byway, which takes you to the town of Everett, hometown of -- you guessed it -- Bud Shuster. That's where we caught up with the retired congressman.

BUD SHUSTER, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: You talk to any of the people here in central Pennsylvania, and they will tell you that this highway was needed.

ACOSTA: Shuster insists the highway has brought economic development.

(on camera): Wouldn't we have money for those bridges in this state if we didn't have the Bud Shuster Highway?

SHUSTER: Oh, that's ridiculous. That's ridiculous. First of all, you're talking about billions of dollars that are needed here. And the way you get that billions of dollars is, you have to decide that you're going to dedicate more money. And to look at one highway is very simplistic. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

ELLIS: This sort of thing is -- unfortunately,will continue to repeat itself until we actually prioritize our funding to where it's actually the most essential.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Essential may be in the eye of the beholder, or, in Washington, in the holder of power. Jim Acosta, CNN, Everett, Pennsylvania.


COOPER: Quite a highway there.

So, with money being spent and, arguably, wasted on the wrong projects and tax dollars going to some sports instead of safety, according to critics, what is wrong with us? And else are we neglecting that could come back to bite us?

Joining me now is Stephen Flynn. He's with the Council on Foreign Relations and also the author of the book "The Edge of Disaster."

Stephen, good to see you.

You know, seeing the bridge on TV, seeing it in person are very -- two very different things. I know you just got to Minneapolis today. What's it like seeing that bridge behind you firsthand?

STEPHEN FLYNN, SENIOR FELLOW IN NATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: It's just tragic, and it's just -- it takes being here to realize just how a -- what a blow the Minneapolis people have faced.

But I hope the country sees this not as an isolated event. This is really a problem that we have to make this an absolute national priority. This infrastructure is old, and it's not aging gracefully.

COOPER: You have been writing about this in your book. You have been talking about this, trying to get -- kind of, you know, trying to get people to pay attention.

Are inspections as thorough as they should be?

FLYNN: ... priority. This infrastructure is old, and it's not aging gracefully.

COOPER: You've been writing about this in your book. You've been talking about this, trying to -- kind of, you know, trying to get people to pay attention. Are inspections as thorough as they should be?

FLYNN: Well, it really depends, and that's part of the problem. Not only are we not doing a good job setting priorities in this country. Part of the problem is we're not adequately funding looking for the problems.

And where you have, some states are better than others. The training is better. Some, the manpower isn't there. You know, a lot of the state governments don't have a lot of resources. Look at some of the Rust Belt states in the north that have the oldest infrastructure.

And so it's a cascading problem. You don't get the inspections. You don't see the vulnerabilities. You don't make the investment and then things fail tragically, as they've done here in Minneapolis.

COOPER: And I mean, I guess the last time -- the time -- the years when all these bridges were built, we had a president who saw this as part of a national security issue. Today, do we still view it as such?

FLYNN: We used to view, as a country infrastructure, as a source of great national pride. We used to compete with other nations and talk about, from the Golden Gate Bridge and on down. These are things that we really feel proud of.

Now the world is seeing images like what happened here in Minnesota, what happened in Katrina with the collapse of the flight control system.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the last president who saw infrastructure as key components of the national defense. And that's how we got our interstate highway system. It was the Interstate Highway and Defense Act.

We really need to come back to that thinking, not just because we need this stuff for its safety. But at the end of the day, our enemies strike us here in part, because they think we're really vulnerable. Because they can get big bangs for their buck.

The more resilient we are by investing in infrastructure, there's some deterrent value to this. It's not all about the away game.

COOPER: You talk about Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Oregon. I know we have a picture of that I want to show. What is the significance of that bridge?

FLYNN: Well, the significance in part is it illustrates many of our cities have old bridges, and they weren't designed for the kind of traffic that's going across them. They've got two ingredients that feed into any bridge. One is age. Bridges, like bodies, like all of this, when we get a little old, get a little more brittle if you don't do good maintenance.

The second is we're using them more. And our cities are becoming more crowded. So there you have a bridge that basically is outdated in so many ways. And the community can't get the resources to improve it and fix it.

So their coping mechanism is don't let big, heavy things go across it. Reroute buses and reroute fire trucks. But this -- our country is the wealthiest country in the world. And we've never been richer as a nation.

The idea that we can't afford to invest in our infrastructure, I don't know where it got into that thinking. We've taken it for granted, and what these folks in Minnesota now are telling the nation is you can't afford to do that.

COOPER: Stephen Flynn, appreciate your perspective. Stephen, thanks for being on the program tonight.

We'll going to take a much closer look at our crumpling infrastructure tomorrow night with a special CNN investigation: "Road to Ruin: Are We Safe?" Soledad O'Brien looks at the hidden dangers. That's tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Erica Hill joins us right now with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.


ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, President Bush is signing a new homeland security bill. The legislation requires screening of all cargo on passenger planes within three years and has a five-year goal for scanning all containers for nukes before they leave foreign port.

The bill also mandates more money must go to cities and states with a higher risk for terrorism, places like New York and Washington.

And Camp Pendleton, California, Marine Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins sentenced to 15 years in prison in the murder of an Iraqi civilian last year. Hutchins is the only Marine in the eight-member squad to be convicted of murder.

Prosecutors say the squad at Hamdaniya could not find a suspected insurgent, dragged another man from a house and shot him instead.

And the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour pushed back one day. It will now be on Wednesday. NASA wants to do more tests on the new pressure relieve valve installed in the crew cabin. Endeavour will take teacher Barbara Morgan and six astronauts to the International Space Station -- Anderson.

COOPER: Should be quite a ride.

HILL: And now a quick look at "What Were They Thinking" for tonight.

You know, New Yorkers like yourself, maybe you're used to seeing things that might seem slightly out of the ordinary to other people.

COOPER: No, I don't know what you're talking about. HILL: But in the water, one of our producers actually likened this to a crock pot. It popped up near the deck of the Queen Mary 2 alongside Brooklyn.

Not exactly a submarine, but it is a submersible. I have no idea what the difference is, by the way. So don't ask me.

The underwater vessel, it turns out, is a replica of a 1776 submersible that was used to attack a British ship. The mission, by the way, failed.

The strange looking capsule got plenty of attention and also led to the arrest of the three men there. They face several violations.

Apparently, they're not terrorism related. It's just a hobby of one of those three guys.

COOPER: They were just history buffs.

HILL: Well, you know, it happens and sometimes history looks funny, but there you go.

COOPER: Yes, history looks funny. Erica Hill, thanks.


COOPER: Straight ahead tonight, a bizarre story out of California. A body discovered at a celebrity's home in Southern California, and four dogs are now in quarantine.


COOPER (voice-over): An actor's dogs, a dead caretaker with bites on his body. What happened at Ving Rhames' home? Did his massive dogs turn deadly?

What do you get when you cross the Obama girl with the church lady?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Because we are living in a sinful world, and I am a Brownback girl.

COOPER: Details, if you can take it, in "Raw Politics" tonight on 360.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): And I am a Brownback girl.



COOPER: Well, they built the White House in a swamp and Congress on a hill, but sometimes it gets pretty murky up there. This time, all that murk and muck nearly caused mayhem.

Tom Foreman has the "Raw Politics." (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, you just will not believe the chaos in Congress wrapping up this week in "Raw Politics."

(voice-over) Republicans were chanting "shame, shame" and storming out of the House, accusing the Democrats of cheating on a vote. It appeared the Republicans had won a vote for guarding illegal immigrants, but then the Democratic leadership adjusted the big electronic voting board and declared victory for their side.

REP. ROSA DELAURO (D), CONNECTICUT: This is a product of a good bipartisan cooperation. And the results of many, many months of hard work.

FOREMAN: The Dems say the board was just wrong. They apologized. Repubs, not buying.

REP. ROY BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: And I'm ashamed of the House.

FOREMAN: The congressman who allegedly had a freezer full of cash, William Jefferson, is getting a break. A court has ruled that the Justice Department had no business seizing papers from his office as part of the bribery case against him. He says he's not guilty anyway.

Hey, Dad, guess what I got for your trip to Iowa? A tie. A new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll shows Democratic contenders Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in a deadlock there.

The "Raw" read: the polls are sending sorts of all sorts of mixed signals. Don't bet on any of them right now.

And add another goofy online video to the musical campaign mix. Let's hear it for Brownback girl.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Because we are living in a sinful world, and I am a Brownback girl

FOREMAN: Of course, that's a tribute to the Republican contender, Sam Brownback, who is the midst of a dust-up with challenger Mike Huckabee.

Brownback, who is Catholic, accused a Huckabee supporter of attacking his faith. Huckabee, a Baptist minister, says the attack was wrong; he had nothing to do with it.

(on camera) The "Raw" reality is both men are going to need divine intervention in the polls, and this is not going to help.

One more time with feelings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): And I am a Brownback girl.

FOREMAN: And that's really "Raw Politics" -- Anderson.


COOPER: I don't think Brownback girl is a girl.

Anyway, don't miss "Raw Politics" and the day's headlines with a new 360 daily podcast. You don't need an iPod. You can watch it on your computer at Or get it from the iTunes store, where it's a top download.

Still to come tonight, rough news out of Southern California, a brutal death at the home of a movie star, Ving Rhames, involving his own dogs. We're going to tell you what happened. We'll talk to an animal expert about how those pets of his may have become killers.

Plus, the "Shot of the Day". A skateboarding stunt goes terribly wrong. You're not going to believe this. If you haven't seen it, you definitely want to stick around. We'll tell you what happened afterwards when 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, Ving Rhames is certainly a familiar face to moviegoers. The actor's appeared in dozens of films, including "Pulp Fiction" and "Mission: Impossible".

It's not his work on screen that is getting attention tonight, however. It's what happened at his home. Authorities say his dogs might -- and we say might -- have mauled a man to death.

CNN's Sibila Vargas reports.


SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a gruesome discovery.

LT. RAY LOMBARDO, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: LAPD received a 911 call from the residence that there was a dead body out on the front lawn.

VARGAS: The victim, 40 years old, badly bitten.

LOMBARDO: Our preliminary investigation indicates that the victim suffered multiple dog bites during a dog attack. The victim is a 40-year-old male black. He lives on the property.

VARGAS: In fact, police say the man had worked at the Rhames home for two years as a caretaker and dog keeper. The actor was not home when the attack happened.

LOMBARDO: It appears to be just a tragic, tragic accident. Somebody who cared for these dogs on a daily basis.

VARGAS: The Rhames family told police their dogs, three bull mastiffs, weigh more than 100 pounds each, and a fourth dog had never attacked anybody and were friendly. The sign on the gate suggests otherwise. An autopsy is expected this weekend. The dogs were taken away, quarantined during the police investigation.

LOMBARDO: They're being held at evidence. We want to examine them and see if there's any evidence on them that might put more of the story of the incident together.

VARGAS: Ving Rhames, seen here with one of his dogs in 1999, is a fan of the mastiff breed. He's currently out of the country, shooting a film in Bulgaria. Police say he knows about the attack, but he hasn't made any public comments.

Sibila Vargas, CNN, Los Angeles.


COOPER: Well, we're talking, apparently, about three bull mastiffs weighing more than 100 pounds each and a fourth dog.

Joining us now to talk more about this case is Daisy Okas of the American Kennel Club.

Thanks so much for being with us. We're going to be showing some pictures of bull mastiffs. Obviously, these are not Ving Rhames' bull mastiffs. The dogs we are showing have nothing to do with the situation. But they are of this breed.

What is this breed? How familiar -- how common is it?

DAISY OKAS, AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB: It's a pretty common breed. And they're well known. There's bull mastiffs and mastiffs. And there's some discussion as to which breed, indeed, it is. But it's safe to say it's some breed of mastiff from the pictures.

But in either case, they're known to be very docile and dignified and good natured. And the breed standard just states, you know, how calm and docile they are. So this is very...

COOPER: How does something like this happen? In other dog attacks, what usually provokes it?

OKAS: It could be any number of things. And it's all speculation at this point. But certainly -- I think they're male dogs, so if they weren't neutered and there was a female dog in heat nearby, that can actually get the dogs, you know, very excited.

I heard reports that he might have had a seizure or a heart attack and then the dogs were startled and therefore, their prey drive was kicked in. So it's very...

COOPER: Do you point to a particular breed as being a breed prone to attack? I mean, everyone thinks that pit bulls and these big dogs.

OKAS: No, no.

COOPER: Is it more how they're raised and how they're...?

OKAS: Absolutely, how they're raised and socialized and trained. And it seems like these dogs certainly -- you know, they had a caretaker, at least, all to themselves. So this is probably very surprising and very uncharacteristic of any dog breed.

And dogs are bred to be man's best friend, and they want to please people. But, you know, with 80 million dogs in the United States, there's obviously tragedies are going to occur every once in a while. And this is just very, very unusual.

COOPER: What happens to a dog after it's been accused of something like this?

OKAS: Well, typically, it would be put down. I'm sure that both the animal control and the coroner's office is going to take some time to come up with a report. But if there's any, you know, doubt these dogs were involved in injuring this man or killing him, probably they will not be returned. But that remains to be seen.

COOPER: We're also looking at some pictures of pit bulls. Is there any kind of -- what kind of behavior provokes dogs?

OKAS: You know, obviously, it's the temperament of the dog is No. 1. And that if the dogs were fighting, you know, amongst themselves, and he tried to insert himself and get in there.

Certainly, you know, the dogs could have been confused and, you know, once their prey drive has kicked in, that's when you can see a problem. But, you know, again, these are such docile animals.

COOPER: And are dogs in a group more of a problem? Is there a pack mentality that sometimes takes over?

OKAS: It could be, but we don't know. There could have been just one dog that was responsible for the bites. I'm not sure if the coroner will be able to tell that. Probably from the bite marks.

But it could very well be that there was one dog that was a problem and the other dogs, you know, weren't involved or it could have been all of them. It's hard to say.

COOPER: What do you recommend people do if they are attacked by a dog?

OKAS: Don't look them in the eye. Don't -- try not to get excited. Obviously, it would be very upsetting. And you might want to run, but the best thing is really to hold your extremities in, curl up in a ball or, if you can, slowly and calmly walk away with your back to the dog and, again, don't make eye contact. Don't further provoke the dog.

COOPER: If you can't get away, curl up in a ball?

OKAS: Curl up in a ball. You don't want your extremities out where the dog can, you know, get a hold of you. You want to be as small and tight as you can.

COLMES: Really, it's such a bizarre story. Obviously, there's a lot of information we don't know. We're going to try to find out more. Daisy, appreciate you being with us. Daisy Okas.

OKAS: Happy to be here.

COOPER: Up next tonight, a murder mystery in Oakland, California, and the alleged connection with a local Muslim bakery. We'll have details on that.

Also, the latest from Minneapolis.


COOPER (voice-over): Hoping for a word, even if it's bad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It had to have happened so fast. That's the only good thing, is that he didn't suffer a long time.

COOPER: A mother waits, and she's not alone.

Also, no money for bridge repair. But some say plenty for baseball.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are the things they're interested in Minnesota. Real privileged kind of things. Ball players, a ballpark, things like that. They're not looking after our infrastructure.

COOPER: Did lives come in second to stadium dollars? We're "Keeping Them Honest", ahead on 360.


COOPER: Monday on 360, targeting demons. Accusations a 3-year- old girl's grandfather was attempting an exorcism.

CNN's Rick Sanchez has the story.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police say when they got here to the scene, they were first met by a relative who told them that there was an exorcism going on inside the house. They went to the front of the house to check it out, but they weren't able to go in. So then they went around the back.

They say they heard screaming, so they went inside the house. It wasn't until they got to the actual bedroom that they were able to open the door ever so slightly, peek in, and that's when they say they saw something that horrified them.

JOEL TRANTER, PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT: The first thing they saw was a 19-year-old female covered with blood, extreme facial injuries, which required surgery later, and she was yelling, chanting and screaming. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: What was going on inside that house? Her mother could face charges. The grandfather was killed by police. We'll have all the details on that Monday on 360.

The "Shot of the Day" is coming up, an unbelievable moment at the X Games. Do not try this at home. A huge fall. We'll have all the details on that.

But first, Erica Hill from Headline News has a "360 News and Business Bulletin".


HILL: Anderson, a surprising discovery in England. Foot and mouth disease found in cattle on a farm near Guilford. The virus poses almost no threat to humans, but it is dangerous for animals. The goal now, to avoid a repeat of the 2001 outbreak that led to millions of animals' deaths.

In Oakland, California, police are raiding a Muslim bakery and three homes as they investigate three murders, including yesterday's shooting of Chauncey Bailey, the editor of the "Oakland Post". Police arrested seven people on various charges. Still unclear, though, if any of those charges are actually linked to Bailey's murder.

On Wall Street, boy, talk about a nosedive. The Dow closing 281 points to close at 13,181. The NASDAQ fell 64, finishing at 2,511, while the S&P dropped 39.

And Ford is recalling 3.6 million pickup trucks, SUVs, vans and cars, all because of some worries about a cruise control switch. There have -- have been a few reports of fires. Luckily, though, Anderson, no deaths or injuries. That is a large recall.

COOPER: Lucky, indeed.

Erica, by the way, are you, like, in a construction site or something?

HILL: Why?

COOPER: What's going on behind you there? It's like...

HILL: Where?

COOPER: Is that a new set or something?

HILL: No, it's just -- it's my set.

COOPER: It looks like a garage or something. There's a light back there.

HILL: No, that's actually the map. See, it's actually a map and there's... COOPER: What about on your other shoulder? Oh, that's the map. That's California.

HILL: That's California. That's Nevada.


HILL: All right. I could never be a meteorologist. I can't...

COOPER: I thought it was like a cup on a holder in a garage.

HILL: That's on the other side of the set.


HILL: We use that at meal times.

COOPER: All right. You have to see this "Shot of the Day". Just unbelievable. Freefalling at the X Games.

Skater Jack Brown, landing the first of a 723 revolution of the ramp. But then it's what happens afterward. You got to check this out.

First you'll see the 700 degree amazing trick he did.

HILL: That ramp is huge, by the way.

COOPER: Now watch what happens.

HILL: Wait. Oh!

COOPER: Yes. He's OK. He falls down 45 feet to the ground. They show it from another angle.

HILL: I can't believe he survived that.

COOPER: It's a 45-degree fall. It's unbelievable. He lay motionless for several minutes. This guy's 32 years old, and he's from Australia. Ow!

HILL: But he got up and walked away.

COOPER: He got up and walked away. He was hospitalized, according to the "L.A. Times", with a lacerated liver. The bleeding has stopped. He's expected to be OK.

Another skater put it this way: "It's the gnarliest thing I've ever seen. And I'm sure you would echo those sentiments, Erica."

HILL: Dude.

COOPER: Unbelievable about that fall.

HILL: It's amazing. I'm happy he's OK. I can't -- yes. COOPER: Yes. Kids, don't try that at home.


COOPER: We want you to send us your shot ideas. If you see some remarkable videos, send it to us: We'll put some of the best clips on the air.

Do the kids still say gnarly? I didn't know the kids still say gnarly.

Anyway, if you want another look at the "Shot", or get the day's headlines, check out the 360 daily podcast. It's pretty gnarly, too. You can watch it at Or get it from the gnarly iTunes store, where it is a gnarly download.

Still to come, the latest on the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. We're going to hear from a woman who barely escaped. She woke up under water. Remarkable story.

Plus, the bravery of the first responders. A woman who provided one of the iconic images of the day tells her story to 360.


COOPER: Good evening, everyone.

We'll have the latest on the recovery effort in Minneapolis. The death toll rose today and will still, no doubt, go higher.

In the hour ahead, on exclusive interview with a woman lucky to be alive. She saw the I-35 W bridge deck crumble. She felt her car fall. She came to under water, surrounded by rubble, and somehow she made it to the surface. You'll hear how in a moment.

Also tonight, thousands of problem bridges needing billions of dollars in work. Why spending that money on bridges could also benefit the war on terror.