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Crowds Resume Trek to U.S. after Entering Mexico; CNN Hosts Debate for Florida Gubernatorial Candidates; Florida Voters Grappling with Hurricane Michael Aftermath. Aired 12m-1a ET

Aired October 22, 2018 - 00:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Protecting the crown prince: Saudi Arabia insist Mohammed bin Salman had nothing to do with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, instead blaming a rogue operation.

Tearing up another nuclear treaty, president Donald Trump wants the U.S. out of a Cold War agreement with Russia. My guest says that not the right move.


SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: As a nation we failed them, we forsook them and that will always be our shame.

VANIER (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) in Australia, this national apology to victims and survivors after decades of child sexual abuse.


VANIER (voice-over): We are live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta. I'm Cyril Vanier. It's great to have you with us.


VANIER: Saudi Arabia foreign minister is calling the killing of Jamal Khashoggi a tremendous mistake by a rogue operation. In a FOX News interview, Adel al-Jubeir called the journalist's death a murder and added crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was not aware of the operation beforehand.

Meanwhile, the Saudi press agency reports the crown prince called Khashoggi's elder son to express his condolences. Turkish authorities will question 28 more consulate staff members on Monday. As Nic Robertson reports, a key element of the investigation, Khashoggi's body, still has not been found.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): The trail for Jamal Khashoggi's body is going cold. Video released at Turkish media over the weekend reveals the hours before his death. This as Saudi officials offer, their first accounting of events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This wasn't a rogue operation. This was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had. They made a mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate and they tried to cover up for it.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): A fist fight, a choke hold, the implication being Khashoggi's death an accident. In Riyadh, 18 people arrested. But there are still holes in the Saudi narrative, not least they say they are cooperating with Turkish investigators.

But still Khashoggi's body is missing. Where some of these consular vehicles went in the hours after Khashoggi's disappearance, still a mystery, Saudi leaks say his body given to a local collaborator.

Forests and farms outside Istanbul have been at the center of rumors. His body may have been dumped there but, as yet, no evidence. On Saturday, Turkish investigators questioned consulate employees, including the consul general's driver, but still no body, his friends demanding its return.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give it back so that we can raise his funeral. Let the whole world watch Jamal Khashoggi's farewell, who was killed in a dark room with horrific details and whose body is tried to be hidden.

ROBERTSON: President Trump asking, too.

PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Somebody knows, but nobody of the various investigation groups at this moment know. But we'll find out.

ROBERTSON: The U.S. president now beginning to question the role his Saudi ally, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, may have had in Khashoggi's death.

TRUMP: It's possible. You don't know that, but it's possible.

ROBERTSON: A spokesman for Turkey's president Erdogan says it is a matter of honor that they continue their investigation. The discovery of Khashoggi's body would help investigators and may shed some light on the role of one of the suspects, a top Saudi forensics expert -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Istanbul, Turkey.


VANIER: Christopher Hill is former U.S. ambassador to South Korea and Iraq and the dean of the University of Denver's Joseph Korbel School of International Studies.

Ambassador, what do you make of the Saudi foreign minister's latest remarks? He said the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a mistake and one that was done without the knowledge of Saudi leadership.

CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Clearly, this is a Saudi line that they're trying out. They've try out these various lines over the couple -- last couple of weeks. Frankly, they're not really working. They're certainly not working in the United States, especially in Washington and on the Hill.

So I think the Saudis have a lot of digging to do here to get out of this mess that they've created for themselves. And the real issue is how they're going to do it and what is going to happen to the U.S.- Saudi relationship.

VANIER: The Saudis have made their move now by providing this story. Now it's up to Turkey and to the U.S. to make theirs. And it seems they haven't really decided how to respond.

HILL: Well, it's interesting. President Erdogan --


HILL: -- signaled that he was going to provide a lot more details in the next 48 hours as if to say he wants something from the Saudis in the meantime that he's giving them an extra 48 hours.

This Saudi move, though -- I mean, they've tried it out and it's really a dog that just isn't hunting. I mean this is not really going to work.

And I think they're going to have to come up with something else. And in particular I think MBS who's going to be -- they're going to look very carefully at Mohammed bin Salman and see what is going to be his future.

Obviously he has really wired things in Saudi Arabia. He has everyone in every important position on his team. But this is very serious. The problem is Saudi talk about somehow they can threaten the U.S. I think they need the U.S. probably more than the U.S. needs them.

VANIER: When you say the U.S. and possibly Turkey, but especially the U.S. are waiting to see what Mohammed bin Salman's future is going to be -- I mean where does the uncertainty come from?

Because it's unclear who could possibly take his place or remove him from power.

He has the blessing from the king. We keep hearing that the King may not have quite the wherewithal to change anything anyway.

HILL: Well, I think it's a very complex picture back in those palaces in Riyadh. And I would not be surprised if there are a lot of discussions going on about what his future is.

To be sure he looks very solid in terms of how he's built his future. But I'm sure he's made a lot of enemies in a short time. And I'm sure there are a lot of knives out to get him.

So really the question is what is the U.S. -- what are countries like Turkey going to do about their relationships with the Saudis in the future?

I think the Saudis really need to take a hard -- consider this -- consider their futures here now.

They've got Saudi commentators going on the air to say hey, you've got to not mess with us. We can cause great problems to the international economic picture and things like that and threats. But I think the Saudis, you know, on a more sober moment, if you will have to consider the fact that they need the West.

They have a lot of countries in the region that don't particularly like them and frankly, they've had some very serious economic problems in recent years. So a lot of issues for them to think about and I don't think this is by any means known how the story is going to end.

VANIER: It seems according to "The Washington Post" reporting that it's also a point of embarrassment for Donald Trump here privately, which is the much touted relationship between his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner and the Saudi Crown Prince. According to "The Washington Post" the U.S. president sees this is a liability.

HILL: Well, to be sure, President Trump has had to deal with his son- in-law's problems over the course of his two-year presidency. But I think what is significant is that every U.S. president for the last few decades has counted on Saudi Arabia as being an important ally.

But nobody, until Donald Trump became president, has considered Saudi Arabia as the be-all and end-all of Middle East peace. I mean after all, the President made it very clear that whatever you want Saudis, we're going to do including probably the strongest position for Iran that we've ever seen from a U.S. president. And this clearly reflects Saudi thinking going into this.

So the President has indeed looked to Saudi Arabia for just about everything in the Middle East. And the question is will that change. And of course, we haven't heard much from Jared Kushner. We never do.

VANIER: Going back to an earlier point. Why do you think the U.S. still seems to be hedging on what its best response should be to this? I mean do you think that they are negotiating with Saudi Arabia and perhaps trying to see how they can both save face in this? Or do you think they're actually waiting for evidence in the investigation?

HILL: I think they're waiting to see it play out because the options for this administration, frankly for any administration are pretty horrific. I mean no one wants to cut off all ties to Saudi Arabia -- to the Saudi Arabians. I mean this is really too much.

And so no one wants to do that. So they're hoping the Saudis will come forward with something that passes the last test (ph) from this idea that somehow a fist fight broke out and then there was strangulation but no one is believing that. So I think the whole idea is maybe to give the Saudis more time to concoct a story.

I don't think people expect -- certainly not in the short run that Mohammed bin Salman will somehow be cast aside but I think the Saudis are going to have to do better than to arrest a few people and claim that it was a rogue error. But I think it's important to understand as well, when we talk about Turkey -- there's a lot that goes on between the Saudis and the Turks. And I think to some extent Erdogan is really to trying to get back at the Saudis and --


HILL: -- he's got a pretty good issue on which to do that. By the way, he doesn't have a particularly clean record with respect to journalists. But he certainly has never been accused of inviting one into a consulate and then hacking the person to death.

VANIER: Yes, the Turkish president says the naked truth will be coming to light soon. And he is scheduled to give a talk, an explanation to his party members on Tuesday. So we're wondering whether more information might come out then.

Ambassador Christopher Hill, thank you very much for joining us.

HILL: Thank you.

VANIER: Just days after U.S. announced it would pull out of a key nuclear treaty with Russia, a top U.S. national security advisor could come face-to-face with Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin says a meeting between the two is being prepared during John Bolton's trip to Moscow this week. On Sunday one of the men behind the agreement former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, told Russia's Interfax news agency the U.S. rejecting the treaty is a mistake. Fred Pleitgen has the story.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. has long been accusing Russia of violating the INF treaty by developing and deploying medium-range nuclear-capable missiles. Now President Trump says America is axing the agreement.

TRUMP: We're the ones that have stayed in the agreement and we've honored the agreement. But Russia has not, unfortunately, onto the agreement. So we're going to terminate the agreement, we're going to pull out.

PLEITGEN: During his visit to Moscow in the coming days, National Security Advisor John Bolton is expected to formally tell the Russians that America is leaving the INF Treaty.

INF stands for Intermediate Nuclear Forces. The treaty was signed in 1987, between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. And ultimately led to almost 2,700 medium-range nuclear missiles being withdrawn. Experts saying, by and large, the agreement has worked.

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: It was designed to provide a measure of strategic stability on the continent of Europe, by banning missiles of a range between 300 and 3,400 miles. Both cruise and ballistic missiles. So it was really meant to kind of take the temperature down. And it resulted in the destruction of literally thousands of missiles and it has been in effect ever since.

PLEITGEN: Russia denies violating the treaty and accuses the U.S. of reaching it by developing anti-missile systems. Vladimir Putin, recently making what some felt were troubling remarks about possible nuclear warfare.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): In this situation, we kind of expect that someone will use nuclear weapons against us. We do not do anything ourselves. Well, yes, but then, the aggressors should still know that vengeance is inevitable, that he will be destroyed. And we are the victims of aggression. And as martyrs, we will go to heaven and they will simply die.

PLEITGEN: The U.S. also believes the INF treaty puts it at a disadvantage versus a resurgent China which is not part of the agreement. Another reason the administration says to pull out of the deal -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.



VANIER: Jeffrey Lewis is a self-described arms control wonk. And that makes him the perfect person to talk to about all of this. He heads the East Asia nonproliferation program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Jeffrey, pulling out of this treaty from the U.S. perspective, good or bad idea?

JEFFREY LEWIS, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, MIDDLEBURY INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, MONTEREY: I think it's a pretty terrible idea. You know, the reason given is that the Russians cheating on the treaty, which is probably true. But pulling out doesn't fix that problem. It did just leave it in place. So, it's not a decision I'm wild about.

VANIER: But it allows the U.S. in theory, at least, to now start competing with them. And the second reason also that you haven't addressed is that China, which is not a party to this treaty has been building and stockpiling missiles. So, the U.S. also wants to counter that. So, two reasons.

LEWIS: Well, I mean, there are lots of reasons. In 2011, John Bolton wrote an op-ed, saying that Iran's missiles were reason to pull out of the INF Treaty. So, people have their reasons. But you know, the reality is, this is a treaty that banned land-based missiles of a -- of a particular range. It doesn't ban those same missiles on ships or aircraft.

So, you know, the United States has for many years had the option of responding to these deployments, whether they are in Russia or China or Iran by using land and sea-based systems. But generally, we have it.

Because while it's a problem, it's not a problem that you can fix by getting your own missiles of the same range. It's a -- it's a deeper and more complex issue than that.

VANIER: But do you agree with the assessment that Russia has been violating this treaty for years?

LEWIS: I just think that in recent years, it does look like the Russians have done two things, they violated the treaty with a new cruise missile which looks pretty much like it has the sort of range that means it should be covered.

And if also found very legalistic ways to circumvent the treaty, taking advantage of loopholes and other technicalities. So, the treaty certainly needed some work.


LEWIS: But simply walking away from it leaves all of those weapons in place in Russia and China and leaves the United States with no real strategy to do anything about it.

VANIER: And can you make one thing, one essential thing about this conversation super simple for us. Why this -- why is this particular category of missiles posing a problem here? Because, there are all sorts of treaties governing nonproliferation for different weapons.

And here we're talking specifically about land-launched missiles with a range of 500 to about 5,000 kilometers. Why are those, in particular, a problem?

LEWIS: Well, there was an enormous crisis in the 1980s when the Soviet Union began deploying missiles like this. And their idea was they would be able to hit targets in Western Europe from the Soviet Union.

The United States made a decision to deploy the same weapons and the real challenge that these weapons pose is they are so close to their targets. That they are deeply destabilizing. They create an enormous incentive for the other side to attack first before it gets hit.

So, you know, all weapons to some extent pose a little bit of this dilemma. But weapons of this range just make it very, very acute. You know, the reason the Soviets, in the end, decided to agree to the treaty is when the U.S. deployed these weapons, the Russian, or the Soviet general staff called it a gun to their head.

VANIER: OK. So, what happens now? Another arms race?

LEWIS: Well, I feel like that's probably where we're headed. You know, it's not an arms race with the kind of speed and intensity that we saw in the Cold War, but it's picking up.

You know, we're watching one by one each of the major treaties that really solidified the post-Cold War set among the abandoned. Starting with the ABM Treaty, which limited missile defenses. The U.S. walked away from that in 2001.

Now, the INF Treaty has gone and it does look like the Trump administration has made a decision not to extend the big treaty covering strategic nuclear weapons.

And so, you know, we are getting into this place where there really aren't any of these treaties left and both United States and Russia have very active programs to design new and more sophisticated nuclear weapons.

VANIER: And well, certainly, the Trump administration hasn't met many treaties it doesn't want to rip up. We'll leave it at this for now. And, of course, we'll see if this ends up being confirmed. For the moment, it's just the U.S. saying you're going to do this. We'll see what actually happens. Jeffrey Lewis, thank you so much for joining us.

LEWIS: It was a pleasure.


VANIER: Australian leaders are offering an apology decades in the making. Up next, their plans offer restitution to victims of child sexual abuse.

Plus hurricane season meets election season in Florida. We hear from the two main candidates for governor and look at how Hurricane Michael is impacting the vote there.





VANIER: Australia's prime minister has apologized to the thousands of people there who survived institutional sexual abuse. In his emotional address, Scott Morrison said the nation failed its children.

His statement follows a five-year inquiry of the rampant child sexual abuse that took place over decades and the crimes happened in places that were meant to nurture the children, to keep them safe, places like churches, schools and orphanages.

Will Ripley joins me from Hong Kong. He's been monitoring this.

Will, I listened to the speech by the prime minister and the leader of the opposition after him really carry huge emotional impact.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is really extraordinary what Australia really has done, Cyril, and in fact they are hoping that this will be a blueprint for the rest of the world.

The U.K. now conducting a similar inquiry; expected to take years. The United States not yet at this point but clearly sexual abuse of children a massive issue there, as it is in nearly every country, every community around this planet.

But for Australia to take such ownership after this five-year study where they uncovered 8,000 cases of abuse spanning back decades. And this is the kind of abuse that happened to people when they were children. But the impact lifelong in terms of alcoholism, drug abuse, long-term emotional distress.

And in fact a lot of the survivors who were sitting there yesterday in Parliament, listen to Scott Morrison speak, they were angry. They were heckling at times because they feel like this is taking too long. These apologies are coming far too late for them. They think that some of the institutions that are complicit here, allowing this abuse to occur -- you mentioned churches, Scout groups, schools, community centers, places where children went, their parents trusted them to be safe -- they said these organizations are still receiving government funding. They think that's wrong and they think that the victims themselves deserve more financial, monetary compensation than what the measures that Australia is taking will allow.

Because this new national redress scheme that Prime Minister Morrison announced talks about setting up counseling and monetary payments. But they're capping the payments at a certain level for survivors, also offering those survivors a direct personal response, an apology from the institutions that were -- that were responsible in many cases, for allowing this abuse to occur.

And I want you to listen to one moment in the prime minister's speech, where he really got emotional. Listen to this.


MORRISON: Not just as a father but as a prime minister, I am angry, too, at the calculating destruction of lives and the abuse of trust, including those who have abused the shield of faith and religion to hide their crimes, a shield that is supposed to protect the innocent, not the guilty. And they stand condemned.


RIPLEY: Sixty percent of the cases that were uncovered in Australia did involve clergy sexual abuse. In fact, the prime minister was particularly moved as he -- talking about a meeting he had with a woman activist named Chrissie Foster. Her story, Cyril, is just heartbreaking. Two of her three daughters were abused by a priest who they knew and trusted as children. One of the daughters --


RIPLEY: -- took her own life by overdose and the other daughter was binge drinking, driving, in a car accident and is now left permanently disabled.

This just goes to show how the victims of this crime suffered their whole lives, Australia trying to take some steps to correct that and to prevent it from ever happening again. They set up a national Office of Child Safety. They're even going to be opening up a museum to highlight this problem and educate people about it and get people talking about it and let people know, Cyril, that they are believed when they come forward as a victim of a crime like this.

VANIER: Will Ripley, reporting live from Hong Kong, thank you very much.

Despite many obstacles and literal roadblocks, thousands of migrants are determined to reach the United States. What's driving them -- when we come back.




VANIER: Welcome back to the NEWSROOM here at the CNN Center. I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's look at your headlines.



Thousands of Central American migrants are continuing their long journey, north. Huge crowds of men, women and children are traveling through Mexico, with sites set firmly on the United States. President Trump says they're not welcome.

On Sunday, he tweeted this. Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our southern border, adding that the U.S. will turn away anyone who does not apply for asylum in Mexico.

Now, for this desperate people in the caravan, the journey from Guatemala to Mexico has been exhausting and it has been dangerous. But they are determined to find a better life and, to do so, in the U.S. CNN's Bill Weir shows us what they've gone through, so far.


BILL WEIR, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: After 24 hours, stuck on a bridge between nations, the caravan finds another way. Most, go back to the Guatemala side, and pay for a few Pesos for an inner-tube ride, while others, pry a hole in the fence and jump.

While the stress of it all is too much, for the sick and the weak, a few of the strongest managed to scavenge a ladder and rope and come back to help others down, including a mother, named Rosalin. The migrants on the bank of the Suchiate gasp and cheer as she is lowered to the raft. Si se puede, they chant.

CROWD: Si se puede! Si se puede! Si se puede!

WEIR: Yes, we can. After a splash of relief from the heat and the thirst, she looks up anxiously for her babies. A 5-year-old daughter named Candy, a 3-year-old son named Carlitos. It is stunning to see him here, because the day before, I spotted him playing inside the Mexican gate.

The little boy was fascinated by the riot gear and helmets. And one member of the Federales displayed touching humanity, amid all the chaos. I assumed his family was among the lucky few allowed through for processing, but they were actually separated from Candy, in a teargas panic. So, Rosalin went back to find her, and another way north.

What made you decide to climb onto that ladder?

ROSALIN GUILLERMO, GUATEMALAN MIGRANT (through translator): To complete the dream that I had.

WEIR: This bridge, this river, they can't stop me, she says. I am an all-terrain woman. But there are people who see what just happened and would say you're using your child as a shield to break the law. I don't think we're abusing the kids, she says.

We can't leave them at home. They have to eat. I want them to study, have a good future. I do this for my kids. I ask you with all my heart; wouldn't your mother do the same for you?

Do you know that President Trump is threatening to use soldiers to keep you out? And he has even separated families. He's taken children like these away from their mothers.

You know this? She knows but she says, we have faith in God. He has the final word.

In town, they are met with cheers from fellow travelers and a bit of Mexican hospitality. There is shelter here, advice from human rights workers, and precious nourishments for the kids. She borrows a phone to call her mom. They're OK, she tells her, and are not turning back.

They will rest here for the night, waiting for the caravan's strength in numbers, and are back on the road at dawn. From here, it is a 2,500-mile walk to America.


VANIER: The U.S. Midterm elections are almost two weeks away, and Florida is where several of the key races are happening this year. On Sunday, CNN's Jake Tapper, hosted a debate to the two main candidates for governor. President Trump was a major issue for both Democrat Andrew Gillum and his Republican rival, Ron DeSantis.

ANDREW GILLUM (D), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, FLORIDA: Donald Trump is weak. And he performs as all weak people do. They become bullies. And Mr. DeSantis is his acolyte. He's a trying out to be the Trump apprentice. At every turn, he's tweeting him, he's talking to him, he's showing up, he's complimenting him.

[00:35:17] RON DESANTIS (D), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, FLORIDA: Now, Andrew wants to impeach Donald Trump. You got to be able to work with the administration, because you have to work with the army corps. You got to know the key people in the administration; otherwise, we're never going to be able to solve the problem. I'm the only guy that can do it.


VANIER: So, it is election season in Florida, it's also hurricane season. Many voters are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. CNN's Rosa Flores tells us how the storm is impacting these elections.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hurricane Michael ravaged through the Florida Panhandle, damaging or destroying homes, roads, public facilities, and leaving tens of thousands of people, picking up the pieces.

DAVID JOHNSON, MEXICO BEACH RESIDENT: You just take it the way it is. Man, we're still alive, house don't mean anything. We'll build it back or bulldoze it, whatever.

FLORES: As so many people work to rebuild their homes, there was an added worry, with midterm elections around the corner and some of the polling places in this Republican stronghold, completely wiped out. Many in this state, with razor-thin election margins, still don't know the location of their polling place.

At stake here, a tight governor's race, send a senate match between Senator Bill Nelson and Governor Rick Scott that could help tilt the balance of power, in the U.S. Senate.

As governor, Scott actually has the power to help ease the voting process, something he exercised, Thursday, when he signed an Executive Order, extending and enhancing the voting options for these eight impacted counties.

The order allowed, among other things, additional and alternative voting sites, extensions on early voting, and relocation and consolidation of polling places. In some areas, basics like food and water are still being provided by government agencies, and communications are still down.

So, people here, unable to call local election officials, are finding information online. In Jackson County, for example, the warning is in red bold letters. Your normal polling location will not be open on Election Day!

Instead, this county and others are creating mega centers or mega voting sites with extended voting hours. Add in Franklin County, where post offices doubled as supply distribution centers. Election officials say, their mail boxes are full, as residents send in their absentee ballots.

As the Sunshine State tries to balance election integrity and voting opportunity for Floridians on Election night, Florida is expected to be Florida, as usual, a state with nail-biting races that captures the attention of the rest of the country.

Rosa Flores, CNN, Miami.


VANIER: And, you can catch all of the Florida governors' debate, coming up in just more than three hours now on CNN. That's 4:00 p.m., viewers in Hong Kong, 9:00 a.m., if you are in London.

A party celebration that ended horribly, abruptly, when the floor, people were dancing on, suddenly gave way. Now, police are investigating what happened. We'll have that story when we come back.

Plus, it's being called Taiwan's worst rail disaster in decades and what we know about the deadly derailment.


[00:40:00] VANIER: Taiwan officials are trying to find out what caused this deadly train derailment. At least 18 people were killed when carriages flew off the tracks on Sunday. This happened in Northeastern Taiwan, on a rail line, reportedly popular with tourists.

More than 300 people were on board, and reports say, around half of all the passengers were injured. This is being called Taiwan's worst rail disaster in decades. All eight cars derailed, and several were overturned.

And at a party in the U.S. State of South Carolina, shouts of celebration turned into screams of pain and horror, when the floor, people were dancing on, suddenly collapsed. More than two dozen people were hurt. CNN's Polo Sandoval has the story.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are the seconds before a packed party took a terrifying turn in Clemson, South Carolina. A video shot just after midnight Sunday, shows dozens of dancers jumping in unison, to the music, before falling to the floor. They were attending a private party inside the clubhouse of an apartment complex.

Young party-goers are seemed plummeting into a basement below. The remaining revellers stood on what was left to the floor boards, while others tried crawling to safety. On CNN's new day witness, Jeremy Tester, remembered being two feet from the dance floor when it gave out.

JEREMY TESTER, WITNESSED COLLAPSE (via phone): When the song came on, like, everybody was like, the crowd, jumping around, you definitely -- you could hear the (INAUDIBLE) they just kept going.

SANDOVAL: Thirty people were sent to area hospitals with injuries, including broken bones and lacerations. Clemson's police chief says, amazingly, none of the injuries were life-threatening.

CHIEF JIMMY DIXON, CLEMSON POLICE DEPARTMENT: It could have been a whole lot worse. There could have been entrapments, there could have been some disembarked.

SANDOVAL: Investigators now looking for a cause of the collapse, looking at factors like, capacity of the room, and its structural integrity. Property management tell CNN, the complex was built in 2004.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


VANIER: On a much lighter note, we've got lottery fever here, in the United States, you would too. There are more than $2 billion up for grabs, this week. Nobody won Saturday's Power Ball that means the jackpot has now swelled to a monstrous $620 million.

We could have a winner or multiple winners at the next drawing, that's on Wednesday. And for those who want a bigger payout, there's the Mega Millions jackpot, its worth, $1.6 billion. That is the largest lottery prize in U.S. history. The next drawing for that is, Tuesday night.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. Up next, you've got "WORLD SPORT". Then, I'm back in 15 minutes with more world news.


[00:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)