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Rocket Exploded Soon After Being Launched; Lava Threatens to Destroy Hawaiian Town; Gas Prices Go Down

Aired October 30, 2014 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: One viewer said it started as a beautiful site, but it ended in a spectacular blast of fire. Today`s edition of CNN STUDENT

NEWS begins with a rocket explosion on Virginia`s Coast. No one was on it, no one was hurt. The failure happened just after liftoff, 200 million

dollar Antares rocket falling back down to earth. The explosion was so tremendous because the unmanned vehicle was carrying enough fuel to get it

to the International Space Station.

The accident could be seen per miles, the pilot of a small plane shot this video. NASA is now inspecting the damage to its Wallops Flight Facility

and Orbital Science Corporation who built the rocket is leading the investigation into why this happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we have liftoff .

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The first stage was just seconds into a four-minute burn when the Antares rocket stalled, fell backward and

exploded. Nearly three quarters of a million pounds of thrust went haywire and spectators across the bay say the blast shook the ground even there.

ED ENCINO, BALTIMORE SUN REPORTER & WITNESS: Immediately probably about five seconds in you just saw kind of a fireball. And it wasn`t -- you

could tell something immediately - that something was wrong.

FOREMAN: It also clearly shook Virginia-based Orbital Sciences, the private contractor that built the rocket under a nearly $2 billion contract

with NASA now needs answers.

FRANK CULBERTSON, ORBITAL SCIENCES: The investigation will include evaluating the debris that we will find around the launch pad. If you find

anything that washes ashore in the local area or came down in a -- on your farm, definitely do not touch it.

FOREMAN: No one was hurt in the explosion, but gone in a flash, 1,600 pounds of science experiments on everything from meteors to human blood

flow. More than 1,600 pounds of hardware, computers, spacewalk equipment. And 1,400 pounds of food for the ISS crew. That does not create an instant

emergency, but it will put extra pressure on upcoming missions to reestablish the supply chain to those astronauts in orbit. And the

explosion could create political pressure, too, in the continuing debate over how much space travel can or should be put into the hands of private



AZUZ: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is increasing security at thousands of federal buildings. These are government department or agency

locations all over the country. More than 9500 of them will have more guards or monitors to keep them safe.

There are a few reasons why - one, the attacks on Canadian government officials last week, Homeland Security wants to prevent that in America.

Two, terrorist groups like ISIS continually tell their followers to target government and law enforcement officials. Homeland Security wants to

protect them as much as possible.

The U.S. officials says these changes are a precautionary measure that there is no new intelligence that federal buildings are more threatened

than usual.

Western Mexico is where you`d find the city of Guadalajara. And it`s where we found the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, thanks to all of

you for watching and leading off today`s roll.

Next, we`ve got Washington Courthouse. It`s a city in Ohio. It`s where the Blue Lions of Washington Middle School are checking out CNN STUDENT

NEWS. And heading east to Midlothian, Virginia, hello to James River High School. Really cool that a school named for a river would have a mascot

like the Rapids.

We`ve been following a lava flow from Hawaii`s Kilauea volcano. It`s been rolling toward a village named Pahoa since June 27. It`s not moving as

fast as you could walk away from it, but it burns and buries whatever it touches.

So, why can`t people do something to protect Pahoa? Well, digging ditches hasn`t worked so well for lava. It tends to fill in the ditch, then

continue in its original direction.

Seawaters has been used to blast and cool lava flows. Barriers have been built to divert them. But the U.S. geological survey says these methods

might not have worked, if the volcanic eruptions themselves hadn`t stopped. One expert says these measures may only buy time. So residents of Pahoa

can only wait and hope.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This has been a slow motion disaster. Officials have actually had months to prepare for it, but they admit now

that it`s here, it`s a whole different emotional chapter.

The day residents have been fearing is finally hear: the town of Pahoa is burning.

A 2,000 degree river of molten lava that`s been approaching for months is now searing the town. And it`s just the beginning. Overnight, the first

official evacuation notices went out.

DARRYL OLIVEIRA, HAWAII COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE DIRECTOR: Face to face, knock on the door by a public safety official.

SAVIDGE: The lava is moving at about 30 feet an hour, and at its current speed it will cut the town`s main street in less than two days.

In a helicopter, I could follow the trail of destruction from the slopes of the Kilauea Volcano to the edge of town.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it is. That`s the lava field. And most of this lava is moving underground. You can see how it`s transformed the

landscape. It just wipes off the vegetation.

SAVIDGE: On its way, the lava invaded a local cemetery surrounding the white tombstones.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Theirs is nothing that can be done. In other words, if you`re thinking, why don`t they divert it of why they don`t try to dig a

channel to go around the town? Hawaii has tried all that in the past. It`s never been effective.

SAVIDGE: On the ground crews raced to construct new roads around the lava to keep an evacuation route open, and businesses connected to the nearby

city of Hilo.

CHARLENE EWING, LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER: Hopefully, we`ll be able to always stay open, hopefully Pahoa will still be viable.

SAVIDGE: Even as the danger creeps ever closer, some residents say they will stay. If only to watch their homes burn.

OLIVERIA: When the lava flow comes through their subdivision or through their area, there will be an opportunity for them to remain on site

provided it`s safe to do so.


AZUZ: Time for a shoutout. What is the biggest factor in the price of gasoline? If you think you know it, shout it out. Is it the cost of crude

oil, taxes, refining and profits or distribution? You`ve got three seconds, go.

When you buy a gallon of gas, the cost of crude oil is by far the biggest factor in what you pay. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

Of course, all of those are factors in the price of gas. Plus, international political tensions, Ebola fears, ISIS terrorism, a lot of the

events you hear about on our show can influence what drivers pay per gallon. The crude oil accounts for roughly 60 percent of the total cost,

and while what we are seeing isn`t a record low in gas prices, it is helping Americans save money.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oil prices plummet, down 25 percent from the recent peak in June. Why? Demand is slowing in China, and the United States is

producing a whole lot of oil. It`s good news for your personal economy. First, gasoline prices. The national average down more than 30 cents in

the past months. The lowest level since December 2010, according to AAA. Several states now have averages below $3 a gallon. That means every day,

Americans are spending more than 100 million dollars less on gas than they did this time last year.

Expect to see even lower prices across the country in coming weeks.

Second, heating your home: this winter forecast to be warmer than last year. Couple that with the drop in commodities like heating oil and the

Energy Department predicts nearly everyone will be getting a break on their heating bill, including about half the country that uses natural gas.

The big drop in oil prices may save you cash on gas and heat, but don`t expect to see cheaper flights. Airlines know that prices could rebound at

any moment, so they`ll use cheap prices to lock in cheap fuel for the future and boost their profits. Those savings don`t get passed on to you.

But on balance, oil`s plunge is a good thing: consumers save on energy and put that money to work elsewhere and that boosts the economy. Citigroup

estimates that if brand crude prices fall to $80 a barrel, it would add $660 billion to the global economy every year.


AZUZ: The music video for Michael Jackson`s "Thriller" came out 31 years ago. It`s still one of the most popular ever.

Proof? This flash mob performing to the pop song is part of San Diego`s State University`s Halloween baseball game. The team`s coach says it was a

tribute to baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn who attended the university and was a fan of Michael Jackson`s music.

Don`t know why the camera was behind the net, it is as if someone was afraid of a foul ball.

Don`t know how many tickets were sold, but there were lots of costumers. It was easy to keep track with the baseline and some thought it monster

thrill to video and the sport are both hits. This event was a Halloween. I`m Carl Azuz. We`ll zombie back tomorrow.