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Multiple Planes Crashing Around the Country, New York in Disarray

Aired September 11, 2001 - 12:13   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are now being told that Los Angeles International Airport, LAX, has been evacuated. Again, this is another one of those multi terminal airports. It's an enormous airport and that that is being evacuated. At least one of the flights -- and perhaps two if memory serves me -- that has gone down today was headed towards Los Angeles, one toward San Francisco.

We also have a report that Disney World in Orlando has been evacuated. Someone said to me a moment ago, before the day is over, everything's going to be shut down. That seems to be where we are headed. CNN's Richard Ross is on -- Richard Roth, rather, is on the streets of New York and he can join us now. Richard, what can you tell us?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, New Yorkers think that they have seen everything, but they'll never -- they will say -- they are amazed at what has happened. Stunned. Right now behind me what normally would be the world trade center is no more. A huge cloud of white smoke. And right now it's like a war zone. Thousands of New Yorkers streaming north. The mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, has told everyone to get north of Canal Street.

We are several miles north of it right now. New Yorkers are trying to get out of Manhattan. There is a ferry on the west side going to New Jersey. It's really the only access out. The mayor advising that people should take the subways. We have seen dozens of emergency vehicles. Hundreds. Firemen being bused in, decontamination vans coming in, calls for blood donations. New Yorkers, their faces, their expressions, stunned, amazed right now. With us several of those people who witnessed this carnage today. Tell us what you saw when you exited the subway station due to a lack of smoke. Eileen (ph).

EILEEN: It was very smoky. And then we exited on church Street out of the PATH train station. I crossed over to church and Fulton, and I was trying to get a cell phone. I was trying to get out up the block, and I turned around and saw this tremendous fire.

Actually, I thought that it was a bomb. I couldn't see a plane. And I saw people jumping out of -- off the building. Many, many people just jumping. And in a panic, I had my bag and my cell phone and everything, and I was trying to find a phone because the cell phone wasn't working. Everybody was screaming, everybody was running. The cops were trying to maintain the calm. And in that haste, people were stampeding. People started screaming that there was another plane coming. I didn't see the plane but I turned around and just -- the second building just exploded. And again, all of the debris was flying towards us. There was a woman on the ground with her baby. People were stampeding the baby. Myself and another man threw ourselves over the the baby and pushed into the building.

I got up and I just ran. And I ran towards City Hall and I said, "My God, why am I running there? And then I started to run towards the water. And then I was by probably Spring Street -- I'm sorry, Prince Street. I was at a pay phone and I heard the rumbling. I thought it was another bomb. I thought it was another building close to me. And then I just ran from the pay phone. This man was grabbing me back telling me, "Stay here. You're safe." And I was like, "No way. I am getting out of here. Go north."

And then I ran into a shoe store because I wanted to call my husband. That's all I wanted to do was let him know I was alive, because he knew I was in the World Trade. And I got my office and they connected me to my husband. And then we heard the second fall of the World Trade Center.

And I am astonished by the bombing. I just want to make a statement that these New York policemen and firemen, God bless them. They kept us calm. They tried so hard to keep us moving north. And it was just absolute, absolute horror. It was horror.

ROTH: And when you look back there at what would be the World Trade Center?

EILEEN: It's devastating. I can't even look back. My six-year- old just last week asked my husband and I to take him to the observation deck. And it's gone.

And you know what? Americans will persevere and I don't think that we'll stoop to the level of these zealot terrorist pigs. We won't kill children, I hope, and mothers. But you know what? Whatever we have to do to eradicate the country or the world of this vermin. I just hope bush will do whatever is necessary to get rid of them. And I don't know what the root or what the answer is.

ROTH: All right. Thank you very much. A lot of other New Yorkers here continuing the evacuation from lower Manhattan. Back to you, Aaron.

BROWN: Thank you, Richard, very much.

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