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Grieving Families Receive Help From Red Cross

Aired November 12, 2001 - 14:30   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 ANCHOR: We are waiting now for New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has been to the scene and is now making his way, if he's not already, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel near JFK where family members from the New York end of this flight are gathering.

Hillary Lane is there. Hillary, what have you been able to learn?

HILLARY LANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, Mayor Giuliani and New York Governor George Pataki and Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik are inside the hotel right now. And they are meeting with family members, giving them an internal briefing. In time, they will come out and they will tell us what they have said.

But according to the Red Cross, and the mayor's office has confirmed, they have brought with them the manifest, the list of passengers who were on board that flight. So, families who were not at the airport seeing their loved ones off are able to check that list to see if these people were onboard the flight that went down just a few minutes after takeoff.

This is all taking place at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, which serves for JFK as a relief center in situations like this. They also handled EgyptAir flight 990, which went down near Rhode Island about two years ago, and TWA flight 800, back in 1996. So this serves as the relief center.

The Red Cross doing much of the relief work here. They were on- site about 20 minutes after they got word that this plane had gone down. They have about 100 people working here. They are nurses. They are chaplains. They are mental health workers. And they are servicing the families as they arrive here. We have been told 30 to 40 families have arrived so far, but vans and buses keep bringing people in.

And in the words of the Red Cross, the families are distraught. And they say, as you can imagine, there is a lot of disbelief. Some of the areas inside the hotel have actually been set up to treat family members who have signs of anxiety and stress, and the St. Vincent's Medical Center, which handles the hospital over at JFK has been doing that sort of work. And they said they have seen a number family members who are suffering from stress-related conditions. But we will be hearing more from the mayor and from the governor shortly. And I'm going to toss it back to you. BROWN: Hillary, thank you. It's hard to imagine that any one is not suffering from anxiety and stress out there. And we are glad to know they are getting some help.

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