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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Update on Greyhound Bus Tragedy

Aired October 1, 2002 - 05:10   ET

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

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And now we do have an update about that Greyhound Bus tragedy that happened in Fresno County, California.
On the phone with us right now, Lynn Brown from Greyhound.

Good morning, Lynn.

LYNN BROWN, GREYHOUND: Good morning.

COSTELLO: Can you bring us quickly up to date? A Greyhound bus driver is attacked in Fresno County, California. The bus overturned. We know at least two people are dead. Do you have an update as to the injuries of others?

BROWN: Well, at this point we believe that there were 47 passengers on board the bus, plus the driver. We only know, as you do, what the authorities are telling us about the number of fatalities. We do know that many of those 47 are being taken to five area hospitals for treatment.

At this point, our focus is on taking care of those passengers and their families. And if you would allow me, we have set up an 800 number where family and friends, if they believe a family member was on that bus, can call for information.

COSTELLO: And what is that number?

BROWN: That number is 1-800-972-4583.

COSTELLO: OK. We'll give that out again at the end of this interview.

I want to ask you about the man who attacked the bus driver. What can you tell us about him?

BROWN: We haven't got that information from the authorities. We are working with them closely on the investigation, but I would have to defer you to the authorities for any details about the assailant or the criminal incident that took place.

COSTELLO: Are your bus drivers able to call you by radio to report any trouble on board the bus?

BROWN: Yes. In the last year we have put in some significant security improvements, including providing cell phones to all drivers. So cell phones are programmed...

COSTELLO: Did this driver use the cell phone or the radio to report any trouble to you before the attack?

BROWN: We don't know. The investigation on that is ongoing.

COSTELLO: You must know something about this attack, though. We know that a man attacked the driver with a knife. What have you heard from authorities?

BROWN: Only what the media has been told.

COSTELLO: Has this happened before? And how many times?

BROWN: I don't have information on whether this particular incident, anything like this particular incident has happened before, simply because the investigation's not complete. Until the investigation is complete and we know exactly what happened, I'm reluctant to make comparisons.

COSTELLO: Before a passenger boards a Greyhound bus, they're not searched in any way, are they?

BROWN: Yes. In fact, in early October of last year we introduced random wanding of 20 percent of our schedule in over 30 locations in the country. Right now it's an issue of having resources, whether or not we can do more. There are some bills working their way through Congress at this point where Greyhound has taken a leadership position that would provide funding to improve inner city bus security, including better screening of passengers and greater protection for drivers and this instance certainly underscores the need for that federal funding.

COSTELLO: Were the passengers aboard this bus searched at all?

BROWN: I don't know whether this schedule was searched. Forty percent of our schedule from that location were searched yesterday.

COSTELLO: All right, Lynn Brown from Greyhound, thank you for joining us this morning and bringing us up to date.

Again, at least two people are dead after a Greyhound bus driver was attacked while driving the bus in Fresno County, California.

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