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CNN BREAKING NEWS

One Injury So Far in Port Mobil Fire

Aired February 21, 2003 - 11:51   ET

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

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We have right now joining us on the line CNN New York's Jamie Colby, who is able to at least get some information from closer to the scene at least on this that we've been following for the past hour -- Jamie, what have you heard?
JAMIE COLBY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is right, Leon. We're about a mile and a half from where the fire happened at the police staging area. As you said, it's believed now to have happened at a barge that was either loading or unloading fuel.

Initially, it was reported that Port Mobil was a refinery. It is a transfer and storage terminal. People here -- we're talking to some of the people that live about a mile and a half -- they are saying that they felt a huge -- heard an explosion and felt their houses rock (AUDIO GAP).

Right now, it's been upgraded to a fourth alarm fire, although the smoke is thinning, and it can be seen, reportedly, for up to 90 miles away. The light winds here are said to be helpful in the fight against the fire. Three Coast Guard cutters on the scene as well, 39 fire units, as many as 200 firefighters and HAZMAT personnel trying to put out this blaze.

The concern right now, of course, is for injuries. We have a report of one person being transported to Staten Island University Hospital, where they have a burn unit. That person was burned, we're told it's not a firefighter, but someone that worked at the terminal.

And as well, EMT crews here at the area waiting for triage operations to hopefully start with more survivors, but right now there is a concern that there may not be survivors. So they are waiting at the ready to take care of anyone. But the massive nature of this fire, the amount of oil there, also a concern for the waterway, the possible dumping off of that barge of fuel.

The mayor has arrived here, and we will be meeting with him shortly to hear what is being done. Staten Island (UNINTELLIGIBLE) present here as well.

HARRIS: All right. Great -- thanks.

COLBY: We'll keep you posted, Leon.

HARRIS: Good deal. Thanks, Jamie. Hate to cut you off. We have got to jump to our other breaking story.

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