|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Boat Rams USS Cole in Yemen Port; 4 Sailors Killed; 'Al-Ayem' Newspaper Reporter Discusses DamageAired October 12, 2000 - 8:52 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Word coming into the CNN Center of an explosion on -- that has rocked the USS Cole, which is a destroyer that was on a routine refueling mission in Aden, which is, I guess, off the coast of Yemen in the Middle East.
We understand that a boat, in an apparent terrorist attack, loaded with explosives, exploded, ripping a 20- to 40-foot hole in the side of the USS Cole. In the aftermath, there are four dead U.S. sailors. We understand there were at least 30 injuries. We're still trying to get more information on that.
In fact, we're joined now by someone who's got some more information for us, Bashraheel Bashraheel, who is a reporter for the "AL-Ayam" newspaper. He's actually been to the scene and actually gotten a first-hand look at the ship.
Can you tell us, Mr. Bashraheel, exactly what you've seen?
BASHRAHEEL BASHRAHEEL, "AL-AYAM" NEWSPAPER: Yes, we have seen the USS Cole right in the middle the harbor with about -- with a hole, a black hole about 30 feet wide. The whole area of the hole is covered with black matter.
A huge security presence was at the area. The Prince of Wales Pier was cordoned off by security officers who were there with an ambulance waiting for two crewman to be evacuated from the ship to the local hospital. And they said that they need intensive care for these two crewmen.
HARRIS: Do you have any -- I'm sorry go ahead.
BASHRAHEEL: Yes, the blast happen at around 11:25 in the morning, around four-and-a-half hours ago. And it shook the entire area of the port. There is a residential area at one side of the port and most of the houses on that side had shattered windows glasses. The explosion was huge and a lot of people started calling the newspaper to report it.
HARRIS: Did you yourself hear the explosion?
BASHRAHEEL: No, because I was on the other side of the city. And the port -- Aden is quite divided into like three parts and the port is one part of it. HARRIS: Can you tells us whether or not there were any other ships in the vicinity of this one that might have also been damaged?
BASHRAHEEL: No, there was no damage to other ships. The port was full with a lot of other ships, but there was no apparent damage to any other ship. And handlers at the area were saying just about that, that there was no damage.
HARRIS: How about the reaction in the aftermath of the explosion? By the time you got there, was the scene a chaotic one?
BASHRAHEEL: Yes, there were a lot of people who were trying to see what's going on. The police were, you know, sealing off the area. But the immediate reaction from the people, there was just shock because this was the first time this thing happened inside the port. The port is well known to be secured and no one could get into the port itself.
HARRIS: Bashraheel Bashraheel of the "Al-Ayem" newspaper, we thank you very much for your time this morning and for sharing your insights and your -- and what you've seen with us today -- Carol.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile, President Clinton has been briefed on the situation in the Middle East.
We now go live to Kelly Wallace at the White House -- Kelly.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, the White House following two fronts: the explosion on the USS Cole; also the situation in the Middle East.
Regarding the situation with those four sailors that were killed, President Clinton was notified by his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, about that at 7:18 this morning. The president then called Defense Secretary William Cohen at 7:30, and also spoke again with Sandy Berger.
The president was said to be, quote, "obviously horrified" by the report, according to White House Press Secretary Jake Siewert. The president telling his national security team to do everything possible to get those responsible for this.
On that other front, the two Israeli soldiers killed by a mob on the West Bank. The president also notified about that this morning. The president is to be making a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak this morning. That was a previously scheduled phone call. White House saying it is very concerned about the situation, trying to remain engaged and do everything possible so that the situation does not escalate. Mr. Clinton expected to work the phones some more.
He is in Chappaqua, New York at this time. He is expected to return to the White House later this morning -- Carol.
LIN: All right, thank you very much, Kelly Wallace at the White House.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.