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Official Timeline Revised in USS Cole AttackAired October 20, 2000 - 3:16 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL ROCHELLE, CNN ANCHOR: CNN has learned, along with a few others, that there is about a two-hour difference in the timeline that the Navy had first put out for the time of the bombing outside of the Cole. Now, originally we were told that this occurred at about 12:15 local time, while the Cole was putting down mooring lines.
And in fact, the original report had the small boat actually handing -- taking a line from the ship and helping them with the mooring process. The Navy now says that the explosion took place much earlier, that mooring operations had been completed about 9:30. The ship was about 45 minutes into the refueling process when the explosion took place. Now, that is about two hours later than we had been told earlier.
And the change of timeline may raise additional questions about the security procedures that were in effect. It may also raise some questions regarding earlier accounts about the small boat which exploded while it was trying to put down the mooring lines. And Navy officials here at the Pentagon say there was a lot of confusion when the initial explosion occurred, that the ship lost its power and lost it communications ability.
And this is the information that was passed down. They had no reason to go back and check it until they were alerted by the original report from "Navy Times," which called back and asked about the timeline. And they checked it back through and found out, in fact, there had been a change in the timeline. Earlier reports, we were told by Navy officials, were based on initial voice and relay reports from the ships that had not been confirmed.
The Navy statement says, as previously reported, the explosion caused the Cole to lose all of its power. But the headline here, Bobbie, is that the event occurred two hours later than earlier had been reported, not during the mooring process, but while the ship was actually in the refueling process, 45 minutes into the refueling process.
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