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Military Plane Crashes in GeorgiaAired March 3, 2001 - 2:30 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Donna Kelley at the CNN Center in Atlanta. We'll be going to "PINNACLE" in just a moment for you, but we want to bring you this news about that military plane crash that CNN has now confirmed in central Georgia.
Happened about 10:00 in the morning Eastern time today. It's a C-23, had 21 people on board, went down near the town of Unadilla. It belonged to the Florida National Guard.
And from Dooly County, which is -- includes this area, joining us on the phone is the sheriff there, Van Peavy. Sheriff Peavy, can you hear me?
VAN PEAVY, DOOLY COUNTY SHERIFF (on phone): Yes, ma'am.
KELLEY: Yes, thank you, sheriff. Can you -- are you able to tell us whether you have any survivors on the scene there?
PEAVY: We do not see any survivors, no, ma'am.
KELLEY: Were you able to see whether everyone has been taken out of the plane or not?
PEAVY: No, ma'am. We waited till the military got here, and what -- we turned it all over to the military out of Robbins Air Force Base.
KELLEY: So you don't have any survivors that you were able to identify.
PEAVY: Not that I'm familiar with.
KELLEY: And would that include all 21 people in the count? Were you able to get that information from the military?
PEAVY: OK, the only way we got the information on the number of people was from Florida, from the National Guard (inaudible), and they said there was 21 aboard. But I'm not familiar with any survivors.
KELLEY: All right. And can you tell us about the scene now, the emergency folks on the scene and what's going on right now?
PEAVY: Yes, ma'am. They have all the medical -- they have the fire departments, the personnel from Robbins Air Force Base is on the scene, and the crash site was in a field, and the plane is basically all in one spot, it's not scattered out.
KELLEY: Is the plane intact, though, if you say it's all in one spot? Or is it broken apart?
PEAVY: No, it's broken apart, but it's all in one area. It's like it didn't go in that fast to explode and scatter out all over the field.
KELLEY: Is there a fire that's still burning?
PEAVY: There were some fires at the scene, yes, ma'am.
KELLEY: And do you know whether or not they're still burning?
PEAVY: No, ma'am, no, ma'am. They were put out by the fire department.
KELLEY: OK, so those are out.
KELLEY: All right, Sheriff Van Peavy from Dooly County where this happened, thank you for the information you were able to give us, we appreciate that.
The plane, part of the 171st Aviation Battalion, taking off from Lakeland, Florida. When we talked to a person from -- the public affairs officer from Robbins Air Force Base, John Birdsong, earlier, he told us that it had been raining where he was.
What we want to do is check in with our Jackie Jaris (ph) and have her give us a little bit more about how the weather was at the time. Jackie?
JACKIE JARIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Donna, I checked the conditions in and near the area. And this is a still of our radar about 9:30 this morning. Here's Macon, and the crash site is just south of there. And you can see the brighter colors here, the heavier the thunderstorm or the downpour.
So we were seeing some moderate showers in the area and then a squall line pushed on through. So conditions were not good at the time of the plane crash. And you can see that more rain is on the way, which could hinder some of their efforts into the afternoon hours for today.
Now, conditions at Dobbins -- or at Robbins Air Force Base was about 63 degrees. We had 63 degrees for a dew point as well, and that means 100 percent humidity. Visibility was very poor. It was down to about three miles at the time with very low ceiling. So it was difficult to see. The rain was coming down. There were embedded thunderstorms in the area. And it looks like weather possibly could have been a factor in this plane crash. We don't know, but certainly conditions weren't good at the time -- Donna.
KELLEY: Jackie, thank you. Our Mike Boettcher -- our correspondent Mike Boettcher and his crew are on the way there. We have affiliates we're working with to try and get the first pictures there. We'll keep you updated with any new details that we can get on this military plane crash that happened in central Georgia this morning.
Twenty-one people aboard. You heard the sheriff of Dooly County, Van Peavy, tell us that he did not see any survivors.
We join "PINNACLE" in progress right now.
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