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Kuwait: Several Killed in U.S. F-18 Fighter AccidentAired March 12, 2001 - 2:28 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Again, breaking news to tell you about. There's word out of Kuwait that bystanders were killed during an accident during a U.S. military joint exercise over the skies of northwest Kuwait.
We still have on the line with us Miriam Amie...
MIRIAM AMIE, FREELANCE JOURNALIST: Hello, Natalie.
ALLEN: ... a freelance journalist.
Yes, Miriam. We hear you have some additional information.
AMIE: Yes, we know that the accident occurred at 7:30 p.m. this evening, that there are fatalities. We don't know how many. There are injuries. We don't know how many. Many are being transported to the Kuwaiti military hospital south of Kuwait City and others will be taken outside of Kuwait immediately.
ALLEN: And no word yet, Miriam, on how this happened, what exactly happened? Anymore details?
AMIE: No. All we know is that one of the fighters accidentally hit parked vehicles on the ground that were in the desert being used as pointers or markers for the air exercise.
ALLEN: All right, we thank you, Miriam Amie.
We have word as well from the Pentagon that five people were killed during this training accident, which is a joint exercise involving the U.S. Military in northwest Kuwait. Our initial information was that one of the planes had accidentally dropped a bomb. That is apparently not what we're hearing from Miriam Amie, who is now telling us that an F-18 accidentally flew into some structures that were posted at different spots during this training exercise. And that is what has caused at least five deaths of bystanders during this exercise.
And there are apparently injuries as well. So we are working the story from several angles.
Let's go now to CNN's Jeanne Meserve in Washington -- Jeanne?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, to expand just a little bit on the information you just gave, we know it was a Navy F- 18 Hornet that was involved here. It was flying off the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman at the time of the incident.
We have heard from journalists on the ground in Kuwait that this happened in the northwestern part of the country, that it was a joint U.S., British and Kuwaiti training exercise, that apparently parked vehicles were being used as markers in the training. And one of the pilots became confused. It appears that he may have dropped ordinance on them. There are fatalities. And there are injuries -- the number in dispute at this time -- Pentagon sources indicating that some of them may be American, some of them may be Kuwaiti.
And we also heard from the journalist on the ground in Kuwait that one of them is a New Zealander. She says that some of the injured are being transported to a Kuwaiti military hospital. Others are being taken outside of Kuwait for medical treatment.
Once again, an F-18 Hornet -- Navy Hornet -- involved in this tragic accident in northwestern Kuwait -- Natalie, back to you.
ALLEN: All right, we will continue to gather more information and talk with, hopefully, some more journalists who are there in Kuwait, perhaps anyone who witnessed this.
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