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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
A Cry For Help; Surprise Defense Witness; Pot Ruling; Family Testimony in Zimmerman Trial; Deadly Crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214; Violence In Egypt; Runaway Train Explodes; Snowden To Venezuela?; Spitzer Wants Back On The Ballot; Bon Jovi Gives $1M For Sandy Relief
Aired July 8, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: News on the Asiana flight that crash- landed in the San Francisco over the weekend. There's new video to show that we just found on YouTube. A new perspective in the disabled plane on the runway.
You can actually see the shoots deploy. People slide down and start to run. If you look closely at the back, the tail of the plane has entirely ripped off. There you start to see the chutes are out. There are people coming down the chutes there. People still panicked, they're running out of the hole in the plane. Coming up, we'll have the bit on the latest on the investigation. We'll talk to Captain Sully Sullenberger who of course landed his plane under the worst conditions imaginable in New York's Hudson River. All that is ahead.
We begin, though, with the late and possible key development in the George Zimmerman trial. The judge this afternoon allowing attorneys for George Zimmerman to introduce evidence suggesting that Trayvon Martin had smoked pot before he died. Prosecutors fought hard against it calling it a back doorway of tarnishing Trayvon Martin's character in the eyes of the jury.
Zimmerman's drug use has also come up. Fire and EMS report showing he was on anxiety and sleep medications the night of the shooting. There has yet to be a ruling, though, on the admissibility of that evidence.
And there was much more today than just the pot ruling. Powerful stuff as Martin Savidge reports. He joins us now live -- Martin.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, Anderson, it was a day of just significant surprises again. And one of the questions that had been asked really to the defense team was, were they going to call Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father? Because if you'll remember, it had been reported that Tracy Martin, when he had heard the 911 call with those terrible screams, he had told authorities that he did not hear his son, and in fact they brought two testimonials that were brought up by the investigators who said, yes, that's in fact what he told us, that we played it and he said he didn't hear his son.
But then Tracy Martin comes to the stand called by the defense. Well, let's just listen to how the day went.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And nothing but the truth so help you God?
SAVIDGE (voice-over): It was another remarkable moment. The father of Trayvon Martin taking the stand, questioned by the attorney defending the killer of his son. Earlier, two police investigators testified that just days after the shooting they played Tracy Martin the 911 call containing screams and a gunshot on that night. Both said Tracy Martin unequivocally told them it was not Trayvon he heard screaming.
But on the stand, Martin testified he never said that and said he told police he wasn't certain whose voice he heard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was going through your mind when you were listening to that.
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FATHER: Basically what I was listening to -- I was listening to my son's last cry for help. I was listening to his life being taken. And I was trying to come to grips that Trayvon was here no more.
SAVIDGE: The defense had spent much of the morning hammering home a version of who was screaming for help. One after another, five friends of George Zimmerman took the stand and asked the same question, gave the same answer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely it was Georgie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was George.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I heard the tape, my immediate reaction was, that's George screaming for help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose voice is it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Zimmerman's voice.
SAVIDGE: The most powerful affirmation came from John Donnelly, a friend of Zimmerman's. The one like any previous witness said he had heard voices under similar stress as a medic in the Vietnam war.
JOHN DONNELLY, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S FRIEND: When someone is in dire straits, whether it be combat or anything else, your voice obviously changes. I've heard a 250 pound man, I mean, sound like a little girl screaming. And you -- but before you get there, you even -- you know who he is.
SAVIDGE: Instead of the scream, the prosecution focused on Zimmerman's language in his call to police. Suggesting his use of profanity implied hatred, a key point when trying to prove second- degree murder.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seemed to me like Mr. De La Riando was trying to highlight it, making it sound heightened. And I don't feel that it was that way at all.
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it was more a statement. SAVIDGE: Also called to testify was the owner of the gym where Zimmerman trained in grappling and boxing for less than a year as part of a weight loss routine. Asking him how he would rate his fighting skills?
O'MARA: What number would you assign to his abilities?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Point five.
O'MARA: Less than one?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SAVIDGE: A mixed martial arts expert demonstrated the so-called ground and pound technique of fighting. And a witness last week said he saw Trayvon Martin use while atop Zimmerman the night of the shooting. Pollock, who is also a trainer, said he has seen his share of fight aftermaths. And said that just days after the confrontation with Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman appeared black eyed and emotionally traumatized.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Sanford, Florida.
COOPER: So another potentially decisive day from the witness box and from the bench in a trial that is moving faster than many expected and could be heading for a quick conclusion.
I want to dig deeper now with our panel. Legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin and former Los Angeles deputy district attorney Marcia Clark. Her latest "Rachel Knight Legal Thrillers" entitled "Killer Ambition." At the defense table tonight Danny Cevallos and Mark Geragos. Counsel Geragos, I've been told, is co- author of the book "Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works and Sometimes Doesn't."
Also forensic pathologist Lawrence Kobilinsky of the John J. College of Criminal Justice here in Manhattan.
So a lot to talk about. Mark, let me start with you. Tracy Martin probably the witness to watch today. How successful was the defense in poking a hole in his assertion now that he heard his son on the 911 call?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think very successful. You know, the -- at first blush you'd probably say, why would you ever call him. But I think that what they're going to argue in closing is, look, when he was with the police, he told them one thing. When he got into court, he wanted to tell them something else. The mind makes you do things, understandably, when you're talking about your son.
And I think that they're going to use that to great effect in closing argument to say, that's exactly why Trayvon's mother said the same thing, that her mind wanted her to, but in reality, when you take a look at these other witnesses, they were very, very effective for the defense, and I think when you contrast that with what he told the police first, it's going to be a very effective closing argument.
COOPER: And, well, Marcia, it was interesting to watch Mark O'Mara, the defense attorney, without ever coming out and saying it, tried to very slyly make the point that he believed Tracy Martin changed his story about the 911 call, especially after talking do his attorney. Does that -- is that usually an effective strategy?
MARCIA CLARK, FORMER L.A. DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: You know, it can be. And certainly in this case because it's coming from the victim's father, it is particularly effective. I don't know whether it ultimately will be, Anderson, but to undermine his credibility and say, look, you know, he changed his mind to say what was going to help the case most from his son's point of view, that is the defense argument.
I think at the end of the day, if this is going to be something that the jury completely -- it becomes -- I think becomes awash, although I'm not denying the fact that it is an effective tactic by the defense to use the victim's father in the way that they did, as painful as it was to watch. I think ultimately this jury's going to make up their own minds because each side says what they -- you expect them to say.
One, it's Trayvon, the other is Zimmerman. At the end of the day the jury is going to -- it's going to be up to them. And they may very well throw it all out and say, you know what, Trayvon's father was under enormous stress, he had just heard his -- his son had been killed. In fact he called in to say his son was missing just before he found out he'd been killed. And after all, we don't know what to make of what his statement was to the police. And just throw it out. So that's an -- that's a possibility, too.
COOPER: Well, Sunny, it's interesting, you know, we've seen over the last week couple -- over the last week or so of this trial that the prosecution will put somebody on because they know they're out there, they know the testimony may not benefit the prosecution, but they want to at least be upfront and get it out there so it's not the defense bringing it up. They did not put Trayvon -- Tracy Martin on the stand.
Do you think the jury may hold that against them? You were in the courtroom today. What was their reaction to Tracy Martin's testimony?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I've got to tell you, you know, I think that it was a huge mistake for the defense to call Tracy Martin. I was in the courtroom. You could hear a pin drop in the courtroom when he got on the witness stand. The jury was more riveted by his testimony than I think by the testimony of either mother. He just seemed so sad, Anderson, his sadness was palpable. His grief was palpable and let's remember that -- you know, I don't think what he said to police and what he said on the witness stand were mutually exclusive.
He said, I can't tell if it's his voice. On cross-examination, he was led by the government, because you can do that on cross-examination, and he said, you know, I wanted -- I listened to it 20 times because I wanted to know why the defendant chased my son. And I've got to tell you, when he said that, the jury looked at him and they -- two of them looked right at George Zimmerman and one woman even -- put her hand over her mouth and kind of leaned forward.
And so, you know, I think the defense had a great day today by using all of his friends to say that they recognized his voice, but it was a misfire calling Tracy Martin, it was a big mistake.
COOPER: The other big thing --
HOSTIN: I can tell from the courtroom.
COOPER: Danny, the other big thing I was -- obviously the toxicology report showing THC, I guess, a base chemical in pot.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right.
COOPER: In Trayvon Martin's system. But what exactly does that mean? Because, I mean, it doesn't mean he smoked that day?
CEVALLOS: Right, I love this issue. And it finds its analogy in DUI law. Marijuana is a unique substance. It -- THC, when you test positive for THC, it's unlike other drugs in that it doesn't necessarily mean that you're intoxicated at that moment in time. So to that extent, other drugs, for example, alcohol. If you have alcohol in your system you're intoxicated. You shouldn't be driving.
So to that extent I understand the prosecution's argument, that the presence of THC is not like the presence of PCP. However, ultimately I've always said I still think this evidence should come in because it goes to a state of mind at the time this happened. That being said, I do see the prosecution's position on this particular point.
COOPER: And Dr. Kobilinsky, the level of THC we're talking about was very, very low.
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: That's true. In fact, in a regular smoker of cannabis, you would expect a background level of 1.5 nano grams per milliliter. So it's no surprise. On the other hand, if you do not have a regular smoker, it might indicate that somebody smoked earlier in the day, perhaps six to eight hours earlier, and then that level would come down due to metabolism of the THC, you would end up with about 1.5.
COOPER: Marcia, what kind of impact do you think the introduction of this toxicology is going to have? I mean, does -- I mean, there are those who say, well, look, we're talking about THC marijuana, that normally does not make people violent. That doesn't really lead to violent crimes unless it's like laced with PCP, which there's absolute y no evidence of that at all.
CLARK: Exactly, Anderson. And people understand now to a greater degree more than ever before, that in marijuana tends to have a calming effect if anything. It doesn't make you aggressive. Is there the rare case where it might happen? Yes, so we have no evidence of that in Trayvon Martin. And in fact I think ultimately this evidence might have a very small incremental effect in favor of the prosecution to show he's not in an aggressive state of mind.
COOPER: Mark, do you buy that? Because I guess the flipside of that argument as well --
GERAGOS: Yes, I --
COOPER: It could also make you, you know, a little bit paranoid and George Zimmerman said he looks like he's on drugs, he looks like he's, you know, suspicious.
GERAGOS: Right, I understand that, I mean, I'm with Marcia in the sense that generally most people's experience with marijuana is it mellows you out. Although, your argument is the same one that you're going to hear in the closing once again, they're going to say, look, the marijuana produces the -- you know, people will know commonsense wise that you could get paranoid and maybe that's what happened here,
I think that these levels are at such an infinitesimal level. I mean, generally, you wouldn't be able to if you were a prosecutor successfully prosecute someone for driving under the influence of marijuana at this level. It wouldn't come in. There's absolutely no level analysis that shows that this is something that would affect you but it's going to give -- it's certainly, I don't think hurts the defense in the long run.
I mean it probably is awash because both sides will argue it, but I think it's kind of a misnomer, I think frankly this whole case comes down to the injuries on George Zimmerman and the statement that he already came in, because when you get the jury instructions, that's what the focus of the jury instructions is going to be.
GERAGOS: What was going on in terms of the self-defense.
COOPER: We've got to -- we've got to take a break. Everyone, stick around. Dr. Kobilinsky, thanks for being with us. Everyone else is going to be here.
When we come back, we want to dig deeper, not just at Trayvon -- Tracy Martin's testimony but how jurors see the testimony from any family member or close relatives. Do they see what -- what did they see when they watch or what did they hear? The answer might surprise you. We're going to look up close to that. Let us know what you think and follow me on Twitter at @andersoncooper.
Later the pilot who safely landed an airliner in the Hudson River because he had to on the pilot who crashed his plane short of the runway in San Francisco.
Chesley Sully Sullenberger's insight and all the other late information on that terrible Flight 214 crash.
COOPER: Well, as we talk about powerful testimony today from Trayvon Martin's father, Tracy, including this. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARTIN: I was listening to my son's last cry for help. I was listening to his life being taken. And I was coming -- trying to come to grips that Trayvon was here no more. It was just tough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He testified today. So did five Zimmerman friends. Now earlier in the trial, Martin's and Zimmerman's mothers each took the stand. We've seen gripping family testimony in so many trials. It's hard as an observer not to be moved. Obviously, the question is, do jurors react the same way? Some answers tonight from Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dueling testimonies from mother's on both sides over just who was screaming during the 911 call.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, that screaming or yelling, do you recognize that?
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And who do you recognize that to be, ma'am?
FULTON: Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
O'MARA: Do you know whose voice that was screaming in the background?
GLADYS ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S MOTHER: Yes, sir.
O'MARA: And whose was that?
ZIMMERMAN: My son, George.
KAYE: During emotional trials, family members are often star witnesses, put on the stand for their sometimes emotional and personal insight in hopes of gaining favor with the jury. The question is, is it effective? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: A lot of times jurors will simply disregard family testimony because they simply believe there's so much bias involved, that they -- that's not an unusual witness or necessarily a truthful witness.
KAYE: But that hasn't stopped attorneys from trying. Sometimes the person testifying helps. After sentencing one of the killers to death, several jurors from a horrific triple murder case in Cheshire, Connecticut, said they were amazed by the strength of the victim's husband and father in court. DIANE KIEM, CONNECTICUT HOME INVASION JUROR: Seeing him there, seeing his courage and seeing his strength after everything he's been through, that transferred to us.
KAYE: But it can be risky and backfire. After Michael Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges, jurors said they had a hard time believing the accuser's own mother. PAUL RODRIGUEZ, MICHAEL JACKSON JURY FOREMAN: We just couldn't buy the story of the mother for one. We thought she was not a credible person.
KAYE: In George Zimmerman's case, both sides clearly see it as a risk worth taking. Two members of his family have testified and three from Trayvon Martin's.
MARTIN: As I've said over and over, that was my best friend in life, and to have him gone is a tragedy.
JORGE MEZA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S UNCLE: I was in the computer and that voice just came and hit me. It hit me in a way that I heard that, but more than heard that, I felt it inside of my heart. I said, that is George.
NEJAME: They've got to blame somebody. And a lot of it simply goes down to credibility.
KAYE: And with a case where the facts remains so elusive, credibility may ultimately be the key.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: We're back with our panel. Sunny Hostin, Marcia Clark, Danny Cevallos and Mark Geragos.
Sunny, when it comes to the family testimony, I mean, there are the specifics of what they're actually saying, then there's obviously the emotional component, the potential to connect a jury that way?
HOSTIN: Yes, I think that's right, and that's oftentimes why people are called by the prosecution or by the defense because you want that emotional piece out there. You also want to know that the defendant has people that love him and that the victim has people that love him. Because you want to give that full picture. And so I understand why family members are put on the witness stand. I've put family members on the witness stand.
But I've got to tell you, I think that a lot of times juries do disregard that type of testimony because they feel that both sides are biased. So we'll see what happens in a trial like this, though, where they're not only just testifying about their loved ones, they're actually testifying about evidence in the case. And I wonder how that shakes out.
COOPER: Marcia, is that your experience as well, the juries tend to kind of view it as biased?
CLARK: Yes, they do. I've never seen juries particularly put a lot of weight evidentiary speaking, which is I don't think I've ever put a family member on to give any important piece of evidence per se. But it does humanize the victim. And the victim is not sitting in court with you. And that's extremely important, more important, in fact, for the prosecution almost that the defense. So, I mean, I agree with Sunny. So I think there is an important aspect to it because it humanizes and filled out a picture of the victim, but in terms of evidence, it's seldom something that the juries have told me they find compelling.
COOPER: Mark Geragos, last week, you know, the prosecution had on the witness who talked about -- in the medical profile of George Zimmerman, he talked about taking mixed martial arts classes for a long time. It was testimony from the gym owner who actually trained Zimmerman today essentially saying his skill was tiny, it was .5 out of 1 out of 10 in terms of his ability to actually throw a punch.
GERAGOS: Right, and I think -- and was it Marcia who was laughing at me last week, when I said I didn't think he was very good student? Because this is exactly what they put on. They put on somebody --
CLARK: No, I agreed with you.
CLARK: I think I said it first.
HOSTIN: I didn't agree. I didn't agree.
GERAGOS: You're right. That was breaking news, Sunny and I didn't agree. The fact that this guy came in, and you take a look at Zimmerman, the way he looks right now, and I think it's pretty credible that this guy was not the best student in the world at MMA.
COOPER: And Dan --
GERAGOS: And going back to the --
COOPER: Yes. Go ahead.
GERAGOS: And going back, Anderson, to the family member discussion, in your package, you had that Connecticut case, well, the father in that case was the survivor and that was a death case. And that can be some of the most emotional testimony you can have is that's victim impact. And in the Michael Jackson case, I can tell you from firsthand knowledge, the mother in that case was not credible. Not just because she was a mother, but because she was out there.
In most of the cases where you put a family member on, it's the defense, when they're putting on an alibi. And jurors always discount that. And always assume that the alibi is phony because it's a family member and they just discount it out of hand, so I'm kind of with the panel here, part of the echo chamber. I don't think that family members make a whole big bit of difference.
COOPER: Danny, what about George Zimmerman's friends? I mean, a number of his friends testifying that it was his voice.
CEVALLOS: Yes, look at the strategy here, it's brilliant. It's sublime. You have the prosecution ending with Trayvon Martin's mother and the defense essentially says we'll see your mother and we'll raise you some really good witnesses.
The brilliance here is that by calling these people as fact witnesses, they're also subtly getting in other types of testimony, number one, expert type testimony, I'm someone -- I'm a combat medic, I know screams when I hear them, so because of that, I'm better suited to hear screams. And the other thing is a form of character evidence. Look at the caliber of these people. One is a federal air marshal, the other one is a combat medic, a Vietnam war veteran.
I mean, these people come with credentials, not expert credentials, but the defense has done a terrific job of finding witnesses who suddenly get in not only fact testimony but character testimony, and even a little expert scream testimony. It's brilliant. It's really brilliant strategy.
COOPER: Danny, it's good to have you on the program. Sunny Hostin, Marcia Clark, Mark Geragos, as well.
Tonight and every night of the trial at 10:00 Eastern Time, we devote a full hour to the day in court and what to expect in the case. The panel will be back for that, 10:00 tonight, an hour and a half from now or so. "SELF-DEFENSE OR MURDER: THE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL," it's an AC 360 special report. Again, it starts at 10:00 Eastern right here.
For more on the trial story, you can always go to CNN.com as well.
Up next, federal investigators already have some good leads on what caused that Asiana Airlines passenger jet to crash on Saturday while landing in San Francisco. We have the latest on the investigation. Some remarkable video to show you. There were more than 300 people on that plane. We'll hear from two first responders who got there within seconds and no doubt saved lives.
COOPER: We're back to our breaking news. We want to show again the incredible amateur video showing the moments just after that Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed-landed Saturday at San Francisco's airport. The jet has just come to a halt in this video, the tail has been ripped off.
On the left side of the fuselage, the video is a bit shaky, two giant inflatable slides fill with air, open outward, you see that happening right there. Immediately, passengers start sliding down the shoots, running for their lives, out of the field, away from the burning plane. Now if you look to the right of your screen near the back of the plane, you can make out people running away from the right side of the jet as well, heading for the safety of the open field.
Also, some other new video if you take a look at this. New video tonight of some of the passengers from the flight arriving back home in South Korea, in the two days since they went through what amounts to a near death experience, one that two passengers did not survive. Federal investigators already beginning to piece together what may have gone wrong. It's far too early to reach any conclusions, they're focusing on the speed of the Boeing 777 as it prepared to land at the airport and on the pilot's familiarity with that type of aircraft.
Tonight the National Transportation Safety Board says it's already begun interviewing the four pilots on board. The two who were flying the jet when it hit the ground and the relief crew. The crash killed two. Amazingly 305 people survived.
Dan Simon takes a look.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators believe that as Asiana Flight 214 was on final approach to San Francisco International Airport, its air speed was far too slow.
DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB CHAIRWOMAN: About three seconds prior to impact, the Flight Data Recorder recorded its lowest speed of 103 knots. At this time, the engines were at about 50 percent power and engine power was increasing.
SIMON: That meant that the pilot at the controls was frantically trying to power up, because he realized he was coming in too low. That pilot while experienced flying 747s according to the airline, had only limited experience flying a Boeing 777. Just 43 hours. And he had never landed that type of plane in San Francisco.
In this exclusive video obtained by CNN, you can see the plane start to descend. It then appears to strike the seawall, loses control and crashes.
HERSMAN: He was also flying with a check captain or a training captain. And then there were two other crew members, another captain and first officer who were also flying. Again, remember, this is a very long trans pacific flight, and so the -- four crew members are there for relief.
SIMON: As this CNN animation shows, the wide body jet clipped part of the rock seawall that forms a barrier before the runway begins. The aircraft tail was sheered away and the plane careens down the runway. Part of the wreckage remains imbedded in those rocks.
Today fightfighters described a chaotic, surreal scene. Jet fuel was spilling out of the plane as first responders raced to get inside. They found several passengers trapped, nearly all of them in the back of the aircraft, which sustained the worst damage. Rescuers said they began going through their checklist.
CAPTAIN TOM SIRAGUSA, SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT: Those checklists included what priorities were, and clearly based on the information, that we had people still trapped on the plane, we were in a life mode, life priority to get on to that plane and begin a rescue operation.
SIMON: Amazingly, nearly everyone survived, killed were two young Chinese students on their way to the United States to attend a summer camp. One of them may have been run over by a fire truck arriving to help in the rescue.
DEPUTY CHIEF DALE CARNES, SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT: It became aware to one of our fire attack battalion chiefs that there was a possibility that one of their two fatalities might have been contacted by one of our apparatus, at an unknown point during the incident.
SIMON: A half a world away in an eastern Chinese province, students gathered in front of a middle school to pray for their classmates.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: It's so horrible. Dan, you were saying the jet was coming in too slow, how fast should it have traveling for safe landing at that point?
SIMON: Well, no question, Anderson. They were traveling well below the recommended speed. The bottom line is they would have had to be going about 40 miles an hour faster to make a safe landing, that would have given them enough lift and enough speed to make it safely on the runway.
COOPER: Do we know how many people are still hospitalized and what the most common injuries are?
SIMON: You know, at one point 180 people were taken to the hospital, we saw everything from broken bones to bruises, some people had severe spinal injuries, significantly people were taken to San Francisco General Hospital. We know that six people are still in critical condition. Two people are said to be paralyzed, but it's not clear what their long term prognosis will be.
COOPER: It's so horrific. Dan, appreciate it. Let's get some expert analysis, we're joined by Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, a former U.S. Airways captain, who is now CBS News aviation and safety consultant. Of course, you know, Captain Sullenberger safely landed his U.S. Airways jet in New York's Hudson River after it was struck by bird back in 2009.
I want to show this video that we found on YouTube. At this point what most interests you about this crash, in terms of what you think went wrong?
CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, FORMER U.S. AIRWAYS CAPTAIN: It is way too early, and it's way more complicated than that, but what I do know is that there's some huge advantages that the investigators have in this crash versus some recent ones. For example, the airplane and most of its components have landed on an airport and are immediately accessible easily to all the investigators. It helps tremendously.
It's not on the bottom of the South Atlantic as Air France 441 was for several years. They have -- there are crew members who survived and able to be interviewed by the investigators as they did with us in Flight 1549, huge advantage. The digital flight recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were immediately recovered, transported to the NTSB and already begun to be examined.
These were all tremendous advantages and it makes it much more likely we will eventually find out not only what happened, and how it happened, but why it happened, and that's going to be the key in this investigation.
COOPER: From what the NTSB is saying, the speed was too slow. Barring technical problems, is there any reason a plane of this size should not have been able to land safely at this speed?
SULLENBERGER: It's too early to tell. There are many factors that will be looked at, mechanical factors, operational factors, human performance factors, and there are human performance groups on the NTSB that will be investigating all those. For example, was fatigue an issue here? This as you said was a 10-hour flight overnight across the Pacific from Seoul, when they landed in San Francisco at 11:30 in the morning it was 3:30 a.m. in the morning on their body clocks, a low point of alertness, awareness --
COOPER: There were four pilots. That's for safety reasons?
SULLENBERGER: Absolutely for safety reasons. They can get some rest and they're not required to be awake the entire time. So that somebody has a chance to rest before the final critical part of the flight, which is, of course, the landing.
COOPER: Would that mean that all four personnel are in the cockpit at the landing or if one group is still -- how does that rotation work?
SULLENBERGER: That's not clear at this point. In fact, I think the NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman says that they're still not clear on that I'm sure during the interviews they're going to begin to answer some of those questions. There are many -- there are so many factors that could potentially impinge on this, that we don't know what they are yet. One way describing this whole investigatory process is that these investigators are charged with writing a nonfiction detective story that may require a year to complete. It may eventually have 1,000 pages and we're on page one.
COOPER: Why a full year, they have the black box, it's readily accessible as you said. There are plenty of eyewitnesses, why would it take so long?
SULLENBERGER: We're just right now beginning to scratch the surface and discover a few data points, a few unrelated, uncorrelated facts. We haven't even figured out yet how big the puzzle is going to be, much less how many pieces there are and where they all fit and there has to be an analysis of it. This is a painstaking, methodical analytical process that -- among a variety of working groups, operations, human performance, structures, power plant, air traffic control, weather.
They all have to come together then they all have to test these theories against the evidence to find which ones are the best fit, what often happens, the first guess is they're often wrong. They have to be modified. It's a scientific method process, which is like an iterative process that self-correcting, but ultimately leading to answers that are useful for improving safety and making this less likely to happen.
COOPER: When you hear that a pilot's had 43 hours of flight experience on a plane like this, never done it at this particular airport. Does that raise any -- is 43 hours a lot, is it not a lot?
SULLENBERGER: It's not a lot, however, this pilot obviously has 10,000 hours or something close to it, has been a pilot on another large airplane, but there was a supervisory pilot, an instructor next to him supervising him. So I during my airline career was a check airman, and one of the most enjoyable things I did was when we were hiring new pilots, to take them out after they had been through a month of ground school, to take them out on a airline flight with passengers in the back and supervise them and get them qualified to operate with a captain who wasn't an instructor.
COOPER: And to not have flown into this airport on that plane before, is that one of those data points to look at as well? How difficult is it to fly into an airport you've never flown into?
SULLENBERGER: Every airport is unique. On a given day, the conditions may be different than a month later, a week later or a season later. The absolute amount of time he had in this airplane wasn't necessarily a problem because he was with a supervisory instructor pilot. This was part of his operational experience to be gaining the knowledge and experience to be able to operate as a line pilot with a regular captain, a regular first officer. So at every point in an airline pilot's career, when they change from one to another, they will start out with zero, to get the experience they need to be signed off and be fully qualified.
COOPER: You have to start somewhere.
SULLENBERGER: So again, these are all interesting data points they will consider, but at this point we don't know what the right questions are yet, much less all the answers.
COOPER: Interesting. Chesley Sullenberger, appreciate your expertise, thanks for being on.
The ability of first responders to get to a crash like that one as soon as possible is critical obviously to getting out people out alive. Gary Tuchman caught up with two of the firefighters who among the first on the scene, watch.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was only seconds after Asiana Flight 214 hit the seawall at San Francisco Airport that firefighter, Crissy Emmons, found out about it.
LT. CRISSY EMMONS, SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT: The alert tone was sounded and the voice said, alert 3, alert 3, plane crash, plane crash. TUCHMAN: Firefighter, Dave Monteverde, works with Lieutenant Emmons. They're based at the airport.
(on camera): How quickly did you get to the site of the crash?
LT. DAVE MONTEVERDI, SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT: From the time the run came in, I'd say we were in there in a minute, less than a minute.
EMMONS: We were very quick to the scene.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Lieutenants Emmons and Monteverdi were the first, first responders, to board the stricken Boeing 777.
EMMONS: We climbed up the chute that deployed on the left-hand side.
MONTEVERDI: We've extinguished some fire that was inside. We conducted a search, and then we worked our way backwards, and the remaining passengers were in the back of the aircraft that weren't able to get out.
EMMONS: It was more a chaotic situation in the back. It was not as neat as in the front of the plane.
TUCHMAN: Both San Francisco firefighters initially saw four passengers trapped in the back of the plane.
(on camera): And tell me why they weren't able to get out?
MONTEVERDI: Most of them -- one was going in and out of consciousness. The other was just stunned and groaning. I think another -- passenger had multiple in her leg possibly. There was another who trapped in the overhead bins may have collapsed on her.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Lieutenant Emmons also saw a fifth person who is lying flat.
EMMONS: She was moaning. There were sounds coming from her, the language, you know, everybody in my mind was critical and we need to get off that plane.
MONTEVERDI: We had to get her and brought her out, and we started carrying the others out.
TUCHMAN: Meanwhile, the situation was getting even more dangerous on the plane.
MONTEVERDI: Once we saw the black smoke coming toward us and we had to get the last passenger off, we pretty much grabbed and ran -- not ran, but you know we hurried out of there.
TUCHMAN (on camera): How concerned were you that you were in imminent danger of getting hurt or losing your life. You know better than I do that plane goes up fast?
EMMONS: I didn't think of that, my concern was getting the passengers off the plane. TUCHMAN: If you didn't get them out as quickly as you did, they may not have survived?
MONTEVERDI: That's correct.
TUCHMAN: You saved their lives.
MONTEVERDI: I guess you could say it that way, yes.
TUCHMAN: Other firefighters and police officers also went on the plane when the black smoke got too thick, they had to get off, but they got all the passengers off safely. One police officer told us he needed 15 minutes of an oxygen treatment once he got off that plane -- Anderson.
COOPER: Wow, unbelievable. Gary, appreciate it. Thanks.
Up next, Egypt explodes in violence, supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsy clash with opponents. The results deadly. The latest from Cairo ahead.
Parts of a small Canadian town burn to the ground as a runaway train carrying crude oil explodes. Search for the missing residents ahead.
COOPER: Bloody day in Egypt as the political crisis in the country worsens. At least 51 people were killed. The violent clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy, the clashes took place outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard. The military building in Cairo in which Morsy was believed to be held after his arrest last Wednesday and may still be held. His whereabouts are unknown.
Both sides are blaming the other for the deadly violence. Morsy supporters claimed soldiers fired on them during morning prayers. Security forces claimed they were the ones who were attacked first. Hundreds of people were injured. Tensions obviously have been building since Morsy's ouster last week.
His supporters say he's Egypt's legitimate president and demand he be reinstated. For its part, the Obama administration has called on Egypt's military to use restraints. It hasn't determined if Morsy's ouster will be labelled a coup. That means U.S. aid at least for now continues. CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Cairo tonight. We're also joined by Fouad Ajami, senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
Ben, at this point, there are obviously very different narratives coming from each side involved in this -- in these killings, what -- is it clear at this point what happened, exactly?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it's not at all clear, Anderson. According to the army police narrative, it was a, quote/unquote, "group of terrorists" that tried to launch an attack with Molotov cocktails and weapons on to the headquarters of the Republican Guard. The supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy are claiming that they were engaged in early morning prayers when this happened, they were fired upon. They're calling it a massacre, but certainly regardless of how it started and who started it. It has really raised the level of tension in this already very tense city.
COOPER: Fouad, how do you see this? Where do you see this going?
FOUAD AJAMI, SENIOR FELLOW, STANFORD UNIVERSITY'S HOOVER INSTITUTION: You know, Anderson, this is a major event and I think it's going to embarrass the army, it's going to embarrass the supporters of the army, and it's going to embarrass Washington by extension.
COOPER: Fouad, obviously, supporters of the military overthrow resist even using the term coup. They say, look, this is an extension, a continuation of the revolution that occurred some two years ago, but in terms of what happens next, I mean, can one predict where this goes? I mean, if there are elections, would the Muslim Brotherhood be allowed to take part in upcoming elections?
AJAMI: Well, Anderson, we really don't know. We don't know what the future holds for Egypt, but we do know there's a kind of irony that Egyptian society turned to the military. You have young people cheering the Apache helicopters as it flies overhead. These were the same people who wanted the army out of politics. Liberal society faced with the choice, the Brotherhood on one hand or the army on the other, which has been the dilemma, the great choice in Egypt. It shows the army and now has to see through the consequences of the domination of the army.
COOPER: Ben, the interim president a while ago, issued a timetable for elections in reforming the constitution, do we know what that means and -- again, I guess the same question, do we know what elections would look like? Would a group like the Muslim Brotherhood among those who oppose it, would they be allowed to participate?
WEDEMAN: Anderson, what's been released regarding the constitution puts the -- it's possible there could be elections as early as February of next year, but really that is the question. Is there going to be a roll for the Muslim Brotherhood? The mood on the street, certainly around Tahrir Square, is that they don't want them to have a role.
We're hearing the same sort of rhetoric to describe the Muslim Brotherhood that the previous regime used. It's hard to envision how that would be acceptable to many Egyptians. On the other hand, despite the fact that the Brotherhood is down at the moment, they are an integral part of Egyptian politics and whether illegal or otherwise, they were always a player on the political scene.
And worry among many people here is that given basically this confrontation, this violent confrontation they're in with the military. It could transform from these massive street protests and clashes to something much worse along the lines of the terrorism we saw in Egyptian towns and cities during the '80s and '90s, that's the concern. COOPER: Fouad, in terms of the U.S. approach to this, it's difficult. I know you've been critical of the administration's past actions in the region. How do you see how they're playing it now, and what the role is down the road?
AJAMI: Well, you know, Anderson, I don't think we have an overwhelming role in Egypt that people think we have. We don't have that much influence. Even with the military in Egypt, where we think we can tell the military what our wishes are, they can defy these wishes, we have $1.5 billion in aid for the Egyptian military, and some -- it's mostly military aid. That aid could be obtained from Saudi Arabia, from the United Arab Emirates. I don't think we have that much influence.
COOPER: Fouad, do you see -- some say this is the downfall of political Islam. This is Islam on its heels, do you agree with that?
AJAMI: I do. I think it's the setback for the Muslim Brotherhood. Ben Wedeman gave us a cautionary note. We should never think that anyone could extubate the roots of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. They run deep. They run to the 1920s. The Muslim Brotherhood should always be in the game. Many of the liberals if you will, be grudge the Brotherhood, they ran for elections against the Brotherhood and they lost.
It sustained a setback in Egypt and it even sustained minor setback in Turkey, the troubles -- the story continues. It never ends, because there is no way that you could somehow cut down the roots of the Muslim Brotherhood, and there is no way that secular governments are going to deliver happiness, economic prosperity and thus make the brotherhood irrelevant.
COOPER: Fouad Ajami, Ben Wedeman, thank you very much.
AJAMI: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up next, an update on the deadly train derailment in Quebec, 73 cars with crude oil exploding, flattening part of a small town, dozens of people are still missing.
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer who resigned after a prostitution scandal, he's getting back into politics. What office he's seeking ahead on 360.
COOPER: Let's get you caught on some of the other stories we're following. Randi Kaye is here with a 360 News and Business Bulletin -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, at least 13 people are dead, 37 people are missing in Southern Quebec where a train filled with crude oil derailed and exploded early Saturday. As firefighters put out hotspots in downtown Lac-Magentic, they're finding more bodies. Many too badly burned to identify. Canada's prime minister described the town as a war zone. U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden weighing asylum options inside Moscow's airport may be headed to Caracas. Venezuela's president says his government received a formal asylum request from Snowden today. Bolivia and Nicaragua have also made offers.
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer announced a bid to run for New York City comptroller, which oversees and manages the city's finances. Spitzer resigned in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal.
Rocker, Jon Bonjovi announced his $1 million contribution to the New Jersey Sandy Relief Fund with Governor Chris Christie there on hand. The fund has raised more than $38 million since that storm hit, Anderson, in October.
COOPER: That's a nice thing to do. Randi, thanks very much. We'll be right back.
COOPER: We ran out of time for "The Ridiculist." That does it for us. Reminder, we'll see you again one hour from now at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time for the special edition of 360 on the George Zimmerman trial. Our legal and forensic panel weigh on the key developments today from the testimony from a friend of George Zimmerman, testimony from Trayvon Martin's dad and a potentially important ruling from the bench.
That's 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time one hour from now. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts right now.