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Boat Explodes Near USS Cole in Yemen Port; 4 Sailors KilledAired October 12, 2000 - 12:14 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Going to shift our focus now to the country of Yemen, the other big international story we're trying to balance for you today.
The USS Cole, a destroyer, was hit with an explosion earlier today, about 5:15 a.m. Eastern Time earlier today. Here is a picture of the Aegis destroyer here. The information we know is this: Four U.S. sailors have been killed. It is said that 12 others are still missing. In addition to that, well over 30 sailors have been injured, some with very severe burns.
We saw some videotape come in a short time ago from television in Yemen, and it was quite graphic videotape, with the U.S. sailors laying there and being treated. We can tell but this about the story. The USS Cole was en route to the Persian Gulf. It had come through the Suez Canal, down through the Red Sea and had stopped to refuel in Aden, and when it was coming apparently into port, the report we get from Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon is that two men were standing where the ship was set to moor, And apparently there was a small watercraft loaded with explosive devices.
We have had some conflicting reports about what indeed took place here. But the information we are getting and the indication anyway through the U.S. military is that this indeed could have been a terrorist attack. Also getting word that a hull has been blown in the port side of that ship. Anywhere from 20 to 40 feet or 20-by-40 feet on the port side. The left side. In total, the USS Cole had 350 sailors. It was there for a refueling stop. It's home port is the in Norfolk, Virginia, and we heard from the U.S. Navy back in Norfolk just a short time ago.
For U.S. families here who have an interest in this ship and possibly their son may have been on board that ship, there is an 800 number that has been put out. You can see it on the screen, 1-800- 368-3202, if you have questions about the ship and its condition and certainly the sailors on board.
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