tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC May 28, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
welcome to "world news." tonight, breaking news, the free fall. did part of a boeing jet engine fall from the sky? the cars on the ground smashed and the emergency landing that followed. the pounding winds and punishing rains from the first tropical storm of the season, where that system is tonight while in the midwest, the searing heat this evening and the wildfires. the latest from the front line with the extreme weather team. a nation remembers a single rose, a tiny heart placed atop a grave and a viewer who sent us this -- 33,000 flags. tonight one remarkable image. and the underdog. the stray dog that joined the race, 20 days, 1,100 miles and still running -- right into their hearts.
good evening, and we start this memorial day with breaking news tonight. a heart-stopping scene on the ground and in the air. when parts of a boeing jet, with more than 300 people on board began falling from the sky, pieces of the engine smashing into cars below. the air canada plane forced to make an emergency landing. i want to bring in lisa stark. >> david, something went wrong with this jumbo jet right after takeoff. the air canada flight was heading from toronto to japan, 318 passengers and 16 crew. after taking off, one engine shut down. and it appears pieces of the plane fell off the jet. plummeting into a nearby suburb. the metal parts smashing through the windshields of parked cars, their owners stunned. >> oh, my gosh, what is this? >> reporter: have you ever seen anything like this before.
>> oh, no, first time in my life. >> reporter: up in the air, the captain declared an emergency. pilots are trained for just such an emergency and the jet returned and landed safely. just last week in florida a main cabin door flew off a private plane, crashing into a golf course. no one injured there again. it's not common for parts to peel off, but it does happen usually due to metal fatigue or maintenance issues. it can be catastrophic depending on what falls off the plane and in what stage of the flight. but in these two incidents, both those on the ground and in the air escaped injury. in the meantime, we'll turn now to the first tropical storm to make landfall. tonight what's left of that system is still churning, drenching the east this evening.
we have two reports from our extreme weather team. starting with ginger zee, where that storm made landfall. >> reporter: loud, rude, and violent. beryl was the overnight guest no one invited. ghostly beaches whipped by sand. unused deck chairs rocking at the end of the deck. sad symbols of the washed out holiday weekend. the east coast hasn't seen a may storm like this in more than a century. it made landfall just after midnight in jacksonville beach, florida. with 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts it was just short of a category one hurricane. >> just about 2:45 a.m. look where we're at now, just getting into the back side of the system, the heaviest rain going to move in now. still the storm toppled trees and power lines. in florida, 20,000 homes without power. thousands more in georgia. the inundating rains made rivers swell and neighborhoods flood. >> it came to the bottom of our steps. >> reporter: the coopers haven't seen this in decades, but like many floridians, they are seeing the brighter side.
>> we needed water so badly here. >> reporter: look at this map. it shows the drought pre-beryl. now look at this map. the dark green shows where up to six inches of rain fell. spots of yellow, up to ten inches, and all in the last 24 hours. at least the untimely holiday guest is leaving a gift. >> we can get hit with all the wimpy ones we want. i don't want the big one. i don't want with anything with a category number behind it. >> that man relieved the system wasn't larger than it was. ginger back with us in the same spot from last night. we can see the surf whipping up behind you. where is the system now? >> it's far to the north, in south central georgia, at least that's where it's centered. it will make a slow u-turn, making a tortoise-like pace off to the atlantic by tomorrow
night. by wednesday, it will affect the carolinas. by thursday, we can stop talking about beryl. >> ginger, thank you. the other part of the story, the searing heat with more than 200 records shattered this holiday, and providing lots of fuel for the wildfires. here's alex perez on that. >> reporter: parts of the southwest are ablaze, a furious rages is new mexico's national forest. more than 122,000 acres up in flames. the dangerously low humidity forcing crews to clear away anything that could become fuel for the fire. in this town, residents are begging for mercy. >> we're hoping and praying mother nature will give us a break. >> reporter: a break from gusty winds in colorado. and in arizona, it's helping contain wildfires there. but in michigan, a hundred buildings were destroyed as flames consumed more than 20,000 acres. large fires are burning in eight states tonight, and a sweltering heat wave has had a grip on a huge portion of the midwest.
this spring on its way to being the hottest on record. temperatures soared into the 90s in chicago today. the cooling mist of one of the city's tallest fountains provided much needed relief. >> nature's air conditioning, right? >> it was hot and i felt like i was going to pass out. >> reporter: at the indy 500 sunday, the track reached a blistering 130 degrees. >> my gloves are melted to the throttle. today even people enjoying the sun, fear what mother nature may bring next. >> i'm nervous what august has to bring and july when it's actually supposed to be hot out. >> reporter: the temperatures have smashed through more than 200 record highs across the country. the good news is, there is relief in sight. temperatures are expected to dip in the next couple of days. david? >> alex perez tonight. thank you. on this memorial day, the weather did not give way for the millions of americans remembering the fallen. we learned just today of two more american soldiers who died in a helicopter crash in afghanistan. a powerful reminder on this day
when this nation pauses to honor their sacrifice. at arlington national cemetery, a young woman her head in her knee, the children walking by old enough to recognize the pain. it was there president obama marked this memorial day reminding the nation of the families who quietly, long after the cameras leave, visit their loved ones here every day. >> tomorrow this place will once again belong to a smaller group of visitors, who make their way through the gates and across these fields. you are the family and friends of the fallen. you, too, leave a piece of your hearts beneath these trees. >> reporter: in california, the boy scouts making sure their heroes are remembered. a viewer in boston, sending us this from boston common. 300 volunteers one day, 33,000 flags all to honor the fallen. across this country, the countless private moments, a single rose placed on a headstone. stephanie montgomery visiting her brother's grave. a mother and her little girl
placing a small heart on her uncle. in this holly, michigan, betty johnson saluting during the pledge of allegiance. there were parades today through american towns large and small, children waving their flags, while back in washington, president obama traveled to the vietnam memorial, too. 58,282 american patriots. we salute all who served with them. we stand with the families who love them still. >> reporter: on this memorial day weekend, we took note of a power of a single image, this soldier, placing a flag in front of a headstone for a comrade he never knew. a prayer and then a salute on behalf of a nation remembering him. >> we are all saluting and we remember the injured veterans and their new partners now that they're back home. in the meantime tonight there are new developments in the case of the 6-year-old boy who vanished 33 years ago. and that confession now. tonight investigators are asking why family members and possibly a prayer group didn't say
something so long ago. here's abc's sharyn alfonsi now. >> reporter: the stunning confession reportedly happened inside the walls of this new jersey catholic church in the early 1980s. just a few years after etan patz disappeared on his way to school. the "new york times" reporting that pedro hernandez told a prayer group that he strangled a boy and left the body in a dumpster, but no one from the group called police at that time. they reportedly kept it a secret for more than 30 years. and police and the patz family frantically search for clues. they seem to be part of a growing web of people hernandez allegedly confided in. >> there were comments in the years that i knew that something -- he did something, but i was never told a lot. he never told me nothing or my wife or anybody in the family that i know of. >> reporter: now, 33 years after the crime, police are essentially starting from scratch. there's no physical evidence, no body, no dna, no fingerprints.
even the bodega where the murder allegedly took place is today an eyeglass boutique. the new york post is reporting hernandez told police he hid etan's body in a freezer before leaving him to be collected with the trash, but proof will be hard to come by. prosecutors are building their case on pedro hernandez' confession. his lawyer claims he bipolar, schizophrenic and suffers hallucinations. even so, detectives say they believe his story because hernandez apparently has information about etan that's never been released. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york. >> our thanks to sharon tonight. overseas to syria and to a staggering number just emerging this evening. more than three dozen children lost in the latest attacks. there's brand new pressure tonight not only from the u.s., now from russia. is this a turning point? >> reporter: good evening, david. the death toll went up again today.
the united nations now says 49 children were killed in this massacre, many at close range. opposition activists in the villages say that after an artillery and tank assault that government thugs went from house to house shooting and stabbing. the government says these accusations are a tsunami of lies. special envoy kofi annan arrived in damascus today calling for both sides to respect the ceasefire. they are condemning syria's use of heavy tanks and artillery. the white house wants russia to go even farther and pressure syrian president assad to step aside. >> our thanks to you. meantime to the pressure building at the vatican tonight, we've been reporting here on the pope's butler under arrest. tonight we'll dig deeper with new signs that the secrecy may be unraveling. here's abc's jeffrey kofman now. >> reporter: for centuries, the ancient walls of the vatican have held firm keeping the
secrets, the power struggles far from the public eye. now, those walls are cracking. because of this man -- the pope's butler, paolo gabriele, one of only a handful of people in benedict xvi's circle. now, the butler accused of betraying his boss, leaking to the media secret vatican documents that show corruption at some of the highest levels, alleging kickbacks and money laundering at the secretive vatican bank. gabriele is being held in the tiny vatican police station. today, through his lawyer, he pledged "full cooperation" with investigators. >> even if he's somehow involved, he may also be a convenient scapegoat for people who are higher up in the system. >> reporter: one respected italian newspaper described a deep throat inside the vatican who described a network of conspirators, leaking secrets, including cartenals. some to protect the pope, some
to undermine him. it's war, says the insider, and you no longer know which sign -- side anyone is on. the pope spokesman insisted no cardinals are being investigated. for seven years, benedict has struggled to assert control over the church. he's now 85 and in declining health, facing the biggest crisis inside the vatican in decades. it's going to test every ounce of strength he has left in him. david? >> jeffrey, thanks. meantime, back in this country now and to dollars and cents. to a new number that caught our eye, baby boomers, saddled with student loans, not only their children's, but still paying back their own. a whopping six million americans over the age of 50, still paying off their own loans. neal karlinsky tonight on the newest number delaying retirement. >> are you ready? >> reporter: after years of hard work, savings, plus an air force pension, terry and edward fackler thought they had retirement taken care of. then, the student loan debt started piling up.
what does this do to you in your golden years? >> well, i don't know about retirement. >> no retirement? >> no. >> reporter: the facklers are part of an often hidden, but huge number of retirement-age americans drowning in an estimated $36 billion in student-loan debt. some still struggling to pay off their own debts. others paying for their children. >> the whole concept that student-loan debt is a 20 or 30-something problem is just misplaced. >> reporter: the facklers co-signed for loans to put their son mark through college, and now he can't afford the payment. >> i don't want to be a burden on them. i think about it all the time. >> reporter: mark, a veteran with a good job is just barely making making the $600 a month interest-only payments on his student loans. with help from mom and dad. >> this oppressive debt hanging over our heads is very scary for me. because i do want them to have a good future. >> reporter: financial planners
have this harsh advice. co-sign only if you're prepared to pay it all back yourself. remember this, it's almost impossible to eliminate student loan debt, even in bankruptcy court. the facklers say they'll do what they have to, even if that means paying for the kids' education for the rest of their lives. neal karlinsky, abc news, everett, washington. still ahead here on "world news," the miracle on the mountain, the father flying his family, crashing into a mountain, the daughter who bravely calls 911. >> i was in an airplane and i crashed. what rescuers found 15 hours later. one amazing story tonight. i haand then i have eleven my grandkids. right when you see them, they're yours, it's like, ah, it's part of me.
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below-freezing whiteout conditions, the windshield smashed, their own blood on the door. >> i can get up and walk around, but my head is split open pretty good. >> reporter: a fire captain from northern california, usually it's brian doing the rescuing. this time, his family needed help. daughter heather had pelvic injuries, mother had injured her head and back. >> how is the weather where you're at? >> reporter: still, they stayed calm, starting a fire with the plane's fuel, sealing off the cabin to keep warm. a medical helicopter spotted the wreckage, but to get to the family, ground crews had to trek through six-foot snow drifts down 60-degree mountain slopes. >> it was slick, wet, icy. everything you don't want to have we had. >> reporter: finally the family hoisted one by one to safety above. >> they were very lucky. >> reporter: lucky and tonight thankful to be in a hospital recuperating together.
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>> reporter: irvine and other dogs, such as 4-month-old puppy cadence, are part of a three-year training course to help wounded warriors. troops back from iraq or afghanistan with debilitating injuries. now, that in itself is not new. what is new is who's training these service dogs -- other wounded warriors such as sergeant brian bradley from st. mary's, ohio, who lost his right arm in battle in afghanistan in 2010. he says it helps for the dogs to be trained by actual amputees with prosthetic limbs to get used to them. >> you know, i can do a lot of things with this. and when i first got to the pram -- program last year, like some of the puppies, they were like, what is that? they see the hook moving around and stuff. >> reporter: private first class cory doane from vancouver, washington, lost his leg to an ied in afghanistan in july 2011. he says training these dogs has been a lifeline. it's got to be depressing to sit in a hospital bed recuperating. >> for sure. and it takes the man out of you. it was nice to actually go out
and do something again, instead of just sitting in the bed healing or just doing physical therapy. >> reporter: and bradley says the service dogs can help combat post-traumatic stress disorder. >> mine kicks in every time i put on a new prosthetic that looks identical to my other arm. it's like an instant memory of me actually losing my arm that day. >> reporter: but irvine helps? >> oh, yeah. oh, yeah. it's a great day when i'm with him. good boy! >> reporter: jake tapper, abc news, at the pentagon. >> powerful bond. we leave you here tonight with another image, a young mother, her baby son, and the heart on his father's grave. next at 6:00 another fatal shooting involving police officers. tonight the different stories being told by he investigators and suspect families. >> also, a bay area memorial day tradition for is 44 years. and the veterans of two wars singled out today. >> and unlikely bond between two vets, one they just
learned about though they've attended the same church for years. >> a banned chemical used by dry cleaners ending up in too many places it should not be. >> i heard five gunshots. they're boom, boom, that is when i juched on the -- fell on the floor, immediately. >> a frightening chain of events. police officers shoot and kill a man following a car chase. good evening, everyone, i'm carolyn tileler. >> i'm dan ashley. this is the second time in four days the vallejo police officers shot and killed a suspect. investigators say anton bare yet senior died after being rushed to the hospital. we're live tonight with the story. nick? >> good evening. anton barett's family say he did have issue was policean
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