tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS September 6, 2019 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
>> o'donnell: tonight, sounding l:e alarm. e e c.d.c. issues a strong warning about using e-cigarettes as it investigates why some people are dying and hundreds of others are getting seriously ill. , so tonight, breaking news: rescues underway after residents on one north carolina island refused to evacuate then got stranded after dorian slammed the outer banks. desperation in the bahamas. they're still waiting for help five days after the hurricane hit. i it's horrible. you can't live here. >> o'donnell: new details in the welifornia dive boat fire. we now know how all 34 people died, and investigators are asking was anyone keeping watch when the flames broke out? we're in afghanistan where taliban attacks are on the rise, even as they talk peace with the u.s. an american airlines mechanic
admits he sabotaged a plane, but why? we have late details. all that, and steve hartman "on the road," with a handyman with a heart of gold who gives of himself. this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell. >> o'donnell: and good evening this is our western edition. we will get to that urgent health warning for everyone who uses e-cigarettes in just a moment. but as we come on the air, there is breaking news. a rescue is underway along the coast of north carolina. hundreds who refused to evacuate ocracoke island were stranded when dorian slammed into the outer banks this morning as a category 1 hurricane with 90- mile-an-hour winds. well, tonight, that storm is headed out to sea, and may bring tropical-storm-force winds to new england this weekend. omar villafranca is in north carolina with the latest on that rescue effort. >> reporter: late this afternoon, once the winds
rescue the nearly 800 people trapped there. >> we are going up into the attic. i pray that everybody is safe. >> reporter: dorian's howling winds, torrents of rain, and surging seas swept across north carolina's outer banks, catching many of the hurricane-hardened residents of ocracoke island by surprise. >> it's coming in to the house. it's coming in under the-- under the door. >> reporter: people who defied a mandatory evacuation order got caught in storm surge of up to seven feet and were forced to higher ground. >> the water levels rose so fast, literally, i would say within 30 minutes, we had four feet of water, and it just kept rising. >> reporter: those who were able to left by boat.nk over 80, 90 miles an hour, and that is
bringing the tide in. the main concern at this point is water, of course, leaving the beach and going on to the roads. in wilmington, residents had to navigate through flooded streets. >> when you've been displaced in a storm like this two years in a row, it's tough. oy reporter: search and rescue crews are on the ground in ocracoke. and, norah, the helicopter evacuations will continue until they are no longer needed. >> o'donnell: all right, omar, thank you so much. as promised now, that warning today from the centers for tesease control. the c.d.c. is urging people to consider not using e-cigarette products as it investigates why some users are developing serious breathing illnesses. health officials have identified 450 possible cases in 33 states, and five deaths, likely related elyvaping. nearly 11 million americans use e-cigarettes, and that includes one in five high school students. dr. jon lapook tonight reports on why this urgent call was
de >> reporter: the c.d.c. says the reason people should consider not using e-cigarettes is that she investigation is ongoing, and though the agency believes a chemical is involved, there's still no definitive cause for the lung illnesses. today, the c.d.c. reported a third death in indiana, in addition to two others in illinois and oregon. still under investigation are two more deaths in minnesota and california. pam pontones is with the indiana health department. >> vaping is the only common factor in these injuries to date. lsny individuals have reported vaping t.h.c., the ingredient in marijuana, or other substances. but we do not know what else may have been in these products. >> reporter: a study released today showed both t.h.c. and cocotine were involved. it described 53 cases of vaping- related lung disease since april male ainois and wisconsin. median age of 19.
37% of patients reported vaping tly t.h.c., the chemical in marijuana that produces a high. ly% reported only using nicotine products, and 44% reported using both. 18-year-old piper johnson was on her way to college when she wound up in a colorado intensive care unit. >> had i waited 36 hours longer, i probably would have died or been put on a ventilator. >> reporter: the c.d.c. did not identify any particular brand of e-cigarette, but expressed particular concern with vaping products purchased on the street or tampered with by users. the american vaping association said that the c.d.c. was creating anti-vaping hysteria, and that adult smokers should not be scared off from using store-bought nicotine vaping products to quit smoking. now, late today, juul added they appreciated the work of the c.d.c. and are confident they will get to the bottom of this onoblem. >> o'donnell: interesting. so, jon, why did the c.d.c. raise particular concerns about
these street-wrought products? e> reporter: norah they're really concerned about unknown substances people are buying on the street. they think it's not an infection, probably a chemical irritation. when you think about it, these e-cigarette devices are really like chemistry sets. you put in this liquid, you heat tt up. there's some kind of chemical thaction. you're creating all these different chemicals. we're not exactly sure what those chemicals are. but we are sure of one thing: you are sucking a lot of them in ne your lungs. >> o'donnell: that's why the industry is trying to make a distinction tonight. >> reporter: yeah. >> o'donnell: dr. jon lapook, thank you. turning now to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the bahamas. the u.n. says five days after hurricane dorian tore through the island chain, more than 76,000 are in urgent need of food and water. today nikki batiste about flew to the abaco island on a u.s. government black hawk helicopter. >> reporter: flying into the airport in marsh harbor with u.s. customs and border protection marine and air team we landed at what's now a shelter for survivors who have been waiting in these terminal seats for days, most now
homeless. >> i left-- i left without nothing. >> reporter: maxine ferguson and her two teenaged sons have been sleeping on this makeshift bed. do you have any idea what the future looks like? >> abaco has always been my home. r: reporter: her home was 15 miles away. the hotel where she works is gone, too. >> it hurts me to leave. fou know, but my kids. matter more. >> reporter: as they wait... is yne child with you? >> reporter: ...a group of abaco island residents lined up. ou your home gone here? >> yes. i live in the mud. >> reporter: what do you have left? >> i don't have nothing but me sad my kids. suivors with medical needs, pregnant women, and children, are a priority to evacuate. the united nations has estimated more than 76,000 people need
humanitarian relief in the two hours after we met maxine, she was told a plane is coming for her. >> i'm just going to go with the flow, and hope for the best. >> reporter: maxine just told us she has arrived in nassau and is staying with family. maxine says she, like so many in the bahamas, has no home insurance and no means to rebuild. now to grand bahama island today. long lines of people waiting for ood and water in freeport. our errol barnett got to see firsthand the destruction to homes and one of the main roads. t reporter: this is the main highway out of freeport to head hst to the hardest hit areas. and you can see it's been completely devastated. this is a big reason why it's so iallenging to get aid through the country. keeno lettice and his father are trying to make contact with friends they haven't spoken with
since the storm. seeing the state of the road, they turned back. >> it's rough. >> pure devastation, you know. epartbreak>>eporter: now, we ret to a government official to ask them about the slow distribution nd aid, and they tell us that this was an unprecedented storm, ecd that they're doing the best they can. norah. >> o'donnell: all right, errol, thank you so much. we turn now to california, the owner of that dive boat that caught fire near santa barbara this week, killing 34, spoke out about the disaster today. kris van cleave reports the owner is aggressively defending ae actions of his crew as we learn more about what happened. >> the crew is having a very tifficult time. >> reporter: speaking for the first time, glen fritzler, the owner of the "conception," says as the fire raged on the boat's evcond level, his crew tried to save the passengers trapped pplow. he claims the captain stayed until the very last moment. >> they said they could see jerry jump from the upper deck, and that there was a trail of smoke following him. they thought he was on fire.
>> reporter: santa barbara county sheriff bill brown now says it appears the 34 people killed died of smoke inhalation before the fire reached their sleeping quarters. investigators are also looking into whether the crew was asleep when the fire started. the boat is required to have a roaming night watchman. an a.t.f. team of fire specialists are now part of the investigation. an that any reason to think that this has moved into more of a miminal investigation than an accident investigation? >> we are looking to determine what happened. nacriminal element to that is always a possibility. but at this point, no one has been charged criminally. >> reporter: painstaking salvage operations are underway to recover the burned remains of the boat from about 65 feet of water. divers also hope to locate the one body still unaccounted for. the grief remains overwhelming for those left behind. bcki moore lost her partner, hott chan, a high school r,ysics teacher, and her 26- year-old daughter, kendra, a wildlife biologist. >> both of them shared a passion for the natural world and this
intense curiosity. i'm grateful for all the time i had with her and just wish there was more. yeah. >> o'donnell: kris joins us now. and i know are more of the victims were identified today. what do we know about them? >> reporter: norah, we know they range in age from their teens to their 60s. they come from across california and around the world, as far away as singapore and india. many of them had been on this haat before. as for the effort to raise the boat, it is a delicate process that requires the weather to cooperate. it could take days, even weeks. norah. >> o'donnell: kris, thank you so much. there's breaking news involving u.s. special operations forces. today the three senior leaders of seal team seven were relieved from their positions. this stems from a july 4 party in iraq in which members were erinking and a sexual assault ss alleged. the entire unit was sent home early following that incident. new tonight, the pentagon has identified the american soldier
killed in afghanistan yesterday. eargeant first class elis barreto from puerto rico was 34 years old. as charlie d'agata reports, his death comes with taliban violence on the rise and the peace talks at a critical moment. >> reporter: security camera footage shows the moment a taliban car bomb took the life of a u.s. service member. look again closely. it deliberately rams the armored s.u.v. in a targeted killing, also claiming the lives of another nato soldier and at least 10 civilians. it was the second taliban attack in the heart of kabul this week. and it's not just the suicide bombings. the taliban has launched major military offenses in three afghan provinces in recent days, waging war while discussing peace with u.s. negotiators in doha. but even american envoy zalmay fighting, just a reduction in certain places.
the taliban say the spike in grab to give them a stronger position in those negotiations, and they warned they will continue. when we arrived today, we drove right past the scene of yesterday's attack. now, this whole area, the airport road, the u.s. embassy, is supposed to be one of the most secured places in the country. these brutal attacks are the taliban's way of showing nowhere is safe. norah. >> o'donnell: so strategic. .harlie d'agata, thank you. and there is much more ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." an airline mechanic is charged with sabotaging a plane packed with passengers. plus breaking news. haosecutors will recommend for actress felicity huffman in the admissions scandal. and handyman who is addicted to helping people.
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>> o'donnell: an american airlines mechanic appeared in a miami court today after being charged with sabotaging a agtliner. the plane was filled with passengers and set to take off. jeff pegues on what happened next. >> reporter: at 10:30 a.m. on july 17, american airlines flight 2834 pulled out of gate 49 at miami international t reporter: but the pilots noticed a problem, and as the plane with 150 people aboard moved into position on the runway, they were forced to turn around. investigators say american airlines mechanic abdul-majeed l-rouf ahmed alani, who appeared in a florida court today, was seen on surveillance video tampering with the plane's navigation systems just an hour before it was scheduled to depart.invests w
id he ied to sabotage the plane because he was upset about a stalled contract dispute between his union and american airlines and that it had affected him financially. investigators say that alani told them that he hoped that by sabotaging the plane, he would get overtime to fix it. american airlines calls all of this disturbing and says that it is cooperating with investigators. norah. ep o'donnell: deeply disturbing. jeff pegues, thank you. still ahead, a skier goes rolling and tumbling. sen she can't believe how this ended. ended.
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je's seeking probation after pleading guilty to paying $15,000 to boost her daughter's s.a.t. score. sentencing is next friday. an american skier took a terrifying tumble, several actually. jennie symons was competing in new zealand when her ski hit a rock. it came off but she kept going tomahawking down the mountain. over and over she went. when she did stop, the 20-year- old immediately signaled she was okay. symons says she couldn't believe mme escaped unscathed and, well, uither can we. serena williams could make history tomorrow. she is one victory from a record-tying 24 grand slam championships.will plabiancandru who wasn't even born when williams won her first u.s. open nitle in 1999. and williams' friend, meghan markle, the duchess of sussex, is expected to be there to cheer her on. next, steve hartman's "on the road" with jon the handyman. wait 'til you hear what he'll do
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steve hartman met him "on the road." >> reporter: there is a nuperhero in pittsburgh, a mild- mannered guy in a funny looking van who goes around town striking happiness in the hearts of hundreds. o> if i can go out and help people and have them experience what love is just between neighbors, like, that's sweet. where's 270? >> reporter: 29-year-old jon potter is a handyman by trade, but he doesn't charge for most of what he does. m do you mind starting it up? >> reporter: whether it's a thzza delivery guy with no way to deliver or an electric scooter guy with no way to scoot, jon is always to the rescue. >> actually, let's throw it in the back. >> like, just, like, a saint pretty much. he's willing to help anybody with, like, whatever size problem you have. >> it might take me a day, honestly. te reporter: jon finds his rescuees on reddit, people who have a window broken out or can't afford the roof they need, or maybe just want help moving. jon does it all for total strangers. >> it took a huge brain switch. r: reporter: he started doing
ais four years ago after a woman approached him at this gas station. >> she's like, "hey, can i get a ride to the battered women's shelter or can i have money for the bus?" >> reporter: and your answer? r: i said, "no, sorry." >> reporter: it was a response he regretted almost immediately. >> yeah, that haunted me right from the start. t> reporter: jon vowed that day jrward he would say yes to anyone who asked for help, no matter what they needed. and so far, he's done about 1,000 good deeds. has he ever been scammed? he doesn't know, and, quite frankly, he doesn't care. >> i give because i want to give, and that's just for me. and if anything, i go to bed at t ght and feel happy. yeah, come on in. >> reporter: happy, but not wealthy. >> is a check okay? >> reporter: typically, jon has just a few hundred dollars to his name, and, yet, he continues to give, sometimes a lot more than just handyman services. >> would you mind carrying it to the car? after the kidney surgery, i can't lift anything. >> reporter: that's right, jon has now moved on to vital organs. >> it's unbelievable. report icl
moore, another total stranger, got jon's kidney. this is not fixing somebody's sooter. >> no, it's an unbelievable act of kindness. >> reporter: michael says the best gift ever. but not only for the obvious reason. >> because you find out that there's other people in the world that care, and... that's-- that's a strong message. >> reporter: a message that jon says is only going to get louder. >> i really want to give a piece of my liver. >> reporter: are you joking? >> no. if the grave is home plate, i want to come sliding into it at this point, you know? bare-minimum organs. you might find me on "my strange addiction." i'm addicted to giving organs. ( laughs ) >> reporter: addicted to helping others. there are certainly worse vices. steve hartman, "on the road," in pittsburgh. >> o'donnell: all of us could use a similar addiction. that is the "cbs evening news" thks for joining us this week. i'll see you again on monday. od night.