tv Dateline MSNBC February 4, 2018 3:00am-4:01am PST
cross country flight. mackenzie morgan, survivor and licensed pilot. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. ♪ i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline." >> how do you feel that so many people think steven avery is innocent? >> it is emotional. they made him look like he was just a nice person. what's happening is wrong. the evidence is beyond over w l overwhelming. >> i'm innocent. >> the story gripped the nation. >> so many americans have learned about it. >> it is being heard by people around the world. >> steven avery and his nephew,
convicted of murder in the haunting killing of a young photographer. but were they really innocent? >> i didn't do it. somebody's doing a good job on me. >> did you have any kind of venn du venndetta against steven avery. >> for the first time a lead investigator. >> this was seen as a false confession. >> i feel it was a real confession. he knew right from wrong. >> those officers wanted that information in the worst way. they got it in the worst way. >> the prosecutor fights back with an explosive book. >> people are going to hear the other side of the story. >> and a promise from steven avery's high-powered new attorney. >> do you think you have new evidence that could free steven avery? >> we do. ♪ >> welcome to "dateline."
it is an extraordinary case that defies easy answers. at the center of it all, steven avery. he and his teenage nephew were convicted in the brutal murder of wisconsin photographer freeze awe halbuck. then came a documentary exploring police corruption so explosive investigators have been forced to fight back, two sides, one truth. who will you believe? >> the mystery of what happened here in this sprawling fields of rural wisconsin has captivated the country. >> we the jury find the defendant, steven a. avery, guilty. >> in 2015, the netflix series "making a murderer" convinced many viewers that steven avery and brendan dacy, both convicted of murder. it is a case "dateline" has been following more than a decade.
as their lawyers worked tirelessly to free them from prison, we pose the questions everyone has been asking to two men who helped put avery and dacy behind bars. >> why would steven avery do this? >> that's a good question. >> we speak with former prosecutor who has written a book revealing a provocative theory. >> steven avery started planning this event the first day he went to prison. >> and we talk with a lead investigator who has come under fire for this controversial interrogation. >> you've really stayed silent through this firestorm. why are you sitting here today? >> finally realized someone needed to speak out, to bring forward the truth of what happened. >> so what did happen here? our story begins with the woman at the heart of this case, a 25-year-old photographer from wisconsin named teresa hallbalk.
>> she loved being behind the camera. >> they became fast friends in college. both were photographers working at the same studio in green bay. kim says teresa had a special way with her subjects. >> she would get the smile. that was one thing she loved to do, make other people smile. >> the two stayed in touch after graduation as they launched their careers. that would change suddenly on october 31stst, 2005. kim caught a story on the local news, teresa was missing. >> investigators say the 25-year-old was on assignment for "auto trader" magazine when she disappeared. >> my heart kind of dropped knowing it was somebody i knew. >> wisconsin police quickly launched a massive search, bolstered by a team of volunteers. after two days, a big break. >> we found a ram ford. >> they found teresa's vehicle on the avery salvage yard. >> tom fastbender, an investigator with the department
of investigations hustled over to the home of the salvage yard and steven avery. >> had you heard his name before. >> only through the media. >> steven avery was a big story. he had been convicted of rape in 1985, but 18 years later dna evidence exonerated him and he was freed. a wrongfully convicted manuel comed back into so with open arms and looking for justice of his own. >> were you aware that he had filed a lawsuit against the local sheriff's department. >> yes, i had heard that. >> avery hoped winning the $36 million lawsuit could help him get back on his feet. >> he had an opportunity to make something of his life and it appeared that he was headed toward -- in that direction. >> now, two years after his release from prison, this poster boy for wrongful convictions was back in the news and not in a good way. >> i hope she comes back so she can go back to her family. >> when fastbender arrived on
site, he learned teresa hallbalk had an appointment at the salvage yard to take photos of this van her sister was selling. she left a message that morning. >> this is teresa from "auto trader" magazine. i'm the photographer. i'm giving a call to let you know i could come out there today in the afternoon, probably around 2:00. >> steven avery confirmed to investigators that teresa had been on the property that day and left around 2:30 p.m. avery didn't tell them much more, but for investigators a dark tale started emerging from the physical evidence, especially when they made a gruesome discover in the back of teresa's suv. >> we found teresa's blood in the vehicle, primarily in the cargo area of the rav 4. >> and in the front more blood. >> there was blood on some of the upholstery and a very telling swipe of blood near the ignition switch of the vehicle. >> tests showed that blood was
steven avery's, taking him from person of interest to prime suspect. >> you believe you can explain the blood from steven avery? >> yes, absolutely. steven avery had a cut on his right hand, middle finger, that was freshly scabbed over, and if you took that key and you put it in that ignition switch it just lined up perfectly with a contact pattern swipe. >> how did he explain that cut. >> i'm not sure if i remember that. i think he claimed he had cut it in the junk yard doing work on vehicles. >> fastbender feared the worst, and after four days of searching his team found something disturbing in a fire pit near avery's trailer. >> what appeared to be bone fragments. >> human bones. most interesting because family members told investigators that steven avery had built a bon fire hours after teresa had been at the yard that day. >> there was a huge bon fire, flames going as high as, you know, the edge of the roof on the garage. >> was it all making sense to
you? >> looking at the whole picture, absolutely. >> and that picture came into sharper focus when fastbender's team found another clue, teresa's key inside avery's bedroom. >> the toyota key with the little fob connector to it. >> this is huge. >> yes, it's huge. >> especially when the crime lab later found avery's dna on it. it would become a highly controversial clue in this case. the evidence was stacking up against steven avery, and fastbender says that rav 4 would later tell investigators one last thing. >> we tested the hood latch and found dna matching steven on the hood latch. >> fastbender believed avery had explaining to do. nine days after teresa's disappearance he and his partner brought avery in for an interview. "dateline" filed a freedom of information for the video.
>> that's the only way the key gets there. >> avery was defiant and claimed combs were framing him, planting evidence. >> the cops got the evidence. >> fastbender and wiegert weren't buying it and placed steven avery under arrest. >> i didn't do it. >> we're not do -- >> somebody is doing a good job on me. >> investigators were convinced they had their man. still, they didn't know how or why teresa had been killed. >> coming up -- shackles, handcuffs, strange behavior. >> teresa's creeped out. >> could something in his past have led him to murder. when "dateline" continues. i'm so frustrated. i just want to find a used car without getting ripped off. you could start your search at the all-new carfax.com that might help. show me the carfax. now the car you want and the history you need are easy to find. show me used trucks with one owner. pretty cool.
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♪ in january 2006, steven avery pleaded not guilty to the murder of teresa halbach, and special prosecutor ken kratz began building his case. he chronicles it in his book "avery." >> what do you feel people know. >> the book is about the case against steven avery that is setting forth a better representation of what the evidence was. >> better, he says, than the way the evidence was presented in "making a murderer." for the first time kratz lays out his complete theory of the case with new details he has never shared before. for one thing, kratz tells
"dateline" he believes steven avery set his sights on teresa halbach in the weeks leading up to her murder. >> as we move closer towards october 31st we see steven's behavior changing. >> as kratz got auto trader's records he learned teresa had actually made five earlier visits to the avery salvage yard to take photos, some at steven avery's request. >> he starts making calls directly to teresa halbach rather than going through "auto trader". >> and kratz determined the day before teresa's visit he purchased these handcuffs and shackles. >> he answered the door wearing a small white towel. teresa we know is creeped can out by that behavior. she tells friends and co-workers about that. >> kratz believes avery's behavior shows signs of a sexual obsession with teresa that led to murder. >> why would steven avery do
this when he was on the verge of getting a big windfall, potentially millions of dollars. >> that's a great question. i don't know. we know that he's a psycho path. we know he has -- >> do we know that? >> let's say i allege that, okay. i believe that deep down. >> kratz discovered more in avery's past. 18 years before teresa's murder, avery wrote this letter to his estranged wife from prison saying, i will kill you. and a former fiance told police he had physically abused her, and kratz says he learned something even more disturbing. this 2006 police report shows a teen abc giccused avery of rapir a year after his release from prison. it all came together for kratz. he believes avery had developed a deep resentment of women which started with his wrongful conviction and had only grown over the years. >> he has no remorse for his behavior, feels incredibly
entitled. >> but as he continued to investigate the case, kratz had a problem. >> you still didn't know how she was killed, exactly where she was killed. was that bothering you? >> yes, but sometimes, you know, you have what you have. it was all coming together in bits and pieces. >> he and his team kept digging until they got a big lead. >> just have a seat, brendan. >> in march 2006, four months after teresa's murder, tom fastbender and his partner spoke with the 16-year-old nephew brendan dassey in a series of highly-scrutinized interviews. >> what was her first impression of brendan dassey? >> a shy kid, somewhat introverted. >> but once he opened up, the details he revealed would stun investigators. >> what else did he do to her? >> raped her. >> did he tell you that? >> fastbender says dassey described a brutal scene. on that halloween afternoon his
uncle asked him to come over to his trailer. dassey said they each sexually assaulted teresa in avery's bedroom and avery later shot her in his garage, burning her body in the bon fire. >> a game changer, he told us stuff we weren't aware of like teresa was shot in the garage and died there. >> and after speaking with dassey, fastbender had his team return to the avery property once more. and they found this in his garage, a bullet fragment. >> and that was missed the first time around? >> well, i guess i could say it was missed, but found a bullet, a .22 bullet frame. >> it was tested? >> yes, and teresa's dna was on that bullet and it was shot from the rifle above his bed. >> do you believe teresa was shot in that garage? >> yes. >> one strange thing though, when she searched the garage for blood they never found a drop. >> how could you clean up all of
that blood. >> did it to the best of his ability. bleach, paint thinner, it cleans up blood. >> teresa's friend said when she heard the details about her final moments she was heart broken. >> i remember crying and hoping she was who she was and fought because she was a very strong person. >> ken kratz charged can brendan dassey as a coconspirator in her murder. >> i intend to hold each of these defendants accountable for the rape, the torture and the murder of teresa halbach. >> but not so fast. dassey recanted his statements. just before avery's trial the judge dismissed the rape charge against him and didn't allow any of those allegations about avery's treatment of women, saying they didn't prove anything about teresa's murder. and avery was never charged with assaulting his ex fiance or with raping the teen. to this day he denies all of the allegations. and those handcuffs and
shackles? no evidence ever linked them to teresa. still, in the spring of 2007 juries in separate trials convicted both dassey and avery of murdering teresa. they were each sentenced to life in prison. >> you are probably the most dangerous individual ever to set foot in this courtroom. >> it seemed like the avery saga had ended, but eight years later, "making a murderer" would put fastbender, kratz and their entire team in the hot seat. >> coming up -- >> did they plant evidence? >> sure, they did. >> was steven avery framed? >> is it possible that that blood could have been planted? >> when "dateline" continues. sa. but one day we were sitting there and we decided that, you know what? something needed to be done about what was going on in our inner-city. instead of buying a house, we decided to form this youth league. what is he doing wrong? he should shed the block. exactly. it's volunteer, we don't get a paycheck. it's one hundred percent from the heart. football shaped my life and i'm praying that it will shape these kids' lives as well.
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♪ in december 2015 netflix released "making a murderer" and it ignited a bon fire of controversy over the convictions of steven avery and brendan dassey. now many viewers believed the claims avery had been making all along, that he was framed by law enforcement. >> who would want to set you up in something like this? >> the only thing i can think of is manitoba county with the money so she didn't have to pay nothing out. >> did they plant evidence? sure they did. >> kim dukot is avery's cousin. she said she predicted something bad might happen to him after
exoneration in that rain rape case. >> i told him manitock wasn't done with him. >> why did you think they weren't done with him? >> something just told me they weren't going to hand steve avery $36 million or any kind of money, that they were gist going to be watching him and look what happened. >> avery ended up settling that lawsuit for $400,000 before his trial. the county did not acknowledge any wrong doing. he used the money to hire his defense attorneys dean strain and jerry buting. >> we knew going through it would be a difficult defense. >> we spoke to buting in early 2016. >> we had a tough defense because nobody wants to try to use as a defense the police tried to plant evidence or frame somebody. >> it goes against society. those people are there to help us, the police. >> right.
but it is where we thought the evidence pointed. >> avery's attorney believed they made for a conflict of interest and mischief at the crime scene. >> i can say from the evidence i looked at i believe he was innocent, is isn't. >> preparing for trial, buting learned about a vial of avery's blood leftover from his overturned rape conviction which had been sitting in the clerk's office. >> i saw there was a styrofoam box that had been slit open with evidence tape. >> that was the big ah-ha moment? >> it was. >> and for many viewers it was the ah-ha moment in "making a murder." the attorneys theorized someone could had poked a hole in it and spread her blood in the car. >> your theory is that her key was planted in the residence. >> that's where we thought the evidence pointed.
>> by the police. >> by someone. it was not found, you know, in six or seven earlier entries to the trailer. and we are talking about a trailer. it didn't add up. >> co-lead investigator tom fastbender worked alongside the local county sheriff's deputies but was employed by a different agency, the wisconsin department of justice. this is the first time he has responded publicly to the accusations against him and his law enforcement colleagues. >> did you have any kind of vendetta against steven avery? >> absolutely not. i didn't know steven avery. i didn't know his family, never been there. >> fastbender bristles at the idea the local investigators could have done anything unethical. >> the people that were there that i worked with from manitock can county were hard working. they only wanted to do the right thing and to do this investigation the right way. >> is it possible that that blood could have been planted? >> no. everything, all of the evidence says no. >> fastbender notes a chemical called edta had been used to preserve avery's blood in the
vial and that at trial tests showed no presence of edta in avery's blood found in the suv. >> didn't match, no edta in the blood in the vehicle. >> fastbender's argument, since that blood found in the vehicle didn't contain the chemical, it couldn't have come from the vial, and he notes that a nurse was prepared to testify she had made that hole in the vial as part of her usual routine when she drew blood from avery. >> so the fact that there is a little hole in the top of the vial is normal. >> and regarding teresa's car key not found until the seventh search of avery's trailer -- >> why was that key missed during those other searches? >> well, primarily because where the key was located in a small bookcase that wasn't searched yet. if it was, it was just kind of looked at. >> why not do the thorough search earlier? >> i guess part of it is because we didn't lock and load on steven avery. you know, we went in there, did
that first search, but we had 12 more buildings and four more residences to search. so we had a lot to do. >> still, it wasn't just when the key was found that has avery supporters skeptical, it is who found it. these two men, lieutenant james link and sergeant andrew colburn of the sheriff's department. it turned out they had just been deposed in avery's lawsuit. >> they were deposed, we later found out they were deposed. >> do you think them by nature being with manitoc they shouldn't have been in there to avoid all of this speculation? >> it is easy to armchair quarterback and second guess. we would have done that if we had the resource, but you are talking about a small rural county being assisted by another smaller rural county. you need resources. >> stiecheven avery says the wh department was angry at me. this was perfect opportunity for
them to have access to my trailer, plant the key. >> i never absolutely saw that. never saw it from anyone in manitoc county. >> he says it would virtually be impossible to carry out. >> i could go on with how absurd it is with the multiple services we have in there. >> but it was the video of brendan dassey that would put fastbender at the center of the storm, an interrogation so controversial it might get avery's nephew out of prison. >> how much of brendan dassey's confession was true? coming up -- >> those officers wanted that information in the worst way and they got it in the worst way. >> when "dateline" continues.
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passengers and eight crew collided with a freight train. as a result, two are dead, more than 50 injured. the train was traveling between new york and miami when they collided this morning about 2:30 eastern. authorities will be holding a news conference shortly and we will keep you posted on the latest. that's all for now. stay with us. now back to "dateline." ♪ welcome back to "dateline." i'm craig melvin. investigators deny they framed steven avery for the murder of teresa halbach. after all, his nephew brendan confessed but did he tell detectives the truth or what he thought they wanted to hear. here with more of our story is andrea cannon. >> all the renewed attention in the steven avery saga has shed light on the other defendant in the case, brendan dassey. the teenager had been convicted
of rape and murder, but to his family none of it ever made any sense. >> is brendan someone capable of rape? >> no, no. i don't even think he knew what that was at the time. >> in 2008 attorneys steven drizzen and norah neirider took up dassey's case for appeal. they saw a mentally challenged teen with a low iq. >> how do you spell it? >> what did you think of brendan dassey when you were able to meet him in person? >> brendan is a simple soul. i was struck by his humanity. this is not somebody i could see committing a crime like this. >> that's the psychological power of interrogation. >> the two attorneys are based at the northwestern university school of law outside chicago. they've worked to free a number of wrongfully convicted defendants and say what they learned about dassey's case astounded them. >> nobody was in brendan dassey's corner at the moment he needed help the most. >> beginning, they say, with
this man. >> give me one word to describe lynn kachinsky. >> undefensible. >> he got avery's nephew arrested. they discovered the attorney made legal mistakes that caused him to be removed from the case. he has faced online vitriol from dassey supporters. >> is it okay if i read you some of the comments? >> sure. go ahead. >> disgusting human being. disgrace to the wisconsin judicial system. a man with a sickened soul. >> i've seen it. >> in one instance, working to cut a plea deal while he was in jail arranged for his client to speak with investigators but he himself didn't show up. >> that was clearly a mistake. >> this is huge though. >> i agree. >> you've got a 16-year-old kid with a low iq with no attorney present, no parent. it is kind of like feeding someone to the wolves in a way.
would you apologize to brendan dassey? >> well, i would apologize to him for not being at that interview. >> so there were mistakes made? >> oh, sure, there were mistakes, but none contributed to the verdict in dassey's case. >> there are people who disagree with that. >> oh, sure. >> but as dassey's attorneys delved further into the stunning statements the teen made they came to believe something more disturbing, that investigators tom fastbender and mark weieger coerced the teen into making a false confession. >> these officers took advantage of a disabled youth and got him the say what they wanted him to say. >> don't lie to us now, okay. what happened there? >> you're just hurting yourself if you lie now. >> he's got severe learning disabilities, inability to respond in a narrative type answers, and they're in
precisely the areas that make him vulnerable to the kind of tactics that the police officers used in this case. >> the attorneys say that the investigators manipulated dassey with coaxing statements like these from fastbender who was seated just off camera. >> i am your friend right now. it is all right. you are doing the right thing. >> they should never have made those kinds of suggestions that they wanted to comfort him, that all would be well. those kinds of tactics when used on a kid like brendan are a recipe for false confessions. >> and they say the investigators manipulation of the teen escalated far beyond simple coaxing. >> the officers needed brendan to provide information that only the real killer would know, and they knew what they wanted him to say. >> they accuse the investigators of planting details about the crime in dassey's mind to get the answers they wanted. for example, remember steven avery's dna found on the car
hood latch? the attorneys say investigators asked dassey leading questions to confirm that his uncle had looked under the hood of the car. >> at all or anything like that, to do something in that car. >> yeah. >> what did he do under the hood, if that's what he did. >> i don't know what he did, but i know he went under. >> and dassey's attorney saying that same interview the investigators used another crucial detail they learned about the case from the forensics. >> tell us, what else did you do? something with the head? >> they received a report from the wisconsin crime lab indicating for the first time how teresa halbach had died. she had been shot in the head. they worked extremely hard to get brendan to say that. >> we have the evidence, brendan. we just need you to be honest with us. >> that he cut off her hair.
>> what else was done to her head? >> that he punched her. >> what else? it's okay. what did he do. >> cut her. >> what else happens to her in her head? >> extremely, extremely important you tell us this for us to believe you. >> come on, brendan. what else? >> that's all i can remember. >> all right. i'm just going to come out and ask you, who shot her in the head? >> he did. >> why didn't you tell us that? >> because i couldn't think of it. >> those officers wanted that information in the worst way and they got it in the worst way, by feeding it straight to brendan dassey. >> even they know that that's bad police practice. >> then they discovered something at the end of that interview which was a revelation to them, something jurors in his trial never heard.
dassey speaking to his mother. >> i never did nothing or something. >> did you? huh? >> not really. >> what do you mean, "not really." >> doing it to my head. >> huh? >> at the first moment brendan gets outside the influence of those interrogators he says, no, this is not true, they got to my head. >> but tom fastbender, the interrogator himself, sees it all very differently. >> coming up -- >> this was seen by many as a false confession. >> i feel it was a real confession. he knew right from the start. brendan was involved in this. >> when "dateline" continues. ♪ so probably take it at night. and if you have any questions, the instructions are here in spanish as you requested. gracias. ♪
hello, everyone. breaking news about a dead li train crash in south carolina. >> ems responded to the charleston highway pine ridge intersection in reference to a train derailment about 2:45 this morning. when we arrived on scene we immediately began assessing the situation. what we found was two different trains, a passenger train and a freight train that collided. what we immediately went into
was search mode, search and rescue mode. we were able to begin to extract and assist passengers off of that train. at this time all passengers are off of the train. that is very important to put out there. unfortunately, there were two fatalities as a result of this collision. we're working with the coroner's office here in lexington county, very closely with that. at this time we have transported about 70 patients with various injuries to local area hospitals. one thing that i would like to point out is the extreme cooperation about -- between all of the entities you see here, including -- the list goes on, including the city of colombia, richland county, fort jackson, all of those agencies have been moving and operating in the location to assist and make sure all of this is taken care of appropriately. i will go ahead and turn it over to captain from the lexington county sheriff's department to
tell you about their agency's involvement in this am. >> captain myrick. here to tell you about our role in this response early this morning. we are on scene making sure that that scene remakes secure. that is really the top focus of our units that are near the crash site, to make sure the scene remains secure. and that means everyone can then work as they need to. the first responders will be safe there and we're working alongside all of the agencies that are here. as mr. cahill mentioned there are a number of them. we are also teaming up with state troopers to control traffic in the area. we've got some traffic check points -- not check points, but traffic control points that we are also working, making sure we have the proper access and those who need to access the site can can get there, those who don't quite yet at this point we're keeping those at a location and at a safe distance so we as
first responders can do our work. something else the deputies have done here in the last hour or so is we have transported those who are not injured to the reception site. so we know that they are shaken up quite a bit. we know it is unlike anything else they've been through. we wanted to get them out of the cold, out of the weather, get them to a warm place. we transported them in our units to the reception site which is going to be opened up by the american red cross. with that i'll turn it over to mr. langley from the american red cross to tell you about the operation there at the reception site. >> good morning. my name is cuthbert langley, spokesperson for the south carolina red cross. we are supporting the opening of that reception site at pine ridge middle school. we also have more than a dozen volunteers and staff that are either on their way here or here right now. those staff members and
volunteers are coming from across the state to assist with this effort. we have emergency response vehicle that's coming as well that will be at the reception site to provide water and snacks and those sorts of things. we are going to continue to work with the government partners you see up here, with first responders and assist them as the investigation and as the day progresses. again, the red cross is going to be here for as long as needed. we're going to step in in any way we are asked to help because obviously today is quite a tragic day for so many people and the red cross will be here to help for as long as we're needed. thank you. >> all right. at this time any questions? >> any road blocked at this point? >> the only roads blocked would be pine ridge drive which is the one that runs next to emd all the way down to 321. >> can you characterize the 70 injuries? >> i'll let harrison take care of those. >> sir, the 70 injuries range obviously in variety. we have anything from small scratches and bumps to more severe broken bones.
so they kind of run the gamut in between that. >> are they non- life threat inning? >> i don't have that information but i can get that information. >> can you go over again the basics of what happened here? i wasn't here at the very beginning, just so i have further details. what happened this morning. >> yes. so there was a train collision and derailment near charleston highway and pine ridge drive between a freight train and a passenger train. when we arrived on scene we began assisting passengers off of that train. at this time there are no passengers on the train. it is very important to put that out. there were about 70 passengers that were transported to local area hospitals for various injuries. there were two fatalities according to the lexington county coroner's office. that has been confirmed. right now we are asking people that if they have any concerns or want more information to call amtrak info line. that number is 1-800-523-9101.
again, that's the amtrak info line. that's 1-800-523-9101. >> were the fatalities have csx or amtrak? >> at this point i don't have that information. that will probably come out from csx or the lexington county coroner's office. >> do you know what direction the trains were travel sning. >> no, we just know they collided on the tracks. >> any idea why they collide sunday. >> not at this time. that will be up to csx and the national -- ntsb. >> how about hazardous material on the train? >> our hazmat team responded. we were able to secure two leaks of fuel from the trains. right now we're estimating about 5,000 gallons of fuel have -- has spilled. we have called in dhek and csx's dhek team to secure that leak and we're assisting in that as
much as we can. >> no threat to the public? >> no threat to the public at this time. >> i'm sure every year you guys must think of 2005 any time you hear of a train wreck, that immediately comes to mind. can you talk about the amount that goes happening. >> well, you mentioned this is not our first train derailment, like the one back in 2005. unfortunately, we had more people affected directly by this incident. it's unfortunately that we have two fatalities. our hearts are with those families right now. our focus is on the passengers on the train, that they are warm. that the unmet needs are being attended to. but we have extensive training in working with local first responders in the county and city managers in order to reach out to our resources and the train companies. so you're absolutely right, this
is something to be looked at every single year. >> reporter: anything the public can do to help? >> right now, stay away from this area. if you were going to come to pine ridge for whatever reason, might be best to delay your trip or your plans for the next couple of hours. if there's anything, any information, call that amtrak number that harrison just gave. if there's anything we can do or information you might need, especially if you have a loved one on board that train, call that telephone number and harrison can get that for you in a minute. >> reporter: how is this going to impact transit in this area? >> fortunately, this is a relatively low traffic area, especially on a sunday. highway 321 traffic impact should be minimal. >> reporter: can you talk about the span of wreckage? is it a quarter mile, half a mile? >> that's one of the things we are trying to determine to get more information. we'll have all that type of thing, and especially in regards
to what the ntsb is doing, what amtrak will be doing, that's all coming up later. all right, we'll try to another have the briefing as we have more information. but this will be the joint information center, the media briefing area. so my information that is official will come from right here. a and you have our telephone number, so if anything comes up, please give us a call. thank you very much. >> the press there from pine ridge, south carolina, about a train derailment in cayce, south carolina. 147 passengers were on board. there have been confirmed two fatalities, roughly 70 patients taken to local hospitals there. at the moment, the red cross has said that everybody else had been taken to pine ridge middle school to a reception area where the non-injured people are off site. everybody is off the trains. we also had somebody saying
the was a possible fuel leak, that they had a hazmat team comingn to clean up right now. this happened about 2:30 in the morning in cayce, south carolina, near the charleston highway in lexington county, south carolina. the red cross is on the scene. the red cross has taken care of the non-injured people at a reception site. and also they said 70 patients were taken with minor injuries. the two fatalities, we don't know at this point, whether they came from the freight train or the amtrak train. we are waiting for more information on that. we have the lexington county sheriff's department discussing how quickly they had responded to this and what they have done with all the passengers. obviously, it's very cold and in the middle of the night, so they got all the passengers off the train as quickly as possible. moved those injured to the local hospitals, took the others to a reception site. and again, reiterating two fatalities in this amtrak crash at the amtrak train and the csx
freight train that collided at 2:30 this morning. this is the only picture we have. we're going to right now talk to south carolina emergency management. they are on the phone right now. derric becker is on, hi, how are you? can you tell us how everything is going on scene? >> sure. i can tell you that all of the passengers have been taken off the train and the injured went to three reported hospitals. we have injuries from minor cuts and scrapes to broken bones, but they are all nonlife-threatening. we have established a reception center with the red cross at one of the nearby high schools or middle schools, excuse me, for all the additional passengers on board. and right now the focus is on making sure they have everything they need. >> and derrec, if you can tell us, we know they transferred people to pine ridge, what are
they telling people in the area? how is this being taken care of with people in cayce right now? >> the area it happened is not very highly trafficked on a sunday morning. so traffic is cordened off on one small road. it's actually very near our main office, emg headquarters at the state emergency center operation center. so right now traffic impact is minimal and no threat or danger to residents in this area at the time. there was a leak of diesel fuel from the trains, but our state hazmat team is working closely with the amtrak hazmat team to make sure everything is contained. >> derrec, we know it was the amtrak train and the csx freight train, do we know how many cars derailed or how large the accident scene is down there? >> i do not have that information directly. that's one of the things we are trying to get confirmed from the incident right now. >> do we know whether the
fatalities came from the amtrak train or possibly from the freight train? any information on that? >> we are not releasing any information about the fatalities or their identities or causes at this point until the corner can confirm their loved ones have been notified. >> derrec, just to say they had an amtrak info line for people to call the 1-800-523-9101. i'm sure your services are all working together. if you can confirm, there were 147 people on board, does that include the amtrak and the freight train? >> that's correct. 147 people on board, that includes passengers and crew. >> and derrec, you briefly said people were taken to three of the hospitals that are nearby. there are cuts and bruises, are there serious injuries? do we know the extent of them? >> well, we are getting reports from our county emergency medical services that it is cuts and bruises, there are reports of a few broken bones, but all
non-life-threatening injuries. >> derrec, what can you tell me about the fuel spill? we had the gentleman on talking about the hazmat team securing two leaks and there was fuel, is this gasoline? what is leaking on this train? >> sure. approximately about 5,000 gallons of diesel leaked from these trains. our hazmat team is, the state department of environmental patrol is on the scene right now working with the csx crews and the hazmat team. they are ensuring that everything in regards to the diesel fuel is safe at this point, everything is contained. >> derrec becker, thank you so much for your time, appreciate it. we'll let you get back to the scene. thank you, derrec. joining me is paul kirby from "the lexington ledger," a local newspaper. can you describe what is going on there? >> well, things are going on and
winding down here on the scene. we had a fire station in a town called south conerey just minutes from here. chief busby got here and they immediately encountered the walking wounded coming towards them, people that were not trapped on the train, that were not heavily injured. they began to address that, began to call for assistance and immediately got the unified command together. we have had people here from lexington county fire service that is right outside the city of cayce. but even the city of columbia came over, richmond, county. we have a helicopter here from the local medical center, the state farmer's market, our coroner has been here, but the train is up under an overpass at a yard where freight trains unload new cars.
and then they are then put on trucks for distribution. and apparently near that, the train hit the other one. now, some cars are off the track and the further they went towards the head of the train, the more injured people and more severely injured people they encountered. >> and paul, if you would, we're looking at the video you have taken of the scene there, what can you tell us about how many trains derailed? and exactly where they were positioned? >> i don't -- i don't know, they are not letting us up that far. i got here within 15 to 20 minutes on the accident being dispatched by the fire service and they were already on the scene. but there are cars off. and again, the most heavily damaged part is, of course, near the locomotive. now columbia city's rescue, two came out to assist our county and did some sort of extra case there towards the front of the train. >> and paul, you said that you have taken this videowe're
looking at right now, can you describe what we're looking at? >> this is right at the entrance to 321 highway south or charleston highway and pine ridge drive. that's the road that is closed. ironically, our state and emergency operations center is on the other end of this road. but that part is what's closed. on the other side of highway 321 south is an amazon fulfillment center, grace baptist church, and those places are where we are seeing more of the walking wounded. they brought in buses from our county, from richmond county, for the more seriously injured, they are taking them to a number of regional hospitals and then brought buses from the recreation commission here to pick up people that weren't injured and moved them to the middle school and luggage at some point. so it is winding down now. the road is still closed, but that's where we are right now. >> and paul, y
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