tv Consider This Al Jazeera March 12, 2014 10:00am-11:01am EDT
>> the bombing of pan am flight 103 over lockerby, scotland, 25 years ago, was one of the world's most terrible acts. lockerby, what really happened, raisings questions on aljazeera, who was responsible for killing 270 people that night? we'll analyze with the film's director and the director of the defense team, and also the chief investigator will defend the investigation, and plus two men who lost their daughter on the flight. one of them represents british relatives of the victims. and we'll get an iranian response to the allegations about the country's involvement. hello, i'm antonio mora, welcome to a special edition of consider this. >> 20 years ago, a bomb destroyed pan am flight 103. only one man was found guilty. >> we are confident this day that al magrahi was responsible.
>> aljazeera tornado exclusive information that points to another party. >> the intelligence we got indicates iran, libya. >> if they didn't retaliate against the united states, we would consider to shoot down them. >> as long as the relatives are alive, questions will continue to be asked. >> it's supposed to be a closed case. the pan am 103 bombing on september 21st in 1988 killed 270 people. 189 of them americans returning home for christmas. it remains the deadlyist terrorist attack in the history of the united kingdom. but despite a three year investigation, and agreement by libya to pay $2.7 billion for the families of the victims, for many, the questions still remain. questions in a provocative documentary on the bombing that just aired on aljazeera.
lockerby, what really happened? did libya order a attack in a series of exchanges with the u.s. or did iran plot to blow up the plane during the iran/iraq war. and did the fbi and the cia split on the investigation's direction, leaving washington open to charges of a coverup? we're going to spend the next hour looking at all of the issues raised by the film. first, i'm joined from berkeley, california, from the documentary's director, and from edenboro scott land, an investigator of the defense team. it's good to have you both with us, and bill, i'll start with you, this is the third film on lockerby that you have done on aljazeera. what is new?
>> there's a lot of evidence around, and everything is new, but this film wouldn't have happened if it be hadn't been for jessica degrazzia. we spent about two years trying to get her to talk. and with out that, there would have been no film. she used to be a very highly thought of manhattan da. and she married an englishman and moved to london. and after her children grew up, she started a highly investigative agency, for the canadian government. and corporations and banks, and so on. so she's a high flyer. she was hired by the mcgrawhi to investigation, the defense lawyer continue just pick apart
the prosecution case. they can say, not only is my client innocent. but i can point to the person who really did it. so the way the defense team worked, there was a team up in scotland, which george thompson was part of, and they were trying to pick holes in the prosecution case, and there were plenty of holes, while jessica, down in london, mounted an investigation into who really did it. >> what did she find that is new. >> well, what she found, i have to be very careful because it's very confidential. but she was able to trace two sources who live in a mediterranean country, one of whom went to a meeting, which took place in malt a. and the meeting was a coordinating meeting between various radical groups. hezbollah was one of them.
and the popular front for the liberation of palestine, syria and iran, and there may have been one or two others too. now, this person described the meeting, which is essentially these groups trying to -- they wanted to coordinate better and share resources better. >> this was a group that got together terrorist groups, and some of these were strange bed fellows, and you have people working together that wouldn't seem to normally be people that work together. >> they were rejectionists, and they were bitterly opposed to yasir arafat's attempts to make peace with the u.s., and so that was the common cause. they were all opposed to that.
so what was in jessica's files was a memorandum. i should just backtrack. so they told her about the meeting and what was discussed at the meeting, and the obvious question, what was the proof? how do we know that's true? she was able to get the source and the memorandum, and she had written to the group, a memorandum on the meeting, and he asked his group should he participate in this or not? and the answer was, you can participate as an individual, but we as an organization are not going to be part of any of the attacks on the west. and it's not in our interest at this time. and so then the obvious question became, how come he didn't type up the document himself and invent the whole thing? well then jessica was able to find a lot of krobtive detail. and his brother-in-law. and the person who wrote the
memo noted that he had a slight speech imped met, a thick tongue. there's a lot of small detail on that. i'm not sure that you can run the film like that alone considering the sours. i met them, once in london and once in the mediterranean. so then we had to find evidence from the cia, from the dia and others. >> and you believe that all points at iran and the popular liberation front for palestine. and george, you also worked on ma grahi's defense team and you went to visit him in libya, after he was convicted
of 270 downs of murder, one for every person who died in scotland. and to the time he died, he kept insist on his innocence. >> yes, i used to get him alone in his place, and he would sometimes be reduced to tears at the very thought that people have treated him so well in scotland, would think for a moment that he was a murderer, especially of children. and i've seen him very very wants at stuff like that. >> bill, the film also talks to an iranian defector, and he was a key source supporting the claim that iran ordered the lockerbie bombing as revenge for the attack that brought down the passenger iranian plane.
and here's what he had to say. >> the iranians decided to retaliate as soon as possible. the decision was made by iran, and then confirmed by atolla khomeini. the target was to copy exactly what happened to the iranian airways. everything saying, 290 people dead. >> now, who is misbahi and what should we believe what he says. >> he is the iranian defector sheltered by the iranian government in the 1990s. he was known as witness c. he gave key evidence that led to six convictions, and the reason
to believe him is he has proved truthful in a series of law cases. george knows a lot about him too. >> and you declared totes in the lockerbie bombing, the splinter group working for the iranians, and it included jabril, the leader of the group, he may have facilitated the plot. and another bomb maker who lives in syria, and the other, jabril, is in syria, and mohammed abu talb is living in sweden, and if iran was involved, why would it
turn to this group? >> because iran wanted to deniability and didn't want to send its people out to do it. he had expertise in bombs, and that's what they specialized in. they bombed two or three planes, i think, one fatally. and fact, they had received a stipend from gadhafi for a long time. and they had fallen out with gadhafi. that was a division between them. and when the lockerbie plane went down, they were pitching their services to the iranians. and that's how they came together. >> now, al magrahi, he was tied to the plot by clothes that he bought in the island of malta, in the suitcase better the bomb blew up. and the tore owner identified
him, first with a police sketch. and if you look at it, it looks a lot like al magrahi. and he identified him in a police lineup. and your investigation showed that there may have been that identification. >> you have to remember that before he identified magrahi, he had already identified abu talb. and the evidence against abu talb was quite a bit. there was plenty of evidence to show that they were involved, but when it dame to the trial of magrahi, much of that evidence was dropped and buried away and never disclosed to the defense. >> and the identification evidence is quite scandalous. consistently, he described the man who came into the shop is tall, in his 50s, and dark
skipped. and magrahi is not tall, light skinned and 37. he was -- there was an identity parade, just when the main trial began, there was an identity parade, where the main witness attended. and he had cut a photograph of magrahi out of a news magazine and he had the photo in his pocket. and the i.d. was a complete scandal. that alone should have had the whole case thrown out. it was a real problem. >> george, do you have any idea in your mind that al magrahi was not the bomber? >> based on the evidence that i have seen and examined, i can see categorically, he was not the bomber. i've been asked that question before and drawn back, and i can be possibly say that he was the bomber, and i've gone this whole length, based on the evidence that i've seen. the evidence is flawed.
and it can not convict him. however, having gotten to know the man quite well, and the last time i saw him on his deathbed, i'm 100% sure that he had nothing to do with the lockerbie bombing. >> now, bill, while you've of course raised the issues of the evidence that we have discussed, the american and the british government switched the investigation's focus from iran to libya, because the men were suspected early on and looked at by the courts, and they allowed the courts to convict an in the man. i want to play something from fbi director, robert muller last year and get your reaction. >> i will tell you i'm confident to this day that al magrahi was one of those responsible for this terrorist attack. >> he's confident, after 25 years, a question comes to my mind, if a government conspiracy had really been in effect, would
somebody have spoken out by now? and to be a devil's advocate, what kind of government would have done something like this? a huge fraud, and victim's families, just for a geo political gain >> it would be a considerable geo political gain. but here, we're in the realm of theory. there was an executive order by the regan administration in 1996, which was essentially, get libbia the time was on the eve of the gulf war, and the distinct possibility that the u.s. didn't want to make syria an enemy because they were out of the coalition of thing will, and it was one thing to beat up on libya, which is small and weak, and altogether much more formidable opponent would be to take on iran. lightly. >> all right, george thompson,
we have to find the aircraft. we have to find this aircraft if possible. it is something that we have to. yes, there are reports about the pass engers with stolen airports. the authorities are concerned. it's investigating the case. the -- the investigating team is now as we speak is going through all the "t's" videos and once we get any report from them, we will inform to all of you. we definitely will inform what has been together by the team of expert of investigative pertaining to these changes. yes, there are issues about the pass engers that were on the affa
aircraft. we have to check on any pass engers that did check in, we have to remove the baggage that they check in out of the aircraft. we have done so on the aircraft. area pass enger that check in with check-in baggage being recorded, be given a unique serial number of its baggage and will be given the slip of the baggage type with the boarding pass and this was done to make sure that the correct bags are being removed from the aircraft and this was done by the team to remove the baggage from the aircraft so that the aircraft will not fly as we -- as we put
the term on a company's baggage. all baggage of that pass enger not flown was removed from the aircraft. also, there is talk of possible hijack. we are looking at every angle. we are looking at every aspect of what could happen on this ill fated aircraft on this morning of saturday. again, we have to have complete evidence. we have to get the aircraft. we have to find the aircraft and we are intensifying our efforts to locate the aircraft.
so these are the efforts. we understand, that you want answers from us. you want some details. we are equally eager as you are to find details and parts of the aircraft. in the rescue center on the aircraft, on the ships now are trying ory their best to locate whatever they could find in the area that we have identified. and maybe goes beyond that. we are every hour, every minute, every second looking at every inch of the sea of the area we have
identified [question posed.) >> we did not narrow any possibility. we are looking at all angles. we are looking at all angles of what could possibly happen on that i will fated flight. >> the other ones? >> question po [question posed away from microphone.) >> from the day the aircraft lost contact and disappear from radar, there is no signal been able to to be detected by any ships or aircraft in the regi regiregion.
if we know the reason, we will at the you. we do not have the reason. [question posed away from microphone.) ? >> it goes off on its own. >> the working public? >> yes, we believe double-check. we will direct our aircraft in such a way that the flight does not miss miss anything and from the ship as well. >> i thought she had it. >> lady. >> lady. >> okay. two quick questions. [question posed away from microphone.)
>> i will not -- i will not put too much on the 2% because they are under investigation because any information i give you might jep arreopardizethe investigati that's going on. but on the areas of searching covers both the malaysian waters and vietnamese waters. >> how tech -- >> i cannot see you. [how can technical assistance teams from the ntsb, boeing, the f.a.a. and the french investigators, which i believe offered their assistance. have they arrived and begun to do their work. >> the offer that we got from ntsb, usa, aaib, uk and also the australians, we have not gotten anything from the french yet.
the f.a.a. and then the inform tsb, i was informed this morning, was already here and we are going to meet them, if possible, to see how they offer assistance to our investigation of this incident. >> a group from china is claiming responsibility. >> we have not received any of this. this is something we haven't verified officially. group? >> that is more on security measure. we have to -- we have to get the information from the security people. >> will you reveal the photographs to the media so that the public can help?
>> we will have to discuss that with officers, the team and to the relevant agencies, could we do that because we don't want to be involved in -- >> have you investigated the five people who didn't fly on the flight, and has their baggage been checked when they got in there? >> every baggage to the aircraft has been checked, has been in laymen's terms, have been inspected with the strict protocols. all check-in baggage are clear. >> means they don't have any items that are not supposed to be on board. [multiple speakers speaking simultaneously.)
>> the italian passport? >> for that: >> the chinese or the next of kin of the chinese pass engers, we are making arrangement to fly them to kaula lumpur. so we will be accommodating them at hotels around kaula lumpur. >> how many of the chinese family members -- >> may i know who is speaking? >> [/* /- [ [inaudible.]ible. >> we have made a report of every passenger who has two next of kin to be flown immediately and we have made an offer for each passenger.
of saturday during the check-in and, also, when the aircraft goes to depart, to the aircraft. >> okay. where are you? >> [posing question away from microphone.) >> we have to get a response from the investigating team. investigation. >> how can you insure -- >> what this is being deployed now in klia meets the requirements of the international civil organization, and we have a national civil for that that they have to -- they have to comply with and as a dca, we
have done our audits on klia and, also, we have been audited by transport secretary administration of u.s.a. and the australian. >> you have been listening to a live press conference here from a government figure with the aviation. he outlined the expansive certainlying for that missing jet liner, 34 planes, 40ships, searching the seize for flight 370 and the sobering reality, they have found nothing. crews have spotted debris in the water but none of it has been confirmed to belong to that missing jet liner. he says they are also testing oil slicks found in the south china sea to see if it is jet fuel but so far, he says, they are simply puzzled by the disappearance disappearance of this jumbo yet jet. i want to bring in todd curtis
standing by for us live in austin. i want to get your thoughts on this search here the fact that this has now gone on for two and a half days and they don't seem to be any closer at all to went. >> well, that seems to be the case, but what is one hopeful sign there is that they are closer to having the kind of resources that are necessary for this kind of search. they have mentioned dozens of ships and aircraft being put on to the case in several countries assisting. >> it was a very loud kind of thunder clap. it was obvious that it came from one side of the building where the -- like one side of my building, so it seemed like there was one event that was very loud and -- reverberate with a lot of vibration. but i have never been anywhere near a building collapse so maybe i don't know the difference. >> that's safe to say.
and where y are, i assume there has been no evacuation order? >> no, no, there has not. >> and stand by, we might have further questions for you. you have images of what this building once looked like. >> right. you have manhattan, right up here was where this building was 1646 park avenue. that's what we hear is the address of this building. and that's on the west side of park avenue because park avenue in that area is divided by the metro rail station, the metro north railway, so this is 1646 park avenue. this says it is absolute piano, that's a store there. this is the building that presumably we would be talking
about. right next it to is spanish christian church. this area is snow as spanish harlem also. a lot of latinos in this area. so you are getting a 360 degrees vision here. these are the railway tracks, and here is park avenue. 1646 park avenue. >> take me back to that one image you were showing to the left of the christian church. is that a dumpster in front of that, which was indicate some sort of activity there? >> this looks like a dumpster, of course these images are taken by google at different points and they stitch them together, so we're not exactly sure when these pictures were taken, but here you have a deli here.
right up here is where 116th street is. this is the intersection. the deli here, a spanish church here, and this is the 1646 address. >> and those familiar with google maps and google images realize that these pictures could have been taken as long as two years ago. but it appears to have been a lot of new construction in that area. and tanya, we now have your images describe what you fed. >> reporter: i fed something i'm not sure if you have the video from the metro north train tracks that were elevated in which hand probably just a few minutes following this building collapse, where you can see that at that point it was difficult to see. the plumes of smoke were really dark, and then as soon as a few
minutes past, with the second video i sent in, hopefully you can see that some of that smoke while it was large, it had lightened somewhat. you could see the crews had gotten on the scene within a few minutes. at this point i am still at east 119th street and park avenue, still not being allowed to go any further at this point, still being told the same information that it is a building collapse. i'm not being told an explosion. hopefully i can get closer to get more information. there are people living in the area, some said they just came out to see what was going on, and just were directed to move away from the scene and evacuate the area. i have not seen any ambulances coming in my direction.
the perimeter is large, they could be taken somewhere else if that were indeed the case. >> and tanya one of the things we're receiving word -- the fire department is telling us there have been 15 people who have been injured. one of the questions that i wanted to ask you while i still have you on the scene there is the police prones. what we are seeing is that they are setting up a perimeter and cordoning off the area, but do you see any other type of activity that would indicate that something more suspicious had happened? are you seeing any bomb disposal units or anything that would indicate that this was anything other than a construction accident that went terribly wrong? >> no, not seeing anything of that type. normally you would think that's what you would see, but it seems as though it was a major
response to what would have been a large fire here. and it was a immediate response. anything additional to that, no. simply nypd on the scene. at this point i haven't even scene additional personnel. it doesn't seem like it is anything out of the ordinary that would be something indicative of a building explosion, fire collapse, something like that. but it does seem as though it is large in nature. >> tanya, please stand by, and when we say construction-related accident, that includes a natural gas buildup or something like that. although we must admit and acknowledge at this point in time that nothing is definitive. this happening a little more than an hour ago around 9:30 in what is called the spanish
harlem part of new york. and authorities right now trying to put down the fire and what they say was the collapse of a building. that building at 116th and park avenue. owen hayes is on the phone and lives nearby. what else can you tell us? >> yeah, it seems as if the fire department are making substantial progress. there are maybe four or five streams of water going on to the building. there is a small group of firemen on the building next to it, on the roof, so that seems to indicate there is no real immediate threat to life in the perimeter. >> do you walk by that building at all? >> not very often. i think i did walk past that building last night, actually on
my way home. >> tell me what you saw? anything that stood out? jog your memory? >> not at all, it seemed like a very calm night. nothing chak at all actually. >> and if you recall was the building itself open? i mean, was this a structure that would have been occupied at 9:30 this morning? >> yes, i walked past it late last night, and so it was dark. and i didn't see anything at all of that nature. >> okay. owen stand by, maria are we seeing anything new on social media? >> we have this that came from lakesha wright. she said very bad explosion. and these are some of the images that we saw a little bit earlier, fdny working over there
and fire crews, et cetera. >> and tanya, you are still at the scene, what are people there telling you? people who are coming out or been evacuated. >> yes, i'm getting more clarification as people are passing by, i'm asking what is going on, and people are pretty much telling me the same thing they heard a boom. a lot of people were curious because it was really loud and rattled shelves in their home, bottles and things of this nature. i'm seeing additional fire personnel going near the scene -- i don't know if you can hear the sirens, but people in general are heading away from the scene. they are not being told much. people are telling me it was a residential building. not multi-story, but small in comparison of new york stature,
and that there was construction in the area, but one woman told me she wasn't familiar with anything going on in that particular building. >> tanya stand by. 116th and park is where the explosion took place. the fire department of new york confirming that it is a four-alarm fire. more than 100 firefighters fighting the fire that followed the collapse of the building itself. i have a retired new york city firefighter on the line. we are seeing those white plumes of smoke. tell me what that means? i assume they are now knocking down the large flames. >> yeah, it sounds like it probably was something gas related because of the size of the explosion. if you had the collapse you probably wouldn't have had the smoke with it.
the smoke will start to turn white when they start to put it out. >> why do you fear gas explosions almost more than anything else. why? >> because we don't know what the mixture is, and if you have a gas leak it tending to accumulate, and when it does ignite as you can see that's the result of it. a regular fire burning. we know how to handle those, but a gas explosion, you don't know when it will happen and how much of the building will be involved. >> what does it take to trigger something that explosive? >> that could be anything. it could be something in the building. depending on where the gas was leaking from. something could have been on in the building, a pilot light,
anything. there have been explosions for those reasons. so that's why it is kind of a little nerve-racking when you get a serious leak. >> and it is a five-alarm fire what does that mean? >> each brings in a certain number of engines and ladders. and every number it goes up, you get an additional number of engines, ladders, chiefs, and this was a special call. so you have quite a few units at that scene. they are going to be around blocks and blocks over there. so every alarm goes up, and the rapidity -- the frequency that they are putting the alarms in, means they are still concerned with the area. so they are really taking this seriously as they should.
>> and what is the major concern right now for the fire department? is it trying to find people who may have been inside? knock down the fire? search the building? or all of the above. >> well, you have units searching the building and all around it. you have people on the roofs surveying what is going on. the issue with the collapse zone, you can't really get in and start looking for the people until you really control the fire. you can't make the firemen victims that quick. as they put the fire out they are going to get in, and you are going to have your collapse units and all of your support going in there, so it is going to take a while. the injured people are bad enough, but hopefully people aren't going to be injured here. but they will go through that building brin -- brick by
brick. >> frank when we come back from break, i'm going to ask you a question. right now the story is around 9:30 this morning, there were reports of an explosion and building collapse at 116th and park in upper manhattan. we are receiving reports from the new york city fire department that it is now a five-alarm fire that is being fought. 15 injuries reported so far. no word on the extent of their injuries, or the nature of those injuries. we're going to take a break. we will be right back.
new york city. we are following breaking news at this hour, possible explosion and then building collapse at 116th and park avenue. frank what are we missing? what questions should we be asking right now? >> really nothing to do right now. the main concern is going to be fighting the fire and getting -- you know, doing this search and rescue, and we'll worry about the cause of it afterwards. they are there know. they know if there's leaks and they will shut the gas off on the street. they will make sure the building is structurally sound and get the people out. we'll really worry about the cause in due time, but the question right now is just -- are we going to be able to get the people out and make sure the scene is safe. >> frank thank you very much. right now we want to go to tanya mills. tanya how are you?
what is the latest that you can bring us at this moment? tanya? >> okay. thank you, i appreciate that officer. >> you might be able to understand things are a little hectic where tanya is right now. she about three blocks away right now. tanya can you hear me? >> i can. >> tell me what you are hearing? >> i just spoke with an officer who is confirming an explosion and collapse. i have gotten a little bit closer. i see a massive, massive response. nothing but rubble in the streets. firefighters standing on top of cars and trucks, and battling this very aggressively. >> is the explosion consistent with natural gas? >> the officer told me that maybe a gas main was ruptured. >> okay. which is what we have been indicating and reporting to far this morning.
so that would be consist -- consistent and out of the order neir in this area. >> correct. correct. the officer i spoke with wasn't sure of injuries, just that the medical personnel had responded to the scene, but no word on injuries yet. >> and massive a big word. tell us how far the response area stretches. >> well, at this point, i can't see the other side of the explosion. literally all i can see is what looks like a pile of firefighters on top of one another. they have the ladders in the area, they are on the ground and they are battling this. i see plumes of white smoke, but this is -- i see the rubble,
literally the brick from the building, i can see it out into the streets just toppled on one another. >> tanya thank you very much. maria, social media as has been the case in just about everything over the last decade, playing a big role in this building collapse at 116th and park as well. what are they saying on the web? >> well, del just a lot of people -- looking at some of these images, and they are really eerie. nicole posts this picture. you just see all of these officers there with masks on. you also have people describing what -- what they saw. you have got martin, who earlier said that he just heard this massive explosion, and then he says just heard a big boom, and
my apartment building shook. seeing lots of smoke near 118th and park avenue. you can see all of the smoke there in the background. people just getting up or going about their business, and they hear an explosion and see all of this smoke up in the air. corey hoffman saying not your typical walk to work, and people just shocked by -- by this event. now i just also want to show you one more time where this presumably took place, just because we want to show you images of the before. this is with google maps. this is the building we're talking about 1646 park avenue. if you do a 360 view of this, these are the metro north elevated rail tracks. and you have the 6th subway line that stops there as well. this is considered spanish
harlem, and you will see that this building has one, two, three, four stories on it. so this is the building that we're talking about, dell. >> and if we can go back to that google image, this is what we're seeing. and as you can see, and correct me if i'm wrong, maria, that is new construction on both sides of the building that we are now reporting has collapsed. so it would indicate even if these images were taken a long time ago, that there is a lot of new construction in that area. >> yeah, i would say over the last eight years you have had a lot of new construction in that area. you have these smaller buildings that are next to these kinds of buildings. this seems to be a type of newer construction, so this whole area, actually, has -- has been
booming over the last eight years, this spanish harlem area. this is the area where people go and when there's also new construction that they have put up over the last eight to ten years, i would say, this area has been changing. >> andrew padilla lives in the area. are you with us? >> yeah, i'm camped out in a beauty salon here by 117th and madison. >> what are you seeing? >> a lot of smoke still right now. i live on 108th street, so i'm about a half mile away from here, and i was getting some work done and i started to feel my building sway back and forth. and i thought it was one of those mini earthquakes that new york has been getting, but then it become apparent that it was not because there with smoke all over the area. so i came down here. and apparently it was a building
explosion. i know 116th street has had a bunch of violations -- >> yeah, we have nailed down the actual address. so yeah, we know exactly which building it was. but when you say that you came to the area to help out, what did you see in terms of emergency response. we're trying to flush out the 15 people that were injured, can you tell them anything about them? >> i have personally seen three, but they did not look like they were in great condition. one was taken out a minute or two ago, and the others were being wheeled into ambulances about ten minutes ago. >> tanya anything new you can add. police confirming it was an explosion but not what type of explosion. >> correct. police have confirmed to me that it was an explosion. the officer told me he did think it was the rupture of a gas
mainline just in terms of the destruction that has, you know, resulted in this. i do not have any word at this point of injuries. i am still trying to get a little bit closer there, holding me back a little bit, but confirming that it is an explosion, and i see a massive response to the scene. i can see firefighters looking as though they are trying to pull some of the rebel and debris away. i don't know if that's an indication that they are searching for someone or what is going on, but this is -- as well as fighting this fire there is large response at the scene. i'm in between 118th and 117th street, just not able to get any further. >> tanya based on what you are seeing, where you are, the people there, how are they responding and reacting? >> you know, i think that
new yorkers are -- get to see a lot. so it's calm, but people are curious. they want to know what is going on. i think getting a little bit of word that this is nothing terrorist related, has relieved fears of a lot of people. but they are out here on the streets not able to get by, but still seeking more information. >> tanya mills with us this morning. i appreciate it. we are going to take a break in just a moment, but to update you on what we are seeing an explosion around 9:30. it is now a 5-alarm fire being fought. there are reports of as many as 15 people being injured. no further details at this point. i'm del walters in new york. kin of the chinese pass engers, we are making arrangement to fly
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welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters, these are the stories we are following for you. an explosion and building collapse in a five-alarm fire in upper manhattan. 15 people reported injured. no word on the extent of those injuries. ukraine's acting prime minister set to meet with president obama and secretary of state john kerry today. and congress taking a long look at u.s. military action in afghanistan. ♪ we begin with the breaking news story we