tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC August 13, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
for sandhya patel, michael finney, all of us here we appreciate your time and hope to see you again in half an hour. have a good evening. bye-bye. tonight, breaking news in a case that shocked the country. the mother and daughters tortured and killed in their own home, the house set on fire. tonight the killers' lives have now been spared. reaction coming in moments ago. the massive explosions and tonight the deadly aftermath. hundreds of injuries miles away, and now the mysterious cause. bob woodruff takes us to the scene in china. two horrific accidents here at home tonight, the school bus straight into a building and the rigs colliding during a commute, the driver right there on fire, the samaritans who run to rescue him. the big move by donald trump tonight, republicans trying to catch up. also tonight, a blast from the past, could al gore be considering a run.
the lightning strike hitting nearly a dozen people in the east and a warning about a, quote, godzilla el nino on the way. good evening and it's great to have you with us tonight. we begin with the case that horrified this country and a major decision today by the supreme court of connecticut. you'll remember the petit family, the home invasion, the mother, their two daughters tortured and killed, the home then set on fire. only the father would survive. two men convicted of the horrendous crime sentenced to die, but tonight a stunning reversal of fortune. those two men given the death penalty, their lives now spared as the court bans the death penalty in that state. the husband and father reacting a short time ago and abc's ron claiborne leading us off. >> reporter: with tonight's ruling, the convicted killers of three members of this family will have their lives spared
along with those of nine other death row inmates in connecticut. >> this is a solemn day in connecticut. >> reporter: it was a case that captivated and horrified the country. the wife and two daughters of dr. william petit, sexually assaulted and murdered in their own home. the intruders severely beat dr. petit who narrowly managed to escape before they set fire to the house. steven hayes and joshua komisarjevsky sentenced to death before the legislature banned capital punishment in 2012. dr. petit was interviewed in 2010 by oprah winfrey. >> i think forgiving the essence of evil is not appropriate. >> reporter: but today the state supreme court ruled this state's death penalty no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency and no longer serves any legitimate penological purpose. tonight dr. petit releasing a statement critical of the ruling, saying it disregarded skistones of our governmental structure. even with the death penalty,
connecticut had not actually executed anybody since 2005. while 30 other states have capital punishment, in recent years seven states have moved to ban it. >> ron claiborne leading us off tonight. ron, thank you. we're going to turn to the other developing story at this hour, the race against time in china. tonight they are still franticly digging an urgent search for survivors after those powerful explosions felt miles away, the blinding white light and the boom. as we've been showing you in the last 24 hours, entire neighborhoods went up in flames, at least 50 now dead, hundreds injured. 24 hours later, the rubble still smoldering. a parking lot incinerated, cars burned out, only their shells remain there. officials testing the air for deadly chemicals and abc's bob woodruff in china taking us right to the scene. >> reporter: new video tonight
showing the massive blast lighting up the night sky. shot by an american, dan van during, running for his life. today the view from above shows fire still burning, row upon row of burned out cars, piles of crumpled shipping containers. >> there's still smoke. it's still burning. there's flames in there. >> reporter: whole buildings reduced to twisted metal. these are people's homes. this is where they live. look at this, here's the fan, their room. we passed exhausted firefighters, searching for the dozens much people still missing tonight. more than 50 are dead and 700 wounded. the blast sending neighbors into the streets in just night gowns. american michael doherty watching from his window. >> the big one hit and that was rattling the whole building and it was, you know, first thought earthquake. thought the whole building was coming down. >> reporter: the force as strong as 21 tons of tnt. >> i would say we're probably almost a mile away and look at that power of that blast. tonight patients pack hospital hallways, long lines of people
wait for clothes, and battered cars drive empty highways. at the storage facility where the fire began, teams and hazmat suits are testing the air. many people on the streets today wear face masks. tonight students light candles for all who were lost. david, you can see that the sun is now rising here in tianjin and you can see the smoke coming from this site. of those 50 that were killed, 17 of them were firefighters and among them, the youngest of all, were just 17 years old. >> bob woodruff with us again from china tonight, bob, thank you. we're going to turn now to the race for 2016, donald trump taking a decisive lead in the polls in iowa now and making a decisive move on the ground in some early voting states, staffing up, as we get word of a possible curveball for hillary clinton. could al gore be getting ready to run again. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl tonight. >> reporter: donald trump plans to take iowa by storm this weekend, taking the trump
helicopter right to the state fair, even promising free helicopter rides for kids. >> ladies and gentlemen, president of the united states, donald j. trump! >> reporter: tonight abc news has learned trump is beefing up his campaign, hiring ten staffers in iowa, several more in new hampshire and south carolina and more coming in nevada. he's also facing new attacks from his rivals, the latest rand paul using trump's own past statements to suggest he's not really a republican. >> i probably identify more as a democrat. and it just seems that the economy does better under the democrats. liberal on healthcare. we have to take care of people who are sick. >> universal health coverage? >> i love universal healthcare. hillary clinton is a terrific woman. i'm biased because i've known her for years. >> reporter: paul is even rolling out his own donald trump impression. >> my favorite is, yeah the reason i tell women they're ugly is because i'm so good looking. everybody knows that, right? >> reporter: trump is shrugging it all off. >> i said, rand, i've had you up
to here. i've had you up to here. >> jon karl with us live again tonight. we're also getting late word that hillary clinton will be getting some new competition? >> reporter: here's what we know. former vice-president al gore, some of his former advisors have begun meeting to discuss the feasibility of a gore presidential campaign. these are very preliminary discussions i am told, david. gore has taken no concrete steps towards running but he is definitely not ruling it out. >> this could get very interesting very quickly. jon, thanks. we are also following new headlines of what's being called a godzilla el nino that could directly affect the weather across this country. the images coming in from northern california tonight, the lower lake fire, 100 miles north of san francisco, 150 people evacuated tonight, homes threatened, that street sign in flames. this image from los angeles tonight, those are called shade balls, millions being released into a drinking water reservoir,
a new effort to keep that water from evaporating. california of course in the grip of a crippling drought and that continues. let's get right to meteorologist rob marciano. tracking the severe weather for us tonight, rob? >> set up for dry weather, heat and wind. red flag warnings are posted for the north and west, a slew of them down through central california. heat warnings to the south. some of these numbers are staggering. 98 in burbank, 107 in vegas. 114 in palm springs. likely to be a record tomorrow. >> we wanted to get to that thermal map that made a lot of people take note today. this is what's being called a godzilla el nino that could spawn severe weather for the united states. >> this is significant and strengthening, likely to peak late fall and that's important because that's when california normally gets its rain, hasn't gotten it the past two seasons but we should see a strong southern jet that will bring the storms into southern california, cool wet weather for the southeast. the northeast can go either way. certainly all eyes will be on
the west coast where they're hoping for big things this next six months. >> tracking that as well. rob, thank you. from georgia this evening, a powerful lightning strike sending 40 army ranger trainees to the hospital. these images of that group last week in the swamps during grueling ranger school. all of the trainees treated and released within the last 24 hours. they are now back in the field tonight. new details out of colorado this evening. that river contaminated with 3 million gallons of toxic chemicals, arsenic, lead. the epa now saying the water is safe. tonight the agency facing possible lawsuits. this new image, the governor of colorado in the last 24 hours drinking the water from the animas river to prove it is safe. next to the video of a terrifying ride to school for children on a school bus today, a surveillance camera catching this, the bus clipping that suv and slamming into a store. 11 children on that bus have been rushed to the hospital tonight. here's abc's gio benitez. >> motor vehicle accident, bus into a structure. >> reporter: tonight watch the startling video.
that's a school bus slamming right into a liquor store just after 8:00 a.m. watch again, it runs into an suv before that final stop against concrete. >> one is a school bus with several students on it. we're taking count of the injuries right now. >> reporter: marie owns the store right across the street and rushed to help, seeing the 11 kids in that bus. >> they couldn't walk. they had to carry the kids out of the bus and put them on the sidewalk. >> what about the school bus driver? did you see her at all? >> yeah. she came out of the bus and she was like, oh, my god, my brakes went off on me. >> reporter: the kids, ages 3 to 11, the driver also injured along with the driver of that suv hit by the bus. >> your heart must have been breaking for those little kids. >> i was like, oh, my god. i was scared for these kids. >> reporter: david, just take a look. you can still see some of the damage right there. thankfully none of the injuries are life threatening but some of the children are still recovering in the hospital tonight. david? >> gio, thank you. an alarming development overseas tonight. we turn to iraq where u.s.
officials this evening are now saying they believe isis used chemical weapons in an attack there earlier this week. at this hour there's no word where those chemical weapons came from. we'll stay on it. back here at home tonight to south carolina now, fresh outrage over the shooting death of a teenager by a police officer. the officer claiming the boy was about to run him over in his car. but an autopsy appearing to contradict that story. tonight his heartbroken family is now demanding answers, saying police shootings have to stop. here's steve osunsami. >> he murdered our son. >> he murdered our son. >> reporter: this time the grieving family of an unarmed teen gunned down in a controversial police shooting are these white parents. >> i mean, this is over a little bit of marijuana. you don't kill people over marijuana. >> reporter: paul and angie hammond's 19-year-old son zachary was shot to death in his car in a hardees parking lot in south carolina where police were running a drug sting. >> our kids are getting killed.
sure, you know, they make mistakes, but you can't just kill them for it. >> reporter: tonight the u.s. department of justice is investigating. >> i would like to see the officer charged with murder. >> reporter: lawyers for officer mark tiller say he felt threatened when they claim that hammond tried to crash into the officer with his car. if not for his quick reflexes and his ability to push off the car, they write, lieutenant tiller would have easily been run over by mr. hammond. but an autopsy commissioned by the family shows that the 19-year-old's gunshot wounds entered the back of his shoulder and his side, and they ask police to explain that. they said us they break down when they see news reports of young people killed by police like christian taylor in texas. >> we cried when we saw it on the news. our trust is shaken right now. >> these shootings have got to stop. >> reporter: in south carolina authorities report they're up to 31 police shootings this year. a newspaper investigation finds that police fire their guns at someone every ten days. police in this case aren't commenting tonight. the family believes they have
dash cam video, and if so, would like them to release it. david? >> steve osunsami with us again tonight. steve, thanks. we're following new developments now in deflate-gate. super bowl champion tom brady 24 hours ago walking into court, fighting to get that suspension lifted. tonight we have learned that talks did continue today amid a firestorm about something else, too. the courtroom sketches of tom brady. here's abc's ryan smith. >> reporter: tonight the patriots gearing up to take the field for the first preseason game against the packers. but will their star quarterback play? meanwhile, team brady locked in tough negotiations towards a deal that can land him back for the regular season before his suspension ends october 18th. the judge putting the nfl on the defensive this week, pressing for any direct evidence implicating brady in deflate-gate. >> go get 'em, tom! >> reporter: cheers for brady outside federal court, a stark contrast to the boos for commissioner roger goodell.
the league acknowledging there may not be a smoking gun, but insisting there is evidence of culpability. a sign of just how much attention this showdown is getting, those unflattering court sketches going viral, spawning comparisons to the mona lisa, american gothic and e.t. that court artist is now apologizing, saying she's even gotten hate mail from patriots fans. as for brady's future, if the two sides can't reach a deal by next wednesday, they will be back in court to argue their case. brady is tweeting about tonight's game, good to be home. i'll see you tonight. we turn to the sudden surge in gas prices for millions of americans in at least one part of the country tonight expected to jump by as much as 50 cents in a week, possibly up to a dollar. in the last 24 hours in fact jumping from $2.99 a gallon to $3.29 in chicago. who's in for the sticker shock and why? let's bring in abc's chief
business correspondent rebecca jarvis tonight. >> reporter: 70 million americans feeling that price spike tonight, the hardest hit in the middle of the country. indiana, illinois, ohio, michigan and wisconsin. just today in ft. wayne, indiana, prices spiked 55 cents. why is this happening? the biggest refinery in the midwest which supplies most of the gasoline to the area is partially closed for maintenance and will be for a number of weeks. there is a silver lining and that is the national average for gasoline prices, $2.63 tonight which is almost a dollar less than it was this time last year, david. >> rebecca jarvis with us tonight, thank you. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this thursday. you'll see the fiery collision shutting down a major highway during rush hour. two tractor-trailers colliding, triggering a series of explosions. you then see the driver on fire and the good samaritans who run to him. you'll see what they do for him coming up. we also have a major break tonight in the mystery of baby doe, this police sketch of a little girl found on a beach. tonight tests revealing an important new lead in the case.
and then the headline that had a lot of people scratching their heads today. "sesame street" moving? >> all right, quackers, follow me. we're going to take a walk. >> we'll follow them and tell you where they're ending up after the break. staying in rhythm... it's how i try to live... how i stay active. so i need nutrition... that won't weigh me down. for the nutrition you want without the calories you don't... introducing boost 100 calories. each delicious snack size drink gives you... 25 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. so it's big in nutrition and small in calories. i'm not about to swim in the slow lane. stay strong. stay active with boost®. you pay your auto insurance every month on the dot. you're like the poster child for paying on time. and then one day you tap the bumper of a station wagon. no big deal... until your insurance company jacks up your rates. you freak out. what good is having insurance
♪ [music] jackie's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today her doctor has her on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. we're going to turn next tonight to that fiery crash on a major highway in the middle of rush hour. two rigs colliding, erupting into flames. you're about to see the driver of one of those trucks emerging on fire and the good samaritans who rush in to rescue him. here's abc's mara schiavocampo. >> reporter: commute collision, a massive fireball erupting on the new jersey turnpike, two tractor-trailers slamming into one another. drivers and onlookers horrified. >> oh, my god. that's a -- look at that! did you see the explosion? >> reporter: then more horror, a driver emerging from a truck with his clothes on fire.
a couple visiting the u.s. running to his aid. tourists from australia. >> i think he was in shock. we tried to get his jeans off and get the fire out and tried to get him away from the truck. >> reporter: thanks to their heroic actions, the driver miraculously suffering only minor injuries. a day later the charred shells of the trucks still smoldering. the new jersey state police revealing one of the trucks involved in the accident was carrying paper, the other medical gas. an explosive combination. mara schiavocampo, abc news, new york. >> mara, thank you. we're getting word of a deadly roller coaster accident. we'll have that in a moment. when we come back, can you guess the new longest flight in the world? and the question that had millions checking out that sketch, who is baby doe? a new lead in the case, an important new clue. and the whale in trouble tonight, what they did on this boat, the before and after next. boat, the before and after next. sfx: music throughout ♪ sfx: crowd cheering
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tragic accident at an amusement park coming in late today, a man struck by a roller coaster at cedar point, ohio. a spokesperson for the park saying the man breached a fence, entered a restricted area. the accident is under investigation tonight. a new development this evening in that cold case out of boston, baby doe, the little girl, her body discovered on a beach not far from logan airport in june. this computer generated photo viewed over 53 million times. tonight authorities revealing a clue. pollen on her clothing came from trees common in and around the boston area, meaning the little girl is likely from that region. the winner for the world's longest flight, emirates, their new route, nonstop from dubai to panama city. can you handle 17 hours 35 minutes, 8,590 miles? not me. beating out the previous title holder, quantas airlines, by ten miles. their flight by the way from sydney to dallas, texas. off the coast of australia tonight, a whale tangled in fishing line, a plastic bag stuck in its mouth. swimming near these fishermen,
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finally tonight here finally tonight here, the big change for "sesame street" soon on hbo? >> reporter: we searched the archives and thought, why not let the muppets tell the story. >> today's letter is the letter h. the letter o. >> but that round like cookie! >> reporter: cookie monster still a little confused because after more than 45 years tonight "sesame street" is adding a new second home. hbo. ♪ sunny days >> reporter: they reveal today new episodes of the iconic children's program will air on hbo first, reruns months later on pbs. sesame workshop saying the deal helps provide critical funding, keeping the show going and preserving its original home,
too. turns out the muppets have already parodied hbo. check out their "game of thrones." >> bring a sweater, i think winter is coming. >> reporter: turning boardwalk empire into their own bird walk. >> you want me to show 'em who's boss, nukkie ducky? >> i'll handle this, capone. >> reporter: many who grew up on "sesame street" having a field day today asking, is this the new cast of true detective. is this the new "game of thrones?" will the be the new "girls?" pbs, hbo, no matter where they are, kids will come, even central park with us. a fist the night after a police shooting information about where the suspect was shot, and the mayor issues a warning to protestors. a frightening crash in san jose. a car flies off the freeway. and dieing palm trees in the
bay bridge. why officials say despite the high price tag, there is no cause for concern. i'm very concerned. it is a severe shortage. >> the search for teachers. what oakland unified is doing to fill six dozen vacancies. >> it is frightening because it happened to them, only. but it could have happened to any of us. vandals trash oakland following a deadly police shooting. now, we're learning about the moments before police opened fire on tha robbery suspects. good evening, i'm dan ashley. >> i'm ama daetz. police released partial results of the autopsy on the suspect. tweeting the bullet wounds were to the front of the body, indicating he was not shot in the back. this as police and oakland
businesses plan for another promised protest tomorrow night. we're live now with the story. cornell? >> reporter: the president of the oakland police officers' association tells me the suspect yesterday was on a rampage. and officers, according to him have no choice but to open fire. tonight a lot of business owners are worried about the future. >> i'm understanding people are frustrated and concerned but i don't think that is the way to express that. >> this shop on auto row has been targeted by proet yostors. he has been released this window. sky 7 hd was over oakland as several dozen took to the streets. the group blocked traffic on the freeway for a short time. all in response to an officer-involved shooting that left a suspect dead. several windows of this starbucks were broken. this