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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 5, 2015 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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breaking news. from a growing disaster in south carolina. a major dam gives way blow. and hundreds aof of amazing rescues. lost at sea. a ship with dozens of americans on board now believed swallowed to the bottom of the ocean in a ferocious hurricane. a life boat found among the debris. could anyone have survived? fatal mistake. the pentagon changing its story over what happened during a deadly bombing. did american forces knowingly target a hospital killing doctors and patients? and in flight
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emergency as a captain becomes incapacitated during a flight. a co-pilot calling for help, rushing to get the plane on the ground. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. a dam breach forced new evacuations and fresh anxiety here. as days of relentless days of flooding begins to subside. this afternoon we were among those given minutes to move from our original location along a swollen creek to higher ground when the dam opened up. nine people have died in south carolina. following what officials are calling a thousand year storm. hundreds of have been forced from homes, roads and bridges are closed and clean water has been cut to thousands. the slow-moving storm system dumped over 16.5 inches of rain here into columbia sunday alone. that
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according to the national weather service made it the rainiest spot in 16 years. we begin tonight with kerry sanders. >> reporter: a major dam breach caused raging powerful water to rush through several communities. triggering a full-scale evacuation in some areas. the greatest fear, a larger dam down river could get hit by a wall of water and also give way. >> we've got to get people downstream evacuated. if this dam goes, the 50,000 people are going to be washed away. >> the damage across south carolina tonight is heartbreaking. residents now calling this the biblical floods of 2015. several dead, 550 roads and bridges washed out or closed. >> we don't want to have to come out and rescue you and much worse we don't want you add to the number of facilities. >> triggering 200 rescues and some cases high drama moments of
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mother and 15 month old daughter from the roof of their flooded home. >> it is terrifying. >> reporter: today news. >> i had her focused on abc's and praying. >> reporter: in columbia, broken water mains cut off drinking water to 40,000. bottled water now a prized possession. the damage in homes is devastating. >> water was up to here at one point. >> the escape stories harrowing. >> we swam out of the window. the water was up to here inside and out. >> reporter: one amazing story of survival comes from the reading family. antucker started hiccupping and coughing at 3:15 in the morning waking up her family who had no idea their house was
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filling up quickly. the national guard has deployed 1300 troops to help in a disaster that tonight is far from over. this area here in columbia has already been flooded once. if the dam up river breaks again the authorities plan to send out an emergency alert to evacuate to the tens of thousands of people on higher ground because they say the water is expected to rise 2 feet a minute. lester. >> kerry sanders in columbia, tonight. al roker is here with me here. any break in the forecast. >> the rain is done here in columbia. but the rainfall amounts as you have mentioned are staggering when you look at what the rainfall totals are. anywhere from 26 inches of rain to as much as 14 inches of rain throughout the area. and the good news is we look at the latest radar. the heaviest rain is over. it moving up into the north carolina area, outer banks through tuesday. localized heavy rain is possible but this
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is just about over. but again, lester, everybody on edge because of those dams. >>al roker tonight. al, thanks very much. after four days of searching, the coast guard believes a cargo ship carrying 33 people, including 28 americans sank to the bottom of the sea in the category four hurricane joaquin. today crews discovered a body near a life boat in a debris field but they are not giving up hope. there could still be survivors in the water. kristin dahlgren has late details. >> near the el faro's last known position, a grim find. a badly damaged life boat and no signs of anyone on board. but the search isn't over. >> our focus is on survivors. >> the body of a crew member was found in a survival suit but the hope is others may have been able to hang on during the storm. >> if there is a fight to be fought, he's fighting it. he is a fighter. >> so if they had this on, could they be alive out there? >> they could be. very well could be.
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extreme conditions. on tuesday at 9:32 p.m. the el faro left jacksonville to puerto rico. joaquin was a tropical storm with 65 mile-per-hour winds. by wednesday, joaquin was a hurricane. that night, as the ship and storm move closer together, joaquin blew up into a cat 3. winds 115 miles per hour and waves upwards of 30 feet. while el faro's crew reported they had lost propulsion and taking on water and tipping 15 degrees, something that was manageable. on thursday morning, a final distress call and then silence. in jacksonville today, outrage from families and colleagues. >> you have got to be you are on a suicide mission and you should have never saled through those waters, >> it is nothing short of a nightmare. >> second mate sent a e-mail to her mom. >> there is a hurricane out here and we are heading straight into it. love to everyone. >> reporter: kenneth
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benton is a former crew member and believes the captain should have waited to set sail. >> why would they head out in a storm? >> profit and ego. safety and life should come first. >> reporter: the ship's owner is defending the decision and lester, the company said they are doing all they can to help the families. >> all right kristen, thank you. the pentagon has changed its story about the circumstances leading to a u.s. air strike on a hospital in afghanistan that left dozens dead and injured. multiple investigations are under way to determine how and why the attack could have happened. the tragedy unfolded in kunduz, where u.s. forces are helping afghans retake the city from the taliban. more from our chief foreign correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: even in war, this should never happen. the only trauma hospital in kunduz repeatedly attacked early on saturday by u.s. air power.
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at least 22 killed, including doctors and patients. six reportedly burned in their beds. but did the u.s. know it was targeting a hospital? doctors without borders, which runned the hospital, said it did. and calls it a war crime. >> hospitals and patients during war should be safe places where care can be given and this has been violated. >> reporter: survivors were transferred to other hospitals. the pentagon first said american troops had been in danger. but today, changes its story. saying afghan forces were under fire. >> they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from u.s. forces. an air strike was called to eliminate the taliban threat and several civilians were accidently struck. >> reporter: afghan officials say taliban fighters were firing from the hospital. >> [ inaudible ]. >> reporter: doctors
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>> this hospital is a hospital like all others guarded by guards. the only people in the hospital are patients, >> reporter: doctors without borders said military the coordinates for the hospital and during the air strike pleaded for the bombing to stop. calls it it said, went unheeded. remains did the u.s. milt know it was firing on a hospital. a senior american official familiar with the way air strikes are carried out in afghanistan, told us the u.s. doesn't bomb without, quote, having eyes on the target. lester. >> richard engel tonight. today the oregon college campus where nine people were massacres were reopened but classes are canceled to give everyone time to grieve together. and tonight we're hearing of stories of survival. correspondent miguel almaguer reports. >> reporter: a black tarp is around snyder
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hall where students and staff rushed to umpqua community college. but there is no masking the horror inside. >> they will never be forgotten. >> ana boylan was inside of the classroom and shot in the back and remembers those who died and today told us she forgives the shooter who nearly took her life. >> i feel sorry for him. i feel bad for him. i wish that he could have talked to someone. >> reporter: nine lives were lost in ten minutes. the three youngest victims just 18. freshman quinn glenn cooper loved dancing and acting. the oldest was professor lawrence levine, the 67-year-old who loved to fish. lacy squaugins somehow survived. she saw her classmates gunned down. studying to become a surgeon, she started saving lives, said her father. >> she took the scarf off of her own neck and went to a victim
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tied a tourniquet at on her. >> reporter: acts of heroism in the horror, together. miguel almaguer, nbc oregon. on the campaign trail today, hillary clinton appeared to have new wind in her sails given an opening after a political gaf republican. she is aunleashing a multi-prong strategy to breathe new life into her campaign. andrea mitchell reports. >> reporter: hillary clinton was on fire today. lashing out at the house benghazi committee during a today show town hall with savannah guthrie. >> look at the situation they chose to exploit to go after me for political reasons. the death of four americans in benghazi. >> seizing on kevin mccarnalez's damaging admission that it was politically motivated. going after republicans for their response to oregon. >> mr. trump was asked about it and said something like, you know, things like that
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happen in the world. and governor bush said, yeah, stuff happens. no, that is an admission of defeat and surrender to a problem that is killing 33,000 americans. >> reporter: even offering her most pointed advice yet to joe biden to stay out of the race. >> once you are in the political fray, everybody begins to ask you questions and you are being pushed and pulled in many different directions. he knows that very well. >> never a good front-runner, clinton is now an underdog. in new hampshire, trailing bernie sanders who drew 20,000 people in boston on saturday. and with biden in, she falls farther behind. clinton didn't shy away from her emotional side, proposing new gun controls with a mother of sandy hook. >> so many of the parents of the appreciate children that were murdered
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have taken the unmanageable grief that they have been to be the voices that we need to hear. >> reporter: clinton is already prepared for the first week. but the race could be turned upside down as joe biden decides whether he could appear on that debate stage. lester. >> andrea mitchell. on the republican side, carly fiorina is now running second in new hampshire and third in iowa in our newest polling. but like many candidates who have run for office in the past. carly fiorina had money issues to clear up before taking another shot at elected office. hallie jackson explains. >> reporter: in the five years since losing her california senate race, carly fiorina wrote a book, led several charities and bought a house. what she didn't do. immediately pay her half million dollars campaign debt leaving
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people like joyce shoe mate hanging. a carly fiorina strategist died before the election. but his last paycheck $30,000 only arrived this january. >> we had several conversations about the campaign debt and she acknowledged it was there and i think she needed time to sort through the best way to address it. >> reporter: she fired back today at the story first reported by the washington post. >> all of our debt was paid off and everybody was paid in full. so once against "the washington post" doesn't have a lot of credibility here. >> reporter: she cleared her old debt this year. her campaign pointing out it took hillary clinton four years to pay off her debt. it is not unusual to take a while to settle up. took mitt romney three years and kerry two and newt gingrich still owes money. and now carly fiorina is facing an in tense spotlight about her failed 2010 rub. >> it was a fight worth having.
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barbara boxer and her expensive ad campaign. a race still making headlines today. for her rivals, the blue state battle possibly a blue print for how to win now. hallie jackson, nbc news, washington. still ahead tonight, crisis in the sky. an emergency in the cockpit of a place with 147 passengers on board. the heroic actions of the co-pilot when the captain when you're not confident your company's data is secure, the possibility of a breach can quickly become the only thing you think about. that's where at&t can help. at at&t we monitor our network traffic so we can see things others can't. mitigating risks across your business. leaving you free to focus on what matters most. what if there was a bank that didn't just ask members to save; but also helped them to save? that allowed families to keep
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we're back with a sudden emergency in the sky today. american airlines said the captain of a packed red eye became incapacitated during flight forcing the co-pilot to call for help while trying to divert and get the plane on the ground as quickly as possible. nbc's stephanie gosk reports. >> reporter: passengers on american airlines red eye from phoenix to boston say the plane unexpectedly began to descend. >> all of a sudden, they were like we're emergency landing in cuse and that is it. >> and what they didn't know is the pilot with 147 passengers on board longer fly. the co-pilot had taken the controls. >> medical emergency. captain is incapacitated incapacitated. request handling for >> when we landed we didn't know the magnitude of what was going on. we saw the fire trucks and the m.s.
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new flight to boston with a new crew, weary passengers were told the pilot died. in a statement american airlines said we are saddened by the event and focused on carrying for the pilot's family and colleagues. on the ground in boston, passengers commended the crew for staying calm. aviation experts say it is a scenario that all u.s. crews are trained to handle and why two pilots are on every flight. >> that is why we train. when you do something over and over and over again, it becomes routine under adversity. >> reporter: aviation experts say it is a scenario that all u.s. crews are trained to handle. pilots rarely get sick or die in flight. but aboard flight 550, the co-pilot was ready and landed the plane safely. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with a major recall for one of the most popular it takes a lot of work... to run this business. but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't
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a near disaster on the tracks today in vermont. an amtrak train headed to washington with more than 100 people on board hit a rock slide in its path, derating down an embankment. five passengers an two crew members were hurt. the governor called the accident a freak of nature, saying there was to reason to believe negligence was to blame. a big breakfast cereal recall. general mills is recalling 1.8 boxes of cheerios and honey hut, labelled as gluten free but contain wheat it. could cause an allergic reaction in people who suffer from celiac disease. the boxes have better if it used by dates of july 2016 and the plant code l.d. and at air france, they're losing the shirts, quite literally, over a plan to lay off thousands. union protesters broke through the gates at the headquarters, tearing the clothes off two senior executives. pair had to scale a
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finally tonight, from disasters like the unprecedented flooding here in south carolina, every day heroes are certain to emerge. from the extraordinary acts of kindness to the moments of bravy. is the humanity and doing the right things across the stricken area and we found one example on a quiet residential street a few minutes from now. >> if this boat could tell a story, fast rising stories and the kawhi em unassuming man who sprung into action when his neighbors became tracked in their homes. >> we were woken up to find there was water rising quickly in our front yard. >> braden stone burner was that neighbor. he politely declined to tell me his story on camera. >> i just don't like a lot of attention. >> but his dad did
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share his story with me, starting with an elderly neighbor trapped in her home. >> we had called 911 but nobody was here. and she just kept screamingch and you could tell the water was probably up to here. >> braden sprung into action. and in the powerful waters, managed to get his small boat off the trailer and ferried firefighters to the woman's home. >> he did great. i didn't even know he was going to do that and get in the boat. >> but he wasn't finished. braden, with his small boat, helped firefighters reach others, including luke and kara stoke's five-year-old twins before bringing the couple to safety as well. >> so where we're standing right now, this was all water. >> absolutely. probably over our head. >> when luke and kira stokes finally returned to their home, they found they had lost all of this their belongings but not what counts. >> in the faith of death, i tried to be still and say lord, if you'll spare us, i don't care about anything that we lose.
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to be together and it is terrifying. >> but thanks to firefighters and good neighbors and a reluctant hero and a bill boat that could. neighbors helping neighbors in all kinds of ways here. >> that will do it for us on monday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. every single day, more than 8,000 men and women are working together to create a stronger, smarter, more resilient system, so the 3 1/2 million people we serve


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