girl," it's you. thanks for watching. "wolf" starts right now. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. also 1:00 p.m. in havana. 8:00 p.m. in kiev. 2:00 a.m. thursday in beijing. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. it's an amazing first in space exploration, a probe lands on a speeding comet as it hurtles through space. earlier today, the rosetta spacecraft released the philae lander on its seven-hour descent to the surface of the comet. listen to this. [ cheers and applause ] cheers erupted at mission control when the touchdown was confirmed. and at any time now, we should be getting the first pictures from the lander, the data it
collects could provide clues about the origins of the earth and our solar system. our correspondent, fred pleitgen, is over at mission control in germany. also joining us, the former u.s. astronaut ken bauersox. fred, why is this such an important moment for them over there at mission control? >> reporter: because they've been waiting, some of them 20 years for this. this has been traveling through the air or ten years to make it to this point. so i have a replica here of the comet that it landed on. this is a replica of the philae lander. it's about here on this comet. i also have a guest with me right now. he's a flight dynamics engineer for the european space agency. first of all, i have to ask you, how excited are you? >> i'm excited, elated. i'm happy. literally had tears in my eyes. i'm overwhelmed.
>> reporter: tell me about the status of the lander right now, because it was supposed to fire off harpoons to pull itself onto the comet. those didn't fire. what's the status now? >> we know that the lander is safely on the surface, three legs report contact to the surface. which is what you could only hope for. the harpoons were measured to prevent the lander from ricocheting back into space after landing because the gravity is so small at the surface of the comet. obviously the harpoons didn't fire but they weren't needed. so it doesn't really matter at this moment in time. >> reporter: what do we know about the surface that it's standing on? is it soft, is it hard, is it dusty? >> from the reports of the lander engineers, i hear the shock attenwuaters didn't secree very much. so that indicates it landed on a snow-like surface.
>> reporter: when is the first image going to come? >> in about half an hour. >> reporter: we'll be looking forward to that. wolf, i'm sure you will also as well. a lot of excitement here, a big day for the european space agency and for the entire scientific community around the world. >> they're hoping to learn a lot about our solar system as a result of this. fred, stand by. let me bring in ken, you're an astronaut. explain to the average viewer out there here in the united states and around the world, best case scenario what we're going to learn from this lander that's now on this comet that's zooming around space. >> well, we learned a lot just getting there. the complex series of orbital maneuvers that were required to get the probe to the comet, that knowledge is going to be very important in future exploration activities. we're going to learn a lot about the history of the solar systems that may answer some of the
fundamental questions about how humans came about on the planet earth. but for me as an astronaut, i get excited about thinking about having a scientific outpost on a comet like that or perhaps turning that comet into rocket fuel for future exploration. >> this comet is speeding along at incredible speeds. and this lander is basically the size of a dishwasher or a washing machine and it actually made it to the surface of this comet. it's a pretty amazing situation when you think about the complexity, ten years in the making, right? >> yeah, to rendezvous with an object out in space, you have to match its velocity exactly. and it's taken ten years to do that with rosetta and philae. >> it really is amazing when you think about what's going on. let's hope for the best. and the fact that the anchors, if you will, they didn't connect to hold this lander on the surface. we heard the german scientist suggest, maybe that's not necessarily such a big deal. what do you think?
>> well, the comet has a little bit of gravity to pull the probe down towards it. i think he said the ice screws may have worked to actually mount it to the surface. we'll hear more about that later. it's disappointing that the harpoons didn't work. but be interesting to see what data they'll be able to get anyway. >> let's hope it stays there on the surface of this comet for at least a year and passes along incredibly important information to guys like you and to a whole bunch of other people. i want you to stand by. later this hour, we might be getting the first pictures from the comet and we'll share it with our viewers as soon as we get those pictures. ken bowersox, thank you. and thanks to fred pleitgen as well. other important news we're following, the united states navy investigating an attack on three of its sailors during a stop in istanbul, turkey. the sailors from the "uss ross" were wearing civilian clothes when members of a turkish youth
group approached them. they attacked the sailors, put bags over their heads and the incident was all captured on video. watch this. >> go home! yankee, go home! yankee, go home! yankee, go home! yankee, go home! >> you can see them putting the bags over these sailors' heads. this on the streets over there in turkey. they're shouting "yankee, go home." let's bring in our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. any of these american sailors, were any of them injured? >> reporter: no, wolf, the navy is able to say all three of
them, while traumatized by the event, made it back to the ship, none of them requiring medical attention. the navy saying they're very pleased the sailors kept essentially their cool, putting their hands up, not resisting, not provoking further violence against them and after a while, they were able to get away and basically run away. it could have been so much more serious. so the navy is happy it wasn't. but they're very unhappy that this happened. you look at that video, wolf, there's about 20 men that swarm these three u.s. navy sailors and no one comes to their help. >> it's pretty shocking when you look at this picture, remembering that turkey is a nato ally. this group supposedly behind this attack on these three u.s. sailors, they're called the turkish youth union, what do we know about them? >> reporter: it is said that they are left wing anti-government sort of neo-nationalists, if you will, against the turkish government but also very much against the western and u.s. presence in the middle east.
they shout anti-american slogans, they talk about these three men, maybe they don't realize their sailors. they talk about them as being soldierses, u.s. soldiers, about what they perceive, the murderous presence, if you will, of the u.s. military to be in the middle east. they named several countries. but, look, turkey is a nato ally. there's a very close relationship the turks -- it should be said, overwhelmingly have welcomed the involvement of the u.s. and the u.s. military presence there to support them. turkey obviously under some sensitivity at the moment with syria and iraq being next door and isis on the march. this group doesn't have anything to do with isis as far as anybody can tell. but clearly a very anti-american sentiment on that street this morning in istanbul. >> and they were wearing civilian clothes, these three sailors from the "uss ross." i take it all u.s. military
personnel who now spend some time in turkey even though it's a nato ally are told, don't wear your uniforms when you're walking around the streets of istanbul or anyplace else, just wear civilian clothes? >> reporter: yeah. i have to tell you, for some time that has pretty much been the rule of thumb for u.s. military personnel overseas, especially in countries where there may be some unrest. and especially for u.s. sailors, generally when they leave the ship for a day of shore leave like these three did, they would strictly be in civilian clothes. what we don't know, how did they know these guys were military? were these militants watching the pier? did they watch young sailors come down the pier side off the navy ship and were they able to identify them that way? how did they know that they were basically approaching u.s. military personnel? all of that under investigation. the u.s. embassy in turkey now
working very closely, we are told, with turkish authorities to try and figure all of this out. >> barbara, when you get more information on this very disturbing story, you'll let us know. barbara starr at the pentagon, thank you. still ahead, tensions escalating right now in ukraine. nato says the russian military is moving in and they could be bringing in what they describe as a potential nuclear threat as well. also, cnn caught this on tape back in may. we'll tell you how this piece of video may have changed the outcome of an investigation into the death of west bank teenagers. stay with us. down. we'll even buy you out of your contract. so you can get the samsung galaxy note 4 for zero down today.
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disturbing picture we're getting. take a look at this. this is from the one world trade center in new york city. the fire department of new york is confirming they have units on the scene over there at one world trade center. this is scaffolding that's hanging near the 50th floor of this new building. we don't know fdny won't confirm if anyone is on that scaffolding as this scene is developing. that's a very disturbing picture. these are pictures that we're just getting in. we're trying to connect with the fire department in new york, a public affairs person, to get us more information. hopefully no one is on that scaffolding and they're going to deal with it. it's just hanging there on the 50th floor. it's a pretty disturbing scene at one world trade center. a very historic sight.
we'll get more information. there you see the disturbing image. let's hope no one is on that scaffolding. we'll get more information shortly. in the meantime, we'll move on to other news. specifically, ukraine, where nato now says russian tanks and russian troops are rolling across the border. russia denies it. but now there's an ominous warning from ukraine's defense minister talking about the russian military moves and i'm quoting now, unexpected actions on their part. i think the main task is to prepare for fighting. that's from the ukrainian defense minister. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is working the story for us. this is pretty alarming what's going on over there right now. >> no question. i've spoken with ukrainian officials in kiev today. there's tremendous alarm, outrage at these russian moves. yesterday, there was another one of these humanitarian convoys that went across without inspection and both ukrainian and western officials say, these need to be inspected before you go in.
now today you have the russians brazenly, openly sending in arms. talking about artillery, tanks and nato believes russian forces. i spoke to one official in the ukrainian foreign ministry who said it's their belief that russia is preparing for a major offense by the pro-russian separatists the ukraine. >> listen to this from the allied commander not long ago. listen to this. >> we see forces that are capable of being nuclear that are being moved to crimea, whether they are or not, we do not know. but they have the kind of equipment there that could support that mission if required. >> crimea, they basically annexed. it's now part of russia. but if they're moving nuclear military equipment or military equipment capable of using nuclear material, tlald hat wou an ominous new development. >> on a whole bunch of levels. this is based on russia moving
in both mig fighter aircraft as well as bombers into crimea which they annexed illegally. it is not known that they have nuclear weapons on board having been observed by u.s. satellites. but they're nuclear capable. this has always been the issue. they know what russia is capable of doing but don't know if they have the intent to deploy nuclear weapons there. speaking with ukrainian foreign ministry officials, this is what they believe is happening. the conventional forces going across the border into eastern ukraine to prepare for a new offensive by pro-russian separatists, these moves in crimea to tell the ukrainians, we got you on two sides, from the east and the south. when you think in those terms, wolf, there's no other word to call this but a war. there's been talk of military action or escalation, et cetera. but there's a war going on in eastern ukraine right now. >> and to hear the supreme
allied commander that they could be bringing in nuclear weapons -- >> and would violate half a dozen treaties as well. >> if ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal to get its independence, they moved all those nuclear weapons out. the russians promised at the time they would never undermine ukrainian sovereignty. how is that working out? >> a lot of broken promises. other news we're following, obama administration officials setting the bar relatively low for the president's trip overseas. but to the surprise of many, he walked away with not one but two major victories. that story coming up. because i make the best chicken noodle soup. because i make the best chicken noodle soup. because i make the best chicken noodle soup. for every way you make chicken noodle soup, make it delicious with swanson®.
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take a look at this. this is scaffolding, 50th floor of one world trade center in new york. we have now learned that there are, in fact, two workers on that scaffolding. it's hanging there outside of one world trade center. the fire department of new york is on the scene. they're trying to get this thing resolved. but that is a very, very scary picture. we're told those two workers are not injured but they are trapped in that scaffolding just outside the 50th floor of one world traz center in new york city. that building just recently opened. obviously we're all hoping for the best with these two workers who are trapped on that scaffolding right there. we'll stay on top of this story. we're about to connect, we think, with a public affairs officer from the fire department of new york or somebody from the one world trade center. and we'll get the latest.
we have now confirmed there are two workers inside that scaffolding there on that scaffolding outside the one world trade center. and they're hanging there hoping to get saved, obviously, very, very soon. let's hope that happens very quickly. we'll stay on top of this story and update you. meanwhile, president obama is in myanmar right now. this is his second visit to the country, opening relations with the reclusive nation back in 2012. it was touted as one of president obama's foreign policy achievements. now the president confronts a nation that's failed to uphold its promises of economic and political reform. but as our senior white house correspondent jim acosta points out, president obama did wrap up his earlier visit to china with surprises on two major fronts, a major climate change deal as well as a rare joint news conference with the chinese leader. >> reporter: in a deal forged by the world's two largest economies and its biggest polluters to combat climate change, president obama and
chinese president xi unveiled an aggressive plan to cut greenhouse gases. >> this is an ambitious goal but it is an achievable goal. >> reporter: under the agreement the u.s. would cut nearly one third of its carbon emissions levels set in 2005 by the year 2025. china would have until 2030 to level off its emissions. the climate accord may be the boldest sign yet roft president's determination to bolster u.s. ties with china at a time when he's butting heads with russia's vladimir putin. >> the united states welcomes the continuing rise of a china that is peaceful, prosperous and stable. >> reporter: then mr. obama and xi went on to take questions, one from an american journalist. in a moment of high drama, the chinese president initially appeared to ignore the question from "new york times" reporter mark landler hanging on the question. but then xi conceded his
country's human rights record wasn't perfect. china's made enormous progress in its human rights, xi said, on the question of china's human rights, we should never consider our work to be mission accomplished. xi eventually blamed "the new york times" for its own access issues. white house officials are breathed a sigh of relief after working for weeks to convince skeptical chinese officials to hold a news conference. it was a diplomatic victory. before leaving beijing, mr. obama toasted xi for china's efforts to help fight ebola in west africa. xi offered praise of his own saying the u.s./china relationship had reached a new starting point. republicans are already attacking the president's climate change plan. mitch mcconnell calling it unrealistic and a plan the president would be leaving to a successor. now the president heads off to
burma to check on democratic efforts there and on to the g-20 summit in australia to face russia's president, vladimir putin. jim acosta, cnn, beijing. up next, american sailors assaulted on the streets of istanbul, turkey. who did it? will it change relations between the u.s. and turkey? we'll take a much closer look. o hidden fees on savings accounts? that's right. it's just that i'm worried about you know "hidden things..." ok, why's that? no hidden fees, from the bank where no branches equals great rates. ♪ hi. i'm new ensure active clear protein drink. >>clear huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got 8 grams of protein. new ensure active clear protein.
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york. this is a potentially very dangerous situation, scaffolding, it's now, we're told, outside the 69th floor of one world trade center. two workers are hanging inside -- they're inside that scaffolding right there. they're on that scaffolding. a major effort now, the fire department of new york under way trying to rescue these two individuals, these two workers who are hanging there. and it's obviously a very ominous-looking situation. let's hope for the very best. we're trying to connect with the public affairs officer from the fire department of new york and get some information. two workers are on that scaffolding outside the 69th floor of the world trade center. we'll get more information to you shortly. other news we're following, that developing story out of turkey. look at this video. >> go home! yankee, go home! yankee, go home! yankee, go home!
yankee, go home! >> you hear them shouting. that's a u.s. navy sailor being attacked by members of the turkish youth group called the turkish youth union on the streets of istanbul. they were shouting "yankee, go home." a total of three american sailors were attacked. they were all hit with objects and then bags were placed over their heads. the sailors are all safely back aboard the "uss ross" right now. let's bring in our cnn global affairs officer who's joining us from new york. bobby, you know something about this so-called turkish youth union. what do you know about them? >> wolf, if these guys really belong to that union, they come from the opposite end of the political spectrum as the islamists. the turkish youth union is a leftist, almost communist group. follow the founder of turkey, a man who plainly hated islam and wanted to keep it outside the public sphere.
it's ironic that they just received a tweet from isis congratulating them on beating up the sailors. but if they encountered isis, they're much more likely to kill them than to hug them. >> why do these turks hate the united states? >> it's an old-fashioned leftistism. this is the sort of thing we used to hear in latin america among leftists there and might still do in places like venezuela. that's the kind of sentiment we're seeing here. it's not connected, at least as far as we can tell, to any recent american activities. it's not connected to isis, to the war against -- the terrorists in syria or in iraq. this is a very -- this is a throwback. this is from the '50s and '60s. >> the turks, you know this as well as anyone, security
services, they're pretty good on the streets of istanbul, ankara, other places in turkey. can these kinds of incidents occur without the turkish security, the police, the military knowing about it, trying to prevent what's going on here because already you get all sorts of speculation out there, they deliberately want to send a message to the united states by engaging in this type of brutal affair with these three american sailors, putting a bag over each one of their heads. >> they went to a place where they expected to see american sailors. they were carrying banners with their group's emblem on them. they had the bags with them. this was clearly planned. how did it escape the notice of the turkish intelligence service? that's an interesting question. these people, i should point out, some from the political opposition to the government in turkey. so if the government in turkey wants to send a message to the
u.s., it will be a little unusual for them to send it via a group that stands for everything that the government does not. as i said, these people are secular, the government is islamist. these people are sort of followers of kamal. the government goes in a very different direction. >> we'll see if there are any arrests made in the coming hours in istanbul. we'll follow this story. bobby, thanks very much. when two palestinian teenagers in the west bank were shot and killed this past may, the israeli military insisted it used only rubber bullets. but cnn uncovered something a lot more dangerous in the days that followed the incident and it may have resulted in a new kind of arrest on this case. that's coming up. we have an update for you.
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from the 69th floor of one world trade center in new york. two workers are tethered. they are uninjured, according to the new york fire department. but they are on that scaffolding hanging there outside the world trade center. new york police department says emergency service units are on the scene. they may need to cut out the glass of the building, we're told, to get the workers off that window-washing cart that is hanging there right there. they have to do something quickly to save those two workers. we'll update you when we get more information. that's a pretty scary picture when you think about what's going on there. this is one world trade center, of all places, in new york. we also have a new development in a story we first brought you here on cnn almost six months ago. it centers around two palestinian teenagers who were fatally shot back in may during protests. now an israeli border police officer is being held in connection with their deaths. at the time, there were two very different accounts of what may
have happened that day. cnn's ivan watson's original report from back in may, a report that we first aired here on this program, i want to play it for you. i want to warn our viewers, some of the pictures are graphic. >> reporter: it had been a day of skirmishing, palestinian youth hurling stones. israeli soldiers and police firing teargas and rubber-coated bullets. then caught on camera, the shooting deaths of two palestinian teenagers. both gunned down on the same patch of asphalt. the second, an hour and 13 minutes after the first. the israeli defense force tells cnn that, quote, a preliminary inquiry indicates that no live fire was shot at all on thursday during the riots in betunyah and we have to determine what caused this result. cnn's correspondent was in the west bank much of that day,
filming the back-and-forth clashes. among those seen on cnn's video was 17-year-old throwing a rock. he'd gone to the protest after attending school in the morning. at 1:45 p.m., a security camera catches the moment when the 17-year-old was fatally shot as he walks towards the israeli positions. another camera shows him rushed to an ambulance. a medical report says the bullet entered his chest and exited his back. at the precise moment when he was shot, cnn's camera was rolling, filming an israeli soldier shooting his rifle at the palestinians. and then demonstrators carrying the mortally wounded teenager to the ambulance. he later died in hospital. the shootings were filmed by this little private security camera mounted to this building
right here, which the owner tells us operates 24 hours a day for the protection of his home, his family and his business. as for the boys, the first one was shot and mortally wounded right here. at 2:58 p.m., the security camera captured the second shooting when 16-year-old muhammad salani was shot as he walked away from israeli positions. doctors pronounced him dead on arrival at the hospital with a single bullet wound that entered his back and passed out through his chest. we met the grieving father of the first shooting victim at st. george's school in ramallah, where classmates and friends are in warning. he shows me the bullet hole left in the bloody backpack his son was wearing. you think this is the bullet hole? >> yeah. >> reporter: inside the backpack, a bloodstained
textbook and a bullet, not a rubber-coated projectile. you think this is the bullet that killed your son? >> yeah, of course, of course. inside the bag, i found it inside the bag. >> reporter: who do you think killed your son? >> soldier. >> reporter: israeli soldier? >> yeah, israeli soldier. >> reporter: the israeli defense force insists only rubber-coated bullets were fired that day. a united nations spokesman expressed what he called great alarm at the shooting of the two teenagers whom he says were unarmed and appeared to pose no direct threat. ivan watson, cnn, betunyah in the west bank. >> on that day back in may, we got reaction on this program from the former israeli ambassador to the united states, michael oren, and among other things, he said this -- >> looking at those pictures and israeli investigators will look
at them very closely, the way the bodies fall, the fact there's no blood, someone who's hit in the back and the bullet has an exit wound, there's a tremendous amount of blood. there's no bleeding in the picture. >> he went offer to a lot of the supposed inconsistencies. but now there are these major new developments. let's go to jerusalem. nic robertson is standing by. nic, tell our viewers what's happened over the past 24 hours. >> reporter: well, over the past 24 hours, wolf, an israeli border officer has been arrested, and in court today, the judge was asked if the soldier could be held for another six days. that has been granted. now, this soldier hasn't been charged. he is under suspicion but he is innocent until proven guilty. we know very, very few details about the investigation. his lawyer appeared on channel 2
television here, national television, just half an hour ago saying that there has been a denial of live rounds shot, there has been a denial of ammunition killing someone. so the lawyer is quite clear on that point. we've also heard from the soldier's family, his mother and father appear in silhouette. the mother is very clearly distraught. she is crying. she says that she feels stabbed in the back for all that her son has done for the country. she feels he is being let down right now. but there are other details that we've also become aware of this evening. an autopsy was arranged through the auspices of an israeli human rights organization. they involved a palestinian pathologist and three other pathologists. they found three live ammunition bullet fragments inside the
boy's body. they handed those bullet fragments to investigators. we don't know the details of the investigation, but we know this is information, evidence, if you will, those investigators now have, wolf. >> so this israeli border security officer, he's under arrest right now, right? they're awaiting formal charges. has there been a public statement from the israeli government, from the israeli defense forces? >> reporter: they haven't told us anything so far, wolf. and that would be normal under these circumstances. the case is being heard in closed session right now. again, this officer hasn't been charged, but the investigation is ongoing. it's being held behind closed doors because there's a concern that the information is made public, the evidence and information chains can become contaminated, if you will. so at the moment, the details of what's happening, we're not aware of.
the public is not aware of. but we do know the investigators have another six days holding this officer for questioning and investigation, wolf. >> and this joint autopsy team, they did find remnants of live bullets, live ammunition in these palestinian teenagers, one 15, one 17, right? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. three fragments in the 17-year-old's body. three bullet fragments. what the human rights organization tell us is they believe the forensics team, the investigators who they've handed the fragments and the bullet to, should be able to tell if these fragments came from the bullet that the father showed ivan watson and also they should be able to gauge who weapon this bullet was fired from. those pathologists conducted in the autopsy say that they were able to calculate, work out the trajectory of the bullet through the body and therefore they were
able to calculate where and what angle or approximately where from this bullet was fired. again, information that the people conducting the autopsy will have been able to provide to the investigators, wolf. >> i think there's no doubt that at least in part ivan watson's excellent reporting here on cnn played a significant role six months later in what we're seeing happening right now in the past 24 hours. we'll continue to follow this story for our viewers. nic robertson, thanks very much. we're also following this other very ominous development in new york city. this is one world trade center. you see the scaffolding there. there are two workers tethered inside on -- right outside the 69th floor. they may have to break those windows and get those two workers inside. we're getting new information from the fire department of new york, the new york city police department will update you on what we know right after this.
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we're watching a scary scene unfold in new york city. two workers are stuck on that scaffolding at 1 world trade center. they're uninsured according to the new york city fire department. the scaffolding is hanging outside of the 69th floor of 1 world trade center. new york city police department spokesman say their emergency service units are on the scene right now. law enforcement officials tell cnn a cable snapped causing the scaffolding to malfunction. up clear how they'll get washers off the scaffold. new york city police, port authority police, emergency
units are discussing whether to cut the window to get workers off the scaffolding and bring them inside. joining us on the phone is a man across the street at the hotel. i understand you're on the 24th floor and looking right out at this really, really scary scene. tell us what you're seeing. >> i see two heads dangling over the scaffolding and one of the guys -- they just keep looking down. they look like they're maybe five feet in the middle of the scaffold hanging. one rope is hanging from the scaffold that i see. i'm on the 24th floor so i'm looking directly from the world trade center. >> we're showing our viewers some of the tweets and some of the pictures you posted on twitter from your vantage point.
did you actually see the scaffolding collapse, if you will? >> i have not. i saw them working this morning because i've been here overnight. i saw them working this morning about 00. they were going up washing the windows and i was amazed at the view. wow. such a dangerous job. so suddenly i didn't see it collapse, but once i looked over and i said something is wrong. it was dangling. that's when i noticed something was wrong when i turned on the tv and saw the news said something was going on with the building. >> we're just seeing the scaffolding hanging there outside of the 69th floor of 1 world trade center. you can look up. do you see helicopters flying overhead? do you see workers dropping any ropes or anything like that? does it look like an exterior and outside rescue operation could be in the works are does it look like they'll have to break those windows and get those two workers inside?
>> on top of world trade tower looks like they moved a scaffold like the ropes that scaffolding ties to, they are hanging two ropes down from the top of the tower of the world trade center. there's another beam that's moved over on top of the one that they are dangling from at the very top of the power. >> so it looks like maybe they're going to drop some sort of rescue rope and drop it and maybe try to get these workers to lift them up and take them to the top, is that what you're suggesting, reginald? >> i think they're going to lift the rope to try to maybe secure the actual scaffolding. however, it's being reported here by a local news that they're going to break the window out on the floor above that and rescue the workers themselves and then secure the scaffold with the other rope hanging from the crane on top of the world trade tower. >> i'm sure they have plan for
this. i assume they have emergency guidelines. this is a really dangerous job these window washers have as we all know and it's obviously the worst nightmare right there. it's hanging there. what's the weather like in new york right now? is it windy or anything or does it seem relatively calm? >> the winds are calm. there's been a low ceiling all day, which this afternoon hi to catch a flight to boston and so it's been cloudy all day. the traffic has stopped and all of the emergency workers are down below, fire trucks and ambulances are all standing below and people are just watching from below. the traffic on the west side highway on one lane has stopped. traffic going in both directions like one lane has stopped. >> this is a photo we're showing -- hold on a second. we're showing our viewers a picture the fire department of new york city has just released.
you can see what's going on with that scaffolding and get a shot. you say crowds have gathered in addition to emergency workers, police, firefighters, on the streets there are looking up at this awful, awful scene, that what you're saying? >> correct, yes. they are gathering around. right directly below the world trade center tower they have cleared that area out. right directly below. just in case the scaffold falls. >> we hope it doesn't fall because there are two window washers trapped inside right now. they got to make a major decision. >> i see another scaffold coming down from the top of the tower right now. from the top of the trade tower they have another scaffold coming down slowly. >> maybe the rescue -- try to rescue these guys like that. how far down is that? we only have a picture of the 69th floor. it's coming down slowly, is that what you're say? >> it's coming down slowly with
two workers on it at the very top of the tower. two floors at the top. i don't know how many floors on this tower. 102 or something like that? right now maybe floor 99. >> they got a while to go. so maybe that's the rescue operation that they want to engage in and save these two window washers. this is obviously a very tense moment. so you're suggesting if they are lowering another second scaffold right now with two workers on that second scaffold, they may try to get these two other workers onto the one that's secure and strong and then raise it back up to the top instead of just trying to break that window on the 69th floor and 70th floor and get two workers out. i can only imagine the families of these two window washers what they're going through right now. this is one of those really tense nail biting moments and
we're all hoping obviously for the best. let's hope these guys are rescued quickly. this is a dangerous job to begin with. you go out there and you try to wash these windows 69, 70, 80, 90 floors up and you have to rely on these cables that secure these scaffolds but obviously they don't always work and in this particular case -- >> it's cloudy right now. hopefully the clouds will not affect -- because the low ceiling is like it's becoming real foggy. >> is that second scaffold which may be -- we don't know for sure -- which may be a rescue operation under way. is it continuing to be lowered? >> correct, yes. it's gone five floors from the top. >> relatively slow pace. you have to do this carefully. last thing you want is a second scaffold cable to snap or anything like that. you say there are two other workers on this second scaffold?
you can see two other workers. are you still there? hold on. mike brooks is joining us on the phone right now. mike, this is a scary, scary scene. >> wolf, it is. what reginald was describing that second scaffolding, what they're trying to do now and what the rescue plan is bring a second scaffolding called a rescue scaffolding and try to get that in place. in the meantime, rescue company 1 and squad 18 from fdny have special equipment where they can cut a hole in the window so once they get down there, secure the two window washers, they will bring them inside the window. one of the other things, they do have communications via radio with the two men who are trapped on the scaffolding. they have an extra line in place
holding them securely. keep in mind, you're almost 700 feet in the air, wolf. they say it could take possibly 35 to 40 minutes to get this other scaffolding in place and to possibly cut that hole in the window to bring the two workers back inside the building. >> what you're saying is instead of having the second scaffolding rescue workers and take them back up to the top of 1 world trade center, they would just cut through the window from the outside. why can't they just cut through the window from the inside and go that way? >> they are cutting it from the inside. that's where they were cutting. they have special suction cups and saws that can cut through the multiple panes of glass. you want a backup plan. you can come down to make sure
workers aren't injured and cut a hole and bring them in. >> i want everyone to standby. we'll continue to watch this very dangerous scene outside of 1 world trade center. our coverage will continue. that's it for me. thanks for watching. for our international viewers, christiane amanpour is next. for viewers in north america, "newsroom" with brianna keilar starts right now. 69 floors off the ground, two window washers trapped on scaffolding that is dangling outside of the tower's windows. the phone to talk about this.n this is a very difficult situation because you have -- it appears two guys are stuck and while luckily we're hearing their tethered, we don't know how authorities are going to get them down, right? >> right. that's the big issue. they have tried to cut through the