tv ABC World News ABC December 4, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
have brought to the scene. the stand together. idthe tonight, breaking news. the death toll rising in the california warehouse inferno. more than two dozen killed, the numbers expected to go even higher. >> people were trapped. people were trapped. >> new details about the makeshift staircase that went up in flames. the past complaints. were warning signs missed? now, desperate families waiting for word. >> please just call us. we're all looking for you. also breaking, twin air scares. landing without nose gear. the passengers and crew using evacuation slides. the first pictures coming in now. and injured passengers after severe turbulence forced an emergency landing. pipeline halted. after months of protests, the
controversial dakota access pipeline on hold. and donald trump tweeting. and winter wallop. from the great lakes to the northeast, snow is on the way. good evening. thank you for joining us on this busy sunday. tom is off. i'm cecilia vega. we begin tonight with the rising death toll and the mounting questions in what is now the deadliest fire ever in oakland, california. this is all that remains. today, investigators sifting through the rubble. what was once a crowded warehouse party, that went up in mere seconds. there are now 33 confirmed fatalities. the blaze overwhelming that building, trapping people inside. the search for loved ones painstakingly slow.
families fearing the worst. late tonight, word that the district attorney's office has launched a criminal investigation into the fire. here's neal karlinsky. >> reporter: tonight, as the number killed grows into the dozens, the search goes around the clock. questions mounting about whether it could have been stopped. do you feel like a blind eye was turned? >> as far as preventable, absolutely. i'm not going to make excuses for the city, because we've documented, turned it in, called it in. >> reporter: the building went up fast. people weren't supposed to be living here, it only had permits as a warehouse. yet code violations show a history of complaints, including people inside. it was a well-known artists' colony called the ghost ship.
and filled at the time for a concert when fire broke out. >> i watched it burn for four hours. i could do nothing. >> reporter: that's the back of the warehouse. to give you a sense of how quickly it burned, the first responders are just about a block away. most of the dead were on the second floor. pictures on the website show a maze of art studios before the fire. >> it's tragic to watch so many people perish from a fire fatality in front of your eyes, and have to be stoic in your job and professional in your actions and make sure to honor the victims and families to bring them safely out of the building. >> reporter: tonight, an emotional battalion chief says the impact is beyond what they imagined they were dealing with. >> i think we were surprised at first to find that many bodies where we found them. and we are leaning towards, based on the facts that the
bodies appear to be on top of each other, that it was probably from a fall. >> reporter: they were on the second floor and it caved in. parts of the second floor with burned pianos and other heavy objects are dangling over fire crews. working methodically to recover victims with dignity and make sure what's left of the building doesn't come down on them. google earth pictures show mounting piles of garbage outside. part of the fuel for this blaze that should have never been there. and the oakland mayor promising to find out if this fire was preventable. >> i have a team going through every public record we have of the building. >> neal, you're hearing it could still be another day before investigators reach all of the victims? >> reporter: that's right. it's very slow going. they say they've only made progress through about 35%, maybe 40% of the building.
and you can see the planks of wood behind me. they're using that to shore up the walls and make sure the rest of the building doesn't come down on top of the firefighters. >> neal, thank you. and as the search continues, the weight excruciating for the families, awaiting word on loved ones. so many of them young artists at that party. kayna whitworth has this part of the story. >> reporter: tonight, the agonizing wait for family and friends, as authorities attempt to find everyone killed in this tragic fire. >> please just call us. we're all looking for you. your mom, dad, everybody, husband, please. can you just call any of us. if you're around, something happened, we don't care, we just want to know if you're alive or not. >> reporter: the silence, deafening. no phone calls, no texts, mothers who can't find their daughters. >> she's not answering her phone, he's not answering his
phone. no one can get in contact with them. i tried calling, and it's not like her to not respond to a text. >> reporter: dan vega, awaiting news of his brother alex. who is still missing. max orr made it out alive. >> i barely made it to the door, i was trying to get people out, yelling for people to shine their flashlights into the doors, so people could have a light to come towards. >> reporter: tonight, officials say the process of identifying victims will be challenging. >> it's not easy to ask people to come up and give their family members' dna. they may be unrecognizable. >> reporter: authorities calling this loss astronomical. just a few minutes ago, two friends came and left these candles. each with a name on it. telling me they lost five friends in one night. >> kayna, thank you. and we're also hearing one incredible story of survival from a man who was there that night.
>> i was just getting ready to paint. and all of a sudden, we saw some smoke, the power went out. shortly after we saw that, i saw the fire. that's when i notified everyone. and i was just, it was just like a mad scramble. trying to find a fire extinguisher. i wasn't able to get it to work, and that's when i ran into my roommate. he was a larger gentleman. and coming down from the loft he broke his ankle, and needed me to pull him out. the fire was getting too hot. and i felt my skin melting. i couldn't breathe. it was getting too hot. and i had to leave him behind. i know that he didn't make it. it's just, i just, i yelled and i just ran out after that. just screaming his name. >> just one story of survival in this tragedy. we do want to turn to our
other breaking story. nose gear collapsing on this plane. passengers forced to evacuate by the emergency chute. gloria riviera has the late pictures coming in. >> reporter: tonight, a united flight in san antonio crash landing, its nose gear collapsing. >> there could be multiple impacts before the aircraft comes to a complete stop. >> reporter: passengers hearing the warning from the cockpit of an imminent evacuation. then moments later, sliding down emergency chutes. crews working to rush people to safety. >> it's usually a fairly minor emergency. it is an emergency, it's nonstandard. there are a few sparks, there's very little possibility of anyone getting hurt, except for the emergency departure from the airplane. that's the biggest thing people face. >> reporter: another scare, a qatar airways flight, rocked by turbulence over the ocean. >> anyone that was not in their
seat belt was up in the air for a few seconds. >> reporter: passengers sent flying in the air. some being treated for injuries by paramedics. the flight making an emergency landing in portugal. as for the san antonio flight, no major injuries were reported. tonight, we know the ntsb will investigate. >> gloria, thank you. and now to a major development in the long-running standoff over the dakota access pipeline. a victory for the protesters camped out for months at the controversial project. word that the u.s. army corps is denying to allow the work to go forward as proposed. the protests, in frigid temperatures, turning violent at times. this new push by the obama administration will delay the pipeline, which president-elect donald trump wants built. and we do want to turn to politics, and what could prove to be a pivotal week for the
president-elect. donald trump still sifting through cabinet contenders. and still facing backlash for that call with the president of taiwan. and once again, trump is turning to twitter to sound off. this time, among his targets, "saturday night live." here's david wright. >> reporter: tonight, the vice president-elect insists people are making too much of donald trump's decision to ignore four decades of international protocol and talk with his taiwanese counterpart. >> it's a little mystifying to me that president obama can reach out to a murdering dictator in cuba in the last year, and be hailed as a hero. but donald trump takes a courtesy call from a democratically elected leader in taiwan, and it's a controversy. >> reporter: one of the candidates being considered for secretary of state, david petraeus, tells george stephanopoulos he's convinced trump has a firm grasp of america's interests abroad.
>> i think he's pragmatic. what i enjoyed most, frankly, was the discussion of issues. >> reporter: high on trump's agenda, the issue of protecting american jobs. even if that means interfering in the free market. to the whorror of some fiscal conservatives. today on twitter, trump went on a rant, warning companies against making what he calls an expensive mistake. any company that leaves this country for another, fires its employees, builds a new factory in another country, and thinks it will sell its products back into the u.s., there will be a tax of 35%. today, trump also took aim at another pet peeve. >> this week, tweeted the best tweet. wow, what a great, smart tweet. >> reporter: alec baldwin's parody on "snl." "just tried watching saturday night live. unwatchable. baldwin's impersonation, sad." baldwin tweeted back, "release your tax returns, and i'll stop."
tonight, trump getting a vote of confidence from vladimir putin. in a new interview, putin calls him a smart person, and predicts he'll quickly grasp, he has a totally different level of responsibilities now. >> david, thank you. i want to head overseas to cuba, where the ashes of fidel castro were laid to rest. in the same city where his revolution began more than 60 years ago. the private internment in santiago, capping a nine-day grieving period for the cuban leader. his ashes next to a hero of cuban independence. the ceremony attended only by family. the government barring independent coverage of that funeral. until today, the location, one of the most tightly-kept secrets. and next, millions at home facing extreme weather. in the south, heavy rain stranding motorists. and prompting high water rescues. at the same time, snow is falling tonight in the midwest. that system heading east just in time for the monday morning commute.
rob marciano has more. >> reporter: tonight, gulf coast residents bracing for more of this. heavy rain soaking communities. from louisiana across southeast texas. this weekend, galveston getting their wettest december day on record. and over a foot of rain swamping these cars. the lights of stalled vehicles flickering. others forced to abandon their vehicles. >> i was watching tow trucks one after another. >> reporter: rivers rising quickly in san antonio. flood water stranding this driver and her son on a bridge. firefighters having to use a ladder to pull them to safety. meanwhile, winter blanketing the midwest. in chicago, the winter weather forcing planes to be de-iced. >> rob is here.
give us the bad news. how much snow? >> already six inches in chicago. across southeast texas and southwest louisiana, the rain will get another round coming. in the next 24 hours, maybe more severe weather as well. that cold air and know, up northern new york state and new england. and everyone else going to get a piece of this cold air coming by the end of next week. getting into the deep south as well. friday and saturday of next week, everybody gets a piece of it. the coldest air of the season, by far. >> i told you, i'm holding you personally responsible. >> i know. and we still have much more ahead on "world news tonight" this sunday. witnesses coming forward in the deadly road rage attack. the nfl player, dead. the shooter released from custody. what one woman says she saw that night.
and the latest offer from a music superstar, stepping in to help her neighbors, hurt by the deadly tennessee fires. and cracking a hot car cold case. how this mystery was solved. it only took 40 years. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a rodent ride-along. [dad] alright, buddy, don't forget anything! [kid] i won't, dad... [captain rod] happy tuesday morning! captain rod here. it's pretty hairy out on the interstate.traffic is literally crawling, but there is some movement on the eastside overpass. getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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vanessa scott describing what she says she saw happened. >> he was like this at the window. once he moved from the window, he walked around to the front part of the car, kept his arm locked. >> reporter: and pointing? >> pointed at the front of the car. >> reporter: at the windshield? >> yes, the hood and the windshield, he kept his arm locked in place. >> reporter: many tonight still asking why gasser hasn't been charged. >> if he was man enough to pull the trigger, he should be man enough to take his licking and still be in jail. >> reporter: authorities promising a thorough investigation. >> when we shoot and kill somebody, the question is, it's a homicide. the question is, is it justified or not? >> reporter: it's the second time an nfl player has been killed in new orleans during an apparent road rage incident in recent months. cardell hayes accused of shooting former nfl player will smith.
jury selection begins tomorrow in new orleans for hayes. hayes was arrested for the shooting three days after it happened. he has been behind bars since. cecilia? >> eva, thank you. when we come back, the cell phone one man says caught fire. sending him to the emergency room. we will tell you what kind of phone it was. and, are you ready for some football? we've got the college football lineup. do you have your picks ready to go? the first person to survive alzheimer's disease is out there. and the alzheimer's association is going to make it happen by funding scientific breakthroughs, advancing public policy, and providing local support to those living with the disease and their caregivers. but we won't get there without you. visit alz.org to join the fight. a farmer's market.ieve what's in this kiester. a fire truck. even a marching band. and if i can get comfortable talking about this kiester,
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trust number one doctor recommended dulcolax constipated? use dulcolax tablets for gentle overnight relief suppositories for relief in minutes and stool softeners for comfortable relief of hard stools. dulcolax, designed for dependable relief to the "index" now. starting with the deadly wildfires in tennessee. the identities the two youngest victims confirmed. just 9 and 12 years old. their mother also killed in the fires. the death toll, already 14. and now, word that dolly parton who already pledged to donate $1,000 per month to help families, will also host a telethon later this month. now to a scare for a michigan man who says his cell phone exploded while he was sleeping. the man says it was a samsung note 4.
burning his sheets, sending him to the emergency room. not the samsung 7 that has been recalled. samsung says it is looking into the incident. and college football fans rejoice. the teams are set for the playoffs. alabama taking on washington, and the winner of that faces off the winner of the clemson/ohio state matchup. our sister network espn will carry all that college action. and to a sweet reunion with a sweet ride. this woman and her son reunited with the corvette she reported stolen 40 years ago. a sharp-eyed car fan noticed something was off with the v.i.n. number, helping police solve the cold case. and still ahead tonight, when santa goes m.i.a., and kindness comes calling. the pe,
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finally tonight, when santa goes missing, we put our john donvan on the case. >> reporter: here's how to be the one who makes a kid feel lousy at christmastime -- steal her santa. yes, seriously, that's what happened to the blow-up santa that a little girl became especially attached to last year when she was 2. >> she tells it good night every night before going to bed. and we say he's sleeping during the day. it was a really big deal with her. >> reporter: so this year, santa returned to the lawn until somebody decided to swipe it while the family was gone from the house.
>> i pulled in the driveway and she told me, santa claus is gone. >> reporter: bad feeling all around. so bad, her mom felt moved to tell her friends about it on facebook. and that's how tracy hall heard about it and got in touch. >> it just touched my heart, and just wanted to do something for the family. >> reporter: right after that, tracy showed up with a perfect match. so, if you want to be the one who makes a kid feel great again, be like tracy. >> i didn't know this little girl, but now i have a little friend. >> reporter: be a santa giver and not a santa stealer. john donvan, abc news. >> no santa stealing. "gma" first thing in the morning. david muir will be back here tomorrow. i'm cecilia vega in new york. have a great sunday.
at 6:00 the deadly warehouse fire in oakland now being looked at by a criminal investigation team as the death toll climbs. >> i woke up to smoke and an entire wall on fire. >> forced to run for their lives two women living inside the warehouse talk about their escape. >> and tonight, we're learning more about in the first victims confirmed killed in the fire. >> abc7 news at 6:00 starts right now. >> we're finding victims where we least expect them. >> a careful recovery, not even half finished, yet today rescuers announced the 33rd 33rd victim pulled from a warehouse fire in oakland. >> sky 7 showing the dangerous conditions that is forcing rescuers to pick their way through if urgent care.
>> this is a special one-our edition of abc7 news at 6:00. tonight people are dropping off flowers, candles, and notes, at a growing memorial near in the warehouse. >> the fire started late friday, at the building on 31st avenue and international boulevard in oakland. >> sergio quintana is live with the latest. >> reporter: we know that there's a whole lot of work that continues in this recovery. let me first show you what we may now be familiar with, a view of that warehouse where this fire happened. you can see the big bright light there shining on he burnt-out windows. let's come down here to just behind where we have been working for much of the afternoon. you'll see a whole lot of lumber laying on the sidewalk because search and rescue team members are using that to construct temporary shelters for them as they continue to search inside of that warehouse this afternoon, and a briefing we learned that unfortunately, there