tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 6, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
word news is next. we appreciate your time. tonight, as we come on the air in the west, the breaking news. the major explosion. the fire burning for hours. flames shooting three stories into the air. evacuations and more than 100 firefighters responding to the scene in san francisco. the shocking new headline tonight. the governor under fire after wearing blackface, the lieutenant governor who would replace him facing a sexual assault allegation. and now, the third in line, the state attorney general, and what he now admits to doing himself. also tonight, we're tracking a deadly storm moving across the country. ice-covered roads and highways leading to deadly accidents. 27 states. and tonight, the track, as this now moves east. the growing mystery. the pilot who crashed into an american neighborhood, killing a family inside their home. authorities say his i.d. was fake and that he was never a marine as he claimed.
tonight, what we've now learned. the chilling murder investigation outside new york city. the body of a woman found in a suitcase on the side of the road. the state of the union, and the day after. democrats now launching a new investigation, and what they've sent to robert mueller. president trump tonight firing back. senator elizabeth warren, just days before she was set to officially launch her presidential campaign, apologizing in the halls of congress today. you'll hear it. and what's behind the apology. and the underground explosions rocking one of the most famous streets in america. at least ten blasts reported. manhole covers blown right into the air. good evening, and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy wednesday night. we have a lot to get to tonight. and we're going to begin with the unfolding scene in san francisco at this hour. a gas explosion sparking a massive fire there. more than 100 firefighters are on the scene, flames shooting dozens of feet into the air. this all playing out on busy gary boulevard.
gas pouring out from a punctured line. firefighters dousing the buildings. there have been evacuations tonight, and people are being told to stay away. abc's will carr leads us off. >> reporter: just after 1:00 p.m., a fireball exploded in one of the busiest sections of san francisco. >> it was a close call. i feel very lucky to be alive. >> reporter: watch the relentless flames shoot at least 35 feet into the air. >> put the water on the building. >> copy that. we have fire on the top floor. >> reporter: the intense fire fueled by a breached gas line near a construction site where workers were installing fiber optic equipment underground. the explosion rocking the city's inner richmond neighborhood, during a busy lunch hour, sending plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. witnesses say a local restaurant was one of four buildings immediately engulfed in flames. fire crews raced to the scene, more than 100 firefighters attacking the three-alarm blaze for more than an hour. >> we're trying to get some water. we're not going to extinguish the main.
>> reporter: with the fire raging, crews set up a one-block perimeter. nearby residents instantly asked to avoid the area for their own safety. >> we need patience until the gas leak gets out. but i'm confident that it will be contained soon. >> reporter: that prediction proved right. the fire knocked down a short time later. >> so, let's get to will carr tonight from california, and will, we know this is still unfolding, but despite the images you showed there, no word of any injuries tonight? >> reporter: that's right, david. there were eight construction workers in the area when the fire exploded. amazingly, none were hurt. witnesses describe a terrifying scene. there were the fierce flames and also the smell of gas rippling throughout the air. tonight, crews have been able to cap that gas line, put the fire out without any additional injuries. david? >> all right, will carr leading us off. will, thank you. and to another story and a shocking new headline involving it tonight. we have been following the political chaos in virginia, unleashed when the governor there came under fire for a racist photo. the governor under pressure to resign for that racist image in his medical school yearbook. then the lieutenant governor,
who would serve next, is now facing an allegation of sexual assault. and tonight, what the attorney general has now admitted, revealing that he wore blackface once back in college. abc's chief national affairs correspondent tom llamas is in richmond for us again tonight. >> reporter: tonight, virginia's capital in chaos. the state's top three officials, all democrats, engulfed in deepening scandals. the day's first bombshell? attorney general mark herring revealing that he, too, wore blackface in the 1980s, saying he went to a college party dressed at the rapper kurtis blow, writing, "we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup." herring writing, "the shame of that moment has haunted me for decades," adding he is "deeply, deeply sorry." just days ago, herring was calling on governor ralph northam to step down after a racist photo surfaced from the governor's medical school yearbook page. northam denied he was in the picture, but then admitted to putting on blackface as part of a michael jackson costume. >> i used just a little bit of
shoe polish to put on my cheeks. >> reporter: virtually all virginia democrats called on northam to resign, but now, the man in line to replace him, lieutenant governor justin fairfax, now himself fending off a new allegation of sexual assault. dr. vanessa tyson, a political science professor at scripps college, accuses fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex in a hotel room at the 2004 democratic national convention, writing, "what began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault." fairfax has called the encounter consensual and initially denounced the accusations as a smear campaign. >> you know, there's a possibility that i might be elevated to the governorship. it's at that point that they come out with the attacks and the smears. >> reporter: but today, he released a statement, saying, "i wish her no harm or humiliation, but i cannot agree with the description of events that i know is not true." it's all left virginia democrats in disarray. less than 24 hours ago, state senator louise lucas telling me governor northam has to go over the blackface controversy.
>> i am so praying that he will do that and get it behind us. >> reporter: but today, senator lucas running from reporters. as for governor northam, one of his closest allies telling me he's not resigning. >> you've got to work through it to make things right. otherwise, he just runs away in disgrace and shame and he's not going to do that. >> so, let's get to tom llamas. tom, the longer you stay there, the worse this gets. he's live tonight from richmond, virginia. and tonight, there are not only calls for the governor now to resign, but calls for the lieutenant governor to resign after that accusation of sexual assault? >> reporter: that's right, david. the national organization of women has called on lieutenant governor fairfax to step down, and at least one democratic congresswoman from virginia says she believes dr. tyson. and david, this is all creating a real crisis here. if the governor, the lieutenant governor and also the attorney general all step down, then the house speaker becomes the new man in charge, in a way that we have not seen in modern political history. david? >> really a stunning series of events. tom llamas, our thanks to you again tonight. in the meantime, we are tracking a dangerous and deadly
storm moving across the country at this hour. 78 million americans under weather alerts tonight. 27 states, from utah straight across to the northeast. it's been rough driving for commuters in minneapolis over the last 24 hours. ice storm warnings in the center of the country. a coating of ice on this car in michigan there. this school bus sliding on ice in kansas city today. three students were slightly injured. tonight, that track, as the system now moves east, and here's meteorologist rob marciano. >> reporter: tonight, thousands without power in the midwest. vehicle after vehicle sliding off the roads, as an icy winter storm moves east. >> obviously, you can see my car. a lot of ice. >> i was not prepared for it. >> reporter: in kansas city, terrifying moments as a school bus slides out of control. three middle school students taken to the hospital with minor injuries. rivers and flooding neighborhoods, prompting evacuations from portland, michigan, to wilmington, illinois.
>> it's scary, we've been down here 12 years and this is the first time we've really watched it break up. >> reporter: the storm turning deadly on the roads of minnesota and utah, where as much as five feet of snow has fallen in 72 hours. >> very heavy snow overnight. this morning, the first plow run clearing about 18 inches. it's been snowing ever since. >> reporter: the heavy equipment struggling to keep the roads clear as avalanche warnings remain up tonight. >> all right, what a scene, it's moving east tonight. let's get right to rob who has the track for us. hey, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. several waves of messy weather coming, as this rocky mountain storm gets into the plains tonight. look at all of the alerts that are up tonight. in the warm sector, we have flood watches posted, in the cold sector, blizzard warnings and ice storm warnings, as well. not to mention rough thunderstorms. the threat for severe storms tonight, texas into tennessee. kansas city, i think you're going to see an icy commute. the ice will pile up there as this low intensifies tomorrow, as will the snow across wisconsin and minnesota. the heavy rain across the ohio river valley, where the rivers there are swollen, that gets into the northeast for on and off rain here into friday.
right now, as you can see, david, the rain is on. >> yeah, wet night in new york. all right, rob, thank you. we're going to turn now to the growing mystery tonight surrounding that plane crash in yorba linda, california, killing the pilot and four people inside the home that that plane crashed into. well, tonight, questions about the pilot, who had a fake i.d. and now, it turns out, he was not a marine as he had said. abc's chief national correspondent matt gutman with the investigation. >> reporter: tonight, as the ntsb investigates this plane crash captured by so many cameras, questions are swirling about the man who flew the plane that seemed to explode over a southern california neighborhood. found in that plane's wreckage, pilot tony pastini's i.d. >> the pilot of the cessna plane, a male, has now been positively identified as antonio pastini. he is a retired chicago police officer. >> reporter: only now, the orange county sheriff's office and chicago police say the badge he had on him and the laminated retirement card inside were
forged. the pentagon also says that pastini, who had legally changed his name from jordan isaacson, had lied about being a marine. plus, the plane he flew and lost control of, an eight-seat cessna, had its registration listed as pending. his daughter defending him. >> i'd prefer not to comment and let the investigators do their job. >> reporter: the ntsb telling abc news tonight there is no evidence this crash was intentional. >> all right, so, let's get to matt tonight. because what you just pointed out there, matt, despite all of these questions about the pilot's background, the ntsb still believes there is no reason to believe this was anything more than an accident? >> reporter: that's right, david. they believe that he became disoriented in a cloud, overcorrected, became disoriented and lost control of that aircraft. now, the faa says he did have a valid commercial pilot's license, which, david, does not require a background check. >> all right, matt gutman on this again tonight. thank you, matt. now, to the state of the union, and the day after.
the president and the white house saying the address was a call to unity. the president pointing to the economy and then moments later warned against continuing investigations, calling them ridiculous and partisan. well, tonight, speaker nancy pelosi reacting, calling it an all-out threat. the president is now firing back, and what the democrats have now sent to robert mueller. here's senior white house correspondent cecilia vega. >> reporter: house speaker nancy pelosi today defiant after president trump's blunt state of the union warning to congress. >> an economic miracle is taking place in the united states and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations. if there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. >> reporter: today, pelosi said the president's words amounted
to, quote, an all-out threat. and the top democrat on the house intelligence committee announced a sweeping new investigation into the president, his family, his finances, russia and beyond. >> his effort to discourage any meaningful oversight of the administration, that's a nonstarter. >> reporter: president trump fired right back. >> he's just a political hack who is trying to build a name for himself. it's called presidential harassment, and it's unfortunate, and it really does hurt our country. >> all right, so, let's get right to cecilia, live at the white house tonight. and cecilia, the house intelligence committee has already interviewed dozens of witnesses in its investigation into russian meddling. you've reported on that before. but lawmakers voted today to formally send those transcripts of the interviews to special counsel robert mueller? >> reporter: they did, david, and this could possibly clear the way for mueller to pursue perjury charges. they are essentially comparing notes here. we're talking about transcripts of interviews with more than 50 people, david, including don jr.
and jared kushner. >> all right, cecilia vega with us again tonight. thank you, cecilia. senator elizabeth warren tonight with a new apology over a claim about her heritage. it comes after "the washington post" published a handwritten document from 1986 in which warren identifies her race as american indian. and the apology comes just days before she's set to officially kick off her presidential campaign. mary bruce on the hill tonight. >> reporter: dogged by criticism for her claims of native american heritage, tonight, democratic senator elizabeth warren says she's sorry. >> it is about an apology from the heart. an apology for not being more sensitive to tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty. >> reporter: the 2020 presidential hopeful is again facing backlash, after "the washington post" published her 1986 texas bar registration card. there, under race, warren listed herself as american indian. >> it was based on my understanding from my family's stories, but family stories are
not the same as tribal citizenship. >> reporter: warren insists there's no evidence her claims ever advanced her career, but president trump has long mocked warren, relishing his nickname for her. >> pocahontas. pocahontas. pocahontas, elizabeth warren. >> reporter: in october, warren tried to take on trump by taking a dna test. >> what do the facts say? >> the facts suggest that you absolutely have a native american ancestor in your pedigree. >> reporter: she was told she had a native american ancestor in the range of six to ten generations ago. but it didn't quell the controversy. tonight, still lingering as warren is set to launch here campaign this weekend. >> are you considering dropping out of the race? >> no answer on that, but elizabeth warren and the apology today. mary bruce with us from capitol hill. there's also news tonight, we're awaiting two others who could join this growing democratic field, looking to take on president trump, mary? >> reporter: yeah, david. beto o'rourke, the former texas congressman whose senate race catapulted him to national prominence, was pressed by oprah
winfrey about his next move, saying he will make a decision by the end of this month. and amy klobuchar, the minnesota senator, is set to unveil her 2020 plans on sunday. david, she could become the fifth female member of congress to jump in the race. >> growing field. mary bruce with us tonight. thank you, mary. overseas tonight, and to istanbul, turkey, and the deadly collapse of an apartment building there. a security camera capturing the incredible moment. the eight-story building comes down. people in the street running in fear as the cloud of debris spreads throughout that neighborhood. at least two people were killed. six survivors were pulled from the rubble. crews working through the night, they're searching for more. there's news tonight about climate change. both nasa and noaa reporting after 2018, the last five years have been the hottest on record. noaa says the global temperature was nearly one and a half degrees above average last year. the average temperature for the contiguous u.s. was 53.5 degrees. scientists now warning climate change is causing more destructive hurricanes, such as michael and florence, which we all remember just this last year. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight"
this wednesday. the police officer shot and killed executing a search warrant. we have new details coming in now. also, the chilling murder investigation in one of america's safest towns, right outside new york city, the body of a woman found in a suitcase on the side of the road. police arresting a judge, charging her with driving under the influence. the dash cam video tonight of her sobriety test and her explanation. and then, more on the underground explosions rocking a famous american street, smoke pouring into the air there. emergency crews revealing the possible cause tonight. a lot more news ahead. we'll be right back. sure, they probably know what they're talking about. or the one that j.d. power says is highest in network quality by people who use it every day? this is a tough one. well, not really, because verizon won both. so you don't even have to choose. why didn't you just lead with that? it's like a fun thing. (vo) chosen by experts. chosen by you. and now get apple music included, on us. it's the unlimited plan you need on the network you deserve.
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wealthiest communities. >> we have no doubt that there was a homicide involved. >> reporter: the growing murder mystery shocking residents. the woman was reportedly found fully clothed with her hands and feet bound inside a red suitcase. she was discovered by highway workers and is believed to be between 18 and 30 years old. right now, police think she was killed somewhere else, then brought here, but the question is when? >> we've had the fluctuating temperatures, the -- this particular area, where the victim was found, it was kind of a low-lying area. a lot of complexity there. i think that's going to have to be left to the medical examiner. >> reporter: and david, police here say they've received several leads. they're actively pursuing those. and they're waiting on that autopsy report, hoping that sheds some light on what happened here. david? >> gio, thank you. when we come back, news tonight about that police officer killed while executing a search warrant. and more on the underground scare. at least ten explosions under a famous american street. we'll have news on that front, as well. the index is next. together! okay, let's huff and puff. like you do sometimes, grandpa?
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and killed in milwaukee. authorities say he was gunned down executing a search warrant. the suspect was arrested. the married officer's name has not been released tonight. first responders paying tribute to him. he is the city's third officer killed in the last eight months. to the underground explosions rocking atlanta. at least ten electrical blasts were reported under the city's famous peachtree street. fire officials believe rainwater runoff caused underground transformers to explode. no injuries reported. and the judge arrested for allegedly driving under the influence. police releasing dash cam video of judge monica hawkins, saying she failed a sobriety test in franklin county, ohio. officers say she had trouble walking, talking. she blames the cold weather for her stumbling. the judge returning to work, her own court appearance is next week. when we come back tonight, two dogs, two labs, and what they sensed was wrong. and they were right. coaching means making tough choices. jim! you're in! but when you have high blood pressure and need cold medicine that works fast,
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finally tonight here, america strong. and the two loyal dogs coming to the rescue when their owner needed them most. meet bella and sadie, two labradors in st. johns, florida. their owner, maureen hatcher, was home alone with the dogs when suddenly she felt something was very wrong. she'd fallen, she could not move. it turns out maureen was having a stroke. >> i remember sadie coming in and i said, i need -- mommy needs help. and then they were gone. >> reporter: and just watch. this is maureen's doorbell camera, and you hear bella and sadie barking as they race out. then, you see her neighbor, alexandra, who saw the dogs and knew something was wrong. >> when i saw the dogs, oh, something has happened. excuse me? >> reporter: no answer from inside. alexandra goes in. >> ma'am? the house was so dark.
i was so scared to be inside, but it was like, something's wrong. >> reporter: inside, she finds maureen and immediately calls 911. you see the paramedics arrive wheeling maureen out just in time. before that stroke could do major damage. >> i'm blessed. very blessed. >> reporter: tonight, maureen and her neighbor are convinced those loyal labradors were on a mission. >> i do believe they saved her, because if it wasn't them, i don't think she would be here with us. >> i grew up with a lab, they are loyal. and we're just glad maureen is okay tonight. thanks for watching here on a wednesday evening. i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. good night.
yeah, i mean it is intense because it has been going on for a while. >> it took hours for pg&e to turn off the gas. firefighte firefighters tried to stall the flames which jumped from building to building, five total. two hours and 19 minutes until the gas and flames stopped. thankfully no injuries. >> kind of shell shocked. you can't believe you were seconds away from this. happy to be alive. >> good evening, i am dan ashley. >> and i am ama daetz asking questions about how and why this happened. >> even though the fire is out, it is still very active as a scene. the whole area was closed off.
you can see fire personnel, pg&e crews are still on the scene and will likely be there at geary boulevard and parker for some time. >> and take a look at the damage. in all, five buildings were affected. and some severely. here is what we know, san francisco fire department got word of the fire at >> crews were doing work to install fiber optic lines. the gas line was ruptured. pg&e said it was third party workers. listen to dispatchers. >> we are not going to distinction the main. >> put the water on the building.