Search for Survivors
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BETTY ANN BOWSER: After many hours of waiting, it was the worst possible news for Erin Almond: her infant daughter, Bailey, was dead.
ERIN ALMOND: [hugging police officer and crying] Thank you so much for getting here out of there.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: But even in her grief, Mrs. Almond thanked one of the two men who tried to save her little girl’s life shortly after the explosion Wednesday morning.
ERIN ALMOND: [crying] Thank you so much. At least she’s out of there.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: This still picture of Bailey being carried from the wreckage has been published all over the world, becoming almost a symbol of the tragedy. Firefighter Chris Fields was the man who thought he was saving Bailey’s life when the photograph was taken.
ERIN ALMOND: [crying and hugging Chris Fields] Thank you for getting her out of there as fast as you could.
CHRIS FIELDS: There was nothing.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: But for countless others, there is still no word, so the agony continues.
KATHLEEN TREANOR: I just want everyone to know what my little girl looks like, and what my mom and my dad look like. I want — if anybody sees them or knows of them, the first possible chance, please call me. This is my mom. [holding up photo] Her name is Larue.
REPORTER: Can you spell that for me?
KATHLEEN TREANOR: L-a-R-u-e Treanor. She’s 56. She has very, very long silver, silver gray hair. I don’t know if she was wearing her glasses that day. She’s a beautiful woman. [crying] My dad was with her. His name is Luther Treanor. I’m sure if there was anything he could have done, he would have done it. He was a pillar of strength always. And my baby girl, she’s younger here, she’s three and a half. Her hair is just a little bit longer than that, but for the most part that’s her.
REPORTER: What is her name?
KATHLEEN TREANOR: Ashley.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Katherine Treanor’s mother-in-law, father-in-law, and four-year-old daughter were in the Social Security office at the federal building when the bomb went off.
KATHLEEN TREANOR: I work for Producers Co-op. It’s down here, about a half mile from the blast.
REPORTER: What were you doing at the time?
KATHLEEN TREANOR: I was working. I was — I was doing some light accounting work for them. The phones were ringing off the walls. As soon as the blast hit, I mean, the phones went bananas. And we turned on the TV to see what we could see, you know. I didn’t know about 10 o’clock that they were down there.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: This morning, there were reports that many more bodies had been found in the area of the Social Security office, but still Treanor doesn’t know anything official. There is resignation in the air. People are beginning to grapple with the magnitude of what has happened. Last night, friends and relatives of those who are still missing gathered at the First Christian Church to console each other in song and prayer. Many are still hoping for a miracle that so far has eluded them.
Lack of a miracle has done nothing to deter the enthusiasm of the recovery effort. Rescuers are equipped with sophisticated listening devices and dogs trained to sniff for bodies. But it frequently comes down to this: workers combing through the rubble by hand. Their efforts are also slowed by the monumental volume of wreckage: nine floors of concrete stacked on top of each other like pancakes. Each one has to be painstakingly cut into pieces, then winched out of the way with a crane and cable before workers can move down to the next level to look for more people.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: For nearly three days now, waitress Patti Kite has tried to go about her job as if things were normal, but two of her close friends are dead in the explosion, and then early this morning, she learned of a third, a young, expectant mother.
PATTI KITE: This is so hard. It’s hard on everybody. But we’re – - everybody’s holding together. I am proud of everybody. We are.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: You’re proud of the way the community has pulled together?
PATTI KITE: Yeah. And I think everybody’s still in outer space or shock. We cry, and then we get mad.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Does getting mad make you feel better?
PATTI KITE: I don’t know. It takes away the tears for a little while and maybe readjusts you, and then you hope you can sleep for a little bit and wake up and it’s a bad movie. It’s not. I did this again last night. I was hoping — I woke up this morning, and I woke up about 3:30, and it’s all still real, it’s still all over the TV. It’s still all over the place. I mean, it happened.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: How do you go about putting some normalcy back in your life after this?
PATTI KITE: I don’t know. I don’t know.