tv ABC News Good Morning America ABC May 22, 2010 8:00am-9:00am EDT
captioned by the national captioning institute this morning, breaking news. a plane overshoots the runway and crashes in india, killing as many as 160. but there are survivors. we have a live report. is it toxic? the government tells bp to stop using the chemical dispersant it's been pumping into the gulf because it is unsafe. but they're still using it. we ask the ceo of the company that makes it, is it safe? moms' mission. the mothers of the three hikers held captive in iran meet with their children behind closed doors. now, they're heading back to the u.s. without their kids. but not without hope. and survival story. three boaters survive three days at sea after their boat flips. they clung to this cooler for life.
now, they're telling their dramatic tale for the first time. and good morning, america. as you may have noticed, the man to my left is not bill weir. so, bill is away on assignment. we're happy to have dan harris here. >> thank you. good morning. it is saturday, may 22nd. we're starting to get in some new pictures from india, where that plane went down as morning. as many as 160 people were killed. but are at least eight survivors. that plane, bianna, was trying to land on a very tricky hilltop airport and overshot the runway. >> it's in a remote location. it was difficult for rescue workers to get there. we're going to get to that story in just a minute. also this morning, this is a live feed video of the oil leak at the bottom of the gulf. bp has been using a dispersant to break up the oil that they say has been successful. but the epa says it's toxic and
could seriously harm marine life. right now, they're using it. we're going to talk exclusively to the ceo of the company that makes the chemical to get answers about how safe it is. we're going to start with the plane crash in india. jim sciutto has been following developments from our london bureau. good morning to you. >> reporter: dan, good morning. the plane went down early this morning just before sunrise. and it touched down halfway down the runway, slid off the end of it and down into a ravine. the airport, as you say, was built on the top of a hill. a tricky approach for pilots. and because of that terrain, it made it difficult for rescuers to get there. we're seeing some pictures of rescuers, as well as local villagers scrambling down the hillside to try to help. but as you say, most of the more than 160 people onboard are now feared dead. we're hearing of eight survivors and seven survivors. one of them apparently a child. we've seen pictures of that child pulled from the wreckage. tiny body covered in flame-retardant foam. india generally has a good safety record with flying. but there's been an explosion of
air travel recently. that's led to a shortage of experienced pilots. most of the passengers onboard this plane were indian workers returning from dubai. it's something they get to do maybe once every year, once every two years. so, a very sad ending to that journey. >> it is a disaster. jim sciutto, thank you. let's bring in our abc news aviation consultant, john nance. john, good morning to you. >> good morning, dan. >> do we have runways this tricky here in our country? >> we do. there's within in alaska. there's farmington, new mexico. billings, montana, and perhaps others. we had an accident recently down in jamaica that was the direct result of an overrun. these types of accidents, unfortunately, have been all-too familiar to us in aviation safety. they plague us all over the world. this was a brand-new boeing 737-800. a lot of capability. i'm sure the crew had a high capability. but there is this temptation to
try to salvage a landing at times, when you're too hot, too fast, and too far down the runway. >> you heard jim sciutto talk about this. but there's been a lot of talk in the media this morning perhaps lax oversight of the booming aviation industry in india. but you point out there hasn't been an air crash in india in ten years. >> you know, that is a very superlative record. we've only gone five years at one particular point, between 2001, and 2006, in the united states with that kind of no fatality record. they have a sophisticated system. even though they have a lot of air traffic. but this is not an india-specific problem, really. this is something that, again, is very tempting to air crews to try to salvage a landing. and there's many different reasons how they get into that mindset. you may even remember a southwest airline 737 running through the fence at the end of the runway in burbank a few years back. and if that would have been a drop-off, they would have dropped off the end.
>> you used the term of get home-itis, to describe the syndrome that goes through the mind of pilots. >> you know, there's not a pilot around, if he's honest, who is not going to having to admit to having get home-itis. it's how we keep that from influencing us as a crew at the last minute. in this age, as a captain, you have responsibility to keep communication going in the cockpit. that's what's prevented a lot of these is the co-pilot saying let's go around when the captain was fixated on landing. >> john nance, our aviation consultant. thanks very much for your input this morning. we appreciate it. bianna? >> all right, dan. this morning, president obama named a bipartisan commission to investigate the oil spill in the gulf. he has appointed former florida senator, bob graham. and former epa chief, william reilly, to lead the probe. there's growing anger and frustration about the spill that is big enough to be seen from space. no one is quite sure just how much oil has been spewing into the sea.
our ryan owens is live in grand isle, louisiana, with the latest. ryan, good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you. what i'm about to show you will no doubt add to the anger and frustration. all of the beaches here are closed. and here is why. there is oil all over the place on these beaches. look at this. this stuff has the consistency of a pancake batter. there's a bottle. that used to be white or clear. and keep in mind, all of this, is just the leading edge of the oil. coast guard lieutenant john cush can do little more than shake his head as he looks out at all of that oil. for the last three weeks, he's been overseeing the response to the spill off the coast of louisiana. our destination? the spot in the gulf where that massive oil rig exploded and sank. this is new video of the rig on the ocean floor. i asked the lieutenant about mounting criticism the coast guard has just been too cozy with bp. >> we all have a vested interest in ensuring that oil gets cleaned up as quickly as
possible. and it doesn't land on the shoreline of louisiana or anywhere else in the country. and if it does, it's cleaned up as efficiently and safely as possible. >> reporter: so, bp is not your enemy? >> bp is our friend. >> reporter: this weekend, bp was hoping to try its latest idea to plug the gushing leak. but now, the so-called top kill method of shooting mud and concrete into the well, will not happen until tuesday at the earliest. and like every other idea bp has had, this one is untested in batters this deep. and in another setback, the epa now says bp needs to try to find a less toxic dispersant than the one they're now using. the company has until sunday to find a new one. or prove they are using the best one available. still, some scientists say using chemicals to break up the oil really isn't a fix at all. that it may be doing little more than keeping this environmental disaster out of sight, out of mind. another nagging question for bp,
and it's amazing it's still a question this far into this disaster. and that is exactly how many barrels of oil are leaking out of that pipe, every, single day. later today, a blue ribbon panel made up of scientists, not just from bp, but other scientists who said the flow rate may be 10-times, 100-times as much, will issue a report by the end of today. bianna? erik fyrwald is the ceo of the company that makes the dispersant. thank you for joining us, erik. >> good morning, bianna. >> we're now into day 32. how would you evaluate the progress of the cleanup response so far? >> i think, given the enormity of the crisis, the amount of island that's come into the gulf, the first responders are doing all they can, to keep this oil from reaching the shores. >> let's talk about the dispersants. of the 18 approved for use by
the epa, 12 were found to be more effective on southern louisiana crude than corexit, that's your product. that's not necessarily a ringing endorsement. >> the data that the epa publishes demonstrates that all 18 products have been approved for use because they are safe and effective in laboratory tests. first responders need to decide what to use against the spill. if they use dispersants or not. and once they decide if they use dispersants, they have to decide which dispersant to use. and they make that decision based on the safety, the effectiveness, and the availability of the product for that situation in the gulf. not on laboratory data. but what the situation on the ground. >> more and more scientists are coming out and questioning as to whether dispersants should be used at all and whether they are the solution. we have a sound byte from one of
those scientists. let's take a listen. >> any organism that contacts the stuff, particularly the mixture of dispersant and oil, has that significant risk of acute mortality, that's dying quickly. or sublethal chronic injury that might take weeks, if not months, if not years to manifest. >> i guess the bottom line is, since the dispersant doesn't get rid of the oil and just spreads it, could that not have a lasting effect that we don't get know of? >> the real question here is is it better to leave the oil untreated? or treat it with dispersants? now, the responders on the ground, the epa, they have to make that decision. and what -- if they decide to use dispersants, what the dispersants do, is make the oil into much smaller, tiny articles that fall below the surface. and allow the naturally occurring microorganisms to eat the oil, essentially. it becomes nutrition, and biodegrades, as does the
dispersants. in this case, corexit 9500, naturally biodegrades. >> is the dispersant safe, in your opinion? >> the dispersant is safe and effective. i can give you a number of reasons why i think this product is safe. let me start with the epa has said it is safe and effective. it's been used in other countries. including very environmentally sensitive countries, like norway, australia, canada. >> is it not banned in the u.k.? >> it is not banned in the u.k. and the u.k., they use -- allow use of dispersants, offshore and on the rocky coast. they have a test on the rocky coast where corexit 9500 has
been evaluated. and it has an issue of not allowing crustaceans not to stick to the rock. it's been used offshore for all of the existing stocks available. >> confident enough that you would actually swim in waters where dispersant has been used? >> put it this way. it's been used -- corexit 9500 has been used for more than ten years on spills all around the world. let's also take a look at the product. it has six ingredients. all six of those ingredients are used in everyday household products that we all use safely. products like shampoos, toothpaste, cosmetics, food. used in the production of ice cream and other foods, as well as dish washing liquid. we can use these products safely. >> all right. thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> the last point i'll make is,
if there is a better product, use it. we're fine with that. there should be continued testing because this is a large quantity material being used. but if there is a better product, use it. nalco continues to look for better products, as well. if there is a better one, we're all for it. >> okay. thank you for your time and your candor. thanks so much for joining us, erik fyrwald ceo of nalco. dan? >> huge issue in that spill. going overseas now, the mothers of the three hikers in iran are coming home. but without their children. it was an emotional trip. and it did produce some hopeful developments. abc's todd connor has been following it overnight. todd, good morning? >> reporter: good morning, dan. the mothers will be back this in a matter of hours. but their sons and daughter are half a world away, facing charges of espionage and an uncertain future. the mothers of the three american hikers, shown here in dubai, as they prepare to catch a flight back to the u.s., boarded that plane empty-handed.
but certainly not without hope. on friday, they met for a second time with their children. 5 1/2 hours in the privacy of their hotel rooms. for the past two days, they were able to spend countless hours together. something they'd been waiting to do since last summer when the three were taken into custody for hiking from iraq into iran. despite not winning the release or being able to issue a direct plea to iranian officials, the mothers were thankful for what they got. >> we know our children need to come home. and we want them to come home. and so, this humanitarian gesture, we are grateful for. >> reporter: iran called the meetings an islamic humanitarian gesture. and broadcast thursday's reunion on state tv. hugging and kissing their kids, and sometimes crying. for shane bauer, josh fattal, and sarah shourd, it was a chance to see friendly faces and an opportunity to leave the prison they've called home since july. >> shane and josh are in a room
together. but i'm alone. that's the most difficult thing for me. i see them twice a day. >> we're really grateful. once we started getting books, that helped the prison experience a lot. >> reporter: on friday, the american mothers were introduced to the families of five iranian diplomats, arrested by american forces in iraq, before being released last year. once again, it played out on national tv. now, if their trip seemed quick, it was. the mothers had no choice but to leave quickly. their visas only allowed them to stay in iran for a very limited time. bianna? dan? >> all right, todd. other headlines to tell you about this morning. ron? >> good morning to you. todd. good morning, everyone. questions are being raised about a policy allowing some pilots to carry guns in the cockpit. this after an apparently suicidal jetblue pilot with a weapon was stopped just before he boarded his plane in boston. abc's lisa stark has more. >> reporter: the jetblue pilot was apparently distressed. reportedly upset over a breakup with his flight attendant girlfriend. he sent her a message. >> the person was so distraught,
that he was threatening to harm himself in spectacular fashion. >> reporter: the flight attendant called the airline. and the pilot was found at boston's logan airport, in the jetblue crew lounge. he was waiting to crime into the cockpit for his flight. >> she did the right thing. once the officials were involved, we had fbi, we had air marshals on scene. >> reporter: the pilot was carrying a gun. but he is allowed to. sources say, he is a federal flight deck officer. 1 of an estimated 10,000 pilots trained to carry a firearm into the cockpit. the program to arm pilots began after the 9/11 attacks. pilots must pass psychological screening before being accepted into the program. so far, not one has had to use a gun to protect an aircraft. but in 2008, an armed pilot accidentally shot a hole in his jetliner, while on approach for landing. the plane landed safely. there were some reports that the distressed pilot threatened to actually take down a plane.
but aviation sources say there is no indication he made that threat. the jetblue pilot, described as an aviation veteran, did voluntarily agree to go to the hospital for evaluation. for "good morning america," lisa stark, abc news, washington. in connecticut, democrats have nominated state attorney general richard blumenthal for the u.s. senate seat there coming vacant. blumen h former world wrestling entertainment executive linda mcmahon, who has admitted giving information about blumenthal's military record to the media. and the texas state board of education is changing the content of history and social studies textbooks to include more conservative ideas. some of the new books will downplay the separation of church and state, and will mention conservative groups, like the moral majority, without mentioning similar liberal groups. bono, the lead singer of u2, is recovering after having emergency back surgery at a hospital in injury.le
rehearsing for a world tour that's now been postponed. finally, a teenager is getting credit for helping save her family. when two gunmen invaded her house in oklahoma city, threatening to shoot and tying up her mother with duct tape, 16-year-old sandra king jumped from a second-story roof and ran to a neighbor's house to call 911. the police were sent in. and the intruders, the alleged intruders, were arrested. back to you, dan and bianna. >> didn't know what hit them. >> happy ending. ron, thank you. time, now, for the weather. marysol castro is here. good morning. >> i leap small buildings. anything to save my momma. good morning, everyone. let's show you some video, coming out of birmingham, alabama. this is the aftermath of some severe storms that just ripped through there last night. they had this weather since thursday. there was some damaging winds. five tornadoes, actually. not just in this state, but across the middle of the country, causing some damage. the good news for some of you, not a lot of tornadoes to report
for today. but we are going to have some damaging winds. hail and also two areas, actually, in the middle of the country. thanks so much. more on your saturday outlook later on in the show. dan and bianna? >> all right, mary. coming up on "good morning america," high drama on the high seas. three people cling to a cooler for three days after their boat capsizes in the ocean.
we'll have their incredible survival story. and our "gma" battle of the all-stars is back. and it's a battle for savings supremacy. our consumer experts duke it out to see who can get the best deal. which strategy scores the biggest discounts? researching or haggling? keep it here. [ female announcer ] introducing new all oxi-active. for all active families. our advanced 2-in-1 power... cleans tough stains like grass better than the leading oxi detergent and helps get your family's wash incredibly white and bright. try new all oxi-active. it's all good. what do you guys want to do? both: make rice krispie® treats!
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coming up, we're doing something we're calling a shopping showdown. two of our contributors will compete against each other to see who can get the best deal on big-ticket items. >> also, awkward family photos. there's two guys that came up with a book of those photos. we're going to talk with them and how they came up with this idea. we all have their photos. they are so embarrassing. get comfortable. get organized.
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♪ [ grunts ] blue one! [ children ] blue one! blue one! [ male announcer ] the routan. can we do it again? [ boy ] yeah! sure. average. and we're still talk thanks so much. this weather report has been brought to you by purina. dan? >> thanks, mary. now, to an incredible story of survival at sea. three boaters were plucked from the water off the coast of georgia, three days after their boat capsized. the only thing keeping them afloat, a cooler. now, they're talking about their ordeal for the very first time. ron is on the story. >> dan, this is a truly amazing story of survival and courage. but also, a tale of mistakes
that almost cost the three their lives. and in the end, of a will to live that just may have been what saved them. >> because of the fact that we never gave up, we're here. >> reporter: speaking publicly for the first time since their rescue, john nevarez recounted the harrowing tale of how he, his younger brother, elias, and a friend, rebecca sullivan, spent three days in the ocean, after their fishing boat was capsized by two huge waves. >> the first wave came over the back end of the boat. and filled the boat considerably with water. the wave that hit us, the first one, upper six foot, to seven. it looked huge. the boat capsized in eight seconds. >> reporter: the radio was knocked out. and there was no time to grab their life preservers. for the next ten hours, they clung to the overturned boat. >> at that point, i looked at each one of them and said, if you have any fears, get rid of them now. >> reporter: they did manage to salvage two coolers. so, they had water to drink and
some squid, their fish bait, to eat. twice, they saw coast guard searchers in the distance. but the would-be rescuers didn't see them. nevarez had a military-like regimen, someone always keeping watch while the other two rested. food and water were carefully rationed. >> we checked on each other every minute. to the point where it was almost annoying. >> reporter: the next day, monday, they spotted what looked like an oil rig in the distance. and decided to go for it. using the cooler as a flotation device. they never made it. for two days, they floated. three people hanging on to a single cooler. but never giving up hope. >> we would do whatever we could to stay together on that cooler. until rescue came. >> reporter: on wednesday, rebecca spotted a boat in the distance. >> we saw a boat coming towards us. directly towards us. and started screaming and hollering. >> reporter: they waved their shirts until they were seen. finally, their ordeal was over. >> screaming and joy. with the sorest mouths in the world, salt water-filled, tongues, just screaming in happiness.
>> reporter: exhausted, sun-blistered, dehydrated and badly stung by jellyfish, they were hospitalized in jacksonville, florida. now, they're doing just fine. and nevarez concedes they did make two crucial errors, where they didn't file the so-called float plan. they didn't tell someone where they were going or when they would be back. and before the boat capsized, they took off their life preservers because they were hot. important lessons for anyone going out on a boat this summer. >> still, they did a great job. coming up here on "good morning america," our shopping showdown. we're pitting two of our best consumer experts against one another, in something we call the battle of the "gma" all-stars. also, spreading awkwardness, one cringe-inducing photo at a time. we'll talk to the great minds who came up with the website and book, awkward family photos. a groundbreaking 14-year study by purina,
we ask them to shop for a refrigerator, a mattress, and a hotel room. >> the winner is the one who gets the biggest percentage off each item. best two out of three. it's the latest edition of battle of the "gma" all-stars. leamy versus ron burley. >> reporter: we're two different bargain. hunters with different styles. i'm all about research. >> i'm more in your face. which method will win? it's time to find out. >> reporter: first up, the fridge. here is my grand plan to win and get the best bargain on a refrigerator. craigslist. refrigerators last about 20 years. they're good to buy used. if i offered you $250, is that possible? >> that's a little bit low. >> okay. now, what about $300? >> yeah. i could do $300. >> reporter: $300 for a 7-year-old fridge in perfect condition. that's 50 bucks off the asking price and a savings of 15%. and it will even fit in my car. >> i didn't want used. so, i headed to a big box
retailer. how are you doing? to see if i could score a deal. this is a little dented. >> there are others here. >> i want to buy this floor model. >> no. >> reporter: don't give up on the first no. they often have more dented models in the back. >> 377 bucks. can i get more discount? no 10% discount on cash? if i talk to the manager? come on. if i talk to the manager, she would give me 20 bucks off? 20 bucks off to fit in my budget. i'm going to pick it up and haul it out of here. two, big dents in the front of it. $350? that will work. that's a saving of almost $200 and 35%. >> reporter: looks like ron won that one. next up, mattresses. i found a mattress i liked at a department store for $899. but can i find it cheaper? okay. here we are at sam's club. my hope is that a big store will
bring little prices. it's very cozy here at sam's today. luckily, i found another mattress i liked at sam's club. i called serta and confirmed the two were similar in every way. that is great. back at the register, my final price is just $493. that's a savings of over 400 bucks and 45% off the department store price. >> i went to a mom and pop shop to try to negotiate a good deal. can you do any price negotiations? >> no. we have different stuff, all different prices. but the prices are the prices. >> wrong. everything is negotiable. just keep pushing. >> you want $700, no tax, free delivery is what you're saying? >> your selling yourself a mattress right now. >> i'll ask the boss. >> okay. get the boss. okay. he agreed. and with no tax and free delivery, that's over $200 in savings, more than 20%. >> reporter: score that one for me.
last up, a last-minute hotel room. i decided to try a new travelocity service called top secret hotels. come on, baby. i find a three-star room for $117 a night. the bentley hotel in new york, new york. the bentley is a hip boutique hotel in a nice neighborhood. rooms usually go for $200 a night. i saved $83, or 41%. >> elisabeth, you went online to reserve your hotel room. i'm going last-minute to see what kind of deal i can get. if i don't, i'll be sleeping here tonight. >> our walk-in rate right now. >> is there anyway i can get a discount? >> we can give you discount on the prices we have. they're technically nonnegotiable. >> the key word, technically. again, ask for the manager. i got the manager to come down off the already discounted walk-in rate, just by asking. >> $275 plus tax comes to $319.
>> let's do that. that's $275 for a room with a great view. is it enough to win? >> i love the haggling. that takes such a -- guts. >> it takes guts. >> it's time to reveal the winner, the big winner. ron, you came out ahead on the fridge. the dented fridge you haggled for. elisabeth, you got the deal on the mattress. elisabeth, you saved more than 40% by booking online. ron, you saved some money by taking a chance and walking in and badgering the hotel staff. that only saved you 17%. that means the winner of this "gma" all-star battle is -- >> drumroll. >> elisabeth leamy. >> eli. >> yes. victory is mine. >> congratulations. eli, you showed us you do your home work. you spend time researching before you go out. how much time should people at home spend on the computer
before they go out and make a deal? >> well, as much time as you want. but i think the real key here actually is to try to think of nontraditional places to get the things you need. can you buy it used? a fridge, sure. a mattress, no way. for the mattress, do you have to go to the mattress store? you don't. if you don't mind lounging around on beds in the big stores. and it was the hotel was not a chain. it was a quirkier hotel. >> ron, the key phrase you want to walk away with, is let me speak to your manager. >> it's not rude to ask for a discount. but it does take a little bit of courage. be persistent. don't be upset if they say no. it's just business. >> how do you get the nerve to do that, though? i would be so embarrassed. >> it does take practice. but remember, it's your money
you're doing the negotiation with. you work hard for it. >> ultimately, i think the best solution is a combination of both of your skills. you do your homework. then, you go in and ask for the manager. >> i think it helps if you're wearing the big sunglasses you're wearing, which i assume had a hidden camera in them. >> yes. >> congrats, eli. go celebrate. >> thank you, eli. next time. >> thank you. coming up here on "good morning america," awkward, ridiculous, but hilarious family photos. (announcer) coppertone outshines.
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you know the book, "awkward family photos," is a collection of real pictures from real families, which have a sense of humor about themselves. but the photography skills -- check out some of these pictures. the authors, mike bender and doug chernack join us live. thanks for joining us, guys. >> thanks for having us. >> this just started this all up. how did it pop in your mind? just from this picture? >> we had to do the rockettes kick. that inspired us. to create a site where people could share their awkward family photos. >> we're looking through the book now. one of the themes is awkward family poses. we're putting up video of some of the acrobatic poses.
>> ron, you have those pants, right? >> i still do. >> those look good on you. >> and matching o ining outfits. that seems to be a theme that families think is a cool photo. >> that's a theme. we're always amused that a family has a same name. you look alike. you live together. but you need to wear the same clothes to show how united you are. >> and is there anything to show that kids are smarter than the parents, it has to be the photos of kids with santa and easter bunny. you look at the kids. and they look terrified. tell us about that. look at that kid's face. >> there is something frightening about blowing up these cute, little holiday mascots into freakish proportions. >> i only have one suggestion, actually a question, about. dan harris' family photos.
he submitted them. want to see if they make your cut. >> that's four generations of harrises right there. >> you had the justin bieber hair cut before it was in. >> there you go. thank you, mom. >> i think the one with the diaper. that's a big diaper. >> the oversized diaper. >> i still have that, actually. >> yeah. >> it made us laugh. thank you so much for joining us this morning, guys. >> thank you. >> it's a great book. >> we'll be right back. m to break the quilted habit. but i've always used quilted towels. quilted is towel speak for air. but viva puts 35% more towel between you and the mess. wow, 35% more? are you ready to take that 1-step to see what an unquilted viva towel can do? yes, i'm ready. beautiful. [ cheers and applause ] [ sandy ] try viva® and quit the quilt. beautiful. [ cheers and applause ] while i was building my friendships, my family, while i was building my life, my high cholesterol was contributing to plaque buildup in my arteries.
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