May 14th, 2014
02:06 PM ET

Chilean Mine Rescuer: 'We Never Gave Up'

Over 240 people are dead and as many as 120 workers are still trapped in a coal mine  in Soma, Turkey.

Authorities said a fire began Tuesday after a transformer blew up during a shift change.

"It's too late. There's no more hope," said miner Veysel Sengul, who had already lost four friends and was waiting by the mine entrance for more.

James Stefanic  helped drill the escape shaft in the rescue effort of the Chilean miners in 2010.

In that situation, Stefanic and rescue crews saved 33 men who had been trapped in the mine for 69 days.

"In this case here, where you have fire involved, it makes things a lot tougher," he said on "New Day" Wednesday.

Stefanic emphasized that the miners who may still be alive need fresh oxygen, but rescue crews should be careful not to fuel the fires that are burning underground.

He also had a message for the rescue workers in Turkey: don't stop.

"We never gave up," Stefanic said.

For updates on this story, visit CNN.com.

WATCH INTERVIEW ABOVE

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April 29th, 2014
10:22 AM ET

Malaysian Officials Share Their Timeline of Flight 370's Final Communication

On Tuesday, Malaysian officials briefed family members in Beijing on the latest developments in the search for missing Flight 370.

In that meeting, authorities shared never-before released audio of Malaysia Flight 370's final conversation with a control tower in Kuala Lumpur, as well as an official timeline of communication between radar stations and Flight 370.

Here is that timeline as reported by CNN's Ivan Watson:

12:41 AM: The plane took off

2:03 AM: Malaysian Airlines Operational Dispatch Center sent a message to the plane requesting the cockpit contact ground control in Ho Chi Minh,Vietnam. No reply from cockpit

2:22 AM: Last time MH370 appeared on Royal Malaysia Air Force radar

6:30 AM: The time when MH370 was scheduled to land at Beijing airport

7:13 AM: Malaysian Airlines Operational Dispatch Center made a call to MH370. They didn't get an answer

8:19 AM: MH370 made a last and final "partial handshake" with Inmarsat satellite

On Tuesday, Malaysian officials briefed family members in Beijing.

Malaysian officials brief family members in Beijing.

________________________________________

A FAMILY MEMBER RESPONDS: 

Sara Bajc, partner of Flight 370 passenger Philip Wood, said while this information was a great first step, "transcripts or recordings don’t really help us find the airplane."

Bajc said the families will continue to press Malaysian officials for raw data and not just their analysis of the data.

Do you think Malaysian authorities have released appropriate information to the public in a timely manner?

________________________________________

NEW: Firm says it believes it has found a plane

Plane audio recording played in public for first time to Chinese families

 

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February 3rd, 2014
09:58 AM ET

Sochi Olympic Hotels Report Construction Delays

Four days before the opening of the Winter Games, some of the hotels being built for the Olympics are reporting construction delays that could affect the tens of thousands of visitors expected to descend on the region.

The Sochi 2014 organizing committee announced that at least one of the hotels built to accommodate visiting journalists would not be ready.

"Dear Media," the committee wrote, "this is to inform you that the official opening of the hotel Gorki Grand has been postponed due to technical reasons."

In a subsequent phone conversation, Anna Efimchenko, a Sochi 2014 spokeswoman, explained to CNN that the Gorki Grand Hotel was "having some troubles with the water."

The committee said it would temporarily accommodate guests in another hotel.

In the seven years since Russia won its bid to host the 2014 Olympics, authorities have built a highway, a high-speed train line, electric power stations and an entire series of resort villages in the Caucasus Mountains, where the alpine sport events will take place. The massive project is estimated to have cost more than $50 billion.

But on Monday, construction crews were still hard at work in Gorki Gorod, a cluster of six- and seven-story buildings on the banks of the Mzymta River, a short distance from the Olympic ski jump.

Road crews were hammering in paving stones on a sidewalk, while yellow cranes stretched up to buildings where the interior was clearly still under construction.

The delays appear to have affected at least one international hotelier.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, the manager of Swissotel Sochi said his hotel would accept its first customers on the eve of the opening of the Olympics, rather than in January as had originally been planned.

"It was slightly delayed, we actually planned to open already last month," Swissotel's Oliver Kuhn told Reuters. "Certainly I have worked in areas where the construction speed was a bit faster than here, but at the end of the day we have reached our target to be ready for the Games."

The International Olympic Committee is downplaying concerns.

"There are still some issues to be solved as it is always just before the Games, but also in this respect we are in contact with the organizing committee and we hope the situation will be solved in the next couple of days," IOC president Thomas Bach told journalists.

Athletes have been arriving to this Black Sea resort in recent days. The Winter Olympics are set to open Friday.

As for the Gorki Grand Hotel, it continues to advertise on its website "the elegance of hotel's 194 rooms and suites," and it still offers online reservations for February, next to the announcement "Opening Soon."

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November 12th, 2013
10:23 AM ET

Typhoon Haiyan Leaves 1,774 Dead, Aid Efforts Mobilize

Typhoon Haiyan has killed too many people to count so far and pushed to the brink of survival thousands more, who have lost everything, have no food or medical care and are drinking filthy water to survive.

By Tuesday, officials had counted 1,774 of the bodies, but say that number may just be scratching the surface. They fear Haiyan may have taken as many as 10,000 lives.

The storm has injured 2,487 more, and displaced 660,000 people from their homes, the government said.

CNN's Anna Coren went out on a C-130 Hercules with the military today to one of the hardest hit areas. "It was the first hit that was hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan," she says.  "And actually flying over, it was absolutely devastated. Nothing was standing.”

As authorities rush to save the lives of survivors four days after Haiyan ripped the Philippines apart, a new tropical depression, Zoraida, blew in Tuesday delivering more rain, the Philippine national weather agency PAGASA reported.

Zoraida is not a strong storm, but it is holding up desperately needed aid in at least one province, Iloilo, where Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. has grounded relief flights, until it has passed.

Boats and trucks will still operate, but like in many areas, whole houses, vehicles, trees and debris piled high cover miles of roadways in affected areas.

It will take heavy machinery and much time to clear them, and although international supplies that have begun to arrive by at airports, much of it is still not getting through to people who need it most.

“As far as the cleanup and the misery and the work that’s been piling up for the rescue teams and the relief teams, it's still just an enormous task,” reports CNN’s Andrew Stevens. “Meanwhile, the task of finding and bearing the dead continues.”

SEE FULL STORY

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