Monday, August 28, 2006

US - Katrina myths busted

As we approach the one year anniversary of Katrina, let's look back at a myth that persists today.

CNN's Miles O'Brien reported live that 30 people died in an aprtment complex.

M. O'BRIEN: Good morning. I'm Miles O'Brien, live from Biloxi, Mississippi. And this is the scene here at Beau Rivage. This is a casino that is popular to hundreds of people. Thousands of people come to visit here. This morning, it is a scene of destruction, as 25-foot storm surge came through here, blasting through this area, flooding out the two top floors of that hotel and casino. Fortunately, it was evacuated.

Not far from where I stand, impassible to us right new because the road here along the beach in Biloxi, sits the St. Charles apartment complex, where 30 people died in the midst of Katrina as it came through. We're trying to get to that location as we can. Police and recovery teams and rescue teams are on the scene right now, trying to do whatever they can and perhaps see if there is anybody trapped alive at that particular place.

If O'brien couldn't get to the complex how could he report 30 people died?

Turns out nobody died.

"We never recovered a single body from that location," said Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove.

Hargrove also heard reports of the 30 deaths. He immediately dispatched a search team to St. Charles.

"The minute they reported back and said, no there are not any, I went immediately to the news media and said it's not a true story, we didn't lose thirty of our people in that apartment complex," said Hargrove.

Still, the stories persisted and spread.

Yes, thanks to CNN, who have yet to correct their story even to this day.

The BBC, who were the worst in reporting lies and myths, at least tried to correct some of the record - at least on the Internet. How many people have read this versus how many so the outrageously biased reporting at the time? But even here, look at the obviously staged AP picture they use.

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