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Katrina: “People Need To See This…People Are Dying At The Convention Center”

CNN correspondent Chris Lawrence is disgusted by the scenes in downtown:

“It’s hard to describe. It’s something I never could conceive of ever seeing in a major city like New Orleans. It is hard to believe, you know, this is New Orleans, Louisiana, we’re talking about.

We spent the last few hours at the convention center, where there are thousands of people just laying in the street. They have nowhere to go. These are mothers. We saw mothers. We talked to mothers holding babies. I mean, some of these babies, 3, 4, 5 months old, living in these horrible conditions. Putrid food on the ground, sewage, their feet sitting in sewage. We saw feces on the ground. It is — these people are being forced to live like animals.

…I want to warn you, I mean, some of these images that you will see, they’re very, very graphic. But people need to see this. The people down there have been down there for days, and people need to see what it is really like down here.

We saw dead bodies. People are dying at the convention center, and there’s no one to come get them. We saw an older woman, someone’s mother, someone’s grandmother in a wheelchair, her dead body pushed up against the side of the convention center, with a blanket over it. Right on the ground next to her, another dead body, wrapped in a white sheet.

People are literally dying. Right in front of us as we were watching this, a man went into a seizure on the ground. It looked like he was dying. People tried to prop his head up. No one has medical training. No ambulance can come. There’s nowhere to evacuate him to.

It is just heart breaking that these people have been sitting there, without food, without water, waiting for these buses to take them away. And they keep asking us, “When are the buses coming? When are the buses coming?”

And you just have to say, “I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

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