The United States Defence Department has said that U.S. bombers might have hit a hospital?
GV Damaged Bech Mai hospital with doctor and hospital sign (3 shots)
CU PAN Doctor holds plasma above injured man on mattress in open air
SV Injured man taken into ambulance
CU & SV Doctors help other injured persons into ambulance (2 shots)
GV & CU Pentagon building and sign (2 shots)
GV & CU INT Friedheim seated on table facing newsmen (3 shots)
CU Friedheim speaks
SOUND STARTS: "I would like..."
SOUND ENDS: "..those sites."
MR. FREIDHEIM: "I would like to reiterate for you here this morning that it remains our policy to target only military targets in North Vietnam. We know and we have said here a number of times ???, from time to time accidental damage to other targets occur; sometimes involving U.S. ordinance and aircraft; sometimes involving U.S. ordinance and aircraft; sometimes involving North Vietnamese ordinance and aircraft, We of course regret such accidental damage as I suppose the other side does. But we would reiterate to whatever source of those accidental occurrences, our strikes have been targeted only at military targets. It does appear that some accidental damage was caused to some facilities at Gia Lam airport and at a hospital the enemy calls Bach Mai. The exact extent of that damage is uncertain as it its cause. I would only say this morning that our information does not square with Hanoi's propaganda claims that there was massive destruction at those sites."
Initials BB/0156 OJP/MR/BB/0209
This item includes a statement by Mr. Friedheim.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United States Defence Department has said that U.S. bombers might have hit a hospital and the civilian airport near hanoi during recent air strikes against North Vietnam.
The Pentagon spokesman, Mr. Jerry Friedheim, said damage in both cases was limited and accidental.
He denied that the Bach Mai hospital was totally destroyed as had been reported by some Americans who were in Hanoi recently.
Mr. Friedheim added, however, that it was not clear whether damage to the hospital and to Gia Lam Airport was caused by U.S. bombs, an aircraft crashing, or a north Vietnamese anti-aircraft missile.
He said that both Bach Mai and Gia Lam Airport, which are on opposite sides of Hanoi, were near military targets.
Air strikes all over North Vietnam, including Hanoi, were resumed about two weeks ago when the Paris Peace Talks broke down. The bombing was suspended last weekend when it was decided to resume the talks.
SYNOPSIS: This film of the aftermath of pre-Christmas bombing in Hanoi...and particularly of the heavily-damaged Bach Mai hospital...was among the first batch of newsfilm to be received from North Vietnam following the raids. It had been taken overland through The People's Republic of China to Hongkong, after being held up because of damage to Hanoi's civil airport.
According to North Vietnamese authorities, several heavy bombs scored direct hits on the Bach Mai hospital complex, killing dozens of doctors, nurses and patients.
Meanwhile, in Washington on Tuesday, the United States Defence Department conceded that American bombers may have hit the hospital and civilian airport in hanoi during recent air strikes against North Vietnam. During a press briefing, Pentagon spokesman...Mr. Jerry Friedheim...told newsmen the only United States bombing targets were military ones.