Anderson Cooper had a bit of a scare Monday morning.
Appearing on a CNN Newsroom broadcast from Gaza airing around 7PM eastern time Sunday, Cooper was rocked by a huge explosion behind him (video follows with transcript and commentary):
DON LEMON, HOST: CNN's Anderson Cooper from Gaza City now. He joins us now with more on the intensifying crisis. Anderson, take us to the ground and what's going on there. What are you seeing and hearing?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes Don, it's about 2:00 a.m. here. We've heard a number of large explosions this evening just a few probably in the last hour or so. This is generally the time when the -- the strikes actually intensify. That's what we have seen over the last several nights. You can hear drones circling overhead, over Gaza City as they have been really since this conflict began.
It is a constant sound, a constant reminder of the Israeli forces watching the city. As you mentioned there was a strike. And what the Israeli military said was a house owned by a Hamas commander of an artillery unit, a head of an artillery unit initially, they said they killed that Hamas commander they then walked that back and said they couldn't be clear if he was actually even at the house at the time. Ten members of another family that were staying at the house -- they were all killed.
Our Arwa Damon was on the scene, I saw a number of children's bodies being removed from the wreckage and talked to hospital ambulance crews who said as many as ten people were killed although there's one report now saying 11 people were killed in the blast.
But we know ten members of one family, also two media centers -- whoa -- well, that was a rather large explosion.
COOPER: That occurred -- look out here, I can't actually see where the impact of that was. It's actually set off a number of car alarms. But that was probably the largest explosion that we have heard just in the past -- really in the past hour. There have been a number of explosions in the last hour or two, but that one -- that one was pretty loud.
We actually -- there are -- the rockets continue to be fired from Gaza toward Israel about three or four hours ago, there was actually a quite large rocket that was fired very close to -- very close to this building where we are right now.
LEMON: Hey Anderson stay with us here. You said that was the biggest blast that you've heard since you have been there. I mean it was quite shocking to see what just happened.
COOPER: It was -- yes, it was loud. I mean, I can't tell if it was bigger than some that have occurred farther away. I mean we've heard there have been a number of large explosions obviously over the last, you know, over the last several days, but in the last five hours or so. But that was definitely the largest explosion closest to the location of where we are right now.
And generally after one of those, I see an ambulance now turning around and going. But I don't actually see any kind of a fire ball, so it's not clear to me where the actual explosion took place.
But I said we saw a large rocket being fired by -- by forces here on the ground in Gaza toward Israel. That occurred several hours ago and I'm told there was an immediate response by an Israeli drone striking that -- that -- that rocket battery, but I haven't gotten an independent confirmation.
LEMON: It could be on the other side of the building from where you are. Maybe -- certainly why you're not seeing it.
COOPER: Yes it's very possible. I mean it's -- it's hard to get a sense of the direction because the sound echoes. This is such, as you mentioned, a tightly packed city; 1.7 million people. And you know people are living right on top of each other and so kind of echoes ricochet off buildings. So unless you actually see where it landed, it's hard to get a sense of what part of the city was actually hit.
You have to hand it to Cooper. A little bit of a duck, and then he's right back to his report like nothing happened.
Could you be that calm with explosions going off all around you?
CNN.com has a close-up video of his response:
(HT New York Post)