January 29, 2006


ABC News Co-Anchor Bob Woodruff and a Cameraman Injured in IED Attack in Iraq (DEEPTI HAJELA, Jan 29, 2006, AP)

ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and a cameraman were seriously injured Sunday in an explosion while reporting from Iraq, the network said Sunday.

Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt were hit by an improvised explosive device near Taji, Iraq, and were in serious condition at a U.S. military hospital, ABC News President David Westin said.

The two were embedded with the 4th Infantry Division and traveling with an Iraqi Army unit.

Mr. Woodruff is a friend from Colgate University and an especially decent guy. Please join in praying for him and Mr. Vogt.

ABC News' Bob Woodruff and Cameraman in Stable Condition After Iraq Attack (ABC News, Jan. 29, 2006)

"World News Tonight" co-anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt remain in stable but serious condition following surgery at a U.S. military hospital in Iraq. The two and an Iraqi soldier were seriously injured when their convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device in Iraq today.

"We take this as good news, but the next few days will be critical," ABC News President David Westin said in a statement. "The military plans to evacuate them to their medical facilities in Landstuhl, probably overnight tonight."

Behind enemy lines (Rebecca Costello, May 2002, Colgate Scene)
He interviewed former mujahidin commander Abdul Haq shortly before Haq was murdered by the Taliban. He reported from the rubble of Rish Khor, the al-Qaida training camp where terrorists learned how to blow up airplanes, bridges and buildings, after American bombs had decimated the site. He spent a day at a hard-line fundamentalist school, to shed light on a six-year-old Pakistani boy's unimaginable hatred of America.

ABC television viewers have learned much about events and life in Afghanistan and Pakistan since September 11 through the reports of foreign correspondent Bob Woodruff '83.

He was among the first reporters to arrive in Islamabad after the attacks.

"We [Woodruff and his wife, Lee McConaughy Woodruff '82] were ready to go for dinner for our `lucky' thirteenth wedding anniversary," he said. "I was in my office in London. Someone on the news desk said, `Come out here and look at this, a plane has just hit the World Trade Center.' Everyone was very confused. Then the other plane hit and I just turned to the bureau chief and said, `This has got to be Bin Laden. We should get to Afghanistan.' I was on the next plane out of London and went to Islamabad. That was as close as we could get. We tried to get the Taliban to give us visas to get into Afghanistan and they cut everybody off.

"This is the most important story that a lot of journalists have ever worked on, and that's true also with me," he said. "That drives you. The U.S. was attacked in a way that changes the world. To try to get to the root of that, the reasons behind it, is something that is not only challenging but extremely important.

"I love being out in the field. I love reporting," said Woodruff, who since taking his London-based assignment in Sept. 2000 has been to Jerusalem six times to cover the intifada and has spent much time in Belgrade, including covering the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. In late September he was recognized by USA Today as someone to watch among television correspondents covering the aftermath of the attacks.

"Part of being a reporter is that you have to be somewhat addicted to adrenaline, particularly when you're working in foreign situations, covering wars and conflicts and civil strife," Woodruff said. "You have to be curious about the world, to want to know what makes it tick, because it's never a convenient assignment. You're rarely in nice hotels. You often don't get very good food. You're almost always tired or jet-lagged, and you are throwing yourself into places where you have few or no contacts and have to familiarize yourself with the story and your surroundings in very short order." Woodruff noted that shortly after the Northern Alliance took control of Kabul in November, he even had to make do without a camera crew. "We were shooting our own stories by ourselves, cutting them on the computer and sending voice tracks back to London over an ISDN line."

Colleagues say his insatiable curiosity and work ethic, combined with a disarming personality, adventuresome spirit and true compassion, make Woodruff a strong correspondent.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2006 11:17 AM

Out of surgery and in stable condition as of mid-afternoon sounds about as good as can be hoped for, considering the circumstances and the initial reports of head wounds. Assuming both recover, it will be interesting to hear their account of what happened and how they were evaced from the scene.

Posted by: John at January 29, 2006 2:55 PM

Godspeed to your friend and his colleague.

Posted by: joe shropshire at January 29, 2006 3:54 PM