Former US VP Al Gore spearheads transport of hurricane victims to relief in home state

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Sunday, September 4, 2005

Knoxville, Tennessee — About 140 mostly weak or ailing victims of the hurricane ravaged city of New Orleans were flown here Saturday by a volunteer crew on a flight chartered by former United States Vice President Albert Gore.

The victims were greeted by Knoxville's mayor, many medical professionals, and other volunteers helping them board buses destined to area hospitals. There they were to be assessed and sent to a local Red Cross shelter.

Although Gore was present on the flight and assisted moving the passengers to the waiting buses, he "declined to take credit for the airlift, fearing it would be 'politicized.'"[1] An associate of Gore who assisted in the project, Dr. Anderson Spickard, said that although Gore chartered the flight, "we'll decide who pays for it later."

Spickard also remarked that originally the plane was to take two flights that day, but flight delays forestalled that plan. The plane will leave Knoxville Saturday evening, he said, to make another aid flight on Sunday.

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