"60 Minutes" crew attacked by angry Chinese

Fri Nov 7, 2008 6:48am EST
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By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - A "60 Minutes" crew including correspondent Scott Pelley were jumped by a group of Chinese men who were upset that cameras were investigating toxic waste at a recycling plant for computer and other electronic waste, CBS News disclosed Thursday.

While the incident happened in June, the report will appear on "60 Minutes" on Sunday, along with a video of the incident.

It happened when the crew followed a box of computer monitors from Denver to Tacoma, Wash., and then across the Pacific Ocean to Guiyu, China. Guiyu is where the electronic waste is dismantled. The workers, who are paid $8 a day, use chemicals to burn away the plastic to get at other metals and many of them -- lead, mercury, polyvinyl chloride -- are cancer causing.

The crew included Pelley, producer Solly Granastein, associate producer Nicole Young as well as two camera operators and a sound engineer. Batteries also rained down on the crew; Young received a bruise when the men pulled a tripod from her hands.

But CBS News said a dozen men at the work site didn't like having the cameras show what they were doing, and attacked the crew to try to take their equipment.

"After a few minutes of filming, we were jumped," Pelley said on the "60 Minutes" report, which is available on CBSNews.com. "Several men struggled for our cameras. They got a soil sample we had taken for testing. But we managed to wrestle the cameras back."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter