January 30, 2006

ABC News anchor treated in Germany after Iraq blast

BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. television news anchor Bob Woodruff
and cameraman Doug Vogt arrived in Germany for further
treatment on Monday at a U.S. military hospital after being
injured in a roadside blast in Iraq.

Marie Shaw, a spokeswoman at Landstuhl Regional Medical
Center in western Germany, said the two from ABC News arrived
at 8:30 a.m. (0730 GMT). She said doctors reported "good signs
of early reaction and slow improvement."

Speaking to Reuters Television after a news conference,
chief surgeon Guillermo Tellez underlined the seriousness of
their injuries.

"Unfortunately as a result of what we call 'improvised
explosive devices', or bombs, these two individuals sustained
injuries to their upper chest, neck and face and brain," Tellez

He added, however, that patients with similar injuries "in
most cases, whether they are severe or not, many times do

"It takes time. It takes a tremendous amount of patience,
not only on part of the patients but the family, surgeons and
rehabilitation specialists to get these patients back to as
good as life as possible," he added.

Landstuhl is a big U.S. medical facility used by the U.S.
military to treat wounded servicemen and other Americans from
Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Shaw said Woodruff would be flown to the United States as
soon as he was stable enough for transport and a suitable
hospital had been found. She declined to provide further
details of the men's injuries or treatment.

At the time of the blast, both Woodruff and Vogt, an
award-winning Canadian cameraman, were traveling with an Iraqi
Army unit near Taji, outside Baghdad, ABC News said. The
vehicle came under small-arms fire after the blast, the network

Both Woodruff and Vogt suffered head and shrapnel injuries
even though they were wearing body armor, helmets and
protective glasses, ABC News said. Vogt also had a broken

On December 5 ABC named Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas as
co-anchors on its "World News Tonight" newscast. They started
on January 3.

Woodruff, 44, a father of four, was hired by ABC in Chicago
in 1996 after working for television stations in California,
Virginia, and elsewhere.

ABC is a unit of The Walt Disney Co.