Transcript for April 19, 1993: Branch Davidian complex in Waco, Texas, goes up in flames
Good evening in Waco Texas tonight 51 days after the standoff with the branch Davidian compound began they are searching for bodies. It was just after noon today in Waco when first the smoke and then suddenly the flames made it clear that something horrible was happening. The FBI has said that nothing it did started the fire that cult members themselves deliberately touched it off. David Koresh and 95 of his followers were inside seventeen of them children under ten years old. Tonight only eight people are known to have survived David Koresh is not among them. We begin in Waco with ABC's Charlie mark. We just before dawn armored vehicles began punching holes in the compound walls and roof. They use the boom mounted in front of Abrams tanks and inserted a nozzle in the opening nonlethal tear gas was pumped in in 152 bursts. This continued all morning. The davidians were known to have gas masks but even the best mass would lose effectiveness after eight hours and the FBI planned to do this all day. Authorities said it was another turn of the screw. We're using nonlethal means. We are not assaulting the place we had no FBI agents go into the compound. Even though we have probably had over 200 rounds of ammunition fired at us. No agents were hit in the FBI did not return the fire six hours into the operation flames could be seen pouring out of a second story window. And a person appeared on the roof to the left of the flames. The FBI said its agents saw two men start the fires moments later another fire broke out on the other side of the compound. The flames were whipped by winds appointed a thirty miles an hour the building one up like kindling. A wall and in Blaine was seen coming out a compound and tried to run back into the building. An FBI agent. Exit in his armored vehicle. Ran toward the building and physically rescued the female despite her tips took to fight him off. Fire trucks were not able to get close to fire. Koresh and often predicted a doomsday scenario. And warned that FBI agents would be devoured by fire if they tried to harm him. But it said suicide wasn't contemplated. We never win in. We deny there is fired this compound it was not our intention that this. Compound be burned down I can't tell you the shock and the horror that all of us felt. When we saw those flames coming out there it was oh my god they're killing themselves. Late this afternoon in the search for bodies was be gone but only a few have been filed by a found no sign of correction. The FBI says it was told the children could be found in the bunker but their bodies weren't there. They think now as the final act David Koresh put his seventeen children in the tower then ordered the building them on fire. Charles Murphy ABC news near Waco.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.