ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff is in stable but serious condition after suffering a head injury and broken bones when an improvised explosive device went off while he was reporting from Iraq.
Also injured was cameraman Doug Vogt, 46.
Both men underwent emergency surgery in Iraq on Sunday before being evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. They were each described as being in serious but stable condition in ABC News statement released Monday.
“We take this as good news, but the next few days will be critical,” said ABC News president David Westin.
As reports surfaced on the incident, Tom Brokaw said on Monday’s Today show that after the attack, Woodruff turned to his producer and asked, “Am I alive?”
Officials tell ABC News that Woodruff, 44, and his photographer were wearing protective body armor, ballistic glasses and helmets but were exposed to the blast because they were standing in the hatch of an Iraqi vehicle at the time of the roadside bomb attack near Taji. They were embedded with the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division, according to CNN.
“I spoke with both of them,” said ABC senior producer, Kate Felsen, who is in Iraq. “Doug was conscious, and I was able to reassure him we were getting them care. I spoke to Bob also and walked with them to the helicopter.”
Woodruff’s wife, Lee (the couple have four children), is said to be flying to her husband’s side with family friend Melanie Bloom, widow of NBC newsman David Bloom, who died in April of 2003 of a pulmonary embolism while covering the Iraq war.
The Michigan-born Woodruff – along with Elizabeth Vargas – was named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight this month. They replaced veteran anchor Peter Jennings, who died of lung cancer last year.
In Iraq, Woodruff had reported extensively on the continuing unrest from Baghdad, Najaf, Nassariya and Basra.
Before moving to New York in 2002, Woodruff was stationed in the network’s London bureau. After the 9/11 attacks, he was among the first Western reporters in Pakistan and was one of ABC’s lead foreign correspondents during the war in Afghanistan, reporting from Kabul and Kandahar.
Vogt is a three-time Emmy award-winning cameraman from Canada who has spent nearly two decades based in Europe covering global events.
“He’s the cameraman we all request when we go to the field because he’s so good, a fantastic eye,” said ABC News’s Jim Sciutto, who is covering the war in Iraq.