Date: 11 September 2001
Location: United States: New York City, New York; Alexandria, Virginia; Somerset county, Pennsylvania
Type of event: terrorism
Four jetliners on domestic flights from northeastern U.S. airports were hijacked and crashed, three into buildings. Four or five hijackers aboard each aircraft used utility knives to subdue the crew, with a hijacker with flight training taking control of each aircraft. At 8:46 AM American Flight 11 was flown into floors 94 to 99 of the World Trade Center's north tower in New York City. At 9:03 AM United Flight 175 was flown into floors 78 to 84 of the Center's south tower. Both crashes resulted in fires which eventually weakened the towers' structural steel, causing the complete collapse of the south tower at 10:05 AM and the north tower at 10:28 AM. Most people not trapped by the fires had been evacuated from the towers at that point; however, hundreds of police officers and firefighters were in the towers. The World Trade Center collapse caused fires and/or collapses of several nearby buildings, particularly World Trade Center 7 at 5:20 PM.
At 9:43 AM American Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon in Alexandria, Virginia, causing a fire and partial collapse of a limited section at 10:10 AM. This killed 125 Pentagon personnel, injured 200, and killed all 64 aboard the aircraft, including 5 terrorists. The section of the Pentagon that was struck was being renovated, contributing to the low casualty count. Passengers on the fourth jetliner, United Flight 93, learned of these events via cellular phones and attacked the hijackers; this aircraft crashed into a field in Somerset county, south central Pennsylvania, killing all 45 aboard (including 4 terrorists), at 10:10 AM. The hijackers of this plane are believed to have intended to strike a site in Washington, DC, most likely the Capitol Building.
Fatalities due to the Trade Center strikes remain uncertain at 2,759 dead; another 43 missing could not be conclusively linked to the World Trade Center site. These figures include 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, 158 aboard the two aircraft, and 2,235 workers and visitors at the Trade Center. Fatalities aboard the aircraft include 88 passengers and crew on American Flight 11, 60 passengers and crew on United Flight 175, and 5 terrorists on each plane. Total fatalities at the Trade Center site include several hundred citizens of foreign countries: 27 were foreign residents (11 of the UK); 568 were born abroad. Foreigners included individuals from the United Kingdom, India, Columbia, Pakistan, Israel, and Puerto Rico. Another 8,700 were injured, of whom 6,391 received treatment. The attacks were conducted by Al Qaeda with the operation overseen by Osama bin Laden. The United States subsequently assisted opposition forces in Afghanistan in the overthrown of its Taliban ruling party, which has sheltered Al Qaeda.
Consequences: 2,993 killed, 8,900 injured
© 2017 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 26 November 2017.
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