; CNN Breaking News
Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

CNN Breaking News

VIEWS: 661 PAGES: 61

This is an example of CNN breaking news. This document is useful for studying CNN breaking news.

More Info
  • pg 1
Terrorist Attack on United States
Aired September 11, 2001 - 08:48 ET

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: This just in. You are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there.
That is the World Trade Center, and have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into
one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

CNN Center right now is just beginning to work on this story, obviously calling our sources and trying to
figure out exactly what happened. But clearly, something relatively devastating happening this morning
there on the south end of the island Manhattan.

That is, once again, a picture of one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

VINCE CELLINI, CNN ANCHOR: We could see these pictures. It‟s obviously something devastating that
has happened. And again, there are unconfirmed reports that a plane has crashed into one of the towers
there. We are efforting more information on the subject as it becomes available to you.

LIN: Right now we‟ve got Sean Murtagh -- he is a CNN producer -- on the telephone.

Sean, what can you tell us what about you know?

SEAN MURTAGH, CNN PRODUCER: This is Sean Murtagh. I just was standing on the vice president of
the vice president of finance for CNN.

CELLINI: Shaun, we‟re on the air right now. What you can tell us about the situation?


CELLINI: Yes, Sean, you are on the air right now. Go ahead. What you can tell us?

MURTAGH: I just witnessed a plane that appeared to be cruising at slightly lower-than-normal altitude
over New York City, and it appears to have crashed into -- I don‟t know which tower it is -- but it hit
directly in the middle of one of the World Trade Center towers.

LIN: Sean, what kind of plane was it? Was it a small plane, a jet?

MURTAGH: It was a jet. It looked like a two-engine jet, maybe a 737.

LIN: You are talking about a large passenger commercial jet.

MURTAGH: A large passenger commercial jet.

LIN: Where were you when you saw this?

MURTAGH: I am on the 21st floor of 5 Penn Plaza.

LIN: Did it appear that the plane was having any difficulty flying?

MURTAGH: Yes, it did. It was teetering back and forth, wingtip to wingtip, and it looks like it crashed
into, probably, 20 stories from the top of the World Trade Center, maybe the 80 th to 85th floor. There is
smoke billowing out of the World Trade Center.

LIN: Sean, what happened next? Does it appear to you that the plane is still inside the World Trade Center?

MURTAGH: From my angle -- I‟m viewing south towards the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade
Center. It looks like it has embedded in the building. I can‟t see, from my vantage point whether it has
come out the other side.

CELLINI: Sean, what about on the ground or any debris that has hit down there?

MURTAGH: My vantage point is too far from the World Trade Center to make any determination of that.

LIN: Did you see any smoke, any flames coming out of engines of that plane?

MURTAGH: No, I did not. The plane just was coming in low, and the wingtips tilted back and forth, and it
flattened out. It looks like it hit at a slight angle into the World Trade Center. I can see flames coming out
of the side of the building, and smoke continues to billow.

CELLINI: Generally, is that a trafficked area in New York for aircraft?

MURTAGH: It is not a normal flight pattern. I‟m a frequent traveler between Atlanta and New York for
business, and it is not a normal flight pattern to come directly over Manhattan. Usually, they come up either
over the Hudson River, heading north, and pass alongside, beyond Manhattan, or if they are taking off from
LaGuardia, they usually take off over Shea Stadium and gain altitude around the island of Manhattan. It is
rare you have a jet crossing directly over the island of Manhattan.

LIN: For our viewers who are just tuning in right now, you are looking at live picture of the World Trade
Center tower, where, according to eyewitness Sean Murtagh -- he is the vice president of finance and
eyewitness to what he describes as a twin-engine plane -- or possibly a 737 passenger jet -- flying into the
World Trade Center. It appears to be still embedded inside the building.

Sean, are you in a position to hear whether any sirens are going, any ambulances, any response to this yet?

MURTAGH: Not from my vantage point. I am probably 1 1/2 to two miles from the World Trade Center.

LIN: It is a remarkable scene: flames still coming out of the windows, black smoke billowing from what
appears to be all sides. Obviously, windows are shattered, and steel is jutting out from the structure right

CELLINI: Sean, we are looking at these pictures.

MURTAGH: I see them in my office. I have them on all my TVs.

CELLINI: And you are telling us you believe the plane remains embedded.

MURTAGH: I can‟t tell from my vantage point.

LIN: Sean , thank you so much for your eyewitness account there.

Right now, we want to go to our affiliate NYW, reporting on this as we speak.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little girl in his arms?

JIM RYAN (ph), WNYW REPORTER: Did you see what happened, sir? Did you see what happened?
What happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was in the PATH train, and there was a huge explosion sound; everyone
came out. A large section of the building had blown out around the 80th floor.

RYAN: Was it hit by something, or was it something inside.


RYAN: It was inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked like everything was coming out. All the windows and the papers.

RYAN: What is on the sidewalk?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn‟t see anything. I just ran, and everyone on the passenger train just ran. I
don‟t know if anyone was hurt, but I assume they were because the windows were all blown out.

RYAN: Thank you.

You have to assume a very, very terrible situation if that is indeed the case, because I‟m sure there were
people up there.

We have lost -- again, our transmitter is on top of the World Trade Center. So we, apparently, have lost
contact with Dick Oliver.

But we are on the phone with an eyewitness.

Rosa, can you hear me.

Is Rosa there?


RYAN: Rosa?


RYAN: This is Jim Ryan here in the studio. What is your last name, please?


CELLINI: Again, you are looking at pictures now. We understand from a CNN vice president, Sean
Murtagh, who was an eyewitness to this, that a commercial jet has crashed into one of the towers of the
World Trade Center. You can see the smoke billowing out. There are flames billowing out there, a
commercial jet crashing into one of these towers. At this point, we do not have official injury updates to
bring you. We are only now beginning to put together the pieces of this horrible incident.

LIN: Just a few second ago, we were tuning into one of our affiliates in New York, WNYW.

We want to go to an eyewitness on the telephone right now.

Jeanne, what can you tell us what you saw?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can tell you that I was watching TV, and there was this sonic boom, and the
TV went out. And I thought maybe the Concorde was back in service, because I‟ve heard about that sonic
boom. And I went to the window -- I live in Battery Park City, right next to the twin towers -- and I looked
up, and the side of the World Trade Center exploded. At that point, debris started falling. I couldn‟t believe
what I was watching.

LIN: Can you hear anything from your position now, ambulances, sirens?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. Positively. There are crowds of people downstairs in Battery Park
City. Everybody‟s come out from the buildings. This is the financial area in Manhattan. There are a lot of
fire engines; I can see them from my window.

LIN: Jeanne -- I don‟t know if you can tell which tower it is that is on fire, or the kinds of services that are
inside that tower.

JEANNE YURMAN, WITNESS: I can‟t tell what is inside. It‟s the northern tower versus the southern
tower, and it seems to be all sides of the building, from what I can tell. The west side, the south side, and it
looks like smoke‟s coming from the east side as well.

CELLINI: Jeanne, can you see any of the debris currently on the ground area?

YURMAN: Absolutely. It‟s continuing to flutter down like leaflets, and at first there was tons of debris,
and it continues to fall out. And it looks like these uppermost floors are definitely on fire.

CELLINI: Can you see any actual people in that area who may have been may have been hit by any of this
debris or were not able to get out of way? Can you see any crowds that are maybe too close to where they
should be? Anything like that?

YURMAN: No, I don‟t think so. It‟s not a highly trafficked area at the base of the World Trade Center. So
that is one fortunate thing.

LIN: Jeanne, we are continuing to look at pictures of this devastating scene, according to Sean Murtagh,
vice president of finance, who witnessed what he described as a twin-engine plane, possibly a 737. e was
almost absolutely sure it was a large passenger jet that went into that.

Jeanne, you are saying you didn‟t see anything initially. You didn‟t see a plane approach the building?

YURMAN: I had no idea it was a plane. I just saw the entire top part of the World Trade Center explode.
So I turned on the TV when I heard they said it was a plane. It was really strange.

LIN: Were you living in New York during the World Trade Center bombing?

YURMAN: No, I wasn‟t.

LIN: Fortunately so. When you say a sonic boom, did you feel anything? Were things shaking in your

YURMAN: Yes, you could feel it. It was a gigantic sonic boom. The TV went off for a second and went
back on. And the windows -- you felt the vibrations on the windows.

CELLINI: You were saying it‟s not a highly trafficked area usually. You can guesstimate how many people
may be in an area like that at this hour of the morning?

YURMAN: It would be hard to say. There is a huge courtyard between the two World Trade Center
buildings, and the only issue might have been tourists or business people out in this courtyard area, and
they possibly would have been hit. But the people that are immediately around the base of the World Trade
Center, I would say, at any given time, you‟re talking about maybe 20 or 30 people at best.

CELLINI: We were talking with Sean Murtagh earlier, and he said this is not normally an area where you
would see some sort of aircraft, certainly, obviously, that low. That is not a high-traffic area in terms of

YURMAN: I don‟t know about flights. I have a balcony down here in Battery Park City, and they have that
needle sticking out of the top of the World Trade Center, and I have always wondered if anyone would get
too close to the building and accidentally bear into it.

CELLINI: Jeanne, tell us a little bit about that area and how emergency crews would be able to access that
area. Would that be relatively difficult or easy to access for emergency people?

YURMAN: I would imagine it would be slightly difficult because to get around the base of the World
Trade Center building there is really only the one street entrance. The other sides of the building are
surrounded by other buildings in the court yard, and so it‟s just this westside highway, this one major street
that runs up the west side of Manhattan that makes it accessible for the fire engines. And you know, it‟s
amazing to sit here and watch this building on fire and you‟ve got this tiny little fire engine that I‟m

CELLINI: That‟s all you see right now, is the one fire engine?

YURMAN: Well, where the fire engines are it‟s a little bit obscured by other buildings.


LIN: Jeanne, let me ask -- I know I‟m asking you to be a bit of an expert on the World Trade Center, but
there‟s a famous viewing deck for tourists on one of the towers. When you say that this is the North Tower,
is this the one that services a lot of the tourists to get to the view and get to the restaurant at the top.

YURMAN: As a matter of fact it is. And, as I‟m sure you can see, there‟s a ton of smoke coming out right

I‟m just guessing, the fire seems to be worse on -- it looks like it‟s about 15 floors down from the top of the

LIN: Yes. One of the eyewitnesses, one of our affiliates I was talking to, said that she thought this was on
the 80th floor. We know there is open-air deck 110 stories high and the glass-enclosed observatory is on the
107th floor. So there is the possibility that people may very well be trapped up there.


LIN: All right, thank you so much, Jeanne Yurman...

YURMAN: You‟re very welcome.

LIN: ... eyewitness here to a loud sonic boom, she described, as she was sitting inside her apartment, and
she looked up and saw the side of the World Trade Center exploded into flames and black smoke.

We are going to join another one of our New York affiliates, WABC for their live coverage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... plane overhead, and then all of a sudden -- I thought it sounded kind of loud,
and then I looked up and all of a sudden it smashed right dead into the center of the World Trade Center. A
big flash of flame, fire coming out from all over, then all the bricks -- it‟s a huge hole right now. It almost
Looks like the plane probably went through. I‟m not sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Winston (ph), can you see -- are you on the north side there where the plane
made contact?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, when you say a huge hole, one of our earliest witnesses, Libby Clark (ph),
said not much of the plane came down off the building, much of it went...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it went totally into the building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‟s in the building, from what you can see?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, can you see if there is a lot of debris downstairs, Winston?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, because it looks like it‟s inverted. With the impact everything went inside
the building.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing that came out was a little bit of the outside awning. But I‟d say
the huge -- the hole is -- let me just get a better look right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‟d say the whole takes about -- It looks like six, seven floors were taken out.

And there‟s more explosions right now -- hold on -- people are running, hold on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should hold on just a moment. We‟ve got an explosion inside...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The building‟s exploding right now. You‟ve got people running up the street.

Hold on, I‟ll tell you what‟s going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, just put Winston on pause there for just a moment...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, the whole building exploded some more, the whole top part. The building‟s
still intact, people are running up the street. Am I still connected?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Winston, this would support probably what Libby and you both said that perhaps
the fuselage was in the building, that would cause a second explosion such as that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that‟s what just happened then.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would -- certainly...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are running up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are getting word that perhaps...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, hold on, there some people here -- everybody‟s panicing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, Winston -- you know, let me put Winston on hold for just a moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. How much longer are we staying on? I‟m inside of a diner right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Winston, you know what, if you could give us a call back. I just don‟t
panic here on the air.
Let‟s just take some of our pictures from News Chopper 7.

Now, one of our producers said perhaps a second plane was involved, and let‟s not even speculate to the
point, but at least put it out there that perhaps that may have happened.

The second explosion would certainly back the theory from a couple of eyewitness that the plane fuselage
perhaps stayed in those upper buildings.

Now if you look at second building, there are two -- both twin towers now are on fire.

Now, this was not the case, am I correct, a couple of moment ago. This is the second twin tower now on
fire. And we‟re going to check on the second flight, if perhaps that had happened.

This all began at about 8:48 this morning. Again, what we know in case you are just joining us, a small
plane, not a Cessna-type or five or six seater, but instead, perhaps a passenger flight ran into the north side
of the World Trade Center.

As you can see, the second explosion that you are looking at now in the second twin tower has spread much
debris, much more debris than the first explosion of the first accident. If there is -- is Winston still on the
line with us?

OK, he‟s not there.

But do we have -- I‟ll just talk to my producer. Do we have eyewitness that perhaps sees better than we do
from the pictures?

Again you can see that there is debris falling off.

OK, we actually have an “Eyewitness News” reporter, Dr. J. Atlasberg (ph) who was downtown at the time
and he is on the phone with us live.

Dr. J., what can you tell us?

DR. J. ATLASBERG (ph), REPORTER: Hello, Steve.

I‟m actually uptown at 86th and Riverside. I can see the World Trade Center from about half the building up
to the top. And about five minutes ago, as I was watching the smoke, a small plane -- I did -- it looked like
a propeller plane, came in from the west. And about 20 or 25 stories below the top of the center,
disappeared for a second, and then explode behind a water tower, so I couldn‟t tell whether it hit the
building or not. But it was very visible, that a plane had come in at a low altitude and appeared to crash into
the World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. J, we‟re going to take a look at videotape just moment ago of the second
plane hitting the World Trade Center.

That is spectacular pictures. I don‟t know if you could see the plane, and that too was a passenger plane, if
perhaps some type of navigating system or some type of electronics would have put two planes into the
World Trade Center within it looks like about 18 minutes of each other.

You want to go -- we have another copy. There is the second plane. Another passenger plane hitting the
World Trade Center.

These pictures are frightening indeed. These are just minutes between each other. So naturally, you will
guess, and you will speculate, and perhaps ask the question: If some type of navigating equipment is awry,
the two commuter planes would run into the World Trade Center‟s at the same time.
Our director -- you are speaking in my ear at this point.

You are looking at live pictures right now of the World Trade Centers.

Again, we now have two passenger planes within 18 minutes of each other smashing into the World Trade

Dr. J., are you still with us on the phone?

ATLASBERG: I‟m still with you, Steve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. J, this is just frightening pictures indeed. And I would assume, or you would
naturally think that...

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: You have been listening to some of the coverage provided by affiliate
WABC out of New York City.

Let‟s go now and check our other affiliate WNBC to get the latest -- I‟m sorry, WNYW, WNYW, live
coverage here of this amazing picture we‟re getting from lower Manhattan, two planes, one hitting each of
the twin towers, at the World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... very difficult too. They come by and they say, what happened, what
happened? And you just got to say, something hit the building and then something hit both buildings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw clearly -- we didn‟t see the first one, but we saw clearly that a plane
deliberately crashed into the -- one of the upper floors of the World Trade Center, that was the second
plane. So two planes crashed into the upper floors of each of the World Trade Center towers. And I‟m just -
- I understand now that the Port Authority Headquarters are in one of those buildings somewhere near that

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jim, I don‟t know whether we‟ve confirmed that this was an aircraft, or to be
more specific, some people said they thought they saw a missile. I don‟t know how people could
differentiate, but we might keep open the possibility that this was a missile attack on these buildings.

Ali (ph), I must say that we have an eyewitness who said it was a large plane that crashed first. And then as
we were watching the live picture here in the studio, we saw a plane crash into the -- crash into the other
tower of the World Trade Center. And again, let‟s to be sure, there it is. There it is, the plane went right
through the other tower of the World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is a very hard thing to watch.

HARRIS: These are incredible pictures that we‟re watching this morning, thanks to our affiliate WNYW in
New York.

You are looking at this picture, it is the twin towers of the World Trade Center, both of them being
damaged by impacts from planes. We saw one happen at about maybe nine minutes before the top of the
hour, and just moment ago, so maybe 18 minutes after the first impact, the second tower was impacted with
a -- by a another -- what appeared to be, another passenger plane. In fact, we‟ve got some tape replay of

Do we have the tape available right now?

Here is the tape. You see the plane coming in from the east side and it goes into the building with the
flames and the smoke billowing out the other side of the tower. It‟s hard for me to tell exactly which is the
north side and which is the south side. But it appears it‟s coming out of south side there.
Incredible pictures. These happened just moments ago, and I believe we have someone with us on the line,
Ira Furman? We have IRA Firmer, former NTSB Spokesman. You are watching these pictures as well with
us, are you not? IRA FURMAN, FMR. NTSB SPOKESMAN: Yes, I‟m with you on CNN.

HARRIS: What can you make of what we have seen, particularly with this replay we just saw moments

FURMAN: That‟s absolutely inexplicable. There shouldn‟t be any aircraft in that area, much less
something heading what looked like deliberately for the World Trade Center tower.

HARRIS: You don‟t think there is any this could be any kind of an accident, no kind of a navigational
equipment failure or some sort of a navigational quirk by beacons or whatever?

FURMAN: No, you‟ve got incredibly good visibility at this point, and no pilot is going to be relying on
navigational equipment in such a circumstance that would cause them to crash into the World Trade Center.

HARRIS: How far out of way from an approach to either La Guardia or Kennedy would a plane have to be
to hit the World Trade Center?

FURMAN: There are approach these come up along the Hudson River, which to the west of the World
Trade Center, and those aircraft usually wind up going into La Guardia. So you can come within a mile
owe two of the World Trade Center. But it is such a visible object as you are approaching New York City,
that it‟s just not possible for a pilot during the daytime to have taken a course that would put it right into the
World Trade Center. The second occurrence within a few minutes is beyond belief.

HARRIS: As you could see, there definitely is no weather problem. So weather would definitely be ruled
out as a factor in this case?

FURMAN: Yes, the course is a normal course for commercial pilots coming into New York. It certainly
appeared from the video on CNN, that the second aircraft was heading for the tower, and that it was a
commercial-size aircraft.

HARRIS: Could you tell, have a better idea what size of plane was? It was kind of hard for me to tell. You
are expert in the matters. Could you look at the tape and tell me what size the plane was?

FURMAN: It would have to be slowed down, and you need more than one angle on it, because you want
see how many imagine engines are on it? The shape of the tail.

HARRIS: Guys, could we replay the tape right now? Do we have the tape right now of the second plane
impacting. We‟re going to put that tape on in just a second. Here we are about to roll it now.

If you can, sir, I don‟t want you to speculate. But if you can, give us idea what you might think might be at
play here, what kind of plane we‟re talking about, or at least what size, if we‟re talking about one that
would hold say 100 people, one that would hold 300 people. From what you see -- back the tape up further
than that, guys.

Here we go.

FURMAN: It‟s very hard to get a perspective on it. I don‟t know how far away we are with this. But that
looks to me like it could be certainly a passenger jet and one of those aircraft that could hold 100 or more
people. I caution you at this point to wonder whether or not that airplane was occupied by more than just a
pilot or crew. We don‟t necessarily know that there were any passengers aboard that airplane.

HARRIS: Understood, understood.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Daryn Kagan joining the conversation here. Sir, but there is no
indication there would be any air traffic on purpose in the area of the World Trade Center at this time of
day, or any time of day for that matter?

FURMAN: Not directly into the world trade center?

KAGAN: No, but even close to it? you.

FURMAN: You would be clearing the World Trade Center by a few miles. Normal operations. And when
you are looking at the pictures that you see, with all this smoke and fire and all of that, it‟s just absolutely
unbelievable to think that a flight crew that wouldn‟t ordinarily see the World Trade Center, wouldn‟t
ordinarily be on course would not see this as flaming beacon to avoid.

KAGAN: Let me ask you this about the airspace. Given that it appears two airplanes have flown into the
World Trade Center in 18 minutes, is it possible to shut down the airspace and keep another plane from
doing something just like it?

FURMAN: I don‟t think that this represents an accident.

And so I don‟t think that we‟re talking about having to now keep other aircraft away. This picture that
CNN is broadcasting live is probably from a range of a couple of miles away, and you can see that.

KAGAN: No, certainly that. But if there was somebody intentionally trying to do the same thing again, is
there a way to shut down the airspace to keep things out?

FURMAN: You can‟t shut down the airspace. There is no gate, there is not fence in airspace. All you can
do is broadcast that that airspace is closed. But if someone is intent on breaking through it, that happens
with our military airspace all the time off the coast.

HARRIS: I want to bring up a couple points if I may. We have been told that President Bush has been
informed of this incredible tragedy happening in New York. He did have an event scheduled at 9:00 this
morning, which we were going to cover here, and he has just canceled that event. We expect he will have
some comments fairly soon, and we will bring those to you live the moment that we understand he is
available. But I‟d like to ask you once again, Ira, if I can get to back asking you about this particular crash.
Is it possible that those who are tracking planes, either at La Guardia, can give us some more information
about exactly what happened here. Were these planes I guess using beacons to come in, or was there some
sort of identification of these planes, as they approach the New York area?

FURMAN: Yes, there should be, if they were under air traffic control. You‟ve got one eyewitness telling
you that The first aircraft flew from Westchester and flew down through Manhattan, and directly into the
World Trade Center, presumedly the north tower. And now you‟ve got -- you‟re showing the other aircraft
coming in, looks to me like it would be from the West, into the other tower.

Those planes could be, should be, normally would be under air- traffic control. But it is also entirely
possible for aircraft to fly into, through or over New York, or in this case into a building in New York,
without being under the control, and we use that word advisedly. All that means is information is what air
traffic control is. And just operate and do whatever they want, if they don‟t follow the rules of air traffic

HARRIS: Ira Furman, we thank you very, very much for your insight. And the longer we talk, the less
convinced many will become that this was an accident. We thank you very much for your insight.

KAGAN: More information on that just ahead.

Now we want to bring in Todd Harris (ph). Todd on the scene, saw what happened.

Todd are you with us?
TODD HARRIS: Yes, I had a perfect view, and the plane was coming in. I noticed it a second before it hit
the building. It looked like it was moving slowly, and it lined itself up to hit the building directly.

KAGAN: Are you talking about the first plane or the second plane?

HARRIS: The first plane.

KAGAN: Now, Todd, tell us exactly where you are, where you had this great view.

HARRIS: I was on highway 278, like a dead-on view of the side that hit building.

KAGAN: All right, Todd, hang on, we‟re going to continue our conversation. Leon has something to jump
in here with.

HARRIS: Yes, I‟m checking the wires even as we speak. The Associated Press is reporting right now that
the FBI in Washington is investigating reports that these two plane crashes the result of foul play. There is
a report here by the Associated Press of a possible plane hijacking. They don‟t say two. But they say a
possible plane hijacking.

Let‟s go to Kelli Arena who‟s on the phone right now from Washington -- Kelli.

Kelli Arena, are you there? .


HARRIS: What have you learned?

ARENA: Hi there.

Well, an FBI official has told CNN that they are investigating, but they have not yet determined whether or
not this was indeed a terrorist act. The official that I spoke to said that so far, there has been no
communication, no one claiming responsibility for either of those crashes. There is an investigation under
way. If there is anything to be said officially, it will come out of the New York City field office of the FBI,
which is right now involved in that investigation to find out whether or not it was.

But I have to tell you, I repeat, right now the FBI has not determined whether or not this is a terrorist act,
although they are investigating.

HARRIS: All right, thank you very much. Kelli Arena, we appreciate that.

Daryn, back to you.

KAGAN: All right, let‟s go ahead and bring back in Todd Harris. Todd, are you still with us?

We don‟t have Todd.

OK, once again, if you‟re just joining us, the breaking story that we‟re following out of New York City.
Within the span of 18 minutes, two separate planes crashing into the World Trade Center. The rescue
operations under way, not clear -- we will show you -- this is second plane, after first tower already on fire.
Let the pictures tell the story. You saw it live here on CNN as it happened the plane crashed right into the
side of World Trade Center, causing a huge explosion.

And we‟re showing you live pictures now. Smoke and fire taking place in both towers of the World Trade
HARRIS: It appears that second plane that we actually did have on videotape actually turned. And I have to
think, I‟m not an expert in these things, so I don‟t know, but it would seem as though that move actually
may have caused much more damage.

These are incredible pictures, as you can see here.

KAGAN: Let‟s keep the pictures here. Joe Tractsonburg (ph) joining us on the phone. Joe, are you with us?


KAGAN: Can you tell us what your vantage point is and what you‟ve seen so far?

TRACTSONBURG: Well, I heard on the radio that one of the towers was on fire. And we went to a high
point in our building, which is on the 25th floor, and you had a clear view of the both World Trade Centers
and the one that was smoking hard, and there was another plane that was flying low, and we just looked at
it, and before we know it, it was just kamikaze, boom, right into the other tower, and mass explosion,
windows flying. It was horrible. I‟m still distraught looking at it.

KAGAN: Were you close enough to see or get a general idea of what kind of plane that was that flew in the
second time?

TRACTSONBURG: Well, I‟m not an expert on planes, but it didn‟t seem like a big passenger jet. It was
smaller type plane, because it made some pretty radical turn, and flying low. And you‟re not used to seeing
big planes flying over Manhattan, because I don‟t think you‟re allowed to. But it was pretty tough.

KAGAN: And explain to me again, what your vantage point is, where you are in the city looking at this?

TRACTSONBURG: We‟re in Chelsea. It‟s -- like 25th Street, 7th Avenue, it‟s clear looking all the way
downtown, and you could see the building, you know, the whole downtown, because it‟s a clear day, and
it‟s a disaster.

KAGAN: And once again, describe for us what you saw as that plane went into the second building.

TRACTSONBURG: That plane just flew straight into the second building on the downtown side it appears.
It was just a huge explosion. And smoke just immediately, fire started immediately coming from the second
tower as it hit, and there was glass flying everywhere.

KAGAN: Looks like we have a little bit of audio problems. So I‟m going to say thanks to Joe Tractsonburg
for talking to us and telling us what he saw.

We are watching it right here, live on CNN, as that plane went it. He had a closer vantage point, and as you
can see, as you heard, Leon, he doesn‟t think it was a big jet, but a smaller plane, from where he could see

HARRIS: Well, we do have the tape of a recounting by another eyewitness. We want to go to some tape
we‟re getting from our affiliate WABC in New York, where they interviewed an eyewitness who saw the
second crash as it happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say the whole takes about -- we saw six, seven floors were taken out, and
there‟s more explosions right now. Hold on, people are running! Hold on!

UNIDENTIFIED WABC REPORTER: Hold on just a moment. We‟ve got an explosion inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The building is exploding right now. You‟ve got people running up the street.
Hold on, I‟ll tell you what‟s going on.

UNIDENTIFIED WABC REPORTER: OK, just put Winston on pause there for just a moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole building just exploded some more, the whole top part. The building‟s
still intact people are running up the street. Am I still connected?

UNIDENTIFIED WABC REPORTER: Winston, this would support probably what Libby and you both
said, that perhaps the fuselage was in the building that would cause a second explosion, such as that. That‟s
what just happened then.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are running out.

UNIDENTIFIED WABC REPORTER: We are getting word that perhaps...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, hold the people here -- everybody here is panicking.


KAGAN: Keep in mind the first plane hit about 8:48 a.m., so there had to already be a number of people at
work inside the World Trade Center.

We‟re going to go right now and bring in Rose Arce, one of our producers here at CNN. She‟s with us on
the phone, and has with her a number of people who have escaped the building -- Rose.

ROSE ARCE, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, there‟s a huge crowd out. There are hundreds of people on the
streets that come from south to north. I mean literally thousands of people that have been running from
inside these building. It‟s a very heavily trafficked area in downtown. Many of them are inside the building
when they felt the explosion. And they say there was just pandemonium. There was no warning, no alarms,
no anything.

Everyone just raced from their desks, ran downstairs and now there is a steady of stream of folks running
away from the building. Some people fearing that there will be another explosion. And when they saw the
second plane, convinced that this was dangerous. There is an actual flood of folks escaping downtown
midtown Manhattan right now.

KAGAN: And, Rose, do you have anybody with you that could talk about being inside the World Trade
Center when this happened?

ARCE: Right now, honestly, there scores of people literally running behind me. There is debris on the base
of the building that has continued to fall. As you know, even as far as a block away from the building. And
what‟s happened is everyone seems to have figured out that there‟s ongoing danger, and there‟s just a
stream of folks running as quickly as they can uptown away from this.

KAGAN: Understandably. What about rescue efforts? I would imagine there is still a number of people
inside those buildings.

ARCE: Right now. What you see right now, is there are trucks trying to get through. And people have
actually jumped from the crowd and are trying to help direct traffic to try to get emergency vehicles there.
There‟s no traffic going in the other direction, but because of the flow of people, it looks like some
emergency vehicles are actually having trouble getting to the scene.

KAGAN: And from you are standing, is there any kind of command center, any place that people are being
directed toward?

ARCE: Right now, what there is, is there is crush of emergency vehicles and rescue vehicles, but they don‟t
seem to be quite organized in any direction. There‟s fire department vehicles on the one side, where you
see the smoke coming out of the building.

On the other hand, you see groups of police officers trying to organize the crowd, and in more orderly
fashion. I think there seems to be some fear on their part that such a huge crowd of people might injure
each other on the way out.

KAGAN: All right, Rose Arce, on the ground there, near the World Trade Center. We continue our
coverage live, with the live pictures as we go.

HARRIS: And we‟re just now getting word again from the Associated Press now, saying that the crash of
these two aircraft into the towers, the World Trade Center in New York, appeared to be an act of terrorism.
This, they are quoting a U.S. official. They did not say which department of this -- this U.S. official was
speaking from, or the authority this official was actually carrying at this particular point. But they are
saying that a U.S. official is now saying to the Associated Press, it is -- he is saying at least that these two
aircraft crashes that we have seen into each of the towers of the World Trade Center are the act of

We are just getting word now that President Bush is going to be coming out, and he‟s going to have
comments momentarily, we understand. We are keeping an eye on the picture from Sarasota. He is going to
be returning to Washington almost immediately, we understand -- Daryn.

KAGAN: And as you mentioned, President Bush is in Florida today. We‟re supposed to have an education
event just minutes from now. That has canceled.

Our Major Garrett is traveling with the president.

Major, maybe you can tell us a little bit more on the president‟s immediate plans.


President Bush, as you said, will make a statement here at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota
at the catastrophe in the twin towers in New York. Following that statement, the president will board Air
Force One and return immediately to Washington. We are told by White House officials traveling with the
president in Sarasota that he was notified either shortly before 9:00 or shortly after. We don‟t have an exact
moment of the notification of the president. We believe his chief of staff Andrew Card told him of the
events in New York City. The president has been monitoring them as best as he can.

He was at one moment this morning sitting, reading a book to some of the elementary schoolchildren as
scheduled. Reporters asked him if he was aware of the situation in New York. He nodded a bit gravely, and
said he would have something to say about that shortly. We are expecting that statement any moment now.
I can tell you here in Sarasota with those traveling with the president, they are trying to sift through all of
the amazing and terrifying -- both pictures and details as they can get them from New York City. But no
confirmation here from White House officials about what this in fact is, whether it‟s accident or terrorism.
They are trying to gather information as best they can, give it to the president, and trying to keep thing on a
very calm and even keel as possible.

KAGAN: And on that not, Major, it sounds like that exchange of questions with the president came at what
would be a sensitive time if you were sitting in front of a bunch of schoolchildren and not wanting to scare
the children.

GARRETT: Well, precisely. And the president has a way of letting reporters know that it‟s either an
appropriate time or inappropriate time to take questions. He does that in many different environments,
many different situations. Clearly this morning, with a crowd of children, he wanted to keep an even keel,
keep the situation under control as best as possible. He just nodded and said -- we‟ll talk about this later.
KAGAN: So once again, we do expect to hear from the president soon. A timeframe on that?

GARRETT: Within the next 10 minutes or so. Again, things are very much in flux, things a bit confused.
The event here, which is scheduled to talk about education reform, talk about the importance of reading,
that has been scrubbed. And the president trying to gather whatever information, all the information he can
from various White House sources, make a statement, and then get aboard Air Force One, and get back to
Washington just as soon as he can.

KAGAN: Major Garrett traveling with the president in Sarasota, Florida. Major, thank you very much. And
of course, As soon as the president begins to speaks, you will see those comments live here on CNN --

HARRIS: I want to inform you we‟ve just gotten word according to Reuter‟s news service, trading on the
markets in New York have been postponed indefinitely, and we will try to keep an eye on that. We can‟t
expect that to get under way anytime soon. You just heard Major Garrett moments ago this investigation --
we‟re just not getting reports from the Associated Press, saying that U.S. officials are saying this is an act
of terrorism.

Let‟s go now to our David Ensor, who‟s on the phone right now, and give us some more information on
what may be at stake there -- David.

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leon, I can just tell you that U.S. officials are also telling me
that the -- this is clearly not an accident in their view, and they do believe that terrorism is at the root of
this. They believe that this is a terrorist act.

However, they have very little other information. Obviously, law enforcement agencies will be taking a
lead on this, trying to find out who is -- who was flying the planes, whether they in fact had turned away
from their regular flights and so on, so very little information.

HARRIS: David, we‟re going to have to cut you off. President Bush is speaking.

Planes Crash Into World Trade Center And Pentagon Also On Fire
Aired September 11, 2001 - 09:31 ET

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: David, we‟re going to have to cut you off.


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Leon, on the heels of the president‟s remarks, CNN has learned that at
least one of the planes involved in this hit on the World Trade Center was an American Airlines 767, a
Boeing aircraft that took from Boston.

What happened to that airplane as it took off from Boston and how it ended up at the World Trade Center
are details we‟ll have to fill in as we go.

But, let‟s go ahead and bring in our David Ensor. David, you were saying before we interrupted for you for
the president‟s remarks?

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unfortunately, the amount of detail that the officials are
tracking this have is pretty sketchy at this point. But I was just saying that officials are calling this an act of
terrorism. They‟re saying that‟s clearly what it, clearly not an accident. And law enforcement agencies, the
FBI and others, will be taking the lead on this, officials say. And clearly, obviously, they will first try to
ascertain who did this. What nationality are they. What‟s behind this?

That‟s really all I can say. There are several places around the government -- there are groups of official
gathering and setting up crisis centers to try and deal with the flow of information on this, which, as you
can imagine, is going to be considerable as the day progresses.

KAGAN: And so far, as far as we know, no one has been taking responsibility for this?

ENSOR: There have been no claims of responsibility, and U.S. intelligence officials say they had no
warning of anything like this coming along.

KAGAN: All right. David Ensor, thank you for joining us on the phone.

Once again, you can see that information at the bottom of your screen. Two different planes have flown
into the World Trade Center within the last hour. One plane was an American Airlines Boeing 767 from
Boston. In terms of how many people were onboard that plane and if it was forcibly taken from Boston into
New York, we still have yet to learn.

HARRIS: We‟re joined now on the telephone by the former Federal Emergency Management Agency
director, James Lee Witt.

Director Witt, you are watching these pictures with us this morning. Your comments?

JAMES LEE WITT, FMR. DIRECTOR, FEMA: Well, it‟s just horrible. There‟s no doubt. I did see the one
plane flying into the building. Just unbelievable, something like this.

But, you know, we‟ve been -- for several years now we‟ve been working on terrorist type events, and this is
apparently one of those events, do not know yet, but apparently it could be. And right now I know I really
feel for those families. And but -- Ritchie and the New York Emergency Management in the state of New
York, and I know they‟re very busy right now, and the FBI and the law enforcement. But, this is one of
those crisis management as well as consequence management situations that they‟re going to have to be
dealing with.

HARRIS: The first thing this calls to mind to many of us, who have been here to cover these events, was
the World Trade Center bombing back in -- was it „96 when that bombing act occurred?

WITT: Yes.

HARRIS: And you were director of FEMA at that particular time. Since then, has there been a plan put in
place for something like this to recover from this, or to actually to go through the exercises necessary to get
people out and to recover from it?

WITT: Well, they have a very good plan in place. For even events not as -- I don‟t if they put a plan in
place for an airline crashing into it. But I know they take every scenario they can think of and try to deal
with a plan that will help them respond in the most effective way. And you know, we even practiced
airplanes flying into igloos at some of the arsenals around the United States.

So you try to practice for everything you can think of, and hope for the best that you can be able to respond
and hope none of this happens but --

HARRIS: On that note then, did you run -- how many -- did you run any kinds of tests at all, or any kinds
of theoretical tests or computer tests or anything on something like this?

WITT: We didn‟t, I‟m not sure if New York City did. I‟m sure they did. But, you can‟t --- you know, how
can you stop something like this without having anti-aircraft guns sitting on top of buildings, you know?
You just can‟t. You can prepare the best you can be, and that‟s all you can do.

But I‟m sure that they‟ve got everything in place, and doing -- they are always do an excellent job up there
in New York.

HARRIS: Director Witt, Director James Lee Witt, former director of FEMA, we thank you very much for
your time this morning. We‟ll be talking with you later on.

KAGAN: As we continue our coverage, our Aaron Brown in New York City joining now.

Aaron we see over your left shoulder there, the building still smoldering of the World Trade Center.

AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a grotesque site to look at from about 30 blocks away,
from where we are. For those of you just joining us, let‟s just briefly recap what we know.

About an hour ago, about 8:45 eastern time, one plane crashed into the tower -- the World Trade Center
tower on the right, the first of those towers that you can see behind me. And then about a half hour later, a
second plane crashed into the tower number two, that‟s the one to the left, where the darker smoke is
billowing out right now.

We have reports -- CNN has been told that one of the planes was an American Airlines 767, that had been
hijacked from Boston. We don‟t know if that was the first or the second plane that hit the tower. But, we do
know that it was a 767 American Airlines jet, at least that‟s what CNN has been told by sources so far this

We also have reports of 1,000 injuries, that is unconfirmed. We always remind you in moments like these,
that as these initial reports come in, it is very early. I can tell you driving in, it is extraordinarily chaotic on
the west side of New York. It is the kind of situation where numbers change, where situations change. But
this is the information we have now, that there are at least 1,000 injuries, and we‟re working on that. As
you can see the smoke billowing out of the Trade Center.
In Sarasota, Florida, now Major Garrett joins us. Major, what are you being told?

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hello. President Bush has notified -- or
talked, rather, to Vice President Cheney. He has talked to the FBI director Robert Mueller, and he has also
spoken with the governor of New York, Governor Pataki about this catastrophe.

The president will convene a national security meeting upon his arrival back at Washington. Those are the
four pieces of information we have gathered here in moments since I just spoke to you on the telephone.

The president, as we just saw a few moments ago, identifying this as an apparent act of terrorism against
the United States. Said there will be full investigation. The entire apparatus of the United States
government, FBI, national security, CIA, the vice president, who you may remember was placed in charge
of a domestic terrorism study group within the White House, to monitor and develop plans to deal with a
catastrophe of just this kind. All those parts of the government have been mobilized.

The president is heading back to Washington very soon.

Here‟s what the president said about this catastrophe of the Twin Towers in New York just a few moments
ago here at a Sarasota elementary school.


BUSH: Today we‟ve had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an
apparent terrorist attack on our country.

I have spoken to the vice president, to the governor of New York, to the director of the FBI, and have
ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families, and to
conduct a full scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act.

Terrorism against our nation will not stand.

And now if you join me in a moment of silence.

May god bless the victims, their families and America. Thank you very much.


GARRETT: The president was first notified about the situation in New York by National Security Adviser
Condoleeza Rice. Then, the second notification updating him with more details on the situation came from
his chief of staff Andrew Card, who‟s traveling with the president here in Sarasota.

The day was supposed to talk about education reform. But the president is scrubbing all of hose plans,
marshaling all the resources of the federal government, talking with his aides as he can and preparing to fly
back to Washington to again, as we said, convene a National Security Council meeting.

Back to you.

BROWN: Major, before you get away, and I apologize if you - if I‟m asking you to repeat something, I‟m
having a little trouble hearing you. Do we know exactly where the president was when he was told?

GARRETT: He was just arriving here in Sarasota at Emma E. Booker (ph) Elementary School. He had
taken an early morning jog this morning in Sarasota. Had just arrived here with the presidential motorcade.

Then the spectacular, horrific pictures began appearing on television sets here at the elementary school. The
president received a telephone call from Condoleeza Rice, national security advisor. Then he received an
update from his chief of staff, Andrew Card, traveling with him. Then it was made clear to the press
traveling with the president he would make a statement.

Shortly before that statement he was actually sitting down with some children here at the elementary school
reading them a book. Reporters asked him if he knew about the situation of the Twin Towers. He nodded
and said he would talk about it momentarily, in fact he did. We just heard the president‟s statement,
declaring this an apparent act of terrorism.

Yes, Aaron.

BROWN: Let me interrupt you here, Senator Ted Kennedy - Senator Kennedy is speaking in Washington.


Terrorism Strikes In The United States in a Massive Attack
Aired September 11, 2001 - 09:42 ET

AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris Plant (ph), a CNN producer, is at the Pentagon,
where there is a significant fire.

Chris, you‟re on the phone, can you hear me OK?

CHRIS PLANT, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, I can hear you just fine.

BROWN: Tell me what you know.

PLANT: Well, arriving at the Pentagon a short time ago, there was a huge plume of smoke which continues
to rise from the west side of the Pentagon over in the area where there is a helicopter landing zone. It‟s
along route 27 if you‟re looking at maps of the area.

The building is currently being evacuated and police and emergency units are, of course, responding from
all around the building and from the local Arlington County Fire Department. The plume of smoke is
enormous, it‟s a couple of hundreds yards across at its base. It is billowing into the sky, hundreds of yards.

It‟s impossible for me to say from this side of the building whether the building itself is on fire or up in
flames or exactly what caused this. I did not hear an explosion but there is certainly a very, very significant
fire in this enormous office building on the West Front. The building is being evacuated. The Defense
Protective Service officers, the police force for the Pentagon, are on a very tight string right now. As I
arrived I was held at gunpoint.

BROWN: OK, Chris, Chris, Chris, let me interrupt you for a second, just hang on. Don‟t go anywhere.

We‟re getting reports now that the White House is being evacuated as well. We don‟t know precisely what
is - caused that decision to be made, whether that is precautionary, whether something has happened at the
White House.

Again the president is in Florida this morning. So the president is not in any danger, but the White House,
of course, is fully operational, whether the president is there or not. And we have reports that the White
House is being evacuated.

Getting back to Chris in a moment, we also have reports now from Chris Plant on the scene that the
Pentagon is being evacuated as well. All of this coming on the heels of a large fire at the Pentagon. And we
can‟t tell you at this moment whether that fire is inside the Pentagon building itself or on the grounds of the

And these two planes that you can see behind us that hit the World Trade Center, That‟s Washington, the
Old Executive Office Building, I believe. And you can see the plume of smoke behind it, which we will
assume until we are told otherwise that‟s the fire at the Pentagon. I believe that‟s correct, as you look now
at Washington.

So we‟ve got a major fire at the Pentagon, and the Pentagon being evacuated, the White House being
evacuated. And we don‟t know precisely the circumstances there, what caused that decision. And we have
these two enormous explosions at the World Trade Center here in New York, where two planes slammed
into the buildings.
We are also getting reports now that there is a fire on the Mall in Washington, that part of the Capitol that
runs essentially from the Capitol to the White House in kind of a straight line going up Washington, D.C.
And we have reports of a fire there. What you are looking at now is Washington, at least if I can see the
monitor in front of me, it‟s a little tricky from where we are. But that looks to me like the Old Executive
Office Building, and then in back of it you see the large plume of smoke. Here in New York, sirens
everywhere, people out in the streets staring at this grotesque scene of the World Trade Center buildings.

It was in February of „93, if memory serves me correctly, that there was an attack, a terrorist attack on the
World Trade Center. A bomb exploded in the garage of the Trade Center on that day in February of „93.
Now here we are in the year 2001, and what appears to be deliberate attacks on the World Trade Center.
And then we have these two reports out of Washington, the fire at the Pentagon.

Chris Plant is still on the phone, I do believe - all right, we‟ll get to him in a second. Greta Van Susteren is
at National Airport in Washington.

Greta, what are you hearing?

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I just got off my plane, I was headed to New
York, planes were stalled. I‟m at National Airport on the parking lot. I heard a huge the noise. I looked over
in the direction of the Pentagon, there is a huge plume of smoke coming from that area. I can‟t verify it‟s
the Pentagon because there are these buildings in the way. You see particles coming down in the air. Some
sort of white particles. I can‟t tell what that is. I‟d heard a noise slightly before I‟d seen the smoke. I didn‟t
know if it was an airplane or it was a bomb, but it was certainly something. And obviously there‟s a terrific
fire going on.

The skies are clear here except for the tremendous amount of smoke that‟s coming from there, lots of
sirens, from all different directions, and of course, a lot of uncertainty here at National Airport.

BROWN: Greta, thank you. I want to just, again, recap as we pick up small pieces of information along the
way. Associated Press is reporting that a plane, it was a plane that crashed at the Pentagon. And the
Pentagon is being evacuated. There‟s a large fire there, and that is the smoke you see in the shot that you
are looking at now. Whether that fire is in the building itself or outside we have not yet confirmed. There is
a fire on the Mall in Washington. The cause of the fire on the Mall in Washington we cannot yet tell you.
We can tell you that the White House has been evacuated. And we can tell you that two planes have
crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, all of this began just a little more than an hour ago, at
about 8:45 Eastern time.

Chris Plant, tell me what you‟ve learned since we last talked.

PLANT: Well, and speaking to people here at the Pentagon, as they‟re being evacuated from the building.
I‟m told by several people that there was, in fact, an explosion.

I was told by one witness, an Air Force enlisted - senior enlisted man, that he was outside when it occurred.
He said that he saw a helicopter circle the building. He said it appeared to be a U.S. military helicopter, and
that it disappeared behind the building where the helicopter landing zone is - excuse me - and he then saw
fireball go into the sky.

I‟m attempting to make my way around to that side of the building in my car right now to see if I can get a
better visual perspective on the scene on that side of the building. But I can tell you that security has
certainly clamped down. The U.S. Park Police another federal law enforcement department, has arrived in
force on the scene. There is a Park Police helicopter overhead, every car arrives at the gates where I was
located was being stopped by officers at gun point, everyone is being forced out of their vehicles as they
arrive at the Pentagon.

It‟s a very tense situation obviously, but initial reports from witnesses indicate that there was in fact a
helicopter circling the building, contrary to what the AP reported, according to the witnesses I‟ve spoken to
anyway, and that this helicopter disappeared behind the building, and that there was then an explosion.
That‟s about all I have from here.

BROWN: OK. Let‟s do this, Chris, why don‟t you continue reporting, and we will pass along a couple of
other things that we‟re picking up along the way. Trading at the New York Stock Exchange, the stock
exchange, as many of you probably know, but some of don‟t, is in that part of Lower Manhattan, not quite
as far down as the Trade Center, but is in that part of Lower Manhattan, and trading has been suspended
there. Bridges and tunnels coming into New York have been closed. That will create a whole different set
of problems. We are also being told that the FAA has suspended takeoffs and landings, and I want to make
sure I get this right, guys, that in all - at all airports around the country.

So air travel in this country has come to a halt this morning as clearly people are trying, people in
government, people, police forces, fire departments are trying to figure out what exactly is going on. There
are several, now, incidents that look for all that we can tell to be a major terrorist attack here in the United
States. So all airports, all across the country are closed, all bridges and tunnels coming into Manhattan are
closed, the Pentagon has been evacuated or is being evacuated, the White House is being evacuated.

The president, who is in Sarasota today to make a speech on education has spoken briefly to cameras and is
- will shortly make his way back to Washington. They are checking out Air Force One now.

Let‟s go to Atlanta, Chad Myers can talk to us a bit about the air traffic problems.

Chad, are you there?

CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, yes, all of the airports across the country have been
shut down. We started with zone New York, which includes Islip, Newark, JFK, La Guardia, all the way
down to Philadelphia, and then IAH, Houston, and then San Francisco, and then L.A. They were just falling
like a deck of cards. And then all of a sudden, the FAA just said we‟re shutting down everything, all flights
have canceled for another seven hours, which is about 5:00 Eastern time. And then we‟ll reignite there,
we‟ll take a look what‟s going on after that.

The probability of extension, as they call that, is high, which means even after 5:00, the airports may still
be shut down. We‟ll keep watching it for you here from Atlanta.

BROWN: Chad, just - and if you don‟t know, just say you don‟t know. Can you recall a situation where
every airport in the country had been shut down?

MYERS: Absolutely not, except in wartime, of course, Aaron, and obviously this is not that. But with all
the airports that - as they were going down from west to east, we could see them, and then we could
eventually see from New York. And then they canceled Boston as we got the report that the first flight, or
one of the possible hijacked flights did come out of Boston, and then it just started going down from there.
But never ever before have we ever seen all of the airports shut down like this, not this quickly.

BROWN: Chad, thank you. Stay on this for awhile, we‟ll get back to you.

We know that many people are just joining us. We want to get everyone on the same page before we move
on. So, one more time let‟s go through the sequence of events.

At about 8:45 eastern time, a plane crashed into the foremost of those towers that are the World Trade
Center. That‟s Air Force One you see in Florida, the president onboard. Obviously, extraordinary security
around the plane before the president got on, and the president is heading back to Washington.

A short time ago, the president made a statement. He said terrorism against our nation will not stand. The
government will hunt down those responsible. Mr. Bush said today we‟ve had a national tragedy. Two
planes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on the country.
Aired September 11, 2001 - 10:30 ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There have been frantic efforts to get people out of the tower. Now, this was,
again, this is tape, and you can see now whether that was an explosion or exactly what happened that
caused that second tower to collapse. We cannot tell you.

CNN‟s Kelly Wallace is on the phone with us.

Kelly, where are you? What can you tell us?.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, I am just about four blocks north of the location
of the World Trade Center was standing. I was actually en route to the command center. People really
starring in disbelief, and then, as you saw, of course, the pictures, watching that tower come down, people
just couldn‟t believe their eyes.

Police have been pushing people immediately, people turning around and started running ways -- blocks
away from the site. There is black smoke and this covering the air. You see people covering their mouths
with some handkerchiefs and their coats, and basically, you know, it‟s an unbelievable scene.

Most of the people are gone. The police are really pushing people away. There are a lot of people, as I was
make my way down, here, Aaron, people just starring, getting on the cell phone, crying, recounting stories
where they (UNINTELLIGIBLE), you know, basically had seen what happened earlier today, trying to get
in touch with loved ones, very concerned. And then, of course, some people watching the other tower come
down earlier, and then a group of people, then, watching this other tower coming down. A woman passing
me covered in soot.

Basically, the sky is just black, you can‟t even see down to lower Manhattan from the vantage point right
now. The police have cleared off all these streets, pushing people away. Police telling us if you have to get
out of here to get out of here, pushing people away in garages. It‟s an unbelievable scene -- Aaron.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can see in this shot, our viewers can, a helicopter shot coming across the
harbor, the Statue of Liberty prominent in the foreground and smoke and devastation and tragedy in the
background. A tragedy that continues to unfold and one that still has many, many unanswered questions.
We have a report now that a car bomb, a car bomb has exploded at the State Department. We are working
to confirm that as well.

Howard Safer (ph) is a former New York City Police commissioner, the top police job here in the city, and
he joins us for a few moments.

Mr. Safer, what do you see?

SAFER (ph): I see...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you look at that what do you see?

SAFER: I see something that is unimaginable. I see what is a police commissioner‟s worst nightmare.

This is the situation that, obviously, was well-planned, well- coordinated and, you know, the loss of life
that is take place down there is just incredible and is going to go strain the emergency service of this city to
the hilt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you -- are you hearing any specific information? Are you hearing anything
about the number of injuries, the number of fatalities, the number of people in that building, those
buildings, are you getting any information from your colleagues?

SAFER: Well, I know there are 50 thousand people who work in the World Trade Center. I know that
every ambulance and fire company in the city and -- has been called in and dispatched there. It‟s
unimaginable, but the loss of life is going to be huge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are as familiar with the city‟s plan or plans for these kinds of incidences as
anyone in the city. In all honesty, does the plan cover the scope of what appears to have happened here?

SAFER: No. We have an office up in emergency management. The plans for responding to a disaster are
probably as good as any in the world, but nobody ever would contemplate that we would lose the two
world trade centers and in this manner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me (UNINTELLIGIBLE) what is happening there, would you guess, in the
sense that, what are police doing? What is the first thing that has to happen? Triage?

SAFER: The first thing is triage. The first thing is to identify who can be treated, who cannot be treated, to
get those ambulances to hospitals, every hospital‟s emergency room is open and I‟m sure working right
now. And this is just a situation -- it‟s like a war zone, and you have to logistically treat it like a war zone.
You have to have your front lines, you have to have your support, and you have to have people who are
constantly in there doing something.

You know, I was also fire commissioner before I was the police commissioner, and it‟s no longer an initial,
unfortanetly, but a high- rise fire like that is almost impossible to fight. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this
point, has -- would you say that every police officer, and there are what, 40 thousand?

SAFER: There are 41 thousand police officers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty-one thousand police officers in the city have been called in?

SAFER: Every one of them. I know every firefighters has been called in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how many firefighters?

SAFER: There are 14 thousand firefighters, and I am sure we‟ll be getting help with equipment from our
adjoining communities as well. I mean, this is a logistical exercise that makes the first attack on the World
Trade Center, you know, relatively small.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of its scope?

SAFER: Because of its scope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it‟s placed in the building itself, that it was high up in the building, does that
complicate things?

SAFER: It does. Once you get up in the 10th floor in a fire -- it‟s almost impossible to fight a high-rise fire
above the 10th floor, except by sending firefighters up there and using hose stands, and then you run into the
water pressure problems.

I was just thinking about this not long after the Wworld Trade Center bombing, the engineer who designed
the World Trade Center told me that the World Trade Center was designed to withstand a 707 direct
impact. Well, obviously, that wasn‟t the case.

SAFER: We are getting reports and we are getting lots of reports and we want to be careful to tell you
when we have confirmed them and not, but we have a report that a 747 is down in Pennsylvania, and that
remains unconfirmed at this point. And so we will check on that.

I want to get back to the former commissioner in a moment, but, again, to briefly recap: You have buildings
in Washington now evacuated, the White House, the Pentagon. We have a report that there has been a
collapse, a collapse of part of the Pentagon itself; there was an explosion, you can see the Pentagon on the
right side of your screen, and that is a live picture as well. And the left side of your screen, you see the
situation here in lower Manhattan, in New York, where both of the World Trade Center towers have

This morning, as people were coming to work -- all airports in the country have been shut down.
International flights that were heading this way are being diverted to Canada.

The White House has been evacuated. The president was in Florida this morning, and he spoke briefly. And
said, in truth, the kinds of things and about the only kinds of things that you can say in moments like this;
that the government will do everything it can to hunt down whoever is responsible. This is, obviously, an
extraordinary crisis for the president, and the first crisis, major crisis like it, that he has had to face --
compared to the plane that was -- the forced down in China, that seems small right now compared to what‟s
going on here in New York and in Washington. And the president headed back on Air Force One from
Florida to the White House.

The White House itself has been evacuated. We are trying, now, to figure out where the relevant players in
Washington are. Where the vice president is, the national security team, where they are meeting. We are
working very hard right now to find out what, both the FBI, what the CIA, what the Secret Service knows.

It is chaotic now in two cities. You have major buildings that have been evacuated. It‟s very difficult,
obviously, to get phone calls through.

As you look at the Pentagon, and I suspect, we are also getting a report, as you look at these pictures of the
Pentagon, and in all honesty, suspect, you see them a little more clearly than I do, but part of the building
appears to me, as a look at it, to have collapsed. That‟s the Pentagon. And those pictures are live at 10:40
Eastern Time this morning. Though, we have a report now of a fourth explosion at the Trade Center.

And, Brian Palmer, our CNN Correspondent, is as close as he can get to the area.

Brian, what can you tell us?

BRIAN PALMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are in fact as close says we can get. I‟m not going to
give you an exact timeframe. But several moments ago, we were standing in front of the United States
courthouse, when we saw the second World Trade Center disappear from the skyline. It collapsed before
our eyes, and again, in a plume of ash and debris. People rushed north. We had a New York City police
department officer who witnessed the first collapse. But he actually had to dash off to duty. We have been
watching people crying. Some people had relatives in the buildings. They are not sure whether they are
being -- whether they‟ve been evacuated, removed from the buildings or not.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Was there -- Brian, did it sound like there was an explosion before the
second collapse, or was the noise the collapse itself.

PALMER: Well, from our distance, what -- I was not able to distinguish between an explosion and the
collapse. We were several hundred yards away. But we clearly saw the building come down. I heard your
report of a fourth explosion. I can‟t that. But we heard some boom, and then the building fold in on itself.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: We are told, Brian -- hang on. We are told that the secretary of defense
is being evacuated from the Pentagon. The Pentagon portion of the Pentagon has collapsed, after -- I am not
precisely sure on this, and I want to tell you when I am not precisely sure, but apparently, a plane or
pentagon hit part of the pentagon itself, as you take a look at the pictures there. I must say every time we
hear a plane coming up overhead, it gets a little nervous where we are.

Whatever is happening and whoever is responsible, we have no way of knowing if it is played out yet, or if
it is just going on. So every time we hear a plane go by, we wonder what situation is and where it is --
headed. We are told by officials here. They believe that is a fighter jet. Federal office buildings around the
country, is that correct, all over the country, have been closed, or just in Washington?

PALMER: Well, we are -- we were not allowed in to the federal courthouse here, where CNN maintains a
workspace. The officers just said, we are now allowing you in. I think that‟s a security precaution.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Got it. Stay with me a little bit. All federal office buildings now, all
federal office buildings in Washington, D.C. are being evacuated as we speak to you now.

There are a variety of reports, and it‟s important to try and put this in some kind of order, but the most
important things to tell if you are just joined in is that what has all makings of an extraordinarily well
planned terrorist attack on both Washington and New York has taken place this morning. The Trade
Centers here in New York, the two World Trade Center towers, have collapsed, after being hit by a plane.

Maria Hinojosa joins us on the phone. She is in New York, down near the building.

Maria, what can you tell us?

MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I‟m actually at St. Vincent‟s Hospital right now,
where at about 45 minutes, 40 to 45 minutes after the first explosion, they started seeing patients here.
What I am hearing, and I have not been in the ER yet, is that they have at least 1-- patients or more, that
several of those people were dealing with issues of smoke inhalation, many of them throwing up, that there
were several people who went directly to the operating room, who were in very critical condition.

Outside the hospital, people are coming in, trying to help, to donate blood. Essentially, everybody here at
this hospital is in a state of shock. I mean, I walked into the testing area, and the women who usually just
draw blood are extraordinarily moved and shocked. They‟re moving in and out of the emergency room to
try to help as many people as possible.

Now outside, about a block away from here, where you really had a bird eye‟s view of the two twin towers,
which are the landmarks of New York City. People stopped, entire traffic has stopped. People have poured
out of buildings and were watching, in fact, as one of the towers collapsed.

And then, you are really seeing lot of trying to move north, away from any place downtown, near the
World Trade Center area. People are just walking. The subways are stopped entirely, all around the area of
the World Trade Center. You can‟t get below 14th Street, and there it just feels like a massive exodus of
people walking north to get a far away from the area as they possibly can.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Maria, I know Kitty Pilgrim is with you as well. Tell us what you have
been able to report on.

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I‟m actually reporting from Kennedy Airport at the United
terminal, and I was here this morning flying out, when they made an announcement about 20 of 10:00 that
all flights were grounded. People just thought it was the normal course of airport business these days, and
so not much reaction, and then the news started to trickle through. It was not official announcement, made
over intercom.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Kitty, let me interrupt for just a second. The Associated Press is
reporting that federal officials fear that a second hijacked plane or another hijacked plane is headed towards
the Pentagon, and I‟m looking for the time on this. We will continue to check that out.

Kitty, I apologize for interrupting. Why don‟t you continue?

Did we lose her?

PILGRIM: Everyone didn‟t react, but then the news came through. I have never seen Kennedy in this
condition. I have been here many times. People are in absolute shock. No one is talking. They were just
staring at each other with their arms dropped to sides. A pin could drop in United terminal. There were a
couple hundred people there, and no one was saying anything.

After about 20 minutes, people rushed to phones. You cannot phone out. There is no real access back to
city. People are trying to get back. They have unloaded the baggage from the planes. They have asked that
everyone pick up their bag and take it, and take it out of the terminal, and take it home, and they are asking
everyone to please leave. People are just finding it difficult to leave. They are not officially evacuating
Kennedy Airport at this point, at least at the United terminal. The attendants have been asked to stay.
Again, there are still several hundred people standing around, not knowing what to do. No one is even

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: And again for people -- Kitty, thank you -- not familiar with New York,
Kennedy is the major airport handling international flights into the city. It is also an enormous complex of
seven, or eight or nine terminals.

PILGRIM: That is exactly right. And in fact, the baggage has been unloaded into a separate terminal from
where I am, and they are asking people to walk over, pick up their bags, and take them out. It is virtually
impossible to get from place to place at Kennedy, and of course bridges and tunnels into Manhattan are
virtually inaccessible at this point. No one has anywhere to go.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Kitty, thank you. We‟ll get back to you. Chris Plante at the Pentagon
has more. He joins us on the phone.

Chris, what you can tell us?

CHRIS PLANTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, this is Chris Plante at the Pentagon.


PLANTE: Can you hear me?

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Chris, we hear you, go ahead.

PLANTE: All right, the area to the west of the Pentagon has been evacuated further back by law
enforcement and military officials as they anticipate a second aircraft arriving at the Pentagon. It has been
deemed to be threatening enough where I saw at least one F-16 fighter jet in the air over the Pentagon,
headed to the west, where the plane was reportedly coming in from. Again, they are saying here a second
aircraft is expected to arrive at the Pentagon sometime soon. They take it seriously enough that they have
scrambled at least one fighter jet that I saw, probably either from D.C. Air National Guard or the Maryland
Air National Guard, both of which fly F-16s.

The west front of the building of the Pentagon along Route 27 has now partially collapsed. About a 60-foot
section of the building laterally has collapsed, the entire five stories. The building has obviously -- the fire
has is scrambling inward in the building toward the courtyard, and this wedge, as they call it, of the
Pentagon, the westernmost wedge, was just refurbished, and was in fact reinforced for terrorist attack, and
for just this sort of thing.
I know that there were a significant number of injuries. I‟m unaware of any numbers on fatalities at this
point. People here who came from the building are suggest that surely there were fatalities, but I can not
confirm any. I have spoken to a number of people that I know who‟ve pulled people out of rubble. There
were severe injuries, a number of helicopters here evacuating, injured people, and I‟m told by one senior
military source, that the plane in the side of the building has been tentatively identified as a Boeing 767, a
full-sized airliner, Boeing 767. But that at this point, they are waiting for arrival of a possible second plane,
which has been deemed to be a threat, and as I said, fighter jets have been scrambled to address that matter.


America Under Attack: Terrorists Attacks in Both Washington D.C. and
New York
Aired September 11, 2001 - 10:00 ET


UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: That‟s as frighten a scene as you will ever see.

Again, this is going on now in two cities. We have a report that there‟s a fire at the State Department as
well and that is being evacuated.

So we‟ve got fires at the Pentagon, evacuated, the State Department, evacuated, the White House
evacuated, on the basis of what the Secret Service describes as a terrorist threat.

We have two explosions, two planes hitting the World Trade Center here in New York.

And what this second explosion was, it took place about -- part of the south -- that would be the south
tower has apparently collapsed.

We don‟t know if that was from the impact of this first plane that hit it or whether something else has
happened there. We‟ll work on that.

Our Washington bureau chief Frank Sesno is on the phone.

Frank, what are you hearing?.

FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron (ph), I just drove past the Pentagon across the 14 th
Street Bridge which is now choked with traffic. We‟re beginning to hear emergency sirens and rescue
personnel standing out across Washington.

There is a gigantic black billowing cloud of smoke that is rising over the Pentagon.

You heard Jamie McIntyre a moment ago describe where that was coming from. I can also tell you that
local radio and addition to talking about evacuations as we‟ve heard at the Pentagon, the White House is
reporting that the Capitol building has been evacuated and the Treasury Department has been evacuated.

Washington, DC, the nation‟s capital is exceptionally tense and clearly taking steps as if it is virtually under
siege here. We don‟t know specifically, as you said, what has taken place at the Pentagon, but this is very
serious, striking at heart of the national government. And as John King was explaining...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frank, it‟s Aaron, I need to interrupt you for a second.

Again, there has been a second explosion here in Manhattan at the Trade Center. We are getting reports that
a part of the tower -- the second tower, the one a bit further to the south of us has collapsed. We are
checking on that.

We are also told that the Sears Tower in Chicago has been evacuated, and what I can‟t tell you on that is
whether there was something specific that happened there, whether there was an attack on that building,
yet, or whether there was a warning or whether there was a threat of some sort or whether that‟s simply
What we can tell you is that just in the last several minutes here, two or three minutes, a second or a third --
I guess, technically, extraordinary event has happened here in lower Manhattan.

You can see this extraordinary plume of smoke that is -- or was at least the second tower the World Trade
Center. Or perhaps three, four minutes ago you could from where we were standing see the second building
that is just a bit to the south of the first building, but you can‟t see it anymore, it is covered with smoke. A
large plume of smoke also coming still from the first tower, where the first plane hit at about 8:45.

We can, by the way, if we can cue the tape, we can show you the second attack, or at least the second
explosion in the Trade Center that occurred at about 9:15 Eastern time.

As you can imagine -- there you can see to the right of your screen a plane coming in. We do have a report
of a hijacked American Airlines plane.

It comes into the south side and then boom. You can see the fire coming out the front or the north side of
the building, I guess that would be the northeast side of the building.

And then just in the last several minutes there has been a second explosion or at least -- perhaps not an
explosion perhaps part of building simply collapsed, and that‟s what we saw and that‟s what we‟re look at
as smoke now just covers lower Manhattan.

Almost as far to the end of Manhattan island as you can get is where the Trade Centers are.

The Sears Tower in Chicago has been evacuated and we continue to check on the circumstances there.

The Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House have been evacuated in Washington as well. The
president has -- we can show you now what happened just a few moments ago at the Trade Center. Watch
the building to the left, to the back of those two building. This is just a few minutes ago. We don‟t know if
something happened, another explosion, or if the building was so weakened it just collapsed.

But -- we have a -- one of our producers on the phone, and I didn‟t get the name, so why don‟t we just go

Are you there?

ROSE ARCE, REPORTER: Yes. This is Rose Arce calling from New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rose, tell me what you know.

ARCE: Just a few minutes ago we saw -- there‟s a portion of the building where the first plane struck and it
seemed to be buckling inside itself, almost as if the top of the building was going to fall. Shortly after that,
to people, it‟s hard to tell whether they were being pushed or they physically approached themselves, the
sort of the river side of the building, would be the west side of the building, and appeared to jump from the
top floors, just under where you see the smoke and fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is extraordinary. The South Tower, the World Trade Center has collapsed.

Again, tell me how long ago was it that you saw this?

ARCE: This must have been about five minutes ago, and prior to that, you could see heads popping out of
windows right beneath where that big, gaping whole is, so there appeared to be people alive right below
where the crash point was and were trying to find some way out of there. And just as the thing started
buckle you saw them plummeting from that top floor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, and perhaps this is stating the obvious, we apologize for that, but
obviously people were already at work here at the Trade Center when this happened. We don‟t know how
many people have been hurt in all of this. We have no idea at this point, as you look at an aerial shot
coming from -- I guess that would be coming from the south of the Trade Center, or what is at least the
Trade Center behind those huge plumes of smoke.

All airports across the country, every airports in the United States has been shut down as the FAA and the
government tries to figure out exactly what has happened, what is at risk, what is not, who is behind it, are
there more explosions, more attacks yet to come.

Here in New York, trading on the New York Stock Exchange has been suspended, at least for now. All
bridges and tunnels coming into the city have been shut down as the police try to clear the way.

We can tell you, as we were coming in, perhaps an hour ago, there was a convoy -- I can‟t think of a better
word -- a convoy of fire and police trucks racing down the west side highway, and this is in the middle of
rush hour. Obviously, every available fire unit here in Manhattan has been brought to the Trade Center.

Outside of the White House, John King, our senior White House correspondent -- John?


They have pushed us even further back away from the White House now and there are more than a half
dozen fire trucks. Some of the Secret Service now patrolling the perimeter in Lafayette Park, which is
directly across from the White House have automatic rifles drawn to keep people away from the park, and
they‟re policing back and forth. You can probably here additional fire apparatus arriving on the scene.

Senior White House staffers who were evacuated, all they could tell us is that they were told that there was
a credible threat on the White House as well, and that they were told to evacuate the premises.

What we do not know is whether or not the vice president and the national security team have stayed inside
of the White House situation room.

We know that they were directing and monitoring operations from there, as of just about 15 minutes -- 15,
20 minutes ago. But the White House staff, the executive office building staff, and all of the office
buildings around, including the Treasury Department and some government and some non-government
office buildings, people have been evacuated out into the street, and again, the secret service now putting
up yellow police line tape, and some of them patrolling Lafayette Park with automatic rifles, which is a
scene quite extraordinary here across from the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John, tell us as best as you can, what the government‟s national security
apparatus will do right now? I mean, what do you guess is happening and where is it happening?

KING: Well, I don‟t want to guess at all, but from the White House situation room, a president or a vice
president can direct a war, can direct a full scale world war.

The White House situation room is where all information, it‟s acceptable to all information from the United
States military, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, from the Federal Aviation
Administration in this case. The White House situation room is prepared just for situation like this,
unfortunately, to be prepared in a time of crisis for the president to monitor incoming information and to
direct any U.S. military or nonmilitary emergency response.

The White House situation room is a bomb shelter for that matter. That part of the White House is a bomb
shelter. Whether or not they have stayed in there is unclear. We know in the past that would be the routine.
We just do not have the direct answer as yet because most of the staff, if not all of the staff, has been
evacuated from the premises. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I gather you‟re just not being able to get any
calls into the building right now, or at least not getting them answered at this point?
KING: Calls you get into the building are not answered at this point. And more fire apparatus showing up
now as we speak. We saw most of the senior staff come out. We have not seen the national security staff
that we would recognize, anyway, but I should note there are other gates from the White House.

We are on the north side...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John, you are being drawn out by the sirens.

Allan Dodds Frank of our bureau here in New York joins us on the phone.

Allan, where are you?


Our colleague Jennifer Westhoven also arrived. She was closer to the building. I am just south of Canal
Street, about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center.

Just Before 10:00, parts of the building began peeling away. People started screaming -- Jennifer tells me,
because she was a little closer to the building -- that the police began yelling, run, run, and thousands of
people started running away from the buildings as they were falling. That was, of course, followed by an
onrush of ambulances and special police vehicles. Some people have told us -- though I can‟t confirm this -
- that dozens of stories of the building have fallen away, maybe down as low as the 30 th floor.

AARON (ph): And again, just because we lost a little bit of the beginning, where are you physically now.

FRANKS: I am just out of the Holland Tunnel in downtown Manhattan, perhaps 10 to or 15 blocks north of
the World Trade Center.

AARON: Got it.

The pictures that our viewers are looking at was that collapse of the south tower a few minutes ago.

FRANKS: Correct.

AARON: Here in New York.

FRANKS: Yes, and moments after that, people began running towards us. Jennifer Westhoven, who is
normally at the stock exchange, was only about five blocks away, and she saw the same thing.

AARON: Allan, thank you. Let me go to one of New York‟s deputy mayors.


AARON: What are you hearing, Randy.

MASTRO: I only know what I have seen on television. I have tried to talk to some friends...

AARON: Hand me -- there we go. Hand me the microphone. There we go.

MASTRO: I only know what I have heard on television and tried to speak to some friends, and obviously,
phone lines, communication is difficult. You know, nothing prepares you in life for a senseless tragedy like
this one. But there is no city better prepared to deal with such emergency situations than New York City.

AARON: Tell me, based on the plan, what is happening 30 blocks away.
MASTRO: Sure. Mayor Giuliani established early on an Office of Emergency Management to coordinate
all of the government agencies involved, so you have coordinated leadership of police, fire, health, all of
the city agencies responding to that emergency. They have planned for this kind of event. Unfortunately,
this is not a unique concerns in the life of New York City or our country. Tragedies like this...

AARON: It may not be a unique occurrence, but it is a very rare and extraordinary one.

MASTRO: It is extraordinary, and therefore, in New York City, we have coordinated response, and they‟re
responding now and providing every help that they can under these extraordinary circumstances.

AARON: Hang on one second. We have a report now of an explosion on Capitol Hill, and we are checking
that out. We have a report of a plane crashing at the Pentagon, the Pentagon being evacuated. Fire on the
Mall in Washington, the State Department evacuated, and we have all flights shut down across the county
as officials sort out what is happening here.

Randy, back to you for a second.

If I recall this correctly, there is what was called a bunker, the mayor‟s bunker, for these sorts of events, in
the Trade Center, correct?

MASTRO: There is an Emergency Management Center at the Trade Center.

AARON: Clearly, the mayor is not there.

MASTRO: I have not spoken with the mayor, so I don‟t know his physical location, but I do know that that
coordinated emergency response started immediately. It‟s something that the city prepares for, and it‟s
something that under these tragic circumstances, the city is doing everything it can do to respond.

AARON: How much of the plan changed after the World Trade Center bombing, in „93.

MASTRO: There was no coordinated city response. There was no Mayor‟s Office of Emergency
Management. Rudy Giuliani established that. It‟s been one of the hallmarks of his tenure. And
unfortunately, there are circumstances like this one where that coordinated effort has to come into play and
is coming into play now.

AARON: If you can, stay with us for a little bit.


AARON: I suspect other questions are going to come up.

I want to go through again what we know here at this point and also point some things that are not
insignificant that we don‟t know. And one of the things we don‟t know is we do not now know how many
fatalities there have been, and how many injuries there are. We can only surmise that this has been
catastrophic, a catastrophic event here in New York, both Trade Center towers hit. One of them appears to
have collapsed. How much of it collapsed? These are very large -- in any case, we cannot tell you how
many injuries, how many fatalities there have been. This is one of those situations that is extraordinary
chaotic. Even in the best of planning, I think it‟s fair to say that it is chaotic. And officials are trying to do
many things at one time.

We have on the phone a pilot who witnessed these planes crashing into the World Trade Center.

Sir, can you tell me your name? John, can you hear me?

PILOT: Yes, I can.
AARON: John, tell me what you saw.

PILOT: This morning, we were at midtown Manhattan in a 31st floor of a building facing south. We saw a
767 flying low down the center of Manhattan Island, heading towards downtown Manhattan. At about
maybe 20 blocks north of the World Trade Center, we saw the plane veer to the left and fly directly into the
north side of the south tower.

AARON: So, this was the second plane that hit the tower, correct?

PILOT: No, this was the first plane.

AARON: Got it.

PILOT: This was the 767. AARON: John -- got it -- hang on.

Kate Snow‟s on Capitol Hill.

Kate, what can you tell us about the events there.

KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I am a couple blocks away from the
Capitol right now. I can tell you about a half hour ago, the Capitol building itself was evacuated. It was a
little bit chaotic. Everyone was running out of the building. People ran a couple of blocks away. Now have
now been pushed back by security. We‟re within two blocks of the Capitol.

I did see a plane, about a half hour ago, circling over the Capitol. Now whether that may have been a Air
Force plane, it‟s unclear. But that seemed to be the reason, according to security guards that I talked with,
towards the evacuation of the Capitol. They had seen something or heard something suspicious. They
evacuated the Capitol and the surrounding buildings, the office buildings -- at least on the House side,
where I am standing. There are three office buildings. Those have also been evacuated. We‟re seeing
members of Congress who are walking by us here on the sidewalk.

AARON: Kate.

SNOW: Go ahead.

AARON: Kate, I am sorry, and if you said this, I apologize, and I apologize to viewers too -- was there, to
your knowledge, an explosion at the Capitol?

SNOW: No, sir, there was not. I can see the Capitol from here, and everything looks to be fine. There was,
however, Aaron, a sound about five minutes ago that sounded like some sort of explosion, and everything
is in close proximity here in Washington. It could be that that may have been something that happened at
the Pentagon. We‟re not very clear on that. But we did hear a sound. We heard something that sounded like
a loud boom about five minutes ago.

AARON: And Kate, you are, again, about how far away from the Capitol building itself?

SNOW: I am standing on Pennsylvania Avenue, which is the main artery in Washington, D.C., and I‟m
about two blocks away from the Capitol. I did just see a spokesperson, by the way, for the speaker of the
House, Mr. Dennis Hastert, who tells me that Mr. Hastert and others leaders have been evacuated into what
he called the secure location. It‟s not clear where exactly they are, but they have been put somewhere

AARON: Because we can‟t see it at this point, give me a sense of what is looks like there? Are there many,
many people on the street?
SNOW: Yes, the sidewalks -- people are calm. I think most people really don‟t really know what is going
on. Most people haven‟t been watching the news. But the sidewalks are definitely full of people, where,
normally, at this time of the morning, there wouldn‟t be that many people out here. And as I say, I have
been passed by numerous members of Congress and staff who I know well have been coming past me,
asking me what has been going to.

AARON: Kate, why don‟t you hang around here and continue to report on that.

For those viewers who are joining us, at about 10:20 Eastern Daylight Time -- let me just briefly recap --
attacks on two American cities: New York and the capitol, in Washington. It began at about 8:45 Eastern
time, when a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. That building -- that was the building hit first --
and then about a half an hour later, a second plane -- and I a not sure if we have the tape available -- if we
do, we will show it to you -- you can see the second plane coming in from the right side of your screen
going into the tower itself. This is an extraordinary and troubling piece of tape.

The Justice Department is now being evacuated. The second attack on the Trade Center occurred about a
half an hour or so after the first one. We have a report, CNN has been told, that an American Airlines 767
jet was hijacked out of Boston today. We don‟t know which of those two planes hit the tower the second
time. Within the last 10 minutes or so, the south tower, or at least a portion of the south tower, has

CNN‟s David Ensor joins us from Washington.

David, where in the Capitol are you now?

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, I‟m in our bureau, but I have on the telephone
with me Barbara, who is the wife a friend of mine and who is an eyewitness to exactly what happened at
the Pentagon.

Barbara, can you hear me all right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I can hear you.

ENSOR: Well, what exactly did you see? Let‟s look at the Pentagon now, as you describe what exactly
happened at the Pentagon this morning?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As we were driving into town on 395, there was an exit. We were trying to get
off of the exit for the Memorial Bridge. On the left-hand side, there was a commercial plane coming in, and
was coming in too fast and the too low, and the next thing we saw was a go-down below the side of the
road, and we just saw the fire that came up after that.

ENSOR: How large was the explosion.


ENSOR: Was there a sound as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We -- that I can‟t verify, because the windows were up in the vehicle.

ENSOR: Was it clear to you what had happened?


ENSOR: So you believe it was a commercial airliner that was hitting the Pentagon?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, and I‟m not sure exactly where the Pentagon, where it was in
relationship top where the plane went down. You know, but it was relatively close to one another. Whether
it hit any of the Pentagon, I am not sure.

ENSOR: How low was the plane?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When it was coming down?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was coming on less than a 45 degree angle, and coming down towards the
side of the -- of 395. And when it came down, it just missed 395 and went down below us, and then you
saw the boom -- the fire come up from it.

ENSOR: Were you able to see what kind of plane, or what airline it belonged to?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I did not see what kind of an airline. I just assumed because we were so
close to the airport, that it was coming in to land.

ENSOR: But it seemed awfully low to you?


ENSOR: How big was the fireball?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I‟m spatially challenged at times, and it was pretty big.

ENSOR: What did you think was happening?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that that hit the ground and exploded.

ENSOR: Were you frightened yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, everybody stopped the cars, and we all got (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and so

ENSOR: All right, well, thank you very much. I appreciate you talking to us.

Aaron, back to you.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: David, thank you. CNN‟s David Ensor in Washington.

CNN‟s Brian Palmer joins us on the phone from here in Manhattan.

Brian, why don‟t you begin by telling me where you are.

BRIAN PALMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are in front of the criminal courthouse after being
pushed north slightly. We watched one of the towers of the World Trade Center disappear from the skyline.
It basically folded into itself into a plume of gray smoke. A crowd of thousands of people dashed up
Broadway, followed by emergency services personnel. That‟s what we know. We are watching the plume
of smoke and debris just sort of lost across lower Manhattan, and people are lining up at this pay phone
behind me, trying to find out whether their relatives are safe.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let me just briefly go to Randy. Randy, just look out there
and tell me what you are thinking, when you see what now appears that at least part of one of the landmark
buildings in this city, one of the most recognizable buildings in the country is gone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‟s the kind of moment you hope will never come. When you have been in
government, when you care as much about this city and this country, as a mayor like Rudy Giuliani does,
it‟s a moment you pray will never come, and you pray for the families of anyone affected by this tragedy.
But as a city, you know, we come together, and our emergency services provide every support they can in
the face of such a senseless tragedy.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: It‟s -- it is an unbelievable scene as you...


UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: ... look down. I mean, we stand here at some point every day
looking out at this city this time of year. It‟s extraordinarily pretty, and we see those two buildings high
above lower Manhattan, and you look out there today, and you see this gaping hole in one of them. This
plumes of smoke that continue to pore from the scene, and you know, that there is nothing behind, that
second tower, or at least parts of it gone. We are joined now, one of our affiliates, WYNW, in their
coverage here in New York.

Well, we will -- we‟ll try and make that connection again. In two cities now, and there are a lot of pieces of
information floating around. We need to try to button up some of this. We had a report earlier that we now -
- we believe that we can tell you it was not correct, that there was an explosion at capitol. There was none
as we now believe. There was no explosion at the Capitol. There -- air travel routed to Canada has been --
international flights going into the United States or into Canada, guys, into the United States, international
flights headed for the United States are being sent to Canada now to airports there, as all air traffic in the
United States has come to a halt. The FAA has shut down every airport in the country. And to our
knowledge, and we‟re -- this is to the best of our memory, that has never happened before. We‟re starting
to get some pictures of the scene from the ground here in Manhattan.

Again, this all started almost about an hour and a half ago, I guess, a little more than that. This is a live
picture of the scene now. We have crews on the ground, and they‟ve been trying to get tape back, so we can
show you the situation on the ground. As you can imagine, literally, thousands of police, fire, rescue
officials have converged on the scene. There are, and we don‟t know how many injured to be tended to, to
be taken to hospitals, and we continue to check hospitals to find out how many, the extend of injuries. We
do not yet know how many fatalities.

There is the scene. This is taped now from WABC here in New York. Their crews shot this picture, as you
see, fire trucks, and firefighters, rescue personnel at the Trade Center about 30 blocks from where we are
right now. And you can see these huge columns of smoke coming off of the front tower, and then a bit from
the back. As you see, again, the crews working their way towards the tower themselves.

It was 1993 that I suspect many of these same firefighters converged on these very same towers after the
bombing in the garage level. Help me with this. But I am pretty sure it was in the garage, right, when a
Ryder truck came in and blew up in the garage. I am not sure if it was A Ryder truck, but a truck came in
and blew up in the garage and that was in 1993.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard a big bang, and then we saw smoke coming out, everybody started
running out, and we saw the plane on the other side of the building, and there was smoke everywhere, and
people are jumping out of the windows over there. They‟re jumping out of the windows, I guess, because
they are trying to save themselves. I don‟t know. And -- I don‟t know. Everybody just doesn‟t know where
to go. They won‟t let -- everything is blocked out. They are telling us to get out, but there is nowhere to go,
and then I heard another plane was hit. And if you go by there, you can see the people jumping out of the
window. They are jumping out of the window right now. Oh, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: All right. Ma‟am, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: That is one of the witnesses to this extraordinary. These extraordinary
events this morning here in New York. Again, and I know that for many of you, you have heard this a lot.
But I think it‟s important, as people join us, as they do, in moments like this. They are coming in all of the
time, that there had been attacks in two American cities, New York and in Washington. The trade centers
here in New York have been hit by airplanes. In Washington, there is a large fire at the Pentagon. The
Pentagon has been evacuated. And there as you can see, perhaps the second tower, the front tower, the top
portion of which is collapsing.

Good Lord. There are no words. You can see large pieces of the building falling. You can see the smoke
rising. You can see a portion of this -- the side of the building now just being covered on the right side as I
look at it, covered in smoke. This is just a horrific scene and a horrific moment.

The president, who is in Florida today, is en route back to the White House. He took off a short time ago.
The White house itself has been evacuated on the basis of what the Secret Service says was a credible
threat on the mansion itself. We believe now that we can say that both -- that portions of both towers of the
World Trade Center have collapsed.

Whether there were second explosions, that is to say, explosions other than the planes hitting them that
caused this to happen, we cannot tell you.

Rose Arce, one of our CNN producers, is on the phone with us.

Rose, what do you got.

ROSE ARCE, CNN PRODUCER: I‟m about a block away, and there were several people that were
hanging out of the windows right below where the plane crashed, when suddenly you saw the top of the
building start to shake, and people began leaping from the windows in the north side of the window. You
saw two people at first plummet, and then a third one, and then the entire top of the building just blew up,
and splinters of debris are falling on the street.

Where I am right now there‟s a thick plume of smoke and you can see crowds of people, including
emergency workers and police officers. running from the scene screaming. And there‟s a school nearby,
where there were kids in the school yard. That has been emptied out and they‟re running up the street now

The whole sort of the neighborhood, I would say, several blocks up, is covered by this almost powdery
smoke, little tiny pieces of building you can see just floating in the wind around it. It‟s almost like a huge
cloud had kind of enveloped that part of lower Manhattan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. It is just one of those awful moments that you need to look at for a
minute or two to absorb exactly what has happened.

Two of the most recognizable buildings in the city of New York have been attacked and both of them
appear to have collapsed, at least in part. The second of the two collapses taking place just a moment or so
ago, perhaps two or three minutes ago.

There are also, apparently, coordinated attacks that have taken place in Washington on the Pentagon, the
State Department has been evacuateed.

Just a few moments ago, as we said, and perhaps 20 minutes after the first tower collapsed, we turned
around and saw what looked like sparks falling, and then the top part of tower number one collapsing.
These are shots from the ground of that scene.

The White House Has Been Evacuated
Aired September 11, 2001 - 09:52 ET

We also have a report now that it was a plane that crashed into the Pentagon, and we have a large fire at the
Pentagon. The Pentagon is being evacuated as we speak now. The White House had been evacuated as

AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN‟s John King joins us on the phone. John?

JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESP.: Aaron, I‟m standing in Lafayette Park, directly
across the White House, perhaps about 200 yards away from the White House residence itself. The Secret
Service has pushed most people all the way back to the other side of the park. I‟m trying to avoid having
that done to me at the moment.

Just moments ago they started slowing evacuating the White House about 30 minutes ago. Then, in the last
five minute people have come running out of the White House and the old executive office building, which
is the office building right directly across from the White House.

About 10 minutes ago, there was a white jet circling overhead. Now, you generally don‟t see planes in the
area over the White House. That is restricted air space. No reason to believe that this jet was there for any
nefarious purposes, but the Secret Service was very concerned, pointing up at the jet in the sky.

It is out of sight now, best we can tell. They‟ve evacuated the entire White House staff and the old
executive office, as well as some townhouses that are government offices. Many of our viewers might
know Blair House, where other international leaders say when they are in Washington. That block of
townhouses has been evacuated as well. They are pushing us now back towards 8th Street, which is the next
main street to the north from Pennsylvania Avenue, across from the White House.

BROWN: John, hang on one second. We are getting reports that the Capitol, the Treasury building also
being evacuated.

John, is this evacuation from the White House, was it orderly? Did it seem panicky? How would you
characterize it?

KING: It started off as orderly, much like we get when there are ocassional bomb scares near the White
House. But then, again in the last 10 minutes or so, the people who came out -- the last several hundred I
saw leaving the grounds, were told and ordered by the Secret Service to run. They were running through
the gates. These were of course professionals in business suits.

I‟m also told that prior to that, and we don‟t know the current situation that the vice president and other
administration officials on the scene very meeting in the White House situation room, which is in the
basement of the White House. Whether they have stayed on the complex or not is unknown to us at this

I spoke to an administration official shortly after the president delivered his statement. He said obviously
the operating assumption here is terrorism. The initial assumption, this official said, was that this had
something to do, or at least they were looking into any possible connection with Osama Bin Laden. The
administration recently released a warning that they thought Osama Bin Laden might strike out against U.S.
BROWN: Just to add at bit, John, to what you‟ve been saying. We‟re getting a report from the Associated
Press now that the White House was evacuated after the Secret Service received what the AP is describing
as a credible threat of a terrorist attack against the White House itself. I expect you‟ll be checking that out.
We‟ll try and confirm that. But that is what AP is reporting right now.

Timed Terrorist Attacks Against the United States
Aired September 11, 2001 - 09:56 ET

AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Again, this all began about an hour and 15 minutes ago
here in lower Manhattan, when the first of two planes crashed into the first of the two towers behind me, at
the World Trade Center. You can see the smoke billowing out of the front tower now.

Then about a half hour later, just as emergency crews were converging on the scene, as eyewitnesses were
gathering on the street corners, a second plane drove into -- and you can see that plane coming around the
building right now in this tape, and there you can see the hit as it come through what looked to me at least,
and this is first time I‟ve seen that tape -- come through the backside of the tower. I guess that would be the
south side of the tower. And then the smoke and flame coming out the front side.

Again, that was about a half hour after the first attack, which was at about 8:45. Look, you want to be
careful here. We don‟t want to get too far ahead of this, but obviously this has all the appearances of an
extraordinarily well coordinated and devastating terrorist attack here in the United States. Certainly,
nothing like it since Oklahoma City, and nothing like it here in New York since the terrorist attack on the
same World trade Center buildings in February of 1993.

At the Pentagon, a plane or a helicopter has crashed, apparently as part of whatever this operation has been.

And Jamie McIntyre is there. Jamie, what are you hearing?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, there is a lot of confusion here at the
Pentagon. It appears that something hit the Pentagon on the outside of the fifth corridor on the Army
corridor. Several Army officers I talked to reported hearing a big explosion, seeing shards of metal coming
past their window. The Pentagon has been evacuated. The emergency services personnel were rushing to
reports of several people trapped in the building. Most of the building‟s 24,000 people are outside of the
building or in the center courtyard. As emergency teams try to sort out what has happened here.

There is, of course, thick black smoke billowing from the scene. There was a lot of confusion. The Defense
Protective Service, which is the police force here in the Pentagon, has been urging people to get out of the
building and move away from the scene, so they can handle the emergency situation. Again, it appears that
an aircraft of some sort did hit the side of the Pentagon, the west front which faces sort of toward Arlington
National Cemetery. It‟s a corridor where a lot of Army officers are located.

BROWN: Wow! Jamie, Jamie, I need you to stop for a second. There has just been a huge explosion we
can see a billowing smoke rising. And I can‟t -- I tell you that I can‟t see that second tower. But there was a
cascade of sparks, and fire, and now this -- it looks almost like a mushroom cloud explosion. This huge
billowing smoke in the second tower.

This was the second of two towers hit. And -- you know I cannot see behind that smoke, obviously, as you
can‟t either. The first tower in front has not changed. And we see this extraordinarily and frightening scene
behind us of this second tower now just encased in smoke. What is behind it, I can not tell you. But just
look at that. That is just as frightening a scene as you‟ll ever see.

America Under Attack
Aired September 11, 2001 - 10:45 ET


UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Chris, stay with us.

It‟s extraordinary bit of information coming out of Washington now. Let me add to something that we said
earlier. We have a report now that a large plane crashed this morning, north of the Somerset County
Airport, which is in western Pennsylvania, not too terribly far from Pittsburgh, about 80 miles or so, a
Boeing 767 jet. Don‟t know whose airline it was, whose airplane it was, and we don‟t have any details
beyond that which I have just given you. We don‟t know -- we don‟t know -- if this is somehow connected
to what has gone on in New York and Washington, but we do know that another plane has crashed, this one
about 80 miles south of Pittsburgh, or at least to southeast of Pittsburgh.

Rose Arcy (ph), one of our producers here in New York joins us on the phone.

Rose, what do you have that is new?

ROSE ARCY, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, just a while ago, I think you saw that collapse of a top of the
World Trade Center. Well, looks like a large chunk of that debris has hit a building very close by, about
two blocks away, next to an elementary school, causing another explosion. So for the last few minutes, I
have been watching people running from that direction. There was one man (TECHNICAL

I‟ve seen several emergency service workers carrying other emergency service workers from the scene.
There is a haze everywhere. It‟s very, very difficult to see, but that there a whole area has been covered by
an ash. It looks almost like snow.

People are coming up the street, running from the scene of this new explosion. You can see them slipping
on the ash and literally having to drag each other up the street.

There is an incredible amount of panic down here in downtown Manhattan as people are realizing they
really need to leave the area entirely, after spending the last hour or so watching this from afar.

AARON (ph): Rose, stay with us. Terrific work.

Let me throw another couple of pieces of information out, as we continue to put this altogether into a
straight line, if we can. The United Nations has been evacuated; the United Nations building, on the East
Side of Manhattan, has been evacuated. The city -- this is Election Day, a primary election for mayor and
city council races in New York. That election has been postponed until further notice.

Obviously, we are we are in the middle of on extraordinary catastrophe that started about 8:45 Eastern time
here in New York, when one plane crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. About a half
an hour after that, as people were converging, as fire and police and rescue teams, were converging on the
scene, a second plane appeared to the west of the Trade Center buildings and slammed into the second
tower. That is what you just saw. Fires were shooting out the north and east side of the tower.

Shortly after that, we began to get reports of events taking place in Washington, an explosion which first
came to us as a fire at the Pentagon. Now there are reports of a second hijacked plane heading towards the
Pentagon. It is believed that one of the planes -- perhaps both, but one them, we have been told -- was an
American Airlines 767 that hit one of the Trade Center towers.

About a half hour after that -- perhaps a little bit longer -- you lose track of time a little bit in these
situations -- the south tower, the second tower -- the one to the left collapsed -- it collapsed in a cascade of
smoke and spark. And what we cannot tell you is if there was a second explosion that caused that collapse,
or if it was simply -- that is the first one, that is the south tower collapsing, and that was about a half hour,
give or take, after the planes hit the tower.

Then shortly after that, just as the smoke was starting to clear away, the second tower -- that is what you are
looking at now -- again this is not very long ago, 10 or 15 minutes ago -- the second tower -- it almost looks
like one of those implosions of buildings that you see, except there is nothing controlled about this. This is

How many people? There are 50,000 people who normally go to work in the Trade Center buildings. How
many of those people had arrived already, how many of those people were trapped in the upper stories, how
many of those people have been hurt, how many of those people died we cannot tell you now. We can tell
you that hospitals throughout the New York area are receiving literally hundreds of patients, and they are
performing triage. They are trying to figure out who can be treated, who needs help first. This is sort of
standard operating procedure.

We are just being told now that Israel has evacuated all its diplomatic missions around the world. Israel has
evacuated its missions. We are told now that Yasser Arafat has condemned these attacks. We don‟t know
yet who is behind them. Britain has condemned these attacks. Germany has convened its national security
council, and we will check and see if events are going on in those places, or if that is simply a reaction to
what has gone on here in Washington and in New York.

CNN‟s Jeanne Meserve joins us on the phone from Washington -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: K Street, which is one of the major thoroughfares in
Washington is at absolute gridlock. It takes about 15 minutes to drive one block. Ordinarily, at this time of
day, there would be nothing near this kind of traffic. You see pedestrians filling the sidewalks, many of the
businesses and offices having closed. You see cars absolutely pouring out of the parking lots, which is
contributing to the absolutely horrendous traffic situation. Many people are trying to use their cell phones;
however, cell phone service has become very difficult in this town because of the crush on circuits.

For the most part, people appear to be very calm and collected. I will tell you, though, that as I drove, I
looked at the car next me, full of some young women who I would guess were in their 20s. Several of them
were crying their eyes out, obviously very upset as they listened to the radio and heard the news of what is
happening in this city and in New York, also.

Aaron, back to you.

AARON: Jeanne Meserve in Washington this morning, thanks -- as she and the rest of the organization
continue to gather what facts we can, what facts are available in the wake of the extraordinary chaos that
has followed this extraordinarily horrendous terrorist attack.

We are told one of the planes involved in this was a hijacked American Airlines 767 out of Logan Airport,
in Boston. American Airlines will say what is known.

As you look at the White House being evacuated a short time ago. Or is that live. I‟m not sure on my
monitor which it is. I believe it is tape from a short time ago.

In any case, American Airlines will talk to reporters in about a half hour or so, at 11:30 Eastern time. One
of its planes was involved in this. We will bring that press conference to you live when it happens.
Here in New York, hospitals are being overwhelmed as hundred of patients are being brought in and being

we cannot tell you -- we would not even begin to guess -- what the numbers in this will be, how many
people will have died by the time this day is over, how many injuries have taken place in both Washington
and New York. But, as former Police Commissioner Howard Safir told us a few minutes ago, obviously,
the numbers are going to be extraordinary.

Who do we have on the phone, guys? Help me out here.

Patty are you there?


What have you got? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About an hour ago, I was on the corner of Broadway and
Park Place -- that‟s about a thousand yards from the World Trade Center when the first tower collapsed. It
was a massive explosion. At the time, the police were trying desperately to evacuate people from the area.
When that explosion occurred, it was a scene out of a horror film: People started stampeding away from it.


America Under Attack: Gen. Wesley Clark Discusses Ongoing Terrorist
Aired September 11, 2001 - 11:28 ET

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Former commander of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization, is joining us from -- is it? -- from Little Rock, Arkansas.

General Clark, from your knowledge of the military you know the Pentagon, what are you thinking right


First of all, we‟ve got to try to assess what‟s really happening. And as all of the new reports indicate, this is
-- it‟s clearly a coordinated effort. It wasn‟t announced. It hasn‟t been announced that it‟s over. We don‟t
know how it will finally conclude. So there‟s likely to be more trouble before all of this concludes.

So we‟ve got to protect the American people first. We‟ve got to look after those who are injured. We‟ve got
to take precautionary measures to deal with future incidents. And I think all of that‟s under way with a lot
of responsible action by people everywhere.

The damage at the Pentagon is unclear from all the news reports that I‟ve seen. The one report that said it
crashed into the Army- side of the building. There are command centers in various places of the Pentagon
and there are many other alternate command centers. So I don‟t think there‟s really any issue about the
command and control of the United States armed forces. I‟m sure that‟s very solid right now.

WOODRUFF: General Clark, why do you say there are likely to be -- there‟s likely to be more trouble?

CLARK: Well, we‟re hearing, still, reports of aircraft that are out there. There‟s no way of knowing when
all of the possible incidents have either taken place or been aborted by whoever it is that‟s behind this.

CLARK: And so, we have to -- we have to be ready for whatever might happen next.

WOODRUFF: General, can you give us some sense of -- clearly the United States has never experienced
anything of this magnitude, but what is the -- what are the leaders of our military, the Joint Chiefs, the
secretary of defense and others, what presumably are they doing right now, in order to be on top of the
situation, where you have the Pentagon on fire, New York City in a state of chaos, and every federal
building in Washington evacuated?

CLARK: Well, first of all, we‟ll be trying to -- we‟ll be trying to assess what happened. We‟ll be making
sure that the protection posture of our bases worldwide and all of our units out there is raised so that we‟re
able to protect our forces and our family members.

And then we‟ll be looking to provide assistance to wherever such incidents might occur, whatever military
capabilities there will be that could be of use will be certainly made available to the other agencies of state,
local and federal government who are involved in trying to deal with these tragedies right now.

Then, beyond that, we‟ll be waiting for the information to come in about who may have been behind this,
and we‟ll be looking at what measures can be taken to strike and prevent further actions or in punitive
WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of that, General Clark, wouldn‟t you agree there are very few of the terrorist
groups, at least that we‟re familiar with, who would have the capability to pull off something this
coordinated, on this scale?

CLARK: I think that‟s exactly right. There is only one group that has ever indicated that it has this kind of
ability, and that‟s Osama bin Laden‟s. So obviously, that will be the first suspicion.

WOODRUFF: Are you -- clearly, we are all in a state of shock, General Clark. But is it fair to say that
you‟re not truly surprised by this given what we‟ve heard from that particular group? And again, we don‟t
know who is behind this, but given what we do know.

CLARK: Well, there have been many threats made against the United States, and threats of terrorism. And
we know that the World Trade Center has been a target. We know that aircraft have been hijacked, and we
know that car bombings are used in many places in the world. And there is no doubt that for a long time
there have been groups who have tried to target the United States.

Normally, many times, we‟ve gotten indications, we‟ve been able to take actions that the American public
never knows about that have broken up these attempts. In this case, for whatever reason, we didn‟t have the
information. We weren‟t able to take the actions to break it up.

WOODRUFF: And General, what do you say to those Americans who are looking at these horrific pictures
that they‟ve been watching now for almost three hours on television, who are thinking, “Will I ever feel
safe again in an airplane, in a tall building in this country?

CLARK: I think that that will be one of the primary issues that has to be addressed by government leaders
is how to restore ever a sense of normalcy to the country. Will it ever be the same? And that‟s a question
everybody will be asking. But I think it‟s too soon to expect any answers to that. I think we‟ve got to assess
this. We‟ve got to track this down.

I think one thing that come through very clearly now is, if this is terrorism and international terrorism, then
clearly there has to be a much greater degree of cooperation between nations to deal with this.

Whoever did this lives somewhere. He‟s supported by someone, and people know him. And someone knew
that these events were being planned. And if we didn‟t have that information, we should have. And I think
that‟s one resolve that will come out of this from nations all over the world that more has to be done
collectively together.

WOODRUFF: But in a large sense, General Clark, whoever was behind this has clearly succeeded in the
most horrific and devastating way.

CLARK: Well, it‟s been a tragedy for America, there‟s no doubt about that. And for so many people and
their families, our hearts go out to them.

WOODRUFF: General, we‟re looking -- as I‟m talking with General Wesley Clark who is a former NATO
commander, he‟s talking to us from Arkansas. We‟re looking at helicopter patrolling, I believe, it‟s the area
around the Pentagon, although, I can‟t tell by the banner across the lower part of the screen.

WOODRUFF: We do know that President Bush was in Florida this morning. He abruptly cut his trip short
in order, we think, to fly back to Washington.

And, General Clark, while you are with us, what would the plans be for the president in this situation,
without giving away secure information, would the president necessarily return to Washington? Is there
always a plan in place in these situations?

CLARK: Well, there would have to be a plan always in place to take the president to where he can best
control what‟s going on and monitor it and make decisions and also where he will be safe. And you can be
sure that there are plans and backup plans and alternate plans to the backup plans. There‟ll be no shortage
of efforts under way to assure his safety and his ability to maintain the continuity of government.

WOODRUFF: And once again, just finally, General Clark, as we look at these live pictures of the
Pentagon, describe for us what you know of the section of the building that evidently was hit by the
commercial jet liner?

CLARK: Well, that picture seems to be from the area of the bridges, the 14th Street bridge, looking at the
corner of the Pentagon that is opposite from where the strike was. So it looks like the strike hit between the
fourth, fifth, maybe sixth corridors of the Pentagon, perhaps on the Army side of the building. There are a
number of offices there, administrative offices, where Army leaders and staff officers work on a daily basis.

They deal with things like planning and logistics and congressional relations and public affairs in that area.
And the Army leadership is probably close to where that may have impacted. There are a number of other
facilities below ground, some of which have been relocated and it‟s impossible to see from that picture
what the condition might be there.

WOODRUFF: General Clark, any final word before we let you go?

CLARK: Well, I think that we‟ve known for some time that there were groups planning this. And I think
that the American people should know that the men and women in government and all the agencies have
worked very hard and very diligently against this.

Obviously, we didn‟t do enough. We didn‟t either have the tools or the cooperation or somehow get the
information that we needed to have prevented it.

And you can be sure that those men and women are right now resolved to do more and to be more
effective. This is a national challenge and I‟m confident that we‟ll meet it.

WOODRUFF: All right, General Wesley Clark joining us now from Little Rock, Arkansas. He is, of
course, the former commander of NATO.

America Under Attack
Aired September 11, 2001 - 11:00 ET


AARON: Patty, Patty, I‟m going to interrupt you for a second.

We told you there was a second plane that went down, this one around 80 miles or so southeast of
Pittsburgh. We will try to connect with KDKA TV, in Pittsburgh.

So much for planning. We tried. We will try again.

Again, we have reports that a plane has crashed in the Pittsburgh area, southeast of Pittsburgh about 80
miles, and at varying times we have heard this was a 767 or a 747; I‟m not sure it matters which it is. What
matters is that a plane has crashed in Pittsburgh area.

The Pentagon continues to monitor reports that another plane, a hijacked plane, is headed for that area. All
flights have been canceled around the country, international flights heading towards United States are being
diverted into Canada this morning.

Patty, let me go back to you as we look at some tape from the ground. Patty, why don‟t you go ahead and

PATTY: Aaron, I‟m now in the main building of Pace University, which is inside the fallout zone of all the
debris from the two building collapses. At the time of the first building collapse, I was at Broadway and
Park Place. It was a huge cloud of smoke, and it overcame the crowd. People were stampeding. Literally,
the debris was so thick you could you not see your hand in front of your face.

I ducked around into a building that was on Park Place and Beekman Street. When I was in there, people
were coming in; they were crying, they were wailing. You couldn‟t see anything outside.

After the smoke had cleared a little bit, I came outside. The scene was like a ghost town in the financial
district -- very eerie. You saw people being wheeled on guernseys away from the site of the explosion.
People coming out with masks over their face, anything they can put over their face because the air was
still very thick with debris. The ash on the ground is at least two inches thick, it‟s more like snow cover, a
very eerie snow cover blanketing downtown Manhattan right now.

Now, at the time I was back on the corner again of Broadway and Park Place, at that time, the police started
running toward us telling everybody to move, who was left on the street. I looked up, and that‟s when I
heard the explosion, that‟s when the second tower came down. Again, whoever was left on street started
stampeding. I‟m in the office -- right now, I‟m in the main building of Pace University; people are crying,
they have gas masks on their face. Authorities are make people go towards the basement. They‟re just
doing anything that they can to move people away from the financial district. But, again, it is a very
horrifying scene down here, very eerie like...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Patty -- Patty, let me interrupt you.

Mayor Giuliani is on the telephone, is part of New York 1‟s coverage. We join our affiliate for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mayor Giuliani, since we have New Yorkers listening, and obviously their
thoughts with people who are down there.

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY: Again, I would urge them to remain calm, to remain at
home or to remain at their place of business, unless they‟re in lower Manhattan. By that I mean south of
Canal Street. If you‟re south of Canal Street, get out, walk, and walk slowly, carefully, there are plenty of
police around, but just walk directly -- if you can‟t figure out what else to do just walk directly north; that
will get you out of the dangerous smoke area; it will also do us a big favor, it will open up those streets,
because we‟re going to moving a large number of ambulances and emergency personnel in and out of there
all day.

I‟ve talked to the governor, he is putting the National Guard on alert so that they can relieve our police
officers and our firefighters later this afternoon. And we have asked the federal government for help, from
the -- Urban Search and Rescue Team.

So, right now, we are using all of or police and firefighters and emergency personnel to help the people
down there. Later on we‟re probably going to need reinforcement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Giuliani, I realize that it must be more than a chaotic situation,
particularly since the bunker has been compromised and cordoned off, but can you give us any sense, there
are so many people watching now who must have loved ones down in that area and are concerned of the

GIULIANI: My heart goes out to them. I‟ve never seen anything like this. I was there from shortly after it
happened and saw people jumping out of the World Trade Center. it‟s a horrible, horrible situation. And all
that I can tell them is that every resource that we have is attempting to rescue as many people as possible.
And the end result is going to be some horrendous number of lives lost. I don‟t think we know yet, but right
now we have to just focus on saving as many people as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you giving as you sense of, if there is in fact some system implemented,
what that system is and what where people are being taken? GIULIANI: People -- we‟re triageing. People
are being taken to every area hospital possible, even virtually within minutes of -- I drove down right past
Saint Vincent‟s hospital, and I could see them actually on street ready to take people, and that was within
minutes of the first airplane hitting the World Trade Center. So the hospitals are ready. We‟ll be moving
them to all different area hospitals, triageing them.

The main thing is having those streets open so we can get people in and out of the southern part of
Manhattan as quickly as possible so that we can move them, you know, to the hospitals all over city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Mayor Giuliani, we‟ll let you...

GIULIANI: ... they‟re doing it. We just need the cooperation of people in getting out of there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We‟ll let you get back to the operations there, and we do appreciate you taking
the time for us here.

GIULIANI: Once again, the only thing to do now is to remain calm and try to assist in the rescue effort.


GIULIANI: Let‟s pray all of us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is New York‟s mayor, Rudy Giuliani, talking to a CNN affiliate New York
1 here, saying that clearly there‟s going to be tremendous number of lives lost on these attackings here in
New York, urging people to stay calm and to leave the area calmly. The area is in the southern part of
Manhattan, way down on tip of Manhattan island. The mayor urging people to calmly move north.

CNN‟s Jamie McIntyre is at the Pentagon.

Jamie, why don‟t you start, if you can, at the beginning here as we try and put some order to all of this.
What happened?

MCINTYRE: Well, let me just describe the scene that we have here and I will back up a little bit, but right
now, I‟m looking at the charred facade of the Pentagon, a huge gaping hole on the side where the Pentagon
heliport is located, the side that faces Arlington Cemetery.

In front of me is a long line of rescue personnel with backboards; they‟re just waiting for victims to be
brought out so they can rush them to nearby medical facilities. I see a few victims being treated on the grass
outside the Pentagon.

Firefighters continue to pour streams of water on to side of the building and a huge black cloud of smoke
continues to billow out. It is a scene of utter destruction here. I‟m sure it pales in comparison to the World
Trade Center, but I have never seen anything like this myself in the history of the Pentagon. There‟s been
nothing like this.

Again, a huge gaping hole. You can see exposed five floors of the Pentagon offices just ripped apart.

Our report is that an aircraft of some kind, and at least in one witness identified it as a civilian aircraft, hit
the side of the building, shortly after those -- the incident at the World Trade Center this morning. People
who were in their offices nearby reported hearing huge explosions, seeing charred shrapnel come by their
window. The entire Pentagon has been evacuated.

A short time after this attack there were urgent announcements made over the loudspeakers telling people
to quickly get away from the building because they had reports of a second plane heading this way just two
minutes away. F-16 jets were scrambled over the Pentagon. I saw several of them go by, but no second
plane ever materialized. And the building remains completely evacuated as firefighters continue to pour
columns of water on the devastated side of the Pentagon and rescue personnel continue to whisk victims

We have no report at this time of how many casualties. Clearly, dozens and dozens of people have been
hurt and we presume that there have been some deaths as well. It‟s hard to imagine otherwise considering
the extent of the damage to that side of the building.

And I can see just some of the windows -- a stretch of the building perhaps, about perhaps 40 or 50 feed
wide, it just looks like it has collapsed under the weight of the impact -- Aaron.


So we have planes hitting the Pentagon or a plane hitting the Pentagon, two planes hitting the World Trade
Center towers in New York.

Alan Dodds Frank joins on the phone in lower Manhattan -- Alan?

FRANK: Aaron, just two or three minutes ago there was yet another collapse or explosion. I‟m now out of
sight, Good Samaritan has taken me in on Duane Street (ph).

But at a quarter to 11:00 there was another collapse or explosion following the 10:30 collapse of the second
tower. And a firefighter who rushed by us estimated that 50 stories went down. The street filled with
smoke. It was like a forest fire roaring down a canyon.

Now, as I think Patty (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and others have told you, all of Manhattan is covered --
downtown Manhattan is covered with thick white ash and building material. The ambulances have been
coming now from as far as Long Island. All the rescue workers are being equipped with gas or face-filter
masks. And firefighter have been arriving even by pick-up truck. Otherwise the streets are now deserted.

Alan, thank you.

Alan Dodds Frank in Manhattan.

A little more on this plane crash which is the fourth incident, if you will. There was the plane crash at the
Pentagon, crashing into the Pentagon. There were the two planes that hit the World Trade Center here in
New York. And we don‟t know whether this fourth one is related or not. But the report is that a 747 en
route from Chicago to New York City crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, about 80 miles to the
southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That‟s the incident. That‟s what we are hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I‟m standing next to a fireman and he said, yes, they just bombed the
Pentagon too.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: Our colleague Jeff -- well, we have a little more sound here
from witnesses.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The doorman goes to me, wow, I never seen a plane
flying so low. And we looked out it, all of a sudden, boom, it seemed like it wasn‟t even real. And we came
running over here closer to the place, and all of a sudden we saw the other explosion. I don‟t know. I don‟t


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in B Tower -- A Tower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What floor were you on?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened? Tell me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A big explosion happened. Some guy came out, his skin was all off. I helped him
out, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). There‟s people jumping out of windows. I seen at least 14 people jumping out
of windows. It‟s horrific. I can‟t believe this is happening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything else that you saw? Where you there for the second hit?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. After -- about 10 minutes later the second building went off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I saw it. It just blew up, a big explosion, people started running. It was just
chaos everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where you there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I was right there. I was in the -- I was down in the basement, came down,
all of a sudden the elevator blew up, smoke. I dragged a guy out. His skin was hanging off, and I helped
him into the ambulance.


UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: The words of some of the witnesses here in Manhattan this morning,
and the pictures of what will I suspect before this is over go down as one of the most horrific days in our

We‟re joined by our colleague, CNN‟s Jeff Greenfield.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, you know, in 1993, when terrorist bombed the
World Trade Center, their plan was to knock one of the towers into the other, bringing them both down.
That disaster was averted, and bad as that was, in a sense, America has been lucky.

Another terrorist attack in the planning was interrupted to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel and submerge
dozens, maybe hundreds of people.

At the eve of the millennium, a suspected terrorist was intercepted at the Canadian border on his way to
Seattle. And I know that not so long ago that former President Clinton in a private talk to a group ruminated
how lucky the United States has been over the years, to -- with the combination of luck and the skill of
antiterrorist people, to avoid such thing.

What we see now is nothing less than the worst nightmare that one could imagine come to life, probably
worse than anyone could have imagined. You may remember that Tom Clancy wrote a novel that ends with
a terrorist hijacker crashing into the Capitol. The worst act of terrorist on American soil, the Oklahoma City
Bombing, killed fewer than 200 people. All we know today is that tens of thousand of people work in that
complex that has been destroyed, and I hate to say it this way, but this may be the day that America‟s luck
ran out.


When you look out here, and see the Statue of Liberty to the right, the buildings off to the left, the attacks
on Washington. We don‟t know a lot about who is behind this or what this is all about. But the symbolism
of these attacks is extraordinary. It‟s extraordinary.

CNN‟s David Ensor is in Washington and he joins us -- David.

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, I‟m talking to U.S. officials who are obviously
working on who is responsible for this. They‟re working thesis is that this is overseas terrorism, not
domestic. They cannot rule out additional attacks yet to come. In terms of claims of responsibility so far,
there is an Agion (ph), France press report, in which a group with a word Palestine in the name claims
responsibility. There is a also a report quoting personnel close to Osama bin Laden. The fugitive Saudi
accused terrorist denying that that group was involved.

But again, U.S. officials say they can‟t add -- shed any light on whether these reports are correct or
incorrect. Usually when this kind of attack occurs, you have claims of responsibility from all sorts of
people who have nothing to do with it. So it‟s a very fluid situation at this point. But the Central
Intelligence Agency of the United States has been evacuated from its headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
There are some key personnel in the headquarters, but the operations center has been moved elsewhere.
U.S. officials say they don‟t want to talk about where exactly the headquarters staff and operations staff has
been moved to.

But staff now has been focusing on trying to find any shred of information that could help the U.S.
government figure out who is doing this and how to put a stop to it -- Aaron.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: David, as a -- tell me if I‟m right or wrong here. As a practical matter,
there are not a whole lot of groups that the United States government knows about that are sophisticated
enough and the kind of money and resources to pull off something like this, fair enough?

ENSOR: That‟s absolutely true. And, obviously, despite the denial, attention will quickly turn to the bin
Laden group, because it has long tentacles, has connections with all sorts of other groups. We saw at the
millennium, a group of Algerians apparently involved in trying to arrange bombing in the United States,
and now there is evidence being produced in court sessions that those Algerians were working for the bin
Laden group. So that group certainly will come under immediate suspicion. There are very few others that
could have pulled this off.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: All right, just because of the enormity of it all, and the sophistication
required to stage these multiple attacks, this is not something some small cell can pull off. This is obviously
a group or groups well-financed and extraordinarily well organized...

ENSOR: That‟s correct. Now another thing you will notice is that the you remember the attack on USS
Cole in the Yemen harbor. That‟s the first time that kind of attack with small boats and bombs has been
used against an American warship. It worked once. Now the U.S. Navy has taken steps to make that much
more difficult to do. Officials saying this may work once, they will now have to take measures to make sure
this can‟t be done again. But these are apparently hijacking of civilian aircraft. So it was a sort of modus
operandi that was dreamed up in some evil terrorists mind and done on a massive scale here today -- Aaron.


CNN‟s David Ensor, our national security correspondent, on what he is hearing, what he knows, what the
reports are, as we approach 11:20 Eastern Time.

For those of you just joining us, and as you can see on your screen, the Taliban, the government in
Afghanistan, expected to make a statement soon, and we will monitor that for you.

For those of you just joining us, let me try to put as many of these pieces together as I can as we stand here
in New York. At about 8:45 Eastern Standard Daylight Time this morning, the first of the trade center
towers was hit by a plane. It crashed into the south side of the tower. About a half an hour later, a second
plane came from the right, and you can see it coming behind the first tower, and then it hits the tower, and
you will see the flame and smoke coming out, I guess three-quarters maybe a little bit more up the tower.
That‟s where this all began. About a half hour after that, the first of that tower that is now you see inflamed
in that shot, collapsed. The top collapsed. And there was an enormous -- I don‟t want to say explosion, but
there was an enormous plume of smoke, sparks as we looked over from where we are standing.

And then a little bit after that, and I want to be careful on time, because it seemed perhaps 10 or so minutes,
but I‟m not sure, the second tower, which in fact was the first one hit, collapsed as well, and that‟s what
you are about to see. Our reporters in the area say they heard loud noises when that happened. It is unclear
to them and to us whether those were explosions going on in the building, or if it was simply the sound of
the collapse of the buildings as they collapsed, making these huge noises as they came down.

But as we look back, the smoke now, which has gone from white to kind of gray clearing away, we are -- I
guess Jeff -- as -- I don‟t -- I want to know what‟s behind the smoke. But I have the worst feeling is that
very little.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the fact is that we‟ve already been hearing from
even the fragmentary reports from people on the ground stories beyond horror, people jumping out of
windows, because of the flames. The fact that this happened shortly before 9:00, and then the second hit
shortly after 9:00, means that most of the people were either right in the vicinity or actually at their desks.
So one doesn‟t want to be overly grim, but the fact is, there were large -- thousands of people were in these
UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: You get 50,000 people come to work in those buildings. Many
thousands more pass through those buildings every day. There are retail shops on the lower floors of the
trade center.

GREENFIELD: It‟s where the packed trains from New Jersey come in.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: Correct. It is where the commuter trains come in from the other side of
river, from New Jersey, come in and drop off, and pick up their passengers. So it is an extraordinarily busy
area. It is also an area, for a number of reasons, rich in symbolism to this city and to the country. You can
see from where we are the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor in the pictures. So that‟s what happened in
New York.

At about the same time -- and again, I don‟t want to put times on much of this yet -- after one of the
hijacked planes hit the Trade Center in New York, events started to unfold in Washington. A plane hit the
Pentagon. And then there was a major fire at the Pentagon and the Pentagon has now been evacuated. The
State Department has been evacuated. The president who was in Florida, went before cameras to denounce,
as you would expect, and as we would expect, this terrorist attack, promising to hunt down those

It was the president himself who first used, at least as I heard the story, the word “terrorism.” There was no
doubt in his mind, at least. The president now has -- is heading back.

We are now getting a report that American Airlines say one of its flights, a flight from Boston to, I believe,
Los Angeles -- correct me if I‟m wrong -- is down. Or at least they‟ve lost contact with it -- 81 people on
board. This would be the second of American Airlines‟ flights involved, presumably, in this event. Another
flight, this one from Dulles to Los Angeles is down, with 54 passengers on board.

So again, there are two American airlines: one Dulles, Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, the other Boston
to Los Angeles. Both American Airlines planes are reported by the airline to be down. It is also believed
that an American Airlines plane, a 767, was involved in one of the hits on the Trade Center as well.

We don‟t know if there‟s a reason why it‟s American and not any other. We won‟t speculate as to whether
there is or not. We will tell you what the facts are as we get them, and that‟s what we have. American says
two of its planes are down. And I assume that is two other than the one that hit the Trade Center -- and you
guys check that out to make sure I‟m right.

GREENFIELD: We have a report of a crash in Somerset county, outside of Pittsburgh.

AARON (ph): Right, I believe, a 767, though we are getting reports it‟s perhaps a 747, which doesn‟t quite
fit into what we believe flies Chicago to New York, is also down, and I do not know the airline involved
there. Let me go back -- OK, I do now: It‟s a United Airlines plane.

So we have a number of planes down, a number of planes involved in these attacks.

The Boston to Atlanta, if I‟m reading the notes correctly, had an American 767, with 81 passengers on
board, and nine fights attendants and two pilots.

GREENFIELD: Flight 11.

AARON: That‟s American Airlines Flight 11. And American Airlines Flight 7, which is a 757 jetliner,
from Dulles Airport, outside of Washington, to Los Angeles International, with 58 passengers on board,
four flight attendants, two pilots; it‟s also reported down. And then there is this united airlines jet, which
crashed about 80 miles to the southeast of Pittsburgh.

GREENFIELD: We should also mention, I think, Aaron, that, inevitably, some of these early fragmentary
reports are going to be needing correction, and that will be done as soon as possible. We had a report of a
second hijacked plane on the way to Washington. Capitol police were reporting there have been no signs of
that plane. We simply, at this point in this awful story, have just to tell our viewers we will do everything
we can to report this accurately. If fragmentary reports need amending or correcting, that will be done

AARON: I think in fairness, there is, in a number of places right now -- perhaps four or five -- chaos, and
numbers that come out are not necessarily going to hold up, and in our reporting, we will be a bit
conservative on some of this until we track it down. There is no point in allowing this thing to seem worse
than it is; it is already horrendous, and we don‟t need to make it worse by misstating numbers, and we want
you to keep that in mind.

CNN Medical Unit reports that the Centers for Disease Control, in Atlanta, is preparing bioterrorism teams
to respond to the incidents. This, we are told, is simply precautionary. We have absolutely no reports and
no evidence that there is any bioterrorism going on. Clearly, what is happening in every department of the
United States government -- and I suspect in every department of most major cities right now -- the plan,
the plan that they hope they never have to implement, the plan that they spent years preparing, is now in
effect -- not just here, not just in Washington, but around the country, because no one knows precisely
where this is going.


Mayor Talks Of Damage in New York City
Aired September 11, 2001 - 12:26 ET

AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have on the phone with us New York‟s mayor, Rudy

Mr. Mayor, give us your best piece of information, as the situation right now.

RUDY GIULIANI, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: The situation right now is a massive rescue effort that‟s
going right now. We are trying to evacuate thousands and thousands of people. We have as many of our
police and fire personnel, as we have down in the southern part of Manhattan evacuating people, trying to
save as many lives as possible.

We‟ve been in communication with Governor Pataki, who‟s gotten the national guard ready, and they‟re
going to come in and relieve us a little bit later in the day. And we have spoken to the White House, and the
urban search and rescue teams will come here also to assist us.

But right now, the New York City police and fire, EMS, that are down there trying to evacuate as many
people as we possibly can. And we have asked everyone to leave lower Manhattan if they can, on their
own, so that it relieves our efforts. This will be going on all day.

It‟s a horrible, horrible tragedy.

BROW: It is that. Mr. Mayor, can you tell me, is it is a -- are people panicking down there?

GIULIANI: No, people -- I was there right under -- right in a building that got hit by the debris when the
first tower collapsed. So I had to evacuate with people. We were trapped in the building for a while. And
we were finally able to get out. And we all walked to -- we all walked north.

And people, everything that I have observed, even though it was hundreds, maybe in some cases, thousands
of people that were walking on the streets. They were orderly, they were calm. They handled themselves
really -- probably better than anybody had any right to expect.

BROWN: And Mr. Mayor, we were told one of the problems, and lord knows there are hundreds of
problems, one of the problems was that a number -- a large number of police, fire, EMS personnel have
also been injured in this. Can you shed any light that? GIULIANI: I -- I don‟t even want to contemplate
what the number will be. But when the building collapsed, we had a lot of our police officers and
firefighters in the building. And I am -- and I know many of them, because I saw some of them go, because
I was there, and I am praying for them. I just hope they are able to get out.

BROWN: I think we all --

GIULIANI: The losses to our police department and fire department...

BROWN: Sir, do...

GIULIANI: ... are going to be severe.

BROWN: Do you believe that -- was there another set of explosions that caused the buildings to collapse,
or was it the structural damage caused by the planes?
GIULIANI: I don‟t know. I saw -- I saw the first collapse and heard the second because I was in a building
when the second took place. I think that it was structural, but I can‟t be sure.

BROWN: Can you tell us how many hospitals in the city, and perhaps outside of the city, too. All of them.

GIULIANI: Right now, at last count, we were utilizing over 50. I think it will be over 100 by the -- and that
was as of a half hour ago. Utilizing all of the hospitals in New York City, we‟re utilizing the hospitals in
Westchester and Rockland, Nassau County, northern New Jersey.

The main thing we have to urge people to do is to be calm, and evacuate lower Manhattan. And as far as
the rest of the city is concerned, just to go about their lives as, you know, as best as possible.

This is a -- I never thought I would see something like this happen. I got there after the first plane hit and
before the second. And watching people jump from the top of the World Trade Center, is -- unbelievable

BROWN: Mr. Mayor, my colleague Jeff Greenfield is with us also.


JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mr. Mayor, in terms of -- you‟ve already said that you
want lower Manhattan evacuated, you want everybody else to go about their business.

Are there specific instructions that you want to communicate right now to police, fire, everybody else?

GIULIANI: Police and fire are there, and they‟re there in large numbers. They are first of all trying to get
into the rubble and the debris to save as many people as possible. We also have thousands of police officers
in lower Manhattan. And what we want people to do is to leave lower Manhattan, if they can, on their own,
to walk...


GIULIANI: I just talked to Dick Grasso who runs the stock exchange, and we have a lot of people there,
we have 3,000 people there. We‟re going to walk them out. We‟re walking them east and then north, which
is essentially the way I walked out. I walked -- I was right below the World Trade Center when it collapsed,
and then we walked up to Greenwich Village.

People should walk out of lower Manhattan. Get above Canal Street, for safety reasons, but for a second
reason. We need people out of there so we can get thousands of ambulances in and out over the course of
the next couple of hours. The fewer people we have there, the more lives we‟re going to be able to save.

BROWN: Mr. Mayor, are the subways operating?

GIULIANI: The subways are operating outside of Manhattan. Outside of Manhattan, the subways are
operating. A couple of delays here and there, but other four boroughs, the subways are operating. In
Manhattan there are significant delays. We thought we had the Lexington Avenue open, but it is not. I‟m
just checking right now. The Lexington Avenue is not open. The A train is working, and people will just
have to test and see. The best thing to do right now is to walk. It‟s the safest and the best thing to do, is to
walk to your destination.

Schools have remained open. We‟ve worked with the chancellor to try to make certain that the schools will
remain open for as long as they have to, help parents with the kids that would be coming home starting at
around 1:00 or 2:00.

BROWN: Mr. Mayor, as you know better than anyone, and certainly New Yorkers know, but people
around the country perhaps do not. This was election day here.

What is the status of the election?

GIULIANI: We cancelled it. The governor and I decided about an hour, and hour and a half ago that it
made no sense to have an election today. We needed all of those police officers who were at the election
sites. And we need to focus on rescue. So, we‟ll find another day for the eelection. The governor and I
made that decision about an hour, an hour and a half ago.

BROWN: Mr. Mayor, you are a very focused guy in moments like this. Is it hard, given the magnitude of
what‟s happened here and around the country, to focus on what you have to do and not just be angry?

GIULIANI: It‟s very hard, and it‟s very because I know some of the people that are there. They are
personal friends and close friends who were in the building. I haven‟t been able to find out if they are safe

GREENFIELD: Your emergency command center, what some people have called a bunker, was located,
was it not, in one of the World Trade Center buildings?

GIULIANI: It was located close enough to it so that it was affected by it, it‟s not in one of the buildings.
But it was located right in that area, as is city hall, the police department, and all of them had to be

So that area of Manhattan, once the -- I was in a building at the time that we were using as command
center, and we were trapped in the building for a while, for about 20 minutes, not able to get out, different
exits that were overcome with smoke and debris.

BROWN: Mr. Mayor, this is a practical question. Do hospitals need help, do they need -- ?

GIULIANI: Hospitals need all the help they can get. We‟re getting a great deal of help from the
surrounding areas. The governor has mobilized the state in order to make hospitals available to us outside
of Manhattan. Any hospital personnel or emergency personnel we want to come in and volunteer, that‟d be
enormously helpful.

But the best thing for us to do right now, we‟re trying to coordinate, is to move people out of the city to
hospitals in surrounding areas which we‟re actually doing. So far, though, our hospital system is -- we are
very fortunate to have a gigantic system.

BROWN: Do they have enough blood, do they need blood, do they need people to come in and help them

GIULIANI: I‟m sure they will. We are getting the national guard to relieve our people by early to late this
afternoon. They are being mobilized now. And three urban search and rescue teams are going to come to
New York City to help us. Then anyone that wants to volunteer from surrounding areas, volunteer fire
departments and others, we‟re working with them now to do that, to try to relieve our fire department.

BROWN: It‟s a horrific day, Mr. Mayor.

GIULIANI: There‟s no possible way to begin to describe it.

BROWN: No, there is not.

GIULIANI: To see what happened there is -- of course it makes you very, very angry. It‟s almost
impossible to describe the level of anger that you have, that somebody or someone would do something
like this. And all of the good and wonderful people that were affected by this. There‟s no reason for this,
there‟s no excuse for this. Something like this is just something that you never thought you would live to

BROWN: I couldn‟t agree more, sir. Thank you for joining us.

GIULIANI: Thank you.

BROWN: New York‟s Mayor Rudy Giuliani, on what was to be an election day, the mayor not up for
reelection because of term limits, but the election has been postponed.


To top