September 11: The minute by minute of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history

September 11: The minute by minute of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history

The September 11, 2001 In less than two hours, the towers of the World Trade Center were reduced to a mountain of dust and incandescent steel, the Pentagon was destroyed and almost 3,000 people lost their lives.

The attacks were perpetrated by 19 terrorists from the group Al Qaeda that diverted four passenger planes to crash them against the economic, military and political symbols of the United States.

Two planes were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and a third against the Pentagon, near Washington DC.

A fourth plane was possibly aimed at the Capitol, seat of Congress, or the White House, but after the intervention of its passengers it crashed in a rural area of ​​Shanksville, in Pennsylvania.

This is what happened that day:

08h46 – The first plane

American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 that was heading from Boston to Los Angeles with 92 people on board, including five jihadists, crashes at 790 km / h against the north tower of the World Trade Center, opening a huge gap in the upper floors of the building, which are on fire. A thick column of smoke rises from the upper floors of the skyscraper.

Smoke and flames erupted from the twin towers of the World Trade Center after commercial planes deliberately crashed into buildings in lower Manhattan. (SETH MCALLISTER / AFP).

09H03 – Attack on the second tower

United Airlines Flight 175, also a Boeing 767 that took off from Boston bound for Los Angeles with 65 people on board – including five jihadists – crashes at 950 km / h against the upper floors of the south tower and generates a gigantic explosion.

President George W. Bush is alerted to the attacks by his chief of staff, Andrew Card. (AFP Photo Paul J. RICHARDS).
President George W. Bush is alerted to the attacks by his chief of staff, Andrew Card. (AFP Photo Paul J. RICHARDS).

09H05 – Bush is informed

Then-President George W. Bush begins reading a story to elementary school children in Sarasota, Florida, when his chief of staff whispers in his ear: “A second plane hit the other tower. The United States is under attack. “

09h25 – Airspace closure

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prevents all aircraft from taking off in the national territory.

09H30 – The president speaks

Bush announces at the Florida school that he must return to Washington immediately because of “an apparent terrorist attack.”

Smoke billows from the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2001, after a plane crashed into the building. (AFP PHOTO / Luke FRAZZA).
Smoke billows from the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2001, after a plane crashed into the building. (AFP PHOTO / Luke FRAZZA).

09h37 – They attack the Pentagon

American Airlines Flight 77 with 64 people on board, which had taken off from Washington-Dulles airport, in Virginia, and was heading to San Francisco, crashes into the west facade of the Pentagon after being kidnapped by five jihadists.

09h42 – Aircraft landing

The FAA orders all commercial flights flying over the United States to land as soon as possible.

The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses. (AFP PHOTO / Aaron HITO).
The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses. (AFP PHOTO / Aaron HITO).

09h59 – South tower collapses

The south tower of the WTC collapses in 10 seconds, amid a deluge of fire, steel and dust. The impact is such that the DNA traces of hundreds of victims were never found.

Investigators record the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (DAVID MAXWELL / AFP).
Investigators record the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (DAVID MAXWELL / AFP).

10H03 – A plane crashes in Pennsylvania

United Airlines Flight 93 traveling from Newark to San Francisco crashes in the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, with 44 people on board, including four jihadists. Some passengers, informed by cell phone of what was happening in New York, fought against the terrorists who had hijacked the plane and prevented it from crashing into Congress, the Pentagon or the White House in Washington DC.

People run as one of the World Trade Center towers collapses. (AFP PHOTO / Doug KANTER).
People run as one of the World Trade Center towers collapses. (AFP PHOTO / Doug KANTER).

10h28 – North tower collapses

The north tower of the WTC collapses 102 minutes after being attacked. An immense cloud of dust covers all of southern Manhattan.

There are few footage of the first impact on the World Trade Center on that September 11, 2001. Here we bring you a compilation of the only videos that were recorded of the crash of the first plane on the North Tower.

13H04 – The president is evacuated

George W. Bush, evacuated to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, puts the armed forces on “high alert” and promises to “hunt down and punish the cowards responsible” for the attacks. The president is then flown to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska (center), before returning to the White House at 7:00 p.m.

20H30 – Presidential speech

George W. Bush addresses Americans from the Oval Office of the White House and denounces “despicable, evil terrorist acts.” He promises to find those responsible and assures that Washington “will not distinguish between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Ben Oakley
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