On September 11, 2001, four planes were originally scheduled to leave U.S. airports within twelve minutes of each other. Aboard each plane were terrorists who were part of a coordinated attack plan.
American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767, left Boston for Los Angeles at 7:59 EDT. Mohamed Atta, and other hijackers, commandeered the plane and crashed it into the North Tower of the World Trade Center (between the 95th and 103rd floors) at 8:46:40 EDT.
Another Boeing jet, this one a 757 owned and operated by United Airlines, left Boston at 8:14 EDT. Terrorists took control of the plane which was also bound for Los Angeles and flying as United 175. At 09:03 EDT, they rammed it into the Trade Center’s South Tower at about the 80th floor.
At 08:20 EDT, American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, left Washington’s Dulles Airport for Los Angeles. Terrorists took control of the plane, returning it to Washington. Approaching the city from the southwest, the hijackers made a 270-degree turn. They crashed the plane into the Pentagon, causing a five-story section to collapse.
United 93, a Boeing 757 bound for San Francisco, left Newark at 08:42 EDT. Armed with knife-like instruments and a box they said was a bomb, terrorists took control forty-six minutes after takeoff while the plane was at 35,000 feet, above eastern Ohio. The aircraft “suddenly dropped 700 feet.”
Using voice-recording transcripts, investigators concluded that Flight 93 passengers averted another terrorist strike on a Washington, D.C. target. At 10:10 EDT, the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania (about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh).
In this story behind the attack, virtually visit New York City and Washington, D.C., on September 11. See videos of the planes striking the twin towers. Examine court-produced evidence regarding the terrorists, including their flight-training records.
Study highlights of the 9-11 Commission report and its coordinated photographic evidence. Learn about many of the victims, including people on board Flight 93 who tried to thwart the hijackers' plans. See the art work of American children as they responded to the tragedy.
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