Terrorists Blast New York Trade Center, Pentagon,

Manila Bulletin, September 12, 2001 | Go to article overview

Terrorists Blast New York Trade Center, Pentagon,


NEW YORK (AP) - Planes crashed into the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers minutes apart yesterday in a horrific scene of explosions and fires that left gaping holes in the 110-story buildings.

There was no immediate word on injuries or fatalities in the twin disasters, which happened shortly before 9 a.m.

President George W. Bush said Tuesday that the crashes were "an apparent terrorist attack on our country."

In Washington, officials said that the FBI was investigating reports of a plane hijacking before the crashes.

A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agency is pursuing reports that one or both of the planes were hijacked and that the crashes may have been the result of a suicide mission.

The source stressed that the reports are preliminary and officials do not know the cause of the crashes.

"It certainly doesn't look like an accident," said a second government official, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The plane was coming in low and ... it looked like it hit at a slight angle," Sean Murtagh, a CNN vice president said.

Large holes were visible in sides of the 110-story buildings, landmark twin towers.

"I was watching TV and heard a sonic boom ...," witness Jeanne Yurman told CNN. "The side of the World Trade Center exploded," she added.

Debris is falling like leaflets. I hear ambulances. The northern tower seems to be on fire."

The tops of the twin towers were obscured by the smoke.

Thousands of pieces of what appeared to be office paper came drifting over Brooklyn, about three miles (4.8 kilometers) from the tower, one witness said.

A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agency is pursuing reports that one or both of the planes were hijacked and that the crashes may have been the result of a suicide mission.

The source stressed that the reports are preliminary and officials do not know the cause of the crashes.

"It certainly doesn't look like an accident," said a second government official, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

In Sarasota, Florida, President George W. Bush was reading to children in a classroom at 9:05 a.m. when his chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered into his ear. The president briefly turned somber before he resumed reading.

Asked what he knew about the planes, Bush replied, "I'll talk about it later.

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