Terror attacks hit U.S.

Posted: September 11, 2001

People walk away from the World Trade Center as ash rains down.  

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Terrorists struck the United States Tuesday morning in harrowing, widespread attacks that included at least three commercial jet crashes into significant buildings.

• In the first attack, a plane hits the north tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan shortly before 9 a.m., followed by another plane into the second tower about 20 minutes later. Both towers later collapse.

• About an hour later, a plane crashes into the Pentagon, part of which later collapses.

• American Airlines tells CNN that it lost two planes, both en route to Los Angeles: American Flight 11 from Boston with 81 passengers and 11 crew aboard is lost. This is believed, but not confirmed, to have been one of the planes that crashed into the trade center. ... American Flight 77, a Boeing 757 from Washington Dulles airport to Los Angeles with 58 passengers and six crew is unaccounted for. Witness says plane that hit Pentagon was an American Airlines Boeing 757.

• United Airlines loses two planes: United Airlines Flight 93 airliner headed from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, crashes near Somerset, Pennsylvania -- police say initial reports indicate no survivors. ... United confirms the crash of Flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles with 56 passengers and seven crew aboard. It's possible, but not confirmed, that this is the second plane that hit the World Trade Center.

• FBI sources said all four planes that crashed had been hijacked.

•  The Pentagon, the White House, the State Department, the Justice Department, the Capitol, the CIA and all other government buildings in Washington are evacuated.

• President Bush calls the crashes "a national tragedy." Later in the day, Bush issues a statement from Barksdale AFB near Shreveport, Louisiana. "Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts."

• In the first-ever national ground stop of aircraft, all flights nationwide are stopped at their departure airports.

• International flights are initially diverted to Canada; FAA says later, however, that 22 U.S.-bound international flights will be allowed to land.

• Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, says in reaction to the terror attacks that "we want to tell the American children that Afghanistan feels your pain and we hope that the courts find justice."

• In New York, more than 10,000 rescue personnel rush to the scene. Evacuation of lower Manhattan begins.

• Israel evacuates all of its missions around the world.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is evacuated. CDC prepares bioterrorism teams in case they become necessary.

• Philadelphia landmarks are evacuated.

• In Chicago, the Sears Tower is evacuated; United Nations in New York is evacuated.

• Five battleships and two aircraft are deployed along the East Coast of the United States, and two aircraft carriers go to New York area, all from Norfolk, Virginia.

• The New York Port Authority closes all bridges and tunnels into the city.

• U.S. stock markets close after the New York attacks.

• NATO sends home all non-essential personnel from its Brussels, Belgium, headquarters.

• The Immigration and Naturalization Service puts the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada on highest state of alert.

• Los Angeles International Airport is evacuated.

• Disney closes its parks in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

• FEMA implements plan established for such events: FBI leads investigation, and Justice Deptartment heads crisis management.

• Three Palestinian groups -- Hamas, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Islamic Jihad -- deny responsibility for the attacks, but blame U.S. policies in the Mideast.

• Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, D.C., declares a state of emergency.

• A Delta flight makes emergency landing in Cleveland and all passengers are safely evacuated. Federal officials search the plane for a possible bomb.