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America Under Attack: FAA Shuts Down Airports Around the Country

Aired September 11, 2001 - 17:32   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Air travel throughout the United States, domestic air travel, has been shut down today since these terrible incidents in New York City and here in Washington. In fact, there is no air travel until at least noon tomorrow, on order of the Federal Aviation Administration.

But right now, we want to go to one of the airports in the Washington area, that is Dulles International. This is the site of where the American Airline flight, the flight 77, that left this morning on its way to Los Angeles and ended up plowing into the Pentagon a very short time later. CNN's Eileen O'Connor is there at Dulles -- Eileen.

EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there has been some activity here, Judy. The FBI has arrived, and they have been seen going in and out of the building. They brought some equipment in to check through the building.

We do know from airport personnel and the airport authority that both National and Dulles are shut down until 11:00 at least tomorrow morning, but also that they immediately implemented an emergency drill procedure, and that means that they called in all of their police -- and they have their own police force -- and their own fire personnel, and they also have all of their operational staff here at the airport.

They are securing the airport. You can see actually behind me, they have actually erected barricades, concrete barricades, with some of these forklifts, have been operating over the last hour erecting these barricades. Also, there's barricades right now in the entrances to the airport to prevent anyone from coming back here.

As you also said, United and American Airlines -- obviously, they are the ones that lost flights -- they have been issuing statements saying that they are trying to help the families, both of these airlines issuing statements. They have also said that they have accounted for all of their other flights, and that they are all safely on the ground. They want to make sure people know that. And they also say that they will do everything they can to make sure their customers, the people who were traveling, are comfortable until they can fly on to their destinations -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And Eileen, any other people around there? I mean, we see you, obviously, and we see a few other people, but presumably not much other activity there at all.

O'CONNOR: No. And they have actually tried to stage some of the -- obviously, there are relatives, concerned relatives, from the American flight that took off from this morning, and we are being told by the airport authorities that they are trying to send those relatives over to a nearby hotel and to try to give them information.

Both airlines have issued phone numbers for the people to find out about loved ones. One of those airlines is United, their number is 800-932-8555. But they are saying that people should stay away from the airports. The airports are shut. Again, they are under emergency procedures.

And also, you know, Judy, for here, an investigation is taking place. The FBI is already here. They have had sniffer dogs around the airport. They want to see how the security was breached. We are also told that the tarmac has been secured, that the airlines -- that the airplanes that are currently on the ground were very quickly secured, after it was decided to shut these airports down -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Eileen, just reiterating, there were eight cities in the United States involved with these aircrafts that plowed into the Trade Center building complex, into the Pentagon and then into the ground in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh.

Two planes took off from Boston, one from Newark, one from Dulles near Washington, where you are. Three of those flights were headed for Los Angeles, one for San Francisco. Of course, none of those flights reached their intended destination.

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