20 years ago, on September 11, 2001, the USA were the target of a coordinated and well-prepared attack by al Qaeda, which struck Twin Towers and Pentagon.
19 hijackers, which captured four planes bound for California, were the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks, the bloodiest in history, which claimed the lives of 3,000 dead.
Two planes crashed in succession on the Twin Towers, which collapsed in less than two hours, and a third hit the Pentagon. The fourth plane, which allegedly targeted the Capitol – the seat of Congress – or the White House, crashed in a wooded area of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers managed to bring it under their control. None of the passengers on these four planes survived.
The Timeline of the events of the day, as presented by the Athenian News Agency
- 8:46: American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 departing from Boston to Los Angeles with 92 people on board, including five hijackers, crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. It caused a huge crack in the upper floors that were engulfed in flames.
- 9:03: United Airlines Flight 175, also a Boeing 767 on the Boston-Los Angeles route with 65 people on board, including the five hijackers, crashed into the upper floors of the South Tower.
- 9:05, Sarasota, Florida: President George W. Bush. Bush had begun reading a story to elementary school students: “A second plane crashed into the second tower. “America is under attack,” his chief of staff whispered in his ear.
- 9:25: The Civil Aviation Authority (FAA) announced the closure of US airspace and banned the take-off of all aircraft.
- 9:30: President Bush told students he was returning to Washington because of “a possible terrorist attack.”
- 9:37: American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 departing from Washington for San Francisco with 64 people on board, including five hijackers, crashed on the west side of the Pentagon.
- 9:42: The FAA has asked all in-flight aircraft to land as soon as possible.
- 9:59: The south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a cloud of fire, dust and steel. The collapse is so violent that no trace of the DNA of the hundreds of people in the Tower has ever been found.
- 10:03 a.m., Shanksville, Pennsylvania: United Airlines Flight 93, departing from Newark Airport in New Jersey for San Francisco with 44 people on board, including 4 hijackers, crashed in a wooded area of Sansville, Pennsylvania. . Some of the passengers, who had been informed of what had happened in New York, resisted the hijackers.
- 10:28: The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed 102 minutes after the plane crashed on it. Southern Manhattan was covered in a cloud of ash and debris.
- 13:04, Louisiana: President Bush, who has taken refuge at Barcdale Air Force Base, has put the military on high alert and vowed to “prosecute and punish cowardly perpetrators” of the attacks. The president was then flown to Nebraska Air Force Base before returning to the White House in the evening.
- 13:27, Washington: Mayor Anthony Williams has declared a state of emergency in the federal capital.
- 20:30: President Bush addressed the Americans and denounced the “calculated terrorist attacks”. The US president has vowed to identify those responsible, while warning that Washington “will not discriminate” between terrorists and those who protect them.