September 11: Chronology of terror
September 12, 2001 Posted: 12:27 PM EDT (1627 GMT)
8:45 a.m. (all times are EDT): A hijacked passenger jet, American
Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, Massachusetts, crashes into the north
tower of the World Trade Center, tearing a gaping hole in the building and
setting it afire.
Plane hits WTC.
9:03 a.m.: A second hijacked airliner, United Airlines Flight 175 from
Boston, crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and
explodes. Both buildings are burning.
9:17 a.m.: The Federal Aviation Administration shuts down all New York
City area airports.
9:21 a.m.: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey orders all
bridges and tunnels in the New York area closed.
9:30 a.m.: President Bush, speaking in Sarasota, Florida, says the
country has suffered an "apparent terrorist attack."
9:40 a.m.: The FAA halts all flight operations at U.S. airports, the
first time in U.S. history that air traffic nationwide has been halted.
9:43 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon,
sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately.
9:45 a.m.: The White House evacuates.
9:57 a.m.: Bush departs from Florida.
10:05 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses,
plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris
forms and slowly drifts away from the building.
10:08 a.m.: Secret Service agents armed with automatic rifles are
deployed into Lafayette Park across from the White House.
10:10 a.m.: A portion of the Pentagon collapses.
10:10 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93, also hijacked, crashes in
Somerset County, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh.
10:13 a.m.: The United Nations building evacuates, including 4,700
people from the headquarters building and 7,000 total from UNICEF and U.N.
10:22 a.m.: In Washington, the State and Justice departments are
evacuated, along with the World Bank.
10:24 a.m.: The FAA reports that all inbound transatlantic aircraft
flying into the United States are being diverted to Canada.
Pennsylvania crash scene
10:28 a.m.: The World Trade Center's north tower collapses from the top
down as if it were being peeled apart, releasing a tremendous cloud of
debris and smoke.
10:45 a.m.: All federal office buildings in Washington are evacuated.
10.46 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell cuts short his trip to
Latin America to return to the United States.
First tower falls.
10.48 a.m.: Police confirm the plane crash in Pennsylvania.
10:53 a.m.: New York's primary elections, scheduled for Tuesday, are
10:54 a.m.: Israel evacuates all diplomatic missions.
10:57 a.m.: New York Gov. George Pataki says all state government
offices are closed.
11:02 a.m.: New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urges New Yorkers to
stay at home and orders an evacuation of the area south of Canal Street.
11:16 a.m.: CNN reports that the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention is preparing emergency-response teams in a precautionary move.
11:18 a.m.: American Airlines reports it has lost two aircraft.
American Flight 11, a Boeing 767 flying from Boston to Los Angeles, had 81
passengers and 11 crew aboard. Flight 77, a Boeing 757 en route from
Washington's Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles, had 58
passengers and six crew members aboard. Flight 11 slammed into the north
tower of the World Trade Center. Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.
11:26 a.m.: United Airlines reports that United Flight 93, en route
from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California, has crashed in
Pennsylvania. The airline also says that it is "deeply
concerned" about United Flight 175.
11:59 a.m.: United Airlines confirms that Flight 175, from Boston to
Los Angeles, has crashed with 56 passengers and nine crew members aboard.
It hit the World Trade Center's south tower.
12:04 p.m.: Los Angeles International Airport, the destination of three
of the crashed airplanes, is evacuated.
12:15 p.m: San Francisco International Airport is evacuated and shut
down. The airport was the destination of United Airlines Flight 93, which
crashed in Pennsylvania.
Second tower falls.
12:15 p.m.: The Immigration and Naturalization Service says U.S.
borders with Canada and Mexico are on the highest state of alert, but no
decision has been made about closing borders.
12:30 p.m.: The FAA says 50 flights are in U.S. airspace, but none are
reporting any problems.
1:04 p.m.: Bush, speaking from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana,
says that all appropriate security measures are being taken, including
putting the U.S. military on high alert worldwide. He asks for prayers for
those killed or wounded in the attacks and says, "Make no mistake,
the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these
1:27 p.m.: A state of emergency is declared by the city of Washington.
1:44 p.m.: The Pentagon says five warships and two aircraft carriers
will leave the U.S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia, to protect the
East Coast from further attack and to reduce the number of ships in port.
The two carriers, the USS George Washington and the USS John F. Kennedy,
are headed for the New York coast. The other ships headed to sea are
frigates and guided missile destroyers capable of shooting down aircraft.
1:48 p.m.: Bush leaves Barksdale Air Force Base aboard Air Force One
and flies to an Air Force base in Nebraska.
Bush: "Attacks cowardly."
2 p.m.: Senior FBI sources tell CNN they are working on the assumption
that the four airplanes that crashed were hijacked as part of a terrorist
2:30 p.m.: The FAA announces there will be no U.S. commercial air
traffic until noon EDT Wednesday at the earliest.
2:49 p.m.: At a news conference, Giuliani says that subway and bus
service are partially restored in New York City. Asked about the number of
people killed, Giuliani says, "I don't think we want to speculate
about that -- more than any of us can bear."
3:55 p.m.: Karen Hughes, a White House counselor, says the president is
at an undisclosed location, later revealed to be Offutt Air Force Base in
Nebraska, and is conducting a National Security Council meeting by phone.
Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice
are in a secure facility at the White House. Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld is at the Pentagon.
3:55 p.m.: Giuliani now says the number of critically injured in New
York City is up to 200 with 2,100 total injuries reported.
4 p.m: CNN National Security Correspondent David Ensor reports that
U.S. officials say there are "good indications" that Saudi
militant Osama bin Laden, suspected of coordinating the bombings of two
U.S. embassies in 1998, is involved in the attacks, based on "new and
specific" information developed since the attacks.
4:06 p.m.: California Gov. Gray Davis dispatches urban
search-and-rescue teams to New York.
4:10 p.m.: Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex is reported on
New York Mayor Giuliani
4:20 p.m.: U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, chairman of the Senate
Intelligence Committee, says he was "not surprised there was an
attack (but) was surprised at the specificity." He says he was
"shocked at what actually happened -- the extent of it."
4:25 p.m.: The American Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the New York
Stock Exchange say they will remain closed Wednesday.
4:30 p.m.: The president leaves Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska
aboard Air Force One to return to Washington.
5:15 p.m.: CNN Military Affairs Correspondent Jamie McIntyre reports
fires are still burning in part of the Pentagon. No death figures have
been released yet.
5:20 p.m.: The 47-story Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex
collapses. The evacuated building is damaged when the twin towers across
the street collapse earlier in the day. Other nearby buildings in the area
5:30 p.m.: CNN Senior White House Correspondent John King reports that
U.S. officials say the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania could have been
headed for one of three possible targets: Camp David, the White House or
the U.S. Capitol building.
6 p.m.: Explosions are heard in Kabul, Afghanistan, hours after
terrorist attacks targeted financial and military centers in the United
States. The attacks occurred at 2:30 a.m. local time. Afghanistan is
believed to be where bin Laden, who U.S. officials say is possibly behind
Tuesday's deadly attacks, is located. U.S. officials say later that the
United States had no involvement in the incident whatsoever. The attack is
credited to the Northern Alliance, a group fighting the Taliban in the
country's ongoing civil war.
6:10 p.m.:Giuliani urges New Yorkers to stay home Wednesday if they
6:40 p.m.: Rumsfeld, the U.S. defense secretary, holds a news
conference in the Pentagon, noting the building is operational. "It
will be in business tomorrow," he says.
6:54 p.m.: Bush arrives back at the White House aboard Marine One and
is scheduled to address the nation at 8:30 p.m. The president earlier
landed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland with a three-fighter jet
escort. CNN's John King reports Laura Bush arrived earlier by motorcade
from a "secure location."
7:17 p.m.: U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft says the FBI is setting
up a Web site for tips on the attacks: www.ifccfbi.gov. He also says
family and friends of possible victims can leave contact information at
7:02 p.m.: CNN's Paula Zahn reports the Marriott Hotel near the World
Trade Center is on the verge of collapse and says some New York bridges
are now open to outbound traffic.
7:45 p.m.: The New York Police Department says that at least 78
officers are missing. The city also says that as many as half of the first
400 firefighters on the scene were killed.
8:30 p.m.: President Bush addresses the nation, saying "thousands
of lives were suddenly ended by evil" and asks for prayers for the
families and friends of Tuesday's victims. "These acts shattered
steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve," he says.
The president says the U.S. government will make no distinction between
the terrorists who committed the acts and those who harbor them. He adds
that government offices in Washington are reopening for essential
personnel Tuesday night and for all workers Wednesday.
9:22 p.m.: CNN's McIntyre reports the fire at the Pentagon is still
burning and is considered contained but not under control.
9:57 p.m.: Giuliani says New York City schools will be closed Wednesday
and no more volunteers are needed for Tuesday evening's rescue efforts. He
says there is hope that there are still people alive in rubble. He also
says that power is out on the westside of Manhattan and that health
department tests show there are no airborne chemical agents about which to
10:49 p.m.: CNN Congressional Correspondent Jonathan Karl reports that
Attorney General Ashcroft told members of Congress that there were three
to five hijackers on each plane armed only with knives.
10:56 p.m: CNN's Zahn reports that New York City police believe there
are people alive in buildings near the World Trade Center.
11:54 p.m.: CNN Washington Bureau Chief Frank Sesno reports that a
government official told him there was an open microphone on one of the
hijacked planes and that sounds of discussion and "duress" were
heard. Sesno also reports a source says law enforcement has
"credible" information and leads and is confident about the