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tv   9 11 Anniversary Coverage  MSNBC  September 11, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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we have breaking news story to tell you about. apparently a plane just crashed into the world trade center here in new york city. it happened just a few moments ago, apparently. we have very little information available at this point in time. but on the phone, we do have jennifer oversteen who apparently witnessed this event. jennifer can you hear me? >> caller: hello? >> hi, jennifer. >> caller: hi katie. >> can you please tell me what you saw and give me any information about what is going on there. >> caller: yes, i have to tell you within it is quite terrifying. i came out of the subway. i was heading to work in battery park at the ritz carlton hotel and i come out and i heard a boom, liked up and there was a big ball of fire. i'm now looking north at the world trade center and it is the left twin tower so i'm looking
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north. i'm in battery park right now. can you hear the fire engines and emergency crews line me. it is unbelievable. hello? >> go ahead, we can hear you. >> caller: it is something i have never seen before. i used to work in news. i have never seen any fire like this in the air. and pieces of the build wrg flying down. it is like the top -- i can't even tell you, maybe 20 floors. intense smoke. it is horrible. i can't even describe it. >> do you have any idea what kind of plane it was? >> caller: i'm sorry. >> do you have any idea what hit the world trade center? >> caller: what it was? >> yes. we are getting reports an airplane hit the building. >> caller: i didn't know that. honestly, i was walking up looked up and saw a big boom and fire. we were all saying around here that it was very interesting that it was a bomb and so high
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up. so perhaps -- perhaps it was a plane. we have no -- however i have to tell you there is still things flying in the air. i mean, it is mind-boggling and horrifying. >> jennifer, it's matt lauer. i would like to ask you, while you were close to the building, or have you, since the explosion, seen anyone whose been injured being taken out of the building? are there ambulances dealing with people on sidewalk around the building? >> caller: no i have not gotten that close. i have to tell that you my father works in the w0r8 financial center and i first called over there to see, it is next door, to see if he was okay. i couldn't get through. i'm far away right now. i thought it might be danger us to get too close. i saw lots of debris coming down. and right now, i'm in battery park. i don't know, you know it is probably a five-minute walk from here to the world trade center. but the smoke is incredible. i can't see the top of the tower, it is starting to cover the top of the second tower.
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>> in fact we are looking at a huge gaping hole on the side of the building and billowing smoke. >> caller: i see major fire. i definitely see fire. >> jennifer you said you're looking north of the building. so in other words you are south of the building? >> caller: correct. >> we are looking at a picture north of the building. >> caller: i'm on the op site side. >> it appears that's where the hole is. as you mentioned correctly, on the top of the building but on the north side. and i think on what i think is the west side of the build weg can see holes there that could have been from damage once the impact occurred. again, we have been told this is a plane. we don't have confirmation on that. but there is an enormous hole in the north side of that building. >> jennifer can you tell us more about what you heard when you heard this explosion describe it for us? >> absolutely. when i walked out of the subway,
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i looked at the twin towers. i always look up there. right when i looked up there was a boom. it wasn't -- it wasn't that loud. like it wasn't huge. however, it was unbelievable with the amount of fire. it was a big ball of fire. that just went up. and i looked around at people, we were all horrified. . i'm stuttering because i'm in shock. i've never seen anything like it. its rae it's horrible. >> this is real cause for concern because the world trade center is one of the busiest office building in new york with hundreds perhaps thousands. workers. and of course given the time that this has happened, it is probably only appropriate to surmise that people might have been in the building. >> you know we have seen stories in the past where planes have hit buildings, small planes. and it would be hard to imagine that a small plane could create that kind of hole in the building like the world trade center. and, create the damage on the
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other side of the building from the sheer impact. small planes tent to crumple and then fall down the building. we haven't talked to anyone close to the base of the building. so we don't know what kind of debris or wreckage -- yes, jennifer? >> caller: i'm talking to a police officer. he said yes it is plane. >> can he give us any more details? >> caller: i'm going to put you on hold for just a moment. >> just to recap you are looking at dramatic pictures of new york's world trade center in manhattan. we are told that a plane crashed into the upper floors of the western most tower. you can see a gaping hole. that is on the north side of the building. and you can see residual damage on the west side of that building and obviously fires are burning right now in the world trade center. >> tall buildings are a problem
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here in new york. a plane hit the empire state building. >> right now, we are getting information, al, it was a small commute are plane. of course we will let people know as soon as we have more information as it what exactly caused this. of course, on everybody's minds, who might have been hurt as a result of this terrible, terrible incident. we will be talking to more eyewitnesss coming up in just a few minutes. >> oh, another one just hit. something else just hit. a very large plane just directly over my building. there's another way to help eliminate litter box dust: purina tidy cats. tidy cats premium line of litters now works harder on dust. and our improved formulas neutralize odors better than ever in multiple-cat homes. so it's easier to keep your house smelling just the way you want it. purina tidy cats. keep
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we're back at 9:00 eastern time on this tuesday morning. we are back with dramatic pictures of an accident that happened just a short time ago. if you are looking at the world
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trade center this lower manhattan, a few moments ago, lane sma sm reports are that a small commuter plane crashed into the upper floors of one of the twin towers. you can see flames and smoke billowing from that tower. there is a gaping hole on the south side, that's the left-hand side of your screen right now, and other damage to the west side of that building which is to the right side of your screen. this of course, happened just before the morning commute. before people were heading into their offices. while i'm sure while some people were already at work, immediately there is speculation or cause for concern, this is the world trade center that was at the center of a terrorist bombing some years ago. some have to ask, is this purely an accident or an intentional act. either way extensive damage has been done to this building. >> it also looks like smoke out of the east side of the building. that shot we just saw. looks like smoke billowing out of the east side. >> commuters were absolutely devastated when they heard the
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explosion. we talked with somebody a moment ago. jennifer oversteen. and also another eyewitness, elliott walker a producer here on the "today" show. elliott, can you hear me? >> yes, case katie. >> can you tell he what you saw? >> caller: i was walking down the sidewalk delivering my young daughter to school. and we heard a very loud sound the kind of sound you hear when a plane is you know, going fast past you. followed by an enormous crash. and an immediate explosion. i don't think we could feel shock waves but we sort of felt like we did. we were in position where we could see the trade center almost immediately between the other buildings. and an enormous fire ball that must have been 300 feet across immediately. a second darea secondary explosion, then plumes of smoke.
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there must have been a three-block cloud of white smoke. how where i was on the street a moment ago, you can see smoke leaving the building on three sides. it seems to be coming out on at least four or five floors, the is filled with hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper that are just sort of floating like confetti. the area is swarmed with emergency vehicles. and sirens. >> have you seen -- >> caller: obviously we are sensitive to this kind of thing in this neighborhood. >> of course, because of the incident that occur netd early 1990s. have you seen any evidence elliott, of people being taken out of the building? are you saying that emergency vehicles are there understandably so, but of course the major concern is that the loss do you know if there were many people in the building? >> caller: oh, another one just hit. another one hit. another large plane flew directly over my building and there is another collision. can you see it. >> yes. >> caller: something else -- that looked like a 747.
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>> we just saw a plane circling the building. a second ago on the shot right before that. >> caller: i think there is another impact. can you tell? i just heard a very loud bang and very large plane a dc 9 or 747 just flew past my window. >> i didn't get the impression it was that big a plane. >> caller: it liked big from here. >> it how now impacted the building. i'm trying to see if it was the different tower. >> caller: it was world trade center one. it looks on television like maybe the second building was hit. >> we may see another plane enter the picture in a second. >> i wonder if there are air traffic control problems. >> we talked to jennifer oversteen a second ago. did you just see this happen? >> caller: hello? >> did you see this happen jennifer? >> caller: matt i have never seen this, like a movie.
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i saw a large plane like a jet hit the world trade center. it just flew into it coming from south to north. i watched the plane fly into the world trade center. it was a jet a very large plane. it was going fast. went past the ritz carlton and battery park. almost hit it, then went in. >> this is so shocking of course to everybody watching. >> caller: i've never seen anything like it. it literally flew itself into world trade center. >> we move from what appears -- there it is right there. >> caller: again, i'm looking from south to north. and it went into the one on the right. >> that appeared to be at least a 727 we saw a second ago. here comes the videotape that we just showed you. you will see what appears to be a large plane, it could be a 727, right there maybe even bigger, flying right into the side of the world trade center. >> caller: it was at least a 727. it was a jet. i couldn't believe my eyes,
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watching it above me. >> now you have to move, talk from about a possible accident to talk about something deliberate that has happened here. we are going to immediately check with air traffic control in the area it find out if they had contact with either of these planes before the accident, but what we have just seen is about the most shocking videotape i've ever seen. >> caller: the scene down here is incredible. people are out of their office buildings, watching, crying, taking pictures. i've never seen anything like it down here.
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it's completely impossible to understand why this is happening and to figure out what the -- what in the world is going on? >> it is now after 9 a.m. i just wonder how many people were in those offices. >> well, hopefully they were evacuated following the first incident and we can only hope that -- it was a very short period of time from when we first learn bed this, was probably 8:50 eastern time. this second incident occurred about 9:05. obviously that would be a short amount of time to get people out of the building. another witness is on the ground ole, can you hear me? >> caller: yes, hello. >> please tell me what you are seeing. >> caller: well, i live in loafer manhattan. i right now there is a lot of chaos on the ground. a lot of emergency vehicles. everyone from the world
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financial center has exited and is walking north up to battery park north. there is just mass and massive people walking north, uptown, of manhattan. i happened to look on the first tower, and actually saw people waving where the first plane crashed through and then it was unbelievable seeing the second jet come crashing into the second tower. what is going on? >> unfortunately, here in new york, many of our stations cannot see this. local stations. because the antennas are on the world trade center. their back up tower is on the empire state building. but television communication in new york city is probably pretty much knocked off the air. >> i just want to say something,er with looking at a picture that appears, because of the angle i think, that towers of leaving. and i don't think that that is actually the case because after the first impact, it looked as if the left hand -- the right
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hand tower was leaning and now somebody is saying we are getting a witness saying they are learning, actually, right now. which will give you an idea of the type of impact we're talking about. >> perhaps they are buckling under the force of the collision. and the hole that's resulting from the two planes. >> we will go to george shea right now, who also witnessed both or one of these collisions. george, can you hear us? >> caller: i can hear you. >> what did you see george? >> caller: i was in the car, coming out of bat battery tunnel, when a large explosion happened. it was larger than a construction explosion. i looked out the window and a tire through through the ground and hit a car and there was a ton of debris falling. i jumped out of the car and ran south of the building because i thought there would be further explosion. >> have you seen anyone injured on the ground, george? >> a man next to me was actually
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hit by a piece of debris in his arm. they said that someone had been badly hurt in a car ahead of me. i'm not sure if it was the car next to me. i can't verify that. all i can say is that a lot of debris was falling and it was confusing. everyone immediately assumed a bomb exploded. that's a pretty -- you know, thinking that further bombs may explode. sort of a rush away. >> did you see, george wbt second plane, that jet fly into the other twin tower? >> caller: i heard two explosions, however. there was a first explosion that was louder and then a second explosion. and but i did not -- i con see that. i looked up, and when i looked up, i saw degree falling as a tire as i said, a very large tire. >> of course this is as we've said completely shocking video and shocking turn of events and we've been talking here that the
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first incident one might surmise it was some kind of accident and this to have a second what appeared to be 727 jet, of course the question of terrorist activity has it surface. and the question of whether this was an intentional terrorist act of some kind pf. >> you know keep in mind that we are in an area where there are three major airports. newark airport kennedy and la guardia airport all within several miles of the world trade center. it is very odd for a plane to get into this area without being tracked or identified by air traffic control. would you have to imagine that, a kwb if this plane were headed right for the world trade center, there must have been someone trying to talk or communicate with that pilot. and for it to fly right into the side of the building. >> the smaller plane can you understand, almost. but a large jet, jumbo jet -- >> let's rerack that video if we could, down in the control room. where we actually saw the jet
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flying into the building. >> i was mistaken. elliott walker said it was a big plane. i was looking into the distance at a small plane which may have been a helicopters, but to see this come into the picture, that's a big plane. it is hard to imagine -- it is a 737 we are now being told. and flying directly into the mid section of the -- what would be the eastern tower. of the world trade center. >>ed inless to needless to say, it is pandemonium down there. we have gathered that with eyewitnesss to whom we've spoke and this is terrifying for them to see. you can only imagine as you get closer to the twin towers, a new york landmark, what the scene must be like there there. >> you know, with you talk about the buildings looking like they are buckling. they are designed to have a two-degree sway in either direction because of the height of the building and deal with
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winder stress. but something like that is probably more than it is designed for. >> we are going to a television producy here in new york, jane, can you hear me? >> caller: yes can i hear you. i'm down here near the world trade center. i was walking down 6th avenue this morning at 8:42 a.m. a group of us saw a plane go through the buildings. then we saw a huge cloud of smoke. then fire came out of one of the towers. here it is near the upper floor, as you can probably see with your chopper shots. then about 10 minutes ago a second explosion in the second tower, lower down. that was not affected byure what happened there bp but right now there is a huge gaping hole in one of the towers and the other building is on fire. the view down here is incredible. people are out of their office building. watching, crying, taking pictures. i've never seen anything like in down here. >> we want to mention when the
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impact hit the first tower, you would hope that people in the second tower were beginning to evacuate. especially if air traffic control had some indication this was deliberate, you would hope they were starting to get people out of other tower before the second plane hit that tower. >> if you have tried to go up -- you know, we've been upstairs in the towers of the restaurant up there, to try to get down. >> the elevators would have been jammed, no question. but if there is indication this is deliberate, the first hope they would immediate begin evacuation of the second tower. >> i've just to top u.s. with the access to latest intelligence, and they said, quote that this was clearly terrorist related. no question about it.
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hi everybody, i'm thomas roberts, here's what's
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happening. on the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, family members of those who died mourn their loss at new memorials in new york and pennsylvania. names of the nearly 3,000 who died were read by loved ones. the me meral at ground zero will be open to the public tomorrow. president obama visited all three sites today. he laid wreaths in cats skill pa and pentagon to pay tribute to the lives lost exactly one decade ago. now back to 9/11, at it happened. we've got another eyewitness we would like to speak with. dan detrik is on the phone. dan, tell us what you are seeing or what you saw. >> what i saw is one plane coming in low from the north down over 7th avenue tp it crashed into the top or the middle of one of the towers. ten minutes later i saw another
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plane crash into the other side of the tower at a lower level. it looks to be a small you know commercial plane, the first plane that i saw. it crashed into the top of the tower and there was a huge fire ball and there was a gaping hole in the side of the tower. as we were waiting outside and looking at it, another plane came in low i believe from the other side and hit the sort of the middle of the other tower. i saw both planes two separate planes crash into each tower. >> dan, again the size of the planes, tell me about that. >> i would say the plane is midsize, looks to be a commercial airline. i don't know, i thought perhaps, you know, a commercial airline, midsize. an jumbo jet. >> this of course is unconfirmed but we are getting information
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from an employee of united airlines. again, we want to emphasize this is unconfirmed. but there is speculation that an american airlines plane was hijacked and crashed purposefully, on purpose, into the world trade center and that the second plane was -- another plane perhaps hijacked was then flown in to the second tower. we want to also report that, remind people, that world trade center bombing that took place on february 26th back in 1993 the product after terrorist attack, the result of a terrorist attack that killed six people and injured more than a thousand, of course that happened on a friday afternoon. i think matt, you and al were working that day. >> we were. >> i know i was at home in virginia watching it in disbelief. now it feels a bit like deja vu. but this is so much more bizarre. >> and keep in mind, that injured six, killed a thousand and that was a bomb in the
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garage after basement. this was the upper section of the tower so potential for injuries and death, much larger. of course, also people on the planes. >> exactly. if they were hijacked and enroute it a different destination. this story continues to unfold. bob kerr joins us now. bob, where are you and what can you tell us? >> katie, good morning. i'm on the lawn of the white house. and the first thing we look for here in light of what has happened, is whether there is any unusual activity here. whether there is secret service presence, people on the roof, that sort of thing. >> we don't see that as we speak. i did try to call the national security office here. as you know the president is out of town. he is in florida. er with told he has been informed of this. i can tell you that the white house national security staff that remains here is in a senior level meeting and we are hoping to hear from them as soon as possible. but katie, the reaction here to pictures you are seeing and to
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the initial pictures when they came up, even in what's called the lower press office here at the white house was one of shock. i mean people are just standing around television monitors looking at this. and when i say people, i mean people in the office here at the white house. >> so very little information is coming out of the white house at this juncture. but needless to say if speculation is true about some kind of terrorist event, this will be a major major crisis for the bush administration. nick, are you hearing any more information from there? >> well, i cording to u.s. intelligence officials, katie there appeared at least to their knowledge, to be no specific threat involving hijacking airliners or any attacks on buildings in the new york area. u.s. intelligence officials report this morning, that there are, you know constantly are
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hearing about threats possible terrorist threats against american targets worldwide. but as far as they know this morning, they had no early indications that anything of this nature could have occurred. pentagon officials are already calling this a terrorist attack. they say that they -- they have not yet ordered the scrambling of any military jets. if national guard were to be scrambled in that area that would be at the order of the governor. now of course the president does have the authority to scramble american military forces in defense. but there's a problem here. what now do you defend against exactly? if you put warplanes in the air there's always a danger that they could misidentify a pilot's intention. although i believe according
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to officials here -- >> i just want to -- >> it is now off limits and restricted. so far the u.s. military and pentagon officials are exambling to get as much information as they possibly can to determine what course of action, if any the u.s. military would take. >> but, they are describing as a terrorist attack right now. >> there are some officials in the pentagon who are calling this an obvious terrorist attack based on very information. the information that intelligent officials are getting in terms of a possible hijacked plane. and of course the very horrifying video of the plane veering in to the tower itself is a clear indication to everyone here that this is not an accident. primary concern right now, is protecting the american public in the new york area right now,
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against any possible further attacks by the air. they have no indications there will be. but there is some concern that since this appeared to be such a highly coordinate aid tack, that there may be other terrorist attacks that could be planned either in new york or elsewhere. this is absolutely the worst case scenario for the counter terrorist planners. because apparently according to intelligence officials, there were no firm indications prior to this that anything like this could have happened. in terms of scrambling the u.s. military, it would be for protection for the time being and not even necessarily thinking right now about any kind of retaliation. >> all right david gregory is now on the phone. >> he is following the president. >> that's right david? >> the president is about to begin an education event which is obviously being cancelled.
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the president we expect momentary, to come out and make a statement about this. he was made aware on route to his hotel from this school here in sarasota where he was going to make a statement. we will hear from u.s. officials that he will quickly depart for washington. >> we should mention david that new york city airport or new york area airports have all been closed ppt lincoln tunnel has been closed here in new york. while we are getting toward listen to the president, let's go back to jim at the pentagon. jim, you talk about counter terrorist measures that are in place. can you shet any light for us on what kind of things are in place in the event of an attack of this nature? >> well, katie it is very difficult to -- for the u.s. military to respond to this kind of thing. you know, right now. because it is unclear exactly who's behind it. and if there are any other potential attacks or incidents
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like this, because this hasn't been officially considered a terrorist attack. but those looking at pictures say there is no doubt about it. this is a coordinated terrorist attack. but who and why is very much unclear right now. the problem with trying to then put planes in the air it try to prevent any further attacks is these are after all, open airspaces for the most part. and it's difficult for the u.s. military to simply scramble jets and put them in the air and then according to officials here, then do what? this area of course, according to officials here, is obviously going to be declared off limits in terms of any air traffic. but right now, officials here at the pentagon are simply scrambling to find out what what happens and what potential reaction the u.s. military could
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provide? terms of protection. possible further protection against any further potential attacks. >> it is important know, if the planes were hijacked, if they are carrying passengers, there isn't much officiales could have done. you couldn't shoot done a plane like that, for risk of those on board, or land in a place like manhattan. >> that's exactly right. the president, as we said earlier, does in fact have the authority to scramble the military, put them up in some kind of force protection mode. the 2k3w06 governor has the national guard. he has can do that. but officials are wondering what to do in terms of protection and how. again, to the counterterrorism -- terrorist officials, this is absolutely the worst case scenario. because right now, there seems to be not much, not much they can do in terms of the
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aftermath. >> nick, obviously -- yeah,er with scrambling for information here. i want to read this reuters wire that says two planes crashed into the world trade center on tuesday morning causing huge explosions and killing at least six people. cnbc said there were at least a thousand jip injured. thousands of people were at the scene after bombing in 1993. the fbi told the associated press that it was quote, foul play, and not an accident. a person who answered the phone opt trading floor at inner dealer broker located near the top of the world trade center said, we're blanking dying, when asked what was happening, and hung up. there was screaming and yelling in the background and follow-up call was not answered. nick fulton and i witnessed just before the first explosion he saw a plane fly over his apartment in the soho district of lower manhattan.
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jamie is on the telephone with more information our national correspondent. jamie, what can you tell us? >> katie, i have just spoke to top u.s. officiales with the latest intelligence and they said, quote this was clearly terrorist related. no question about it. they said that they couldn't get any further details now, not because they didn't want to share it, but because they just don't know yet. we are at the earlier stages. >> do though know, jamie, for example if a plane was in fact hijacked? >> they would not answer that. i think that it's because -- i think that they just are getting the earliest details and they are afraid of putting out misinformation. but they said that it was clearly terrorist related. today we've add national tragedy. two airplanes have crashed into
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we're looking again, if you are just joining us, as both towers of the world trade center in new york city, where two planes have crashed into the towers, one certainly before 9:00 eastern time, one shortly after 9:00 eastern time. and as you can see, the tower on the left was hit just above the mid section point. they are both 110 floors high, 1300 feet above the ground. the tower on the right was hit more probably two thirds to three quarters of the way up the tower. but you can see four fires
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burning in both towers. we actually saw a videotape on -- we watched the second tape where the second plane hit the building. you will watch it enter from the right portion of the screen then make content with the left tower, in what is shocking video. and here it comes right there. and can you see the impact on one side of the building, and the residual zamage coming out of another side of the building and one can only imagine that that one occurred shortly after 9:00 in the morning how many people were in the building at the time of impact. it was a large plane, either a that the first plane was 757. >> some kind of airbus. that is what the united worker told us, that apparently, it was an american airlines plane that had been -- >> hijacked. >> hijacked. from boston to los angeles. but we are just getting initial reports of that. and again, we must tell you that we are trying to get as much
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information but it is trickling in at a very slow pace. so all of this, is unconfirmed. and of course speculation after terrorist attack is unconfirmed, although that is what some pentagon officials are saying. let's go to president bush right now. >> unfortunately we will be going back it washington after my remarks. secretary page and lieutenant governor will take the podium and discussedcation. i do want to thank the folks here at booker elementary school for their hospitality. today we've add national tragedy. two airplanes have crashed into the world trade center. in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. i have spoken to the vice president, to the governor of new york to the director of the fbi, and i've ordered that full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families and
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to conduct a full scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. terrorism against our nation will not stand. and now, if you join me in a moment of silence. may god bless the victims, their families, and america. thank you very much. >> we will go to andrea mitchell now who has more information on this tragedy. andrea? >> matt and katie, i have taken to an official that says reports to the community and other officials within the administration, are that this was a hijacked american airlines plane on route from boston to los angeles. one of the two planes they say was apparently a hijacked american airlines plane. they caution that early reports
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still need further confirmation but this is at least what the government is told by american airlines officials apparently. they are assuming and obviously informed the president that this is a terror attack. >> andrea, we have no information into what term of the flight the plane was taken over. how much warning that air traffic controllers may have had that someone hostile was at the controls of this plane? >> exactly right. they had no other information. just that at least one of the two planes was hijacked from boston on route to los angeles. presumably after it had already been in the air and on route. i was told on route to los angeles. so probably hijacked after it had taken off. as you know, those are very short flights. usually 737s or 757s on that route. but this clearly according to the u.s. government, is a terror attack. as you heard the president say. now one of the things matt, katie, we should -- there was no specific threat that u.s. government is aware of.
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no specific terror alert other than the worldwide caution that had been reissued in recent days because of the strike in the middle east because of concerns over terrorists. of course, the best known is osama bin laden. but no alert coming from his organization. and as far as they know, as of this morning as of this minute, he is in afghanistan. >> as we should mention, andrea wab it appears this is a well-coordinated bombing or attack because two planes were used. both sub stan nshl size and the fact that they both hit the world trade center within 18 minutes of one another. obviously a lot of planning went into this attack. >> matt with to add to what andrea mitchell just said, senior military officials here at the pentagon are saying they are getting information that the american airlines flight 11, after it left boston apparently, was hijacked.
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and was diverted, apparently, the early information was was being diverted to jfk for some reason. and then obviously nobody knows exactly who was at the controls of the plane. but it broke off its route to los angeles. but it is headed towards jfk. that's the initial information that officials had received when obviously, it did not go to jfk but veered off and headed toward the world trade center. but again, no indication as to who may be responsible or who was at the controls of that plane when it rammed into the world trade center. >> katie, i don't want to alarm anybody right now. but apparently, it felt, just a few moments ago like there was an explosion of some kind here at the pentagon.
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right now we will talk with larry johnson. a terrorism expert. mr. johnson, can you please put this into some kind of perspective for us and give us your insight on what might have happened here? >> well first we want to be cautious before we jump to the
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conclusion it is necessarily a terrorist. i would be inclined based on the preliminary reports to say that's the case. but there is always the possibility that we may find out after the fact that this is some suicide pact that had nothing to do with politics. that said, this is a first. this is a very very rare event. unlikely to be repeated. but i think president bush put his finger on it. we have to find who did this and any country, any nation in the world that is in any way involved or responsible, if it turns out to be terrorism will require a response from the united states. the united states has to be willing to pay that price. >> mr. johnson, obviously we are completely stunned when about 25 minutes after the first explosion or after the first plane crashed into one of the twin towers, another very large plane did the same thing and we have been talking with correspondents all morning about sort of if another incident
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could happen on the heels of these two. what kind of measures are in place to prepare for something else that could conceivably happen? >> well, one step taken, i was at national airport getting ready to fly it la guardia when this occurred. they shut down air traffic going in and out of city. now apart from shutting down air traffic, you are talking about an enormous disrupgs ek nom lick for the nation right now with the air traffic not going in. people are going to -- they are going to err on the side of caution. >> larry i wanted to ask you all morning, that correspondents have been saying, particularly bob and jim, and andrea mitchell there was no warning attached to this event. >> right. >> generally speaking, do we get some kind or do u.s. officials are government agencies get some kind of warning from a particular group or is this pretty -- i mean fairly typical in terms of an event happening without forshadowing. >> no, katie, this unfortunately
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is typical. only in the movies do you get advanced warnings. you look at every major terrorist incident against the united states. whether pan, bombing in saudi arabia rarely do you get advance notice -- >> larry, i'm sorry to interrupt you. but we have new information from the pentagon. i hope you will stand by to talk with us. nick? >> katie i don't want to alarm anybody but apparently, it felt a few moments ago, like there was an explosion of some kind here at the pentagon. we're on the on the e-ring of the pentagon p.m. we are facing the potomac center. we haven't seen or heard anything since the initial blast. i just stepped out into the hallway. security guards were herding people out of the building. i saw a moment ago as i look outside a number of construction workers who have been working here, have taken flight. they are running as far way from the building as they can right now.
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i hear no sirens going off, i see no smoke. but building shook for just a couple of seconds. the windows rattled and security personnel are doing what they can momentarily to clear this part of the building. again, i have no idea whether it was part of the construction work. whether it was an accident. or what is going on. we are going to try to find those details and get them to you as soon as possible. but, interestingly enough, one intelligence official here in the building said when he saw what appeared to be the coordinated attack on the world trade center, his advice was to stay away from the outside of the building today. just in case. now again, nobody has any indications of exactly what happened, but it appears there has been some kind of, it felt like a small blast of some kind, again, the windows shook.
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the building shook. the windows rattled and people, if -- looking out the window now, the construction workers -- oh, i'm sorry. the construction workers are still keeping a distance that's all i can see. and i see no other ex 2r5 curricular security activity right outside. but to get more information, i'm going to have to break away and walk down the hallway and see what it is exactly that happened here just a few moments ago. >> nick, see what you can find out. please be careful and let us know what is going on there. meanwhile, we will go back it david gregory, who is in florida where president bush was earlier this morning for an event on literacy. he was going to a school it talk with kids. david, what can you tell us? >> ail lit little bit more about how all of this unfolded and what the president will do next. the president declared this an parent terrorist act. he offered a prayer for the families


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