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tv   9 11 Anniversary Coverage  MSNBC  September 11, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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promised to hunt down, in his words the people responsible for this. he will now travel back to washington and aides are telling us now that will immediately convene a national security meeting to see what steps are taken next. >> david, i'm sorry to interrupt you. we are looking at live pictures of the pentagon where there is billowing smoke. jim just reported that he heard an explosion. right now we are looking at an aerial view of the pentagon. can you talk to us? >> officially nobody knows what happened. i think the picture is pretty clear. according to one u.s. army officer who went running past mean at a full trot, he said, that it appears that a bomb was detonated at the heliport. that is right next to the pentagon just adjacent to the e-ring. the offices nearest the heliport area are u.s. army reserve
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officers and the army reserve offices are located there. as can you see, it appears to be a pretty significant blast. to you give you some perspective, we are almost on the opposite side of the building, the world's largest office building, and as reported to you we could feel the building shake and windows rattle. as i was in the hallway a few moments ago, i could smell a kind of smoke, almost what you would smell when a fluorescent light goes back. thatballist smell. authorities are clearing the building. >> u.s. intelligence sources are confirming the reports that one of the planes was a hijacked flight, an american flight from fr boston to los angeles. ♪ ♪
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i don't know if you can hear the sirens outside right now. but, it appears that in what -- i think people here in the building are already describing as a highly sophisticated coordinated attack, not only against the world trade center, but against the pentagon and u.s. military right here in washington. >> tell me again, i worked at the pentagon as well. and it is a huge building. i mean it is miles and miles of offices. at what location did this seem
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to have detonated? >> it is at the heliport. as you sit in the pentagon, you have the potomac river and washington, d.c. on one side and the heliport is located almost exactly on the opposite side of the building. along one of the highways. easily accessible. even though that they have increased security here significantly at the pentagon, within the past couple of years, that area -- >> i want to know something, mik, we are hearing unconfirmed reports that this is the result after plane crashing in the area as well. >> i have no idea, katie. all i know is that people in the building who came running from that part of the building thought this was a bomb of some kind. according to chris brown, my colleague, who just came in it appears that whatever it was and perhaps it was a plane, katie, if those are the official
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reports, crashed into or the damage is on the roof of the building at the he liport side of the pentagon which is just opposite of the potomac river as he just said. >> we're looking at the white house, mik, because we are learning that there have been some evacuations from the white house. i'm assuming that everyone is being evacuated from the pentagon? >> reporter: well, no one has given us the official word yet but i think that is probably a safe bet. thank goodness that was a helicopter that just flew by. i'm just a little nervous right now when you hear aircraft go past bp but they have, in fact evacuated that portion of the building. usually they have sirens that go off in the building alerting you to the fact that it is time to get out. i haven't heard those yet. but just judging by the pictures, it is clear that that
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part of the building that is not damaged at least has been evacuated. like i said in the hallway, it was pandemonium. people were rushing to their offices, rushing outside. >> and you're at your office at pentagon right now, mik, reporting to us? >> i am at the office but i'm at the opposite side of where this crash occurred. >> okay. why don't you see if can you gather more information. please be careful mik, and we will go to matt talking with -- >> thank you, katie. i'm with tom brokaw. we will recap what is going on on the east coast and in washington, d.c. right now we will go to jamie gangel jamie? >> there are reports that one of the planes was a hijack flight from boston to los angeles. they are also now looking into what is going on at the pentagon. they don't have any details but they have now put government
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buildings around the city of washington on heighten et state of alert. i think that part of that is happening formally but obviously people are seeing what is going on and some people are leaving buildings as well simply because of the concern following these latest reports from the pentagon. >> we have this as a major development. the federal aviation administration has shut down all air traffic nationwide. this country has been immobilized by these terrorist attacks in terms of air travel today. and we don't know where it goes from here. we will just ask that you stay with us, so that as we get hard information, we can share that with you.
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it's 9:47 eastern time.
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try and recap what's going on. so far this morning and the is terrible opinion just before 9:00 -- >> at 8:42 actually. >> 8:42 a plane crashed into the right hand tower of the world trade center. about three quarters of the way up. you can see the smoke billowing from that part of the building then 18 or 20 minutes later a second plane large plane, we saw it on tape hit the left hand tower of the world trade center about half way up. an enormous fire ball on several sides of the building, people trying to be evacuated. there's the tape of the second plane hitting right there. even as people were trying to get out of the first building. we have confirmed reports now that there is one plane hijacked american lines from boston to los angeles. that is apparently one of the planes used in this crash. >> terrorism has two prong he. a physical threat and now the psychological threat. this does seem to be surreal but in fact it is real when you have
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an explosion of undetermined origin at the pentagon the most conspicuous symbol of american capitalism, the twin trade towers in new york, two deliberate takes on those towers today and we are not sure who is responsible. >> and the capitol. the u.s. capitol has been evacuated. needless to say many people in the pentagon have left that building as well. >> and here by the way in with this building in mid town new york, they have asked a lot of people at 30 rockefeller plaza to leave. that's another high rise capitol building, which is in new york. i came down the length of manhattan. a lot of people were unaware of what had happened. as you tune into the radio, then they began it get it. it is election day here in new york. >> primary day. >> and what we have is something that most americans thought could never occur. this is major development. the federal aviation administration has shut down all air traffic nationwide.
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this country has been immobilized by these terrorist attacks in terms of air travel today. and we don't know where it goes from here. we will just ask that you stay with us so that as we get hard information, we can share that with you. there's going to be a lot of speculation. the president has described this apparently as a terrorist attack. the fbi confirmed that american airlines flight from boston los angeles was hijacked. that the first plane that went into the trade towers. >> let's go to the former fbi in new york. do you have any information that might be helpful to us? >> well, not particular information on this tragedy, but certainly what an incred ill tragedy. and you know, all of us in law enforcement and prior law enforcement have talked for years and the public has seen the hatred in the world. they have seen the bombing of the world trade center. they saw the conspiracy to blow up the tunnels in the united
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nations and fbi building in the '90s. they have seen the bomb at us coal and bombings of our embassies in africa. we have known for some time that this hatred exists. now it looks like that ed in this absolutely horrendous incredible act. >> jim, if can you stand by for just a moment because jim miklaszewski has more information for us. mik? >> katie, my colleague chris brown here at the pentagon encountered some of those who survived, whatever it was, whether it was a bomb or an airplane crashing into the pentagon. one of the survivors who was reportedly injured had various lacerations, was on the second floor of the d-ring. that is one ring inside the outer ring of the pentagon. when suddenly, there was this horrific blast. and he said that second floor buckled upward and then the third floor above him actually collapsed downward.
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the scene on the other side of the building, as it's being described to us, there are people being removed on stretchers. security forces are evacuating the building right now. and according to the officials here at the pentagon they still don't know exactly what it was. but as you reported katie, eyewitnesss reported a plane crashed into the pentagon. >> i wasn't quite sure if you said this about the number of people who might have been hurt or worse in this? >> no idea at all, katie. as you know having worked here on any givin day, this is a small city, 25 to 30000 people may be working here at any one time. that portion of the pentagon, by the way, had just been remodelled and just reopened. if the crash had occurred just a few months ago, that section of the pentagon would have been virtually empty. but at this time of day, early
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morning, or mid morning the pentagon is very busy. it is impossible to say how many casualties there may be. but there have been a large number of people cited being removed on stretchers. and again as one survivor said the floor just buckled under him and the roof caved in on it. >> thank you very much. we are going it move a couple whiels from you to the white house where bob kerr is standing by. bob, that building is evacuated? >> that is true. it is utterly surreal. as soon as word came of the pentagon incident we were rather forcefully removed from the white house bp the scene is one of administrators cooks whatever running at fairly high speed all the way out of the building through top gates. we huddled for while in lafayette park across the street. and we have been moved now from
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there, a block or so away. the offices along jackson place which are across the street from the white house and adjacent lafayette park with v been evacuated and the surreal scenes here at the white house a white plane, very big jet, was flying an unusual pattern near the white house over lafayette park very slowly making one circle and we have not seen it since. there was a lot of concern about what that plane might be. but again it's only speculation. but most people say that since flights have been cleared from u.s. airspace and it was a totally white plane looked unusual to all of us, that it was a government plane of some kind pf. >> we should point out we are looking at pictures bob, as you speak of the world trade center. because all of the camera crews have been evacuated from the white house as well.
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>> when do you expect president bush to arrive there, bob? >> katie, he is coming back directly. you figure it is about a two-hour flight. so you can do the math. the reason i said that it was so surreal, was that within just about 20 minutes ago, they were still conducting tours. you had hoard of tourists and others still in the white house on tour lining up outside to get in. there seemed to be absolutely no unusual activity outside the white house until word came of the incident of the pentagon. so it's been quite a dramatic shift here. >> we just saw live picture of what seemed to be a portion of the building falling away from the world trade center.
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why, thank you. whether it's saving for retirement college, or anything else contact a fidelity investment professional today. investigators of extraordinary magnitude to find out who did this and how they got away it. an american airlines flight on
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its way from boston to los angeles was hijacked? midair. they are now citing transmissiones from the plane so they have hard evidence of that, then brought down here and made to fly into the twin trade towers. did one of the hijackers get control? did they shoot the pilot? it boggles the mind beyond our ability to figure out what was going on. >> you talk about transmissions. i was just curious have you had any evidence of what was said during the -- >> they are just saying they are citing transmission to know that plane had been hijacked. that's all they are saying at this point. we ought to remind everyone once again, this is an exceptional development. the faa banned all take offs at all airports across america. this country has been immobilized. a good portion of the nation's cap doll the most powerful center of the world, has been immobilized as well. >> we just saw a live picture of what seemed to be a portion of the building falling away from the world trade center. if we can rerack that to about 20 seconds ago, you will see
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something dramatic happening. i don't know whether it is another explosion or portion of the building falling away but something major just happened at that building. here we go to the tape. >> we have the tape. >> watch what happened in the left hand tower. i don't know if this is the correct tape. there. something there is about to happen. falling away right there. >> it looks like a big chunk of it just peeled way. >> one can only hope that the area has been evacuated. you wonder about the emergency vehicles and people who might have been injured early in the moshing. these pictures are beyond belief. >> we have a report that the second plane may have flown out of newark, new jersey. this is an official speaking on the condition of anonymity. again, there is no confirmation of that. we just know there are two planes that went in. the if irs one apparently american airlines flight from
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boston to los angeles. are now seeing it from the harborview, of this continuing damage and destruction to the world trade center. we want to tell you that american airlines has confirmed that one of its flights, flight number 11 from boston's logan airport, scheduled to go to lax, left at 8 a.m. this morning. 45 minutes later, it was diverted into the world trade center. >> let's go back to a few seconds ago this is now about an hour after the first impact, we saw some dramatic footage of a portion of one of the twin towers, actually it appearing to fall away from the rest of the building. can we go to the tape now? er with here we go right here. when you look at it wbt building has collapsed. that tower just came down. >> well the consequences go on. not just to the world trade center and to the poor people who were trapped and caught there. but of course that's the heart of the world financial markets which have now been shut down effectively as well. so the ripple effect continues this morning. as we all try to adjust
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psychologically and intellectually to what we are witnessing here. it is difficult to comprehend. but this country the strongest country in the world has been the target of a major coordinated terrorist attack. and the end is not over yet. even if it is confined to just these three targets. the ripple effect goes on. >> of course, who knows the human toll that will be the result of this action. matt actually pointed to me on any given day 50,000 people work at the world trade center. >> and at 8:45 in the morning if they are not in the building, they are around the building. that's a bee hive of activity down there. there's no more active area of pedestrian traffic. >> with the today show, seeing the collapse of one of those towers mina? >> yes, hi, matt. >> on the corner of twain and west broadway walking towards
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the twin towers it just collapsed. it looks like the building just demolished. smoke, clouds, clouds of smoke everywhere. people running towards me. i was going towards the twin towers. people were going way from the -- away from the towers. it was just people running like i have never seen a scene like it. >> can you just give me an idea of the reaction of people down there, mina? just pedestrians? >> everyone. everyone in tears. people who are -- i met some woman in the building to the right of where the first -- where the first thing happened. and just all crying having -- wondering if people they know in the buildings next door are okay. >> mina, take care of yourself. jamie gangel, our national correspondent is on the phone now with more information. jamie? shz katie, as you well know buildings around town are being evacuated. the state department has been evacuated. the white house has been evacuate
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evacuated. the pentagon has been evacuated. intelligence officials tell me that they do believe at the pentagon that that was a third plane going down. they have had the intelligence sources i have talked to say that they have not received any claim of responsibility yet. >> jamie have you gotten any information from reagan national airport as to air traffic in the area? this morning? or anybody who might have somehow traced this plane or figured out from where it came or where it was going? >> they still do not have any of those details yet. it is almost impossible -- they were confused for a long time as to whether it is a bomb or plane. they say now that it appears to be a plane but they say that is all the information that they have. >> all right, jamie thank you very much, jamie. we will be talking with you. >> it goes without saying this is the most serious attack in
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the united states in a hundred years. not with the war of 1812. if this country suffered this kind of damage within its interior obviously, pearl harbor which triggered world war ii was a horrific event as well. but there's never been an event to match the magnitude of this one, in which everything is shut down in terms of air traffic. white house, state department pentagon has been attacked. financial markets have been shut down. there is an untold loss of life. >> the other tower of the world trade center has just collapsed. that, i believe was the first tower that was struck this morning at 8:42 eastern time. what is that? oh, we call it the bundler. t's say you need home and auto insurance. you give us your information once, online... [ whirring and beeping ] [ ding! ] and we give you a discount on both. great!
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hi everybody. i'm thomas roberts. here's what's happening. three passengers, arrested after reportedly giving suspicious behavior on board a flight from denver to detroit. out of abundance of caution the
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military scrambled f-16 fighter jets to escort that plane on to detroit. within the hour the president attend a 9/11 concert for hope at the kennedy center. president obama travelled to new york, pennsylvania and the pentagon today where he met with family members of those who died ten years ago. now, back to "9/11, as it happened." it's 7:15 in the west obviously but for those of you just joining us at 8:45 eastern time. 8:42 eastern time today. american air fliens flight 11 from boston to lax crashed into one of the world trade center buildings. 15 minutes later another plane hit the other one. that building now collapsed. within an hour of those two attacks, the pentagon was hit, now we're told by a plane. an unknown number of casualties there.
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president bush was in florida at the time. apparently saying this was a terrorist attack. the consequences of it, human loss, on this country, is still to be determined. katie, we are worried whether the other building will now come down. they evacuated the whole area for the crash of one trade center. now there is concern about the second one collapsing as well. we are told now that a spokesman for yasser arafat, leader of the palestinian -- the leader of the pla, palestinian association saying that poo has no role in it whatsoever. completely shocked and appalled by what is happening. just one earlier report that the radical democratic front for the liberation of palestine claimed responsibility but that was later denied as well. we don't know yet who is in fact responsible for this. but it was very carefully
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planned and coordinated and fair to say it has been a devastatingly efficient and effective attack on the heart of this country. >> let's go to pat dawson who is down by the world trade center. >> there are probably at this stage, i would say, hundreds, perhaps in the thousands of emergency workers who in the last hour and a half have managed to work their way down here it lower manhattan. and basically try to get into this fray. we are standing right here about ten to 12 blocks north of the world trade center. these firemen that you can see, firefighters firefighters are walking down towards the site now and they literally have been arriving by the dozens over the past hour or so. as we say, probably in excess of a thousand or more emergency workers from new york city and surrounding areas converging on this site now to try to make some sense of it. as can you imagine at this point, there is a certain level
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of chaos because they are just trying to sort out who is alive who's not. when i asked one of them why he was going back in as he suited up as he could barely breath he said it's my job and there may be some of my brother officers in there. as you see the burning flames and ash is extraordinary at this point. a few emergency works have said that they aren't so sure that other tower won't stay up now. they didn't think the first one was capable coming down, but it did. and so they are basically saying, keep back as far as can you. on the other hand, facing that danger as we have been telling you, many, many hundreds of these workers are heading over those lines down towards that burning building. to try it rescue those people who are in there. be they emergency workers, be they civilians. >> we will go to mik. mik bb what is the latest from
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the pentagon? >> security in the pentagon not only evacuated but they cleared the area. security forces report they have received information of another plane hijacking, that it is about 20 to 25 miles out of washington, d.c., headed into this general direction. secretary of defense donald rumsfeld a few minutes ago is refusing to leave the building. there is no confirmation of this latest threat but security officials here are taking it very seriously. we were standing with secretary rumsfeld security detail, who as soon as they got the report, went running into the building. we were herded away. but they have set up an alternative command site somewhere in the area. the pentagon set up a crisis team to deal with this situation. but so far the latest reports are that another plane of some kind may have been hijacked and headed in this direction. katie? >> we also should tell you mik, this is tom brokaw that the faa
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says that all international flights headed for the united states are being diverted to canada. this at a time when jim miklaszewski tells us there is an unconfirmed report there is another hijacking. all take offs were stopped but there were planes in the air, obviously, at the same of the first two attacks of the twin trade hours to then the pentagon. >> let's look at the pictures of the world trade center. the other tower of the world trade center has just collapsed. you are looking at live pictures of the second twin tower at the world trade center collapsing as a result of the crash of an airplane into its side. that, i believe, is the first tower struck this morning at 8:42 eastern time. and it is now fallen to the ground. >> the profile of manhattan has been changed. there is a declaration of war by terrorists on the united states. steel, concrete -- there it is.
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that's a videotape replay. >> many of the emergency workers basically just lappy to be alive. certainly that pictures tells it all.
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er with back at 10:30 eastern time on this tuesday morning. this horrific incredible, not to be believed, tuesday morning. you are looking at live pictures of the world trade center where just a few minutes go, within the last minute actually, the second twin tower collapsed. >> this is a declaration and an execution of an attack on the united states. two of our most conspicuous symbols of the american system of capitalism. the pentagon, which is of course the headquarters of the most
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mighty military in the world, was attacked today as well. the state house has been evacuated. financial markets have been immobilized. flights taken off were grounded. >> international flights have been sent to canada. >> trans atlantic flights are going to canada now. so there has been great chaos visited upon this country, to say nothing, as you pointed out matt so importantly as the untold loss of life. and it is going to be horrendous, we don't know yet what exact numbers are. but we can only tell you by looking attes this pictures that you can tell guess as well as we can, that there are a lot of people that won't be able to escape that. >> in 1993 when the bomb blew up in the base many of the world trade center, so many survivors talked about how long it took them with no power if the elevators to walk down the smoke-filled stairways. you think about how many people were trying to escape when first one, then the second tower collapsed. >> there is a picture of lower manhattan, ladies and gentlemen. the most important city in the
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world in so many ways. and now it has been attacked by terrorists at the world trade center and the damage is beyond our ability to tell you in great detail. >> let's go to pat dawson, if he can hear us. he is on the ground. >> reporter: quite extraordinary that these are the emergency workers coming back. it was just about ten minutes gay that we describe to you the possibility of that north tower collapsing about five minutes after we went off the air it did collapse. once again we have no idea at this point the loss of life. can i only tell you there are hundreds of emergency workers down thereabout five or six blocks. it took probably about, i would say, no more than 50 or 60 seconds for that dust cloud, dust and smoke to literally make it the five or six blocks up here and begin to endevelop us at which point we started to move out of the way. there were literally dozens and dozens of firemen who were trying to run past us. in fact our cameraman even put
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one of the captains in his car and drove him to a command post. the people you see here are pretty much all emergency workers. many i have seen in the last two to three minutes, quite frankly, are coming out of this. these are professionals. they are coming out of there looking literally stunned, in shock, many of them. struggling for breath. obviously in serious distress, breathing problems are the biggest problem for those who manage to make it safely out of that area down below us. you can't see much more than a block south of me right now. and the world trade center probably stands about ten blocks south of where i am at this moment. and as can you see now, the dust is beginning to pick up here pl it really depends on which way the wind blows as to whether or not we get heavy dust or not. but at this point, i can tell you that in the first few minutes, the emergency workers were trying just basically to get out of there. to survive. can you see that written in their faces.
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the situation was so desperate they just wanted to get out of there. now, many of them are beginning to regroup. a couple of them asked me where their commander might be. they are trying to get together and go back in there. and try to take care of the people who obviously are in serious trouble. there is no other way to describe it. the language here, at times, if i slip into language that is mellow dramatic forgive me. but this is a circumstance which is very, very difficult to describe in many ways without sounding mellow dramatic. certainly in more than 20 years of covering horrific events, this is something that i've never seen before. and many of the emergency workers basically just lappy to be alive. certainly that picture tells it all. many of them just happy to be alive at this point. >> that is nbc's pat dawson. he stands about ten blocks from where the world trade center used to stand. you are looking at the collapse of one of those towers right now. we have an ap news alert out of pittsburgh. officials at summer set county
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airport are confirming the crash after large plane just north of the airport about 80 miles southeast of pittsburgh. again, officials at somerset county airport report a large airplane crash about 80 miles southeast of the city of pittsburgh. we do not know whether that crash of that plane is related to what has become an obvious terrorist attack both here in new york city and in washington, d.c. at the pentagon. >> we want to go to jim miklaszewski at the pentagon who has information. mik? >> security forces believe there may be another incoming plane headed in the washington region. but there was a very telling dra mat ik moment a second ago when a u.s. air force f-16 flew very low levelled at a wide sweeping turn around the pentagon and back over washington. and as one air for the officer standing near me said my god they are now flying air cover
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over washington. a very dramatic moment, a milestone in what tom already described as a declaration of war, terrorist war against the u.s. >> let's show you the pictures of lower manhattan where the situation gets worse, not better. that is the financial districts of the world also a residential area and great commercial area. both twin towers have collapsed on to the ground. there is an untold loss of life. some heroic rescue workers were down there trying to get people out of the building when the first building came down. then the second building did as well. without any sound and looking at this, there is a kind of surreal quality. but that is the epicenter of a great, great national tragedy and a great loss of life. no question about it this morning. >> it is hard to overstate the consequences of all of this. this is just the beginning. we will be living with this story and dealing with the consequences of it for some time. the united states will change as a result of all of this. we already thought there was a
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lot of security in mer cat at airports and so on and yet there was a successful hijacking rat the boston airport and the consequences of that we are seeing on the screen here this morning. >> the building began to disintegrate. we looked up and started to see elements of the building come down. we ran and honestly it was like a seen out of "independence day." [ male announcer ] the most headroom per dollar of any car in america. from $10,990. the all-new nissan versa sedan. innovation upsized. innovation for all. i know you're worried about making your savings last and having enough income when you retire. that's why i'm here -- to help come up with a plan and get you on the right path. i have more than a thousand fidelity experts working with me so that i can work one-on-one with you. it's your green line. but i'll be there every step of the way.
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we have a report here that osama bin laden who is often identified as the world's leading terrorist warned three weeks ago that he and his followers would carry out an unprecedented attack on u.s. interests for its support of israel and arab journalists with access said to him tuesday in london. >> abdel bariat, said islamic fundamentalists led by bin laden was almost certainly behind the
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attack of the world trade center in new york. quote, it's been most -- it's most likely the work of islamic fundamentalists. osama bin laden warned three weeks ago he'd attack american interests in an unprecedented attack, a very big one he told reuters. >> he has interviewed bin laden and maintains close contact with his followers according to reuters. so that's the first report that we've had that osama bin laden may have been responsible. now we get word from american airlines, bob, just stay with us for a moment that it had two aircraft in this tragedy. flight 11 a boeing 767 with 81 passengers and nine flight attendants. flight 77 they are saying a boeing 757 operating from washington dulles to l.a. with 58 passengers, four flight attendants and two pilots. that's from al hankle who is one of our guys in the dallas area from american airlines. >> yes, so now we know the identity of two of the flights involved in today's incidents.
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and that leaves at least one more, and if the report of the crash in pittsburgh is accurate that leaves two more. >> here's the first confirmation from united airlines. it's confirmed one of its flights crash immediate the pittsburgh area. flight 93, a boeing 757. flight originating in newark. it was bound for san francisco. no information on how many people were on board. you know there was a collapse, obviously, not just of intelligence but of airport security as well that that many planes were hijacked almost simultaneously. >> we're going to go to bob bizzell. we are very concerned about the folks in the world trade center when the planes crashed into them. tell me about the scene at st. vincet's hospital. >> the wounded are starting to come in with great regularity now. almost every 30 seconds an ambulance pulls up. some of them are very badly burned. some are dead. i've seen several dead bodies go in. cardinal egan is standing on the
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street giving last rights. may god help us many times over. there's been a call out for blood from all the new york hospitals. people are lined up around the block. people have responded in enormous numbers to that. everybody seems to want to help in some way. new york has become kind of surrealistic on the streets above lower manhattan because all the subways and commuter lines and bridges and tunnels have been shut down. so many people who are not injured are wandering around aimlessly. in the hospitals so, many injured coming in now they have run ut of gurneys and brought every office chair they have done and put sheets over that to carry people in. an enormous amount of work for the staff. everybody who was off has come in. calls have gone out for specialists, for plastic surgeons, burn specialists. it's going to be a very grueling several days ahead. >> ron insanaa is here in the studio with us. you were downtown at some point because we see you have basically soot and debris in
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your hair and on your jacket. what happened? >> well, one of the msnbc cameramen and i were trying to get across the street having driven down to try to cover the event, obviously, for nbc. as we were going across the street and we were not terribly far from the world trade center building. as we were cutting across in a quarantine zone actually, the building began to disintegrate. we heard it and looked up and started to see elements of the build coming down. and we ran and honestly it was like a scene out of "independence day." everything bee be gan to rain down. it was pitch black around us. i ducked around a corner. got into a car which was open and it was -- it was nighttime for several minutes before things cleared up. >> was this the first tower? >> i believe it was the first tower that collapsed. it was the south tower. as it was coming down, what -- what that looks like there was mild compared to what it looked like to be at the center. it was pitch black for smiles. >> it was smoke, dust, i assume part of the building coming down and just pieces of a disintegrating building coming
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down as well. >> once it did begin to clear after that, several minutes of pitch darkness what did you see in the streets? >> a very deep gray smoke. it looked like a bit of a nuclear winter. the type of thing you see in the movies with ash all over the ground, on top of cars, on police karkss on windcars, on windows. i made my way into a building and stayed there until a couple of police officers and a few others in the building were able to get into a vehicle. we picked up a few injured people along the way and dropped them off at the hospital. >> one policeman had a deep gash in his forehead. he was all right. and the young lady had shrapnel in her arm. don't know whether it was part of a building or glass from another building. it was truly the most intense and frightening experience i've ever had in my life. it was literally pitch black on the streets. and people were you know, obviously, inhaling a great deal of this material. so many folks having difficulty breathing and wearing facial masks as well. >> we're happy you're all right. >> we have -- united airlines confirmed that united flight 175
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from boston to los angeles is down as well. no details yet. it's confirmed that flight 93, we believe from newark to san francisco, is down. no details as yet. that's the one we think went down in the pittsburgh area. i wish that we could be more specific. the information is as you might expect pretty chaotic. but there have been at least four airliners that have been hijacked today. >> tom there's going to be an awful lot of scrutiny on the security in boston at logan airport because it now appears that two of these flights originated there. and somehow, someone managed to get on these planes and hijack them. >> this is an event. ron, we're happy to see you. >> you have no idea how happy i am to be here. >> but then you think about the experiences of thousands of other people who are down there in the epicenter of all of that and were there when it occurred. our heart goes out to them. we don't know what the numbers are yet. >> you hear about cardinal egan delivering last rights outside
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of st. vincent's hospital. >> the magnitude of this will go on for some time. this is not just a national tragedy. but this is a national security event of an untold magnitude that this country is going to have to deal with. the president is coming back. and we are at war in effect here. this country has suffered a devastating attack that will cost us in the sense of -- in loss of life. it will also cost us in terms of our psychological security that we have in this country. we're going to have to revisit a lot of our freedoms as a result of this kind of an attack. anden, enthen of course, the whole issue of retaliation. this place remains an enormous target in the eyes of a lot of people, and we are so vulnerable because of all those things that make us so great. our freedoms and our sense of security that we have. but er

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