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Then Came the Fire: Personal Accounts from the Pentagon, 11 September 2001


Then Came the Fire: Personal Accounts from the Pentagon, 11 September 2001 (Tenth Anniversary)

(Tenth Anniversary) On 11 September 2001, Middle Eastern terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners along the east coast of the United States. They flew two of the aircraft, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the World Trade Center in New York City, causing the collapse of the Twin Towers and the deaths of almost three thousand people. Another aircraft, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers fought back against the hijackers. The fourth airplane was American Airlines Flight 77, which had departed from Dulles International Airport at 8:20 a.m. on a cross-country flight carrying six crew members and fifty-eight passengers. The passengers included five hijackers who seized control of the plane over Kentucky about one-half hour after departure. Flight 77 flew back across West Virginia and into northern Virginia. Flying on a northeasterly course low to the ground and parallel to Route 244, Columbia Pike, in Arlington County, Virginia, it dived and crashed into the Pentagon at approximately 9:37 a.m. Flight 77 was traveling some 530 miles per hour when it struck the fortress-like Pentagon at ground level between the fourth and fifth corridors, creating a giant ball of fire and punching more than 200 feet through three of the building’s concentric rings. For those people in the offices along the path of destruction inside the Pentagon, as Dalisay Olaes would remark, “then came the fire.” As Flight 77 smashed through walls and supporting columns, it released thousands of gallons of jet fuel that ignited in a series of explosions inside the building. The crash, ensuing fire, and choking, black smoke killed 125 military personnel, Department of Defense civilians, and contractors in the Pentagon in addition to those on American Flight 77. Thousands of the building’s occupants quickly evacuated. For hundreds of others, the period after the crash was a struggle to help themselves and coworkers escape and survive.

343 pages

Categories: All Books, Miscellaneous


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