Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2001

United Airlines says two planes crashed, one near Pittsburgh

September 11, 2001


— Two United Airlines jetliners crashed Tuesday morning, one near Pittsburgh and the second at a location the airline did not immediately disclose. A total of 110 people were aboard the two planes, the airline said.

One plane, United Flight 93, crashed north of the Somerset County airport, a small airport about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

"It shook the whole station," said Bruce Grine, owner of Grine's Service Center in Shanksville, about 2 1/2 miles from the crash. "Everybody ran outside, and by that time the fire whistle was blowing."

United said that flight, a Boeing 757, left Newark at 8:01 a.m., headed for San Francisco with 38 passengers, two pilots and five flight attendants.

The airline said United Flight 175, a Boeing 767, also crashed but it did not give a location. That plane left Boston at 7:58 a.m., bound for Los Angeles with 56 passengers, two pilots and seven flight attendants, the airline said.

Because of attacks Tuesday at New York's World Trade Center, the Federal Aviation Administration had ordered all departing flights canceled nationwide, and any planes already in the air were to land a the nearest airport. The Pennsylvania crash came after the order was issued.

According to Somerset County dispatchers, Flight 93 crashed about 10 a.m. about 8 miles east of Jennerstown, WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh reported.

Earlier Tuesday, terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center and the twin 110-story towers collapsed. A plane also hit the Pentagon in Washington.

In Chicago, United CEO James Goodwin said the airline is working with authorities including the FBI. United said it was sending a team to Pennsylvania to assist in the investigation and to provide assistance to family members.

"Today's events are a tragedy and our prayers are with everyone at this time," Goodwin said.

At Boston's Logan Airport, Joseph Lawless, director of public safety for the Massachusetts Port Authority, said a family assistance center had been set up and families were arriving at the airport.

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