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Archive for Friday, July 23, 2004

Report: Flight 93 hijackers crashed plane

July 23, 2004

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— Passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 fought back against the hijackers but never actually made it into the cockpit, the Sept. 11 commission concluded.

The assertion, included in the panel's dramatic summary of the harrowing flight, contradicts the firmly held belief by some victims' families that passengers breached the cockpit and fought with hijackers inside during their final moments.

In phone calls from the plane, four passengers said they and others planned to fight the hijackers after learning of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York earlier that morning.

With the words "Let's roll," passengers rushed down the airliner's narrow aisle to try to overwhelm the hijackers.

Relying on the cockpit recorder and flight data, the commission said terrorist-pilot Ziad Jarrah violently rocked the jet's wings and told another hijacker to block the door. With the sounds of fighting outside the cockpit, Jarrah said, "Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!" He asked his fellow hijacker, "Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?"

The other hijacker answered, "Yes, put it in, and pull it down."

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