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Interactive Timeline – What Happened On 9/11

Interactive Timeline – What Happened On 9/11

Just before 9 am on September 11, 2001, American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City after hijackers stormed the flight deck and took control of the plane. Around 27 minutes later, a second hijacked plane hit the South Tower.

Terrorists managed to crash a third hijacked plane into the Pentagon but passengers and crew onboard a fourth plane fought back against their hijackers. United Airlines flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field with the loss of life of all those onboard. Their bravery no doubt saved many more lives on the ground.

We commemorate the events that unfolded 21 years ago by looking back at how that fateful day unfolded…

7:59 am

American Airlines flight AA11 departs Boston Logan Internatonal Airport

The Boeing 767 with 92 passengers and crew onboard was bound for Los Angeles

Flight attendant onboard American Airlines flight 11 alerts authorities to hijacking

Betty Ong, a 45-year-old flight attendant, phoned an AA reservations center shortly after flight 11 was hijacked. She stayed on the phone for 25 minutes, relaying information about the attack.

8:19 am
8:14 am

United Airlines flight UA175 departs Boston Logan Airport

65 people were onboard the United Airlines Boeing 767, also bound for Los Angeles

Recording of Betty Ong’s telephone conversation with an American Airlines reservation center.
8:20 am

American Airlines flight AA77 departs Washington Dulles

The Boeing 757 with 64 passengers and crew onboard was also bound for Los Angeles.

One of the hijackers on flight 11 accidentally transmits message to ground control

Hijacker Mohammed Atta meant speak over the public address system to passengers but instead accidentally transmitted a message to ground control

8:24 am
Recording of messages that Hijacker Mohammed Atta transmitted to ground control.
08:40 am

The FAA alerts the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) about the suspected hijacking of flight 11

The Northeast Air Defense Sector scrambles two fighter jets to intercept flight 11 – they don’t make it in time.

United Airlines flight UA93 departs from Newark bound for San Francisco

The Boeing 757 with 44 people onboard was due to depart at 8:00am, around the same time the other hijacked planes tookoff but departure had been delayed

08:41 am
08:46 am

American Airlines flight 11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center

The plane impacts between the 93rd and 99th floors, killing all of those onboard and hundreds of people inside the building.

American Airlines flight 11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center
Barbara Jean Ares Tegui
Jeffrey Dwayne Collman
Sara Elizabeth Low
Karen A. Martin
Thomas F. McGuinness Jr.
Kathleen Ann Nicosia
John Ogonowski
Betty Ann Ong
Jean Destrehan Roger
Dianne Bulls Snyder
Madeline Amy Sweeney
Anna Williams Allison
David Lawrence Angell
Lynn Edwards Angell
Seima Aoyama
Myra Joy Aronson
Christine Barbuto
Carolyn Mayer Beug
Kelly Ann Booms
Carol Marie Bouchard
Neilie Anne Heffernan Casey
Jeffrey W. Coombs
Tara Kathleen Creamer
Thelma Cuccinello
Patrick Currivan
Brian P. Dale
David DiMeglio
Donald Americo DiTullio
Alberto Dominguez
Peter el-Hachem
Paige Farley-Hackel
Alexander Milan Filipov
Carol Flyzik
Paul Friedman
Karleton D.B. Fyfe
Peter Alan Gay
Linda M. George
Edmund Glazer
Lisa Reinhart Fenn Gordenstein
Andrew Peter Charles Curry Green
Robert Jay Hayes
Edward (Ted) R. Hennessy Jr.
John A. Hofer
Cora Hidalgo Holland
John Nicholas Humber Jr.
Waleed Iskandar
John Charles Jenkins
Charles Edward Jones
Robin Kaplan
Barbara Keating
David Kovalcin
Judy Larocque
Natalie Janis Lasden
Daniel John Lee
Daniel C. Lewin
Susan A. MacKay
Christopher D. Mello
Jeffrey Peter Mladenik
Carlos Alberto Montoya
Antonio Jesus Montoya Valdes
Laura Lee Morabito
Mildred Naiman
Laurie Ann Neira
Renee Lucille Newell
Jacqueline J. Norton
Robert Grant Norton
Jane M. Orth
Thomas Nicholas Pecorelli
Berinthia Berenson Perkins
Sonia Morales Puopolo
David E. Retik
Philip M. Rosenzweig
Richard Barry Ross
Jessica Leigh Sachs
Rahma Salie
Heather Lee Smith
Douglas J. Stone
Xavier Suarez
Michael Theodoridis
James Anthony Trentini
Mary Barbara Trentini
Pendyala Vamsikrishna
Mary Alice Wahlstrom
Kenneth E. Waldie
John Wenckus
Candace Lee Williams
Christopher Rudolph Zarba Jr.
08:55 am

The South Tower is declared secure

Authorities try to calm people in the South Tower and tell workers to remain where they are.

Evacuation advisory broadcast for South Tower

Workers in the South Towers are advised to start an orderly evacuation just minutes after the Port Authority Police Department signed an evacuation order

09:02 am
09:03 am

United Airlines flight 175 hits the South Tower of the World Trade Center

The aircraft hits the building between the 75th and 85th floors

Robert John Fangman
Michael R. Horrocks
Amy N. Jarret
Amy R. King
Kathryn L. LaBorie
Alfred Gilles Padre Joseph Marchand
Victor J. Saracini
Michael C. Tarrou
Alicia Nicole Titus
Alona Avraham
Garnet Edward (Ace) Bailey
Mark Lawrence Bavis
Graham Andrew Berkeley
Touri Bolourchi
Klaus Bothe
Daniel R. Brandhorst
David Reed Gamboa Brandhorst
John Brett Cahill
Christoffer Mikael Carstanjen
John (Jay) J. Corcoran III
Ana Gloria Pocasangre de Barrera
Dorothy Alma DeAraujo
Lisa Frost
Ronald Gamboa
Lynn Catherine Goodchild
Peter Morgan Goodrich
Douglas A. Gowell
The Rev. Francis E. Grogan
Carl Max Hammond Jr.
Christine Lee Hanson
Peter Hanson
Gerald F. Hardacre
James E. Hayden
Herbert W. Homer
Robert Adrien Jalbert
Ralph Francis Kershaw
Sue Jue Kim-Hanson
Heinrich Kimmig
Brian Kinney
Robert George LeBlanc
Maclovio Lopez Jr.
Marianne MacFarlane
Louis Neil Mariani
Juliana Valentine McCourt
Ruth Magdaline McCourt
Wolfgang Peter Menzel
Shawn M. Nassaney
Marie Pappalardo
Patrick J. Quigley VI
Frederick Charles Rimmele III
Jesus Sanchez
Mary Kathleen Shearer
Robert Michael Shearer
Jane Louise Simpkin
Brian D. Sweeney
Timothy Ray Ward
William M. Weems
Footage of flight 175 hitting the South Tower of the World Trade Center
Embed from Getty Images
09:05 am

President Bush is informed that a second plane has hit the World Trade Center

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card whispers into the ear of President Bush during a visit to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota

“A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack.”

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card
Embed from Getty Images
09:12 am

Passengers and crew on flight 77 raise the alarm over hijacking

Flight attendant Renee May manages to call her mother and tells her that hijackers have taken control of the flight and forced passengers and crew members to the back of the plane.

The FAA alerts NEADS of the hijacking of flight 77

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is evacuated to the Emergency Operations Center below the White House

09:24 am
09:37 am

American Airlines flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon

The crash killed all 53 passengers and six crew members onboard, along with 125 people inside the Pentagon

Charles F. Burlingame III
David M. Charlebois
Michele M. Heidenberger
Jennifer Lewis
Kenneth E. Lewis
Renee A. May
Paul W. Ambrose
Yeneneh Betru
Mary Jane (MJ) Booth
Bernard Curtis Brown II
Suzanne M. Calley
William E. Caswell
Sara M. Clark
Asia S. Cottom
James Daniel Debeuneure
Rodney Dickens
Eddie A. Dillard
Charles A. Droz III
Barbara G. Edwards
Charles S. Falkenberg
Dana Falkenberg
Zoe Falkenberg
James Joseph Ferguson
Darlene E. Flagg
Wilson F. Flagg
Richard P. Gabriel Sr.
Ian J. Gray
Stanley R. Hall
Bryan C. Jack
Ann C. Judge
Chandler R. Keller
Yvonne E. Kennedy
Norma Cruz Khan
Karen Ann Kincaid
Dong Chul Lee
Dora Marie Menchaca
Christopher C. Newton
Barbara K. Olson
Ruben S. Ornedo
Robert Penninger
Robert R. Ploger III
Zandra F. Ploger
Lisa J. Raines
Todd H. Reuben
John P. Sammartino
Diane M. Simmons
George W. Simmons
Mari-Rae Sopper
Robert Speisman
Norma Lang Steuerle
Hilda E. Taylor
Leonard E. Taylor
Sandra D. Teague
Leslie A. Whittington
John D. Yamnicky Sr.
Vicki C. Yancey
Shuyin Yang
Yuguang Zheng
Security camera footage of flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon
Embed from Getty Images
09:42 am

The FAA orders all flights over the continental United States to land

It is the first time in history that all flights over the U.S. have been grounded. It took two and a half hours for 3,300 commercial flights and a further 1,200 private flights to land at airports across the United States.

Time lapse animation of the skies clearing on 9/11
09:45 am

The White House and U.S. Capitol Building are evacuated

Other sites across Washington D.C. are also evacuated as fears grow that other planes have been hijacked

Embed from Getty Images
09:58 am

Passengers onboard flight 93 make phone calls to their loved ones

37 calls were made in the moments before flight 93 crashed.

The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses

Although the second building to be hit, the South Tower collapsed first. It had been on fire for 56 minutes before collpasing in just 10 seconds. More than 800 people were killed.

09:59 am
Embed from Getty Images
10:03 am

Passengers onboard Flight 93 fight back against hijackers

After learning about the attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the passengers and crew onboard storm the flight deck in an attempt to over power the hijackers and reclaim control of the plane.

Flight 93 crashes

All 40 passengers and crew are killed after the plane crashes into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It’s believed the hijackers wanted to fly the plane into the U.S. Caitol building or the White House.

10:07 am
Lorraine G. Bay
Sandra W. Bradshaw
Jason Dahl
Wanda Anita Green
LeRoy Wilton Homer Jr.
CeeCee Lyles
Deborah Welsh
Christian Adams
Todd Beamer
Alan Beaven
Mark K. Bingham
Deora Frances Bodley
Marion Britton
Thomas E. Burnett Jr.
William Joseph Cashman
Georgine Rose Corrigan
Patricia Cushing
Joseph Deluca
Patrick Joseph Driscoll
Edward P. Felt
Jane C. Folger
Colleen Laura Fraser
Andrew Garcia
Jeremy Glick
Lauren Grandcolas
Donald F. Greene
Linda Gronlund
Richard Jerry Guadagno
Toshiya Kuge
Hilda Marcin
Waleska Martinez Rivera
Nicole Miller
Louis J. Nacke
Donald Arthur Peterson
Jean Hoadley Peterson
Mark Rothenberg
Christine Anne Snyder
John Talignani
Honor Elizabeth Wainio
Olga Kristin Gould White
10:28 am

The North Tower of the World Trade Center Collpases

More than 1,600 people were killed as a result of the terrorist attack on the North Tower. The building collpased 102 minutes after being hit by Flight 11

The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses
Embed from Getty Images
11:02 am

Evacuation of Lower Manhattan is ordered

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani tells people to flee Lower Manhattan with some being taken to safety aboard boats.

U.S. air space is closed

The last commercial / private flight above the continental United States lands safely

12:16 pm
5:20 pm

World Trade Center building 7 collapses

Thankfully, the 47-storey building had been evacuated in the morning and there were no reported casualties. The collapse did, however, delay rescue efforts at Ground Zero

Video of WTC building 7 collapsing
6:58 pm

President Bush arrives back at the White House

Having been flown around the country on Air Force One, President Bush arrives back in Washington D.C.

President Bush addresses the nation

08.30 pm

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.

The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.