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Flight 93 requests clearance to washington { September 11 2001 }

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Someone on UA Flight 93 tells controllers the pilot wants to change the flight plan requesting clearance to Washington.

Tuesday 7 September 2004 11:26pm

By Gill Swain and Stephen White

TUESDAY September 11, 2001 is a date that will go down in history for the brutal terrorist attacks in America. Here we have drawn together the key moments to make a complete diary of that terrible day.

7.59 Eastern Time (12.59 British Summer Time) A glorious morning when American Airlines (AA) Flight 11 takes off from Boston's Logan Airport for Los Angeles.

08:01 (1.01pm) United Airlines (UA) Flight 93 leaves from Newark International bound for San Francisco.

08:10 (1.10pm) American Airlines Flight 77 leaves Washington's Dulles Airport going to Los Angeles.

08:14 (1:14pm) United Airlines Flight 175 leaves Logan Airport for Los Angeles.

Some time into the flight a stewardess makes a distress call to her firm's flight operations centre and says passengers are being stabbed. She gives the seat number of a hijacker.

08:28 (1.28) American Airlines Flight 11 makes an unexpected hard left turn, heading over New York. Captain John Ogonowski or his co-pilot press a button allowing air traffic controllers to hear the cockpit conversation.

"Don't do anything foolish," a man says. "You're not going to get hurt. We have more planes, we have other planes."

08:45 (1:45) AA Flight 11 with 92 people aboard smashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. 24,000 gallons of aviation fuel ignite as the jet slams into the 110-storey tower.

8.50 (1.50) Thousands of workers from floor 88 down flee.

09:03 (2:03pm) The second hijacked plane - UA Flight 175, carrying 65 people - crashes into the side of the World Trade Center's South Tower.

9.05 (2.05pm) George W. Bush takes a classroom reading with children in Florida, already knowing about the first plane crash. White House chief of staff Andrew Card whispers news of the second into his ear.

09:20 (2:20pm) Government buildings in Washington, including the Capitol and the White House, are evacuated as officials say there is "a credible threat of a terrorist attack". Someone on UA Flight 93 tells controllers the pilot wants to change the flight plan requesting clearance to Washington.

09:31 (2:31pm) President Bush, in Sarasota, Florida, calls the crashes "an apparent terrorist attack". He adds he will order "a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. Terrorism against our nation will not stand".

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerts the US military air defence command that an airliner is heading toward the Pentagon. Two F-16 fighter jets are scrambled from Virginia's Langley Air Force Base, 130 miles away.

09.35 (2:35pm) Washington and New York airports are closed.

09:40 (2:40pm) New York Stock Exchange is closed.

09:43 (2:43pm) AA Flight 77 with 64 people, crashes into the south west face of the Pentagon in Washington.

09:49 (2:49pm) The FAA shuts all take-offs and orders planes in the air to land at the closest airport. Canadian airports begin letting US flights land there. The West Wing of the White House and other buildings in Washington are evacuated. The subway closes and roads are gridlocked as people flee.

09:50 (2:50pm) The WTC South Tower - the second building hit - collapses. The fire has reaches temperatures of 1,000 degrees, softening steel support columns so they cannot bear the floors' weight. They collapse on each other. Debris falls on crowds in the plaza below.

9.58 (2.58pm) On Flight 93, some passengers, learning of the other crashes, realise the hijackers plan to turn their plane into another flying bomb and decide to tackle them.

10:10 (3:10pm) The fourth hijacked jet - United Flight 93 with 45 people - crashes upside down in western Pennsylvania, 80 miles south east of Pittsburgh.

10:20 (3.28pm) The WTC North Tower collapses.

10:30 (3.30pm) All US financial markets suspend trading.

10:38 (3.38pm) A fourth explosion rocks what's left of the WTC. Broken gas lines are suspected.

11.00 (4pm) Mayor Rudy Giuliani calls for lower Manhattan's evacuation. Government facilities in Washington and New York City are shut.

11.14 (4.14pm) All flights to America are grounded.

13:20 (6.20pm) President Bush leaves Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, for a secure location.

17:25 (10.25pm) Fire rages at WTC's Building 7, causing its collapse.

19:20 (12.20am on September 12) President Bush declares New York a major disaster.

20.30 (1.30am) President Bush addresses the nation from the Oval Office.

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