Tuesday, Sept. 11 - At 8:45 a.m. a hijacked American Airlines passenger jet crashed into one of the 110-story Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. 18 minutes later a second hijacked American Airlines passenger jet crashed into the other tower. Both crashes caused firey explosions and within an hour and a half both of the towers collapsed.
The Manhattan skyline has been changed forever by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. - Photo by Rob Rich
Following the Twin Towers attack, a hijacked United Airlines Passenger jet crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC, causing the western part of the building to go up in flames. A fourth plane, also a hijacked United Airlines passenger jet crashed outside of Pittsburgh, PA. A total of 330 people were reported to be aboard the four planes.
New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani reported early estimates of those injured include 1,500 "walking wounded", 600 in area hospitals, over 200 of which are critical. He said the number of deaths would be "more than we will be able to bear." That number is expected to be in the thousands. All area hospitals in the New York metropolitan area are being utilized.
President George Bush, calling this a coordinated attack on American government and financial centers, said this is a "national tragedy" and "the most devastating terrorist attack in the nation's history."
"Our military at home and around the world is on high alert status. The US will hunt down and punish those responsible for these events, " Mr. Bush said.
Two military warships have been deployed to New York Harbor.
Governor George Pataki has called out the National Guard to help with the rescue and recovery efforts in New York City, which the president has declared a Federal disaster area.
Mr. Giuliani described lower Manhattan as looking like "a city bombed in WWII."
The FAA has shut down all air traffic around the country.
So far, there has been no claim of responsibility for this terrorist attack.
The American Red Cross of Nassau County is asking those wishing to donate blood to so at the following locations:
* Lake Success
2500 Marcus Avenue, Lake Success
* Rockville Centre
333 Merrick Road, Rockville Centre
763-0284 (ext. 0285)
* Winthrop Hospital
200 Old Country Road, Mineola
The thoughts and prayers of all Nassau County residents go out to the victims and the families of this terrible tragedy. I have offered the assistance of Nassau County resources to the mayor and the authorities of New York City. In Nassau County, our Emergency Management Office is at Level 3, the highest level of county preparedness. With regard to police services, we have doubled our police patrols and have provided special surveillance for those buildings and facilities which we have determined are particularly sensitive during these circumstances.
Westbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway have been closed. All roadways out of the city have been kept open. All emergency medical technicians have been called in. Two police helicopters are on standby at Floyd Bennett Field to fly into the city if called upon.
With regard to the fire service of Nassau County, all volunteer fire personnel have been placed on standby. At the request of New York City, Nassau County has dispatched all available fire equipment to New York City. Additionally, available emergency service units and five marine units have been dispatched.
The Nassau University Medical Center and all Nassau hospitals and medical facilities have been placed on alert and are prepared to receive victims of the tragedy.
Residents may contact the Emergency Management Office's Information Hotline at 573-7055.
This is a tragedy that touches every American and is an affront to human kind.
Our prayers go out for the safety of those in the downtown Manhattan area and in Washington, DC.
We send our condolences to the friends and relatives of those working in and around the World Trade Center and in our nation's capitol. Our hopes and prayers are with you at this heart-wrenching time.
At this point in time, we should be taking every measure to protect the health, safety and well being of our citizens.
Today's suspension of this election ensures that our citizens have time to check on the safety of their friends and relatives. The strength of our country and the promise of our future depend on it.
Supervisor Newburger has declared a state of emergency readiness at all town building departments and facilities. Town crews have already assisted state and local authorities and will continue to be on alert for any help needed. All firemen have been sent back to their fire stations to be ready for any need.
The supervisor added, "This is another Pearl Harbor. This insidious attack was directed totally at civilians and at the symbols of our free government. This is a declaration of war against everything we stand for. Sneak attacks have never worked against us before, and they never will."
The town's departments of Public Safety, Highways, Buildings, Administrative Services and Management Information Services are on alert to respond to any requests from the police or emergency services. Those numbers are:
Public Safety: 739-2345 or 739-6695
Public Information: 869-7713 or 869-7720
The officials at our water districts and LIPA have assured us that they have taken security measures to protect their facilities.
Police are urging everyone to stay off the roads and the phone, except in medical emergency. Stay tuned to your television and radio for the latest developments.