Tale of 44 unsung heroes who saved White House in 9/11 attacks
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: 18 years ago, the world was left petrified with the deadly 9/11 terror attacks in the United States that claimed around 2700 lives. The incident was so devastating that the ramifications are still unfolding to till date. In 2001, on this day, al Qaeda militants hijacked four passenger planes in New York. Two of them hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center and Pentagon, killing 3000 people. The fourth plane was targeted at the White House, but efforts from 44 passengers on-board prevented it from reaching the destination and crashed at a ground.
What happened that day?
It was around 8 O'clock and people were reaching their offices when the attacks took place. 19 terrorists conspired to shake America and the whole world. They breached the security of the airport and boarded four planes with weapons and soon hijacked the planes. Two of them crashed into the twin towers of the WTC one by one. The aircraft that collided with the North Tower of the Trade Center, at 8.45 am was a Boeing 767 aircraft of American Airlines and was filled with 20 thousand gallons of jet fuel. The third plane targeted the Pentagon outside Washington DC. The fourth plane (United Flight 93) crashed in a farm in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It is believed that the target of this fourth aircraft was the White House.
Flight delays benefited
United Flight 93 was about to fly from New Jersey to California. It was delayed and passengers waited for it to take off. By that time three of the four attacks had taken place and many passengers sitting inside the aircraft at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, had received news of the terror attack via phone. Meanwhile, there was also news of hijacking of United Flynn 93. Now some passengers and aircraft attendants made plans to take on the terrorists.
'I know we're gonna die'
After the aircraft was hijacked, Thomas Burne Jr., a passenger on the United Flight 93 plane, called his wife. He told his wife, 'I know we are going to die. Three of us are going to fight the terrorists. I love you honey. ' Another passenger, Todd Beamer, was heard saying on an open line, 'Are you ready? Let's roll. '
Passengers clashed with four terrorists
The passengers had come to know that their plane too had been hijacked and now hardly any of them would come out alive. Meanwhile, some travelers showed great courage and clashed with four terrorists inside the aircraft. Passengers attacked the terrorists who entered the cockpit. The aircraft overturned in the air and began to fall towards the ground at a speed of 500 mph. The plane finally landed at a farm in Shanksville, Western Pennsylvania at 10.10 am. All 44 on-board on the plane died.
The Potential Target
The passengers of the United Flight 93 aircraft dashed the plans of the terrorists. Even though none of them survived, they prevented the catastrophe. However, it was not yet known till date where the terrorists actually wanted to attack by using the aircraft as a weapon. Potential targets of the terrorists may include the White House, The US Capitol, The Camp David Presidential Retreat in Maryland and several nuclear power plants across the country.
Posted By: James Kuanal