9/11: A Timeline

Erin Byrnes, Sports Editor

8:45 am : It was a beautiful sunny day on Tuesday September 11, 2001. Local people of New York went about their busy workdays consumed with their own thoughts and lives. Life on the outside looked perfect. Only for a minute.

8:46 am : The first hijacked plane was flown into the North Tower. All the passengers aboard Flight 11 were killed as they took out floors 93-99 of the tower. This crash created a hole in the building and set it on fire.

8:50 am : President Bush was in Florida at the time visiting an elementary school. When he was alerted, he assumed the crash was a tragic accident. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

9:00 am: On flight 175, many passengers have now realized that their plane was hijacked. With fear running through them, they call home to family members. Most passengers knew that this was going to be a situation that didn’t have a positive ending. “If things don’t go well, and it’s not looking good, I just want you to know I absolutely love you,” said passenger Brian Sweeney to his wife Julie Sweeney Roth.

9:03 am: The South Tower was attacked. This was all real now. Panic, grief and confusion ran through the people’s minds as they watched the events unfold. Why us? What did we do wrong? Why?

9:04 am: The events were shocking to all; however, brave men and women ventured into the tragic scene to help. The NYPD called for a level four mobilization which brought over 2,000 officers in to assist. The FDNY also sent several hundreds of firefighters to this devastating disaster. All hands were on deck. Hope was in the hearts of all.  

9:59 am: The tower burned for 56 minutes. In 10 seconds, just seconds, the South Tower collapses. Over 800 first responders and civilians are killed. Catherine Leuthold, an independent photojournalist states, “I could hear these sounds, this sort of cracking- loud cracking. And it collapsed.” The tower came down with a cloud of debris covering the people and ground around them. The feeling was compared to an earthquake by some witnesses.

10:28 am: The North Tower was next. First responders knew it was coming when they felt the same feeling as before. Everything began shaking. The smoke grew as did the fire. The tower was burning for 102 minutes before it started to fall and killed more than 1,600 people.  David Brink, a member of the NYPD ESU, described his experience while being inside the tower during the collapse: “But this time, it seemed like the collapse lasted forever. The whole ground was shaking. It was the closest to dying that I’ve ever thought about.”  

10:29 am: The World Trade Center was destroyed. It was no longer a perfect day in New York. Lives of Americans changed forever. All within minutes.


* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license