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WTC SCMP: Hijacked planes hit New York's twin towers and Pentagon
12/9/2001 5:25 pm Wed
[Ada banyak paparan (gambar/audio/video) menarik mengenai tragedi ini
tetapi sila waspada menatapnya dan jangan mudah menerima bulat-bulat segala
tuduhan yang ada.
Mengapa WTC (world trade center) turut menjadi sasaran? Amerika mungkin kuat dan
hebat dari segi tentera tetapi tidak sekuat mana dari segi ekonomi. Ramai analis
berpendapat Amerika akan dilanda KEMELESETAN yang lebih teruk lagi akibat
Wednesday, September 12, 2001 4:16 am (GMT+8)
Hijacked planes hit New York's twin towers and Pentagon
In the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, three hijacked planes
slammed into the Pentagon and New York's landmark World Trade Center on Tuesday,
demolishing the two 110-storey towers that symbolise U.S. financial might.
The attacks brought normal life across the United States to a standstill, turning
the major cities of the nation into eerie ghost towns. All financial markets were
closed, millions of workers sent home early, all flights around the nation were
cancelled and all airports shut in an unprecedented move.
Key landmarks like the White House, the fire-damaged Pentagon, the Sears
Tower in Chicago, the CIA building in Washington and the Walt Disney theme
parks on both coasts were ordered evacuated and closed until further notice.
No death toll was immediately released but officials feared the number of victims
could climb into the thousands --- possibly the tens of thousands -- as
40,000 people alone worked in the soaring steel and glass Trade Center
It was the worst attack on American soil since Japanese war planes bombed
the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, killing 2,280 soldiers and 68
civilians and forcing the United States into World War Two.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told CNN, "This is comparable to
Pearl Harbor and we must have the same response and the people who did it
must have the same end as the people who attacked Pearl Harbor."
There were a total of 266 people on board the day's four hijacked planes --
two that crashed into the twin towers, one that slammed into the Pentagon and a
fourth that crashed in a wooded area near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"I wouldn't want to say what the death toll could be. It will be a horrible number.
I saw people dropping out of windows," a shaken New York City Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani told ABC News, adding that 200 firefighters were missing.
"I looked outside and saw a big chunk of the World Trade Center missing," said
Verizon employee Ellen Leon. "Fifteen minutes later I saw people jumping out of
the building. Bodies were flying out. I don't know if they were already dead or if
they were just going to die."
WHO DID IT?
No group took immediate responsibility for the attack but suspicions centered on
an implacable U.S. enemy -- exiled Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden, whose
followers were held responsible for murderous attacks on U.S. embassies in
Tuesday's attacks triggered scenes of panic, disbelief and heroism in the
nation's largest city, where police and firefighters risked their lives to save
people from the 110-story twin towers before its 200,000 tonnes of steel frame
came smashing down to the ground covering lower Manhattan in a snow storm
"It's nuts, there is debris and dust everywhere, and it looks as though a volcano
erupted down there," said Michael DeVita, a euro-dollar trader.
DeVita was working on the 84th Floor of World Trade Center Building No. 2
when the first plane hit building No. 1. DeVita said once the first plane hit,
people were immediately evacuated from building No. 2.
Hospitals in New York were overwhelmed with patients as a black cloud
billowed into the blue skies over Manhattan where the city skyline had been
dramatically and permanently altered.
"Hundreds of people are burned from head to toe," said Dr. Steven Stern at St.
Vincent's Hospital in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of lower Manhattan.
Rescue workers used commuter ferries to carry victims across the Hudson River
to safety in Hoboken, New Jersey, where the scene resembled a war zone,
with victims laid out on stretchers, limping on crutches, and others walking
without a shirt and with their pants torn.
Dozens looked shellshocked and were weeping in nearby streets. The thick
plume of smoke rising from what used to be the World Trade Center was clearly
visible in the background.
Bridges and tunnels between New York and New Jersey were closed, making it
impossible for parents to return home and pick up their children from school.
President George W. Bush vowed to bring those responsible for the attacks to
justice as he stopped in Louisiana to talk to the nation. "Make no mistake, the
United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly
acts," the president said.
Speaking at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School, before the full horror had
unfolded, Bush said: "Terrorism against our nation will not stand. Today we've
had a national tragedy."
He called for a moment of silence. "May God bless the victims, their families
and America," Bush said, his voice breaking with emotion.
He went on to Nebraska for a national security briefing.
NOT SINCE PEARL HARBOR
"We have not seen an attack like this, certainly not since Pearl Harbor," said
Adm. Robert Natter, commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, which was
dispatching ships and aircraft for air defense, along with amphibious troops, to
Washington and possibly New York.
The twin towers collapsed in a huge cloud of smoke and fire, about two hours
after the initial impacts. Desperate people were seen jumping out of the burning
towers before they collapsed.
Throngs of people raced up lower Broadway blocks north of the terror attack,
yelling "It's coming for us," "Run," and "We're going to die," with smoke wedged
between the skyscrapers of the financial district.
"I'm scared and I want to go home," said Lloyd Clark, a stunned bus driver who
was standing on a corner waiting for his handicapped passengers to be
evacuated from a nearby building.
"What are the odds of two planes hitting the same building?" said one New York
City police officer.
American Airlines said two of its jets carrying a total of 156 people were lost.
United Airlines said two of its planes had crashed, one in Pennsylvania, with a
loss of 45 lives in that disaster.
As international flights were diverted to Canada, the Federal Aviation
Administration shut down all flights in the United States.
World leaders expressed shock and horror and foreign financial markets fell
sharply on news of the attacks. The London FTSE index plummeted 5.7 percent,
while oil prices spiked up. U.S. markets were closed.
The day of horror began just before 9 a.m. (1300 GMT) in New York, when the
first plane plowed into the south tower of the World Trade Center, as thousands
of workers were streaming into the building to begin their day.
HUGE HOLE IN TWIN TOWER
It opened a huge hole near the top of the building. TV stations caught the
second plane plowing into the second of the twin towers, exploding in a fire ball
a few minutes after the first impact.
The two towers caved in shortly after the impacts, one after the other.
A third plane crashed into or near the Pentagon outside Washington, throwing
people off their feet inside the building and setting off a massive fire. Later still,
a fourth plane crashed -- this time in a wooded near Pittsburgh. A total of 266
people were reported on board the four planes.
Bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire and Islamic militant, believed to be in exile in
Afghanistan, was blamed for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya
and Tanzania in which 224 people died.
An Arab journalist with access to bin Laden told Reuters in London the
renegade Saudi had warned three weeks ago of an "unprecedented attack" on
Washington has offered a $5 million reward for his capture. George Tenet,
director of the CIA, said this week the tall, thin Saudi was the most immediate
and serious threat to U.S. security.
Beside the embassy bombings, U.S. officials link bin Laden to last year's
bombing of a U.S. Navy ship in Yemen and with foiled plots in the United States
and Jordan at the turn of the millennium.
The previous worst act of terrorism in the United States was the 1995 bombing
of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in which 168 people
died. Timothy McVeigh was executed for that attack earlier this year
The earlier bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 resulted in six deaths
and hundreds of injuries.
Wednesday, September 12, 2001 6:17 am (GMT+8)
Wall Street grinds to a halt
Some of the biggest names among U.S. and world financial institutions
evacuated their downtown Manhattan offices on Tuesday and the fate of many
employees remained unknown after attacks destroyed the World Trade Center.
The twin towers of the complex, where roughly 40,000 people work, collapsed one
at a time after two planes flew into them. Several top financial services firms have
offices in the World Trade Center, including investment bank Morgan Stanley,
which is the building's largest tenant with 25 floors. A Morgan Stanley
spokeswoman based in midtown Manhattan declined to comment.
Thousands of workers trudged uptown through a cloud of smoke as buildings in
the area were being evacuated. Witnesses described a scene that resembled
something out of a movie.
"It was like being in the middle of a snowstorm," said one consultant who works in
the area and was within view of the smouldering complex. "Everything was
covered in a half-centimetre of dust."
Although many top banks and brokerages have moved from lower Manhattan for
headquarters further uptown, most of them still maintain operations in the Wall
Street area, which is in the vicinity of the World Trade Center.
U.S. securities markets including the nearby New York Stock Exchange decided to
close Tuesday, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt
Switzerland's Credit Suisse Group and Germany's Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank
AG, Bank of America Corp, Cantor Fitzgerald, OppenheimerFunds and market
data firm Thomson Financial, a unit of Thomson Corp, all have offices in the World
"We have two to three hundred people who work in that building and we have not
been able to account for them due to communication failure," a senior Thomson
executive in London told Reuters.
Cantor Fitzgerald occupied the top several floors in the World Trade Center, an
employee who answered the phone at an office in Connecticut said before
hanging up. A manager at the Connecticut office later said they haven't heard
"Obviously we know they're in the World Trade Center," the manager said. "God
willing, hopefully, they all got out. God willing some got out."
Telecommunications service providers have said their networks remain open but
are clogged with calls.
CANTOR, MORGAN STANLEY SET UP HOTLINES FOR FAMILIES
A Credit Suisse First Boston spokeswoman said its some 800 employees in the
World Trade Center were evacuated.
The 600 employees of OppenheimerFunds who worked in one of the two towers
are believed to be safe, said Jim Lacey, a spokesman for the company's parent,
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., known as MassMutual.
"We've heard from a good portion of our people there, and believe they were
evacuated," Lacey said. Most of the OppenheimerFunds employees worked
between the 31st and 36th floors of Two World Trade Center, Lacey said.
Charles Schwab Corp, which is based in San Francisco, has a branch in the
World Trade Center, but its employees seemed to get out of the building after the
first plane crash, spokesman Glen Mathison said.
Schwab is telling its Bay Area workers to go home or not come to work as a
precaution, he said.
"We are hopeful all of our employees in our Wall Street and Tower offices are
fine," Mathison said. Not all of the workers have been accounted for, he said,
because it has been hard to get through on the phone.
Bank of America said in a statement it is evacuating some of its buildings but did
not give further details and could not be reached for comment.
Most of Deutsche Bank's World Trade Center staff left their office before the
second blast, an analyst at the company told Reuters. The company has banned
all business flights because of security reasons, the analyst and bankers in
Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm of Britain's Barclays Plc, has
evacuated its downtown Manhattan offices located less than a mile from the World
Trade Center, according to a company spokesman.
Employees at the World Financial Center, located just west of the World Trade
Center and housing the offices of firms including Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., Lehman
Bros. Holdings Inc. and American Express Co., did not answer phone calls to their
"Whole downtown shook," said one employee at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.,
which has headquarters and offices downtown.
Cantor Fitzgerald and Morgan Stanley have set up telephone lines for family
members of employees looking for details of the incident. The Cantor number is
(212) 704-8188. The Morgan Stanley number is (888) 883-4391.
Attacks could push US economy into recession
The terror attacks in the US business and government capitals today may well
push the teetering economy into recession, analysts suggested.
The Federal Reserve said it stood ready to pump extra money into the economy if
needed to try to avert such a development.
The Fed's promise to supply additional money to the banking system was similar
to a pledge it issued on the morning after the October 1987 stock market crash.
That action, only two months into Alan Greenspan's tenure as chairman, was
credited with keeping the economy out of recession.
However, private analysts said the Fed's magic of lower interest rates and ample
supplies of cash to the banking system may not be enough to overcome today's
series of attacks, which occurred at a time when the economy was already
struggling and consumer confidence was faltering.
"The economy has been on a highwire act straddling between a recession and
anemic growth. Now the terrorists have cut the wire underneath our feet," said
Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis.
"The United States and the rest of the world are likely to experience a fullblown
The concern is that consumers will cut back further on their spending.
Consumer spending accounts for twothirds of the nation's economic activity. Even
before today's attacks, signs of trouble were evident as Americans grew more
worried about their jobs with each new rash of layoff announcements.
The government had reported last Friday that the unemployment rate shot up to
4.9 per cent in August as job losses in manufacturing climbed above one million.
The overall economy grew by just 0.2 per cent in the AprilJune quarter, the
poorest showing in eight years. Before the terrorist attacks, many analysts had
been forecasting a rebound for the current quarter to around 1.5 per cent growth
in the gross domestic product for the current quarter, helped by seven interest
rate cuts from the Fed and nearly dlrs 40 billion in tax rebate money being mailed
But economists said the terror attacks, in addition to hurting consumer
confidence, could disrupt the economy in a variety of ways, including severely
curtailing air travel, which especially would harm areas that depend on tourism.
"There is no economic good that comes out of this. It is just a question of how bad
will it be," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com.
"It is now likely we will get a negative GDP number for the third quarter, given all
of the economic disruptions that this is creating with a shutdown of the
transportation system and the financial markets."
The Fed's promise to supply extra money to the banking system is an attempt to
assure depositors that no bank will get caught without adequate resources to
meet its normal operating needs.
Zandi predicted the Fed would follow that with further cuts in interest rates.
The Fed already had reduced its key benchmark rate, the federal funds rate,
seven times so far this year, the last cut occurring at its Aug 21 meeting.
The Fed next meets on Oct 2, although some analysts said the central bank may
feel a need to deliver a positive jolt to markets with an intermeeting rate cut,
something it has already done twice this year.
Greenspan, who had been attending a banking conference in Basel, Switzerland,
was on a plane returning to the United States when the terrorist attacks on the
World Trade Center occurred. His flight, along with other international flights to
the United States, was diverted.
Fed spokesman Dave Skidmore said Greenspan was on the ground at a location
he refused to disclose for security reasons. Skidmore said Greenspan was being
kept fully apprised of developments through a monitoring team assembled at Fed
headquarters in Washington.