Thursday, September 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

America begins counting its dead
US forces on highest alert

US President George Bush
US President George Bush addresses the nation on Tuesday from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, about the terrorist attacks. He said "Freedom itself has been attacked this morning by a faceless coward." — AP/PTI

New York, September 12
Hospitals today began the grim accounting of the dead and injured, as barges ferried bodies across the Hudson River to a makeshift morgue and rescuers waded through the World Trade Center’s smoking rubble.

The financial capital remained closed after the airborne attack on the twin towers and Defence Department headquarters at the Pentagon. The federal government said the ban on air travel would not be lifted before noon at the earliest.

Thousands were feared dead.

Mayor Rudolf Giuliani said rescuers were still in contact with one person buried in the rubble.

Into the night, ferries carted loads of bodies across the Hudson River, said Stan Eason, a Jersey City spokesman. Three cab companies ripped out seats from vans to help carry the dead to the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Officials did not provide estimates of the number of dead transported.

“It is unimaginable, devastating, unspeakable carnage,” firefighter Scott O’Grady said at the scene of devastation yesterday.

“To say it looks like a war zone and to tell you about bodies lying in the street and blood and steel beams blocking roads would not begin to describe what it’s like. It’s horrible.”

New York was the hardest hit target in yesterday’s assault on American government and finance, which led President George W. Bush to place the military on its highest state of alert.

Smoke still drifted across the Potomac from the ravaged Pentagon, but the government went back to work today, its political leaders, diplomats and soldiers leaving no doubt the terrorist assault will be answered.

“We will go after them,” Secretary of State Colin Powell vowed.

A day earlier, as workers poured into Wall Street, a hijacked jet tore through one of the 110-storey twin towers. Another followed, striking the other tower in a fireball 18 minutes later.

A third jet struck Pentagon. A fourth hijacked airliner plummeted to earth about 130 km southeast of Pittsburg.

The final death toll may not be known for weeks. The four planes alone had 266 persons aboard. Authorities said between 100 and 800 persons were believed dead at Pentagon. Thousands of people worked at the trade center, and many were inside when it collapsed.

Three planes commandeered by unknown, knife-wielding hijackers slammed into the Pentagon and New York’s landmark World Trade Center on Tuesday, sending towering symbols of America’s financial and military might crumbling into rubble and burying thousands of people alive.

President George W. Bush, speaking after a day that saw America reel under its worst attack since the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December. 7, 1941, vowed to stand firm against terrorism and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The twin 110-storey World Trade Center towers, which drew as many as 40,000 persons per day, lay toppled and in ruins. The Pentagon, the nerve-centre of the nation’s military, was severely damaged with flames still burning. NBC News quoted sources as saying at least 800 died when the passenger jet slammed into the fortress-like building.

Bush, in the first official confirmation of what could be a staggering death toll, urged vigilance as U.S. Forces worldwide went on the highest alert.

“Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror,” Bush said in a televised address.

“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings ... They cannot touch the foundation of America,” Bush said. “These acts shattered steel but they cannot shatter the steel of American resolve.”

Bush said the search was under way for those responsible, adding “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harboured them.”

Explosions lit up the night sky in the Afghan capital of Kabul and reports said there were missiles flying across the city. But a Pentagon official denied U.S. involvement, and the anti-Taliban opposition later claimed responsibility.

“Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror,” Bush said.

In New York, firefighter Rudy Weindler spent nearly 12 hours trying to find survivors and only found four, a pregnant woman sitting on a curb and three others in the rubble of a building in the trade center complex.

US officials quickly began focussing on fugitive terrorist Osama bin Laden as the architect of the devastation, which experts said was carried out with military precision.

Today, Bin Laden congratulated the people who carried out the deadly terrorist strikes in the USA, but denied that he was involved, Palestinian journalist Jamal Ismail said. He spoke with a Bin Laden aide today by satellite telephone.

The planes were each on cross-continental routes, and thus carrying a heavy load of flammable fuel. They struck the buildings high up and on the corners, stymieing firefighters’ ability to contain the ensuing blaze and blocking escape for some tenants.

“There are so many other buildings that are partially destroyed and near collapse,” said Weindler, the firefighter. “There are a lot of fires still burning.”

Three top fire department officials were among those who died. One of them, Ray Downey, chief of special operations command, led a team of New York firefighters to Oklahoma City in 1995 after the bombing of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.


survivors found in debris

New York, September 12
Six survivors have been found following the crash of two passenger jets into the World Trade Center here, television reports said today, but it was not specified if that figure included two municipal employees found late yesterday.

The reports also said 41 persons were confirmed dead from the attacks by presumed terrorists on the two tallest buildings in New York. AFPBack


New York, September 12
More that 300 firefighters who rushed to the scene of the World Trade Centre disaster on Tuesday are missing, the head of the New York City Fire Department said.

“We believe that many of them are gone,” Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen said in a late-night news briefing.

The firefighters were among the rescuers who were in the process of evacuating people trapped inside the twin towers when the buildings collapsed. ReutersBack

stops from Financial Center

New York, September 12
Smoke, which was seen rising from the roof of New York’s World Financial Center this morning, appears to have stopped, according to live television images. The World Financial Center is adjacent to the site of yesterday’s deadly attack that destroyed the World Trade Center’s twin towers. ReutersBack

family questioned

Washington, September 12
The US investigation into the gruesome terrorist attacks in New York and Washington has begun with the questioning of a Pakistani family that owns an airport baggage handling company, Fox Television reported today.

Investigators are also questioning several security personnel in Washington and Boston airports that could help them unravel the details of the meticulously planned attacks and the people behind them.

Fox news reported that highjackers forced passengers to call their families from the plane to tell them they were going to die. UNI


Five Arabs identified as suspects

Boston, September 12
Security officials in the US state of Massachusetts have identified at least five Arab men as suspects in the latest terrorist attacks in Washington and New York, seizing a car laden with Arabic-language flight training manuals, The Boston Herald reported today.

Two of the men, whose passports were traced to the UAE, were brothers, one of whom was a trained pilot, the paper said, quoting sources close to the investigation.

At least two other suspects flew to Boston’s Logan International Airport yesterday from Portland, Maine, where authorities believed they had travelled after crossing over from Canada, according to the report.

Once in the air, the hijackers in one plane began killing flight attendants in order to lure a pilot from the cockpit and seize the plane, the newspaper reported.

There was no indication whether those events took place on the American Airlines flight that originated at Logan, or on the United Airlines flight.

Both planes ploughed into the World Trade Center roughly an hour after they departed from Boston.

The suspects had no guns, but they used shaving kits and other carry-on luggage to smuggle knife-like weapons, according to the report.

Authorities were led to the rental car by a civilian who got into an altercation with several Arab men as they were parking their car at a Boston garage, the Boston Herald reported.

Investigators in Boston have found a copy of the Koran, a videotape on how to fly commercial jets and a fuel consumption calculator in a pair of bags meant for American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the World Trade Center on Tuesday, the Boston Globe reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper said the suitcase belonged to a man with an Arabic name whom investigators believe was one of those who hijacked the plane and crashed it into the New York landmark.

NEW YORK: Investigators began piecing together the evidence to pinpoint those behind the worst-ever terrorist acts in US history and the needle of suspicion pointed towards Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, reportedly based on the intercept of communications of his supporters.

They are also investigating security lapses at the domestic airports from where the flights originated and trying to find answers as to how the terrorists were able to smuggle in sharp objects which they reportedly used to hijack them. AFP, PTI, Reuters

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |