United Airlines flight 93

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A Boeing 757 on a morning Newark to San Francisco (EWR-SFO) route. On September 11, 2001, the plane was hijacked and crashed southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset county, Pennsylvania. The plane has 182 seats but was only carrying 37 passengers and 7 crew members. There were no survivors.

Three of the four hijacked planes, United Airlines flight 93, American Airlines flight 11 and United Airlines flight 175 were being tracked by Boston and Cleveland flight controllers when the abruptly changed course. At about the same time, bomb threats were being called into both flight control centers.

At 9:35 a.m., when both towers of the World Trade Center had already been hit, flight controllers in Cleveland overhear some commotion from flight 93's cockpit: first screams, then a 40 second gap, then more screams and then a voice saying something like "bomb on board". The flight controllers try to contact the pilot and receive no reply. Shortly thereafter, the plane makes a sharp turn, and airtraffic controllers overhear an accented man saying "This is your captain. There is a bomb on board. We are returning to the airport." It is possible that the hijackers mistook the cockpit microphone for the public-address system.

In the passenger cabin, three hijackers wearing red bandannas herd the passengers to the back of the plane. One passenger, Tom Burnett, calls his wife to tell her about the hijacking; she alerts the FBI and when he calls back minutes later, he is connected to the FBI and describes the hijackers. Another passenger, Jeremy Glick, calls his wife in New York and reports that three "Iranian looking" men had hijacked the plane, one of which with a red box strapped to his waist which they claim to be a bomb. Jeremy asks his wife if it's true that planes have crashed into the World Trade Center, as he heard from other passengers. Todd Beamer, another passenger, tries to place a credit card call but is routed to a customer-service representative instead, who passes him on to supervisor Lisa Jefferson. She calls the FBI. Beamer reports that one passenger is dead. Later he tells the operator that the men are planning "to jump" the hijackers, and the last words Jefferson hears are "Are you ready guys? Let’s roll."

The cockpit sound recorder that was later found contained screams, presumably of hijackers, "Get out of here", then screaming and other sounds and silence.

See September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/Plane_casualties for the flight manifest.


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