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9/11 Attacks: Timeline, Facts, and its Effects on the World

9/11 Attacks: Timeline, Facts, and its Effects on the World
A global event that is etched in everyone's memories, the world watched in horror as terrorist attacks unfolded in the USA on 11th September 2001. Here's more about the 9/11 attacks timeline, and the related events that took place on this fateful day.
Gaurav Athavale
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2019
Fast Fact
The One World Trade Center (also called the Freedom Tower) was built in New York following the destruction of the Twin Towers during the September 11 terrorist attacks. It was one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere.
On 11th September 2001, the United States experienced one of the largest terrorist attacks on its soil, which killed at least 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000. It also caused damage worth at least USD 10 billion, including property, buildings, and other constructions.
According to news reports, the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda planned this attack that took place in three different locations: World Trade Center in New York City; Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia; and in Washington D.C.
Nineteen terrorists hijacked four passenger airplanes for the attacks, and according to media sources, the whole plan was masterminded by the group's leader Osama bin Laden. Two planes, United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center Towers.
American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon, which is the Headquarters of the Department of Defense. The fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, was initially directed towards Washington D.C., but went down in a meadow at Shanksville in Pennsylvania.
Timeline of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
World Trade Center
On September 11, 2001, at around 8 in the morning, American Airlines Flight 11 lifts off from Boston's Logan International Airport.
The destination is supposed to be LAX, LA, California. Five hijackers took control of the plane when it was in midair, and alter the route to New York City.
Around 8.15, United Airlines Flight 175 also took off from the Logan International Airport, headed for the same destination, i.e., LAX. Five hijackers on board and before take off, they contacted the others on Flight 11.
At 8.20 am, American Airlines Flight 77 lifts off from the Washington Dulles International Airport―its destination also being LAX―and was boarded by five hijackers. By this time, the transponder of Flight 11 had been turned off, and American Airlines was alerted by a flight attendant that the plane is being hijacked.
Few radio transmissions were intercepted by flight controllers at Boston around 8.30 am, wherein a terrorist said all the passengers to be quiet and not to make any move. The hijacking of Flight 11 was confirmed, and the plane was on the route to New York City.
At 8.36 am, Flight 175 gets a view of Flight 11, which is a few miles in the southern direction, and notifies this to air traffic controllers. Flight 175 was hijacked at 8.40 am. At the same time, United Airlines Flight 93 took off from Newark International Airport, and was initially bound for San Francisco International Airport.
At 8.46 am, Flight 11 crashed into North WTC Tower, at a speed of more than 450 mph. The plane's fuel ignited and a huge cloud of smoke billowed out from the upper floors where it was crashed. From the lower floors, people began to get out, but the ones on top were still trapped. Several people on the outside started filming the entire scenario.
The news traveled fast and extensive media coverage began at the same time. At 8.50 am, two calls were made from Flight 175, one from a man to his father, and the second from a flight attendant to United Airlines. Both calls were made to inform that the plane had been hijacked.
Around the same time, hijackers took control of Flight 77 changed its original course, and headed towards Ohio. The then U.S. President George W. Bush  heard the news about the WTC crash while he was in Florida. At 8.55 am, the transponder of Flight 77 was switched off, and the plane moved towards Washington D.C.
At 9.03 am, Flight 175 crashed into the South WTC Tower at a speed of 600 mph. By the time, many media and broadcasting organisations were already near the towers, giving out live news. The second crash was filmed and shown live on news channels.
destroyed world trade towers
Decisions were taken to shut off all airports in the nearby regions around 9.15 am. At 9.23 am, Flight 77 was informed of the double crashes, and to be aware of suspicious people on the plane. Minutes after the message, terrorists entered the cockpit and took control of Flight 93. NORAD was informed about the possible hijacking of both airplanes.
At 9.37 am, Flight 77 crashed into the western part of the Pentagon, leading to a big fire. All the passengers were dead on the spot, and the death toll of Pentagon personnel was above 100. The White House, The Capitol, and other important buildings were evacuated at 9.40 am.
pentagon wall aerial view
Around 10 am, President Bush heard the news about the Pentagon crash. The WTC South Tower collapsed completely. On Flight 93, the passengers started to plan subdue the terrorists, as the plane was on course to Washington D.C.
destroyed pentagon wall
At 10.03 am, Flight 93 crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after resistance was shown by the passengers. According to reports, the initial target of the hijackers probably was the White House or the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. At 10.30 am, the North WTC Tower collapsed.
Effects and Aftermath of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks on The World
Subsequent to these destructive incidences, media coverage and rescue operations increased further. Commercial flights from the US to Canada and vice-versa were also canceled. The WTC crashes had a damaging effect on the surrounding buildings, like the Marriott Hotel, 4 WTC, 6 WTC, 5 WTC (in all, seven surrounding buildings were affected).
Rescue and relief given was fast enough, and on the same day following the crashes, orders were given to shoot down any plane that behaved suspiciously. Monetary relief and donations from charity organizations and otherwise were also received for the aid of the victims.
The terrorist attacks were condemned by the nation shortly after they took place, along with other countries showing their support. Many middle-eastern countries too denounced the act, including Afghanistan.
Hate crimes against Middle-Eastern origin and Asian-origin people began to rise a lot, like murders, thievery, arson, etc., after September 11. Several bank accounts thought to belong to terrorists were closed down.

On the International front, USA strengthened its stand against terrorism, and continued deploying troops in Afghanistan to combat the terrorists.
This can be said to be one of the direct effects of the September 11 attacks, as the British also joined forces with the US army in the War of Afghanistan. The war that was waged against Iraq could also be considered to be one of the effects of these attacks.
Regarding health, the toxins that arose because of the crashes were responsible for many deaths due to asphyxiation, and air quality in the surroundings worsened a lot. Many pregnant woman gave birth to premature babies, and some were stillborn. On an average, more than 15,000 individuals had developed a variety of illnesses due to these attacks.
In case of effects on the economy, the stock markets were closed till 17th September, and the losses were pegged at more than USD 1 trillion. More than 4,00,000 jobs were lost, and New York City's GDP decreased considerably. The entire American airspace was closed for many days, and after it started, the traffic situation worsened drastically.
September 11 Attacks: A Tribute to All Who Died
Tribute in Light
Following the attacks, several memorials were built in the honor of all the people who lost their lives.
The Tribute in Light (also called the annual tribute) was set up at Ground Zero (which is the basal section of the area where the twin towers were present). Another memorial called the New York Memorial was built following the attacks.
New York Memorial
The Pentagon Memorial was unveiled to the public in 2008, and is constructed exactly where Flight 77 crashed into the wall. The Flight 93 National Memorial honors all those who lost their lives in the Pennsylvania crash.