United Airlines says two planes went down, one in Pennsylvania
BY TODD SPANGLER
Sep 11, 2001
SHANKSVILLE, Pa. -- Two United Airlines jetliners crashed
Tuesday morning, one in western Pennsylvania and the second
at a location the airline did not immediately disclose. A
total of 110 people were aboard the two planes, the airline
One plane, United Flight 93, crashed north of the
Somerset County airport, a small airport about 80 miles
southeast of Pittsburgh.
The Pennsylvania crash followed the crash of two planes
into the World Trade Center in New York City. American
Airlines initially said its planes crashed into the twin
towers but later said that was unconfirmed.
"It shook the whole station," said Bruce Grine, owner of
Grine's Service Center in Shanksville, about 21/2 miles from
the crash. "Everybody ran outside, and by that time the fire
whistle was blowing."
United said that flight, a Boeing 757, left Newark,
N.J., at 8:01 a.m., headed for San Francisco with 38
passengers, two pilots and five flight attendants.
A second plane, United Flight 175, a Boeing 767, also
crashed, the airline said, but it did not give a location.
That plane left Boston at 7:58 a.m., bound for Los Angeles
with 56 passengers, two pilots and seven flight attendants,
the airline said.
United's pilots union said Flight 175 crashed into the
Trade Center. But the airline had no immediate comment.
Because of the attacks in New York, the Federal Aviation
Administration had ordered all departing flights canceled
nationwide, and any planes already in the air were to land
at the nearest airport. The Pennsylvania crash came after
the order was issued.
According to Somerset County dispatchers, Flight 93
crashed about 10 a.m. about 8 miles east of Jennerstown,
WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh reported.
Michael R. Merringer was out on a mountain bike ride
with his wife, Amy, about two miles away from the crash
"I heard the engine gun two different times and then I
heard a loud bang and the windows of the houses all around
rattled," Merringer said. "I looked up and I saw the smoke
The couple rushed home and drove near the scene.
"Everything was on fire and there was trees knocked down
and there was a big hole in the ground," he said.
Earlier Tuesday, terrorists crashed two planes into the
World Trade Center and the twin 110-story towers collapsed.
A plane also hit the Pentagon in Washington.
In Chicago, United CEO James Goodwin said the airline is
working with authorities including the FBI. United said it
was sending a team to Pennsylvania to assist in the
investigation and to provide assistance to family members.
"Today's events are a tragedy and our prayers are with
everyone at this time," Goodwin said.