Air Time: 09-11-01 09:12:58 EDT
This item is part of the collection: September 11 Television Archive
Producer: ABC 7, Washington, D.C.
Production Company: ABC 7, Washington, D.C.
At 9:42am EDT, (29:17/41:41) film shows smoke rising behind the Old Executive Office Building. (29:35/41:41) Clair Shipman is on the phone.
(34:25/41:41) Breaking News banner
Anchors Carol Costello, Don Hudson, break into network coverage
Hudson: We want you to let you know that we’ll get back to ABC’s special coverage, but we ourselves, what started in New York is now happening in Washington, and we want to get more into that this morning.
Costello: That’s right, I’m Carol Costello, Don Hudson, we want to go live to Sam Ford right now, he is live at Reagan National Airport with an update on the air crash at the Pentagon, Sam Ford tell us what you can.
Ford: Well, Carol, as you can see, there is this loud, huge cloud of smoke behind me and that is the location of the Pentagon. We had come here to National Airport to, you know, to continue our coverage of the situation in New York because the airports had been shut down, no sooner had we gotten here and stopped the car then we looked up and there was this cloud of smoke billowing from the Pentagon. There had been a traffic accident here at national and a number of emergency vehicles were dealing with that and suddenly we saw this and I would say within a couple of minute they were all tearing out of here, heading toward the Pentagon. We asked folks here--one of the police officers told me, that he had heard, a plane had gone into the Pentagon, obviously more of the situations in New York. People here are extremely nervous and some are saying that they wanted us to leave this area, we don’t know if they’re going to shut down the airport, or evacuate this place, this is, this is a concern at this point, people are still here, but there is concern about the safety of this place, obviously, with these bombs going off, or planes crashing into buildings all over the place, but that’s it here, as you can see the smoke…Sam…see paper flying…Sam…about…yes Carol,
Costello: Sam, a question for you: we understand that there is a tail section of a plane sticking out of the Pentagon and a plane did hit the Pentagon. Is that true?
Ford: Well, at this point Carol we are at National Airport, so all we can really see is the flame. Now I understand we have some photographers over at the Pentagon, I cannot tell you exactly but from our vantage point all we see smoke
Costello: Sam, if I could interrupt, we do have an eyewitness who actually saw this event take place they’re on the phone with us now… is it Mr. Or Mrs. German?
Germet(?): It’s Mr. Germet
Costello: Mr. Germet, tell us what happened?
Germet: I saw a big explosion, a ball of fire, my window rattled, and I looked out there was a big ball of fire and smoke coming out, and I’m looking at it right now, it missed the Navy Annex, and it missed the Pentagon, its like missed so many high-rise buildings and it hit probably the parking lot or the cemetery behind the Navy Annex, that’s what it looked like.
Costello: Mr. Germent, did you actually see a plane?
Germet: I didn’t see a plane, I heard the explosion I thought it was a fly-by because I looked toward the airport, my window rattled I looked south, I saw a ball of fire and just smoke coming out.
Costello: Are you feeling nervous right now Mr. Germent?
Germet; Yes, very much so, I thought I was hit, I mean, the building shook so much.
Hudson: Well he’s not the only one that’s for sure, as keep you on the phone and Sam as well, we’re now getting reports that the White House has been threatened, here, we’re also getting reports the Capital has been evacuated, the West Wing of the White House evacuated to go along with all this. What started at 8:40 this morning in New York of course, is now threatening of course our city, our safety, a lot of folks,
Costello: The pictures, the picture that you are looking at right now are from our live cameras, we can see smoke pouring near the Pentagon, Mr. Germent, do you want to add anything? I can hear you are still on the phone with us?
Germet: I’m trying to get out of here because I live a few miles from the Pentagon…I don’t know what is going on.
Costello: OK you get going Mr. Germent, we understand, thank you for joining us, lets go to a White House shot that we have right now. The White House West Wing has been evacuated as we understand, we know the President Bush is not there but he is on his way back to Washington, you can see the armed guards on top of the White House keeping watch, but at this point, they, as well as we, don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but everybody is on standby as you might expect.
Hudson: And as you mention, in case people are wondering, and didn’t see, President Bush in Florida for an educational issue down there. He made a brief announcement about this and said he was on his way back here to deal with it, and of course, saying the terrorist acts will not be tolerated, and that they will be looking into it, but AFTER he made that comment is when the thing, when it happened at the Pentagon, at that time only the two planes had crashed into the twin towers, the World Trade Center in New York.
Costello: We wish we could tell you more about what is happening in our own backyard at the Pentagon we don’t know if there were any injuries, we do know that there was a construction scene on the scene at the time, we know, we do know that when they heard something, um, explode, they turned around and they started to run. We do not know if anyone inside the Pentagon, or around it, was hurt.
Hudson: OK, we have another person on the phone, Janet, are you with us?
Janet: Yes I am
Hudson: We understand that you witnessed this plane—a plane—crash into the Pentagon?
Janet: Yes sir, I did.
Hudson: What, tell us exactly what you saw.
Janet: Well, I live in a high-rise building just outside of, a Roslyn and I was actually glued to the television and I have an office here and it’s all glassed in and I saw a plane just coming right in front of my window, flying at a, a path that the commercial planes do not fly, not coming in the direction to land at National Airport
Hudson: How big was the plane?
Janet: Um, It certainly looked larger….every once in a while there is a flight path difference for smaller, private planes that come in, this was not a small private looking plane. It looks more like a commuter-type plane, but it was sizable, yes
Costello: And you said it was heading directly to the Pentagon?
Janet: It was heading in the direction of the AIRPORT, and I thought this plane is way too low and there is no runway that—it goes in that direction, and it didn’t turn at all, and as soon as I saw it, I knew that it was way too low and not on a flight path that I’ve ever seen before living here.
Costello: And what did you hear?
Janet: I couldn’t hear anything, um, from where I am, I just saw the plane just disappear out of my sight beyond the trees, and then I just saw a massive pillar of smoke and then a few minutes later they, I heard—it’s basically, obviously where the Pentagon is, I can’t see the Pentagon, it’s covered in trees
Costello: Are you in a safe place right now?
Janet: Ah, as far as I know! I’m in my apartment where I live, so, I am on the 13th floor of a high-rise in Roslyn.
Hudson: We can see on the bottom right hand corner of our screen, you can see the firefighters (9:52) spraying, at the Pentagon, trying to put out that fire, Jan, did, were you already aware of what happened in New York when you saw this coming?
Janet: Yes sir, yes sir, I was, I was glued to the television ah, because I actually running an event in New York at the end of the week.
Costello: Aw, you poor thing, OK, we’re going to go back to our Sam Ford who is at Reagan National right now
Hudson: Thank you Janet
Costello: Sam, we understand that the FAA has taken action, can you tell us what that is.
Ford: Yes Carol, because of this situation the FAA has shut down all aircraft flights across the country. They, I think, it is a situation where it is too dangerous, right here at National airport you normally would have planes taking off and landing, there are no planes taking off or landing here, the skies are clear and there is smoke covering the area. This gentleman is named Todd Nelson. You were just picking up what, debris. What is this some sort of….
Nelson: It looks like insulation. I was just standing here watching, and all sorts of paper, and debris, and insulation…
Ford: I’m sorry yes, this is, what?
Nelson: All sorts of paper and debris and insulation were just flying down and landing on us over here and it’s just amazing.
Ford: Yea, some sort of insulation or some sort of debris that, it looks like, it appears to have come from the Pentagon crash, it’s coming through the air. You can see papers flying through the air—things like that. So, that’s the word from here. We’re hearing that the FAA has shut down air traffic…
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