This is a special one-hour live report on the WTC and Pentagon attacks.
[includes rush transcript]
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: I’m going to interrupt this taped conversation that we’re having with two women, one from Kenya, one from the Sudan, Atsango Chisonie just answering this question, because of the latest news.
Just a little while ago, actually during this broadcast, we heard a loud explosion, and we heard ambulances, or rather we heard sirens. Well, it appears that planes crashed into the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers minutes apart this morning in a horrific scene of explosions and fires that left gaping holes in the 110-story buildings.
No immediate word on injuries or fatalities in the twin disasters, which happened at just around 9:00 New York time. And President Bush has called the World Trade Center crashes an apparent terrorist attack. The FBI is investigating reports that two plane crashes at the World Trade Center are the result of foul play.
A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agency is pursuing reports that one or both of the planes were hijacked and that the crashes may have been the result of a suicide mission. The source stressed the reports are preliminary and officials do not know the cause of the crashes.
Now, the latest news that’s coming from CNN right now in Washington, D.C., that there is a huge plume of smoke also at the Pentagon. Possibly a plane hit the Pentagon, as well, and that there is a fire there, as well as a fire on the Mall. And CNN is showing scenes right now of a fire behind the old executive office building.
As we speak, the White House is being evacuated. The Pentagon is being evacuated. Again, the latest news that we have—and this is all unfolding as this broadcast takes place—planes have crashed into the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers minutes apart this morning, just about 9:00.
Brad Simpson, our producer, is right next to me. Brad, why don’t—instead of you writing a note, tell us what you have also heard.
BRAD SIMPSON: We just heard on CNN that the Federal Aviation Administration has just suspended all air traffic at all airports around the United States. Planes are not taking off. I assume they’re still landing. But all air traffic around the United States has been temporarily halted by the FAA.
AMY GOODMAN: And you may hear in the background the sirens. We’re in Chinatown. We’re not far from the World Trade Center buildings. Again, we did hear the explosions just a little while ago. We’re talking about two explosions in both towers of the World Trade Center, where we see plumes of smoke. People are stopping everywhere. The emergency vehicles are racing down to the World Trade Center. It appears that planes crashed into these buildings. And in Washington, the news of fire at the Pentagon on the Mall, the White House being evacuated, as well as the Pentagon.
George Bush, the President, in Florida right now. Large holes visible in the World Trade Center. As one witness told CNN, I was watching TV, heard a sonic boom, the side of the World Trade Center exploded, debris is falling like leaflets. I hear ambulances. The northern tower seems to be on fire. The tops of the Twin Towers were obscured by the smoke. Thousands of pieces of what appear to be office paper came drifting over Brooklyn, about three miles from the tower.
The center bombing on February 26, 1993 killed six people, injured more than a thousand others. In 1945, an Army Air Corps B-25, a twin-engine bomber, crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in dense fog for a little history.
The President, in Sarasota, Florida, spoke briefly on his way back to Washington, D.C. Again, as you just heard Brad Simpson reporting from television that the FAA has suspended all flights around the United States. Plumes of smoke in Washington, D.C., as the White House is being evacuated, as the Pentagon is being evacuated. All flights around the United States are suspended for at least seven hours at this point. Not clear exactly what is happening. First, one plane hit the World Trade Center building, it appears, and then another plane. And the question was, were these planes hijacked. Again, this news is just coming out as this broadcast goes on, smoke pouring out of the upper floors of the World Trade Center. Broadcast reports planes have struck it.
Miranda Kennedy is here, as well, who is helping out with today’s broadcast. Miranda, can you tell us what you’ve just learned?
MIRANDA KENNEDY: Well, we’ve just learned from CNN that the President is actually on a plane, on an Air Force One plane heading back to D.C., where the White House has been evacuated, and there’s fires all over the Washington Mall.
AMY GOODMAN: Washington Mall, there are fires. At the Pentagon there’s a fire. CNN made some mention of possibly a plane also hitting the Pentagon. In the background, you may hear the emergency vehicles where we’re broadcasting from right now on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan, not far from the World Trade Center building.
The news is coming out as we speak, unusual information about being three miles away in Brooklyn, hearing witnesses say thousands of pieces of what appear to be office paper came drifting over Brooklyn about three miles from the tower.
Again, what have you heard, Miranda?
MIRANDA KENNEDY: We just learned that it was actually a plane who hit the Pentagon, as well as the World Trade Center towers. So they don’t know what the origin of the plane is yet, obviously.
AMY GOODMAN: So a plane hitting the Pentagon, a plane hitting the World Trade Center towers, perhaps two planes hitting the upper floors of the World Trade Center, minutes apart, in a horrific scene of explosions and fires on television now. They’re showing the pictures of the World Trade Centers that are—the upper floors are engulfed in smoke. And again, at the same time, fires at the Pentagon, the Pentagon being evacuated, the White House being evacuated, and fires on the malls.
We’re going to go to music for one minute, as we gather more information. This information obviously is coming out as we learn of it. Miranda, what else have you learned?
MIRANDA KENNEDY: The Capitol, the Treasury, the White House and the Pentagon have all been evacuated. They’re saying that they’ve pushed everyone in the downtown area of D.C. back to as far as 8th Street. So there seems to be crowds of people being evacuated and pushing far back.
AMY GOODMAN: You can hear the latest information, again, fires in New York as a result of plane crashes into the World Trade Center, a plane crashing into the Pentagon, White House being evacuated, Treasury being evacuated, Pentagon being evacuated. President Bush is coming up from Sarasota. He spoke briefly. They were checking out Air Force One, and then he was coming on that flight.
But again, all over the country now, flights have been suspended for at least seven hours.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: Now, what they’re saying is that there—it’s obviously a terrorist attack and that they’re investigating into connections with Osama bin Laden.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, of course, in these preliminary reports, all sorts of information is put out, as you may well remember from the Oklahoma City bombing. I painfully remember talking about the suggestions of who it was, when in fact it wasn’t, so we are not going to draw any conclusions at this point, just reporting the information of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center buildings, the plane crashing into the Pentagon, a fire at the Pentagon right now, the White House being evacuated, other government buildings being evacuated, fires on the Mall in Washington, D.C., and right now as we listen, we can hear emergency vehicles racing to the World Trade Center.
Go ahead, Miranda.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: Just on this terrorist attack, the Secret Service reports that because the White House was evacuated, it offers a credible threat of a terrorist attack, but that’s as much as they know.
AMY GOODMAN: And so, this information coming to you, New York time just before 10:00. It appears it’s all taken place in this past hour. I don’t know if the mics are picking up all of the sound outside, but major mass moving of emergency vehicles down to the World Trade Center, which is very close, in fact, to where we are right now. The pictures on TV, the smoke, the plumes of smoke above the World Trade Center—both all of the upper floors of the World Trade Center buildings, the towers of the World Trade Center, are engulfed in smoke. No immediate word right now on injuries. The FBI obviously is investigating.
These are the same towers that were struck by bombers in February of 1993. A plane was coming in low. It looked like it hit at a slight angle. It is not clear whether this plane was hijacked. Large holes are visible in the sides of the 110-story buildings, the landmark Twin Towers. Again, we heard it here as we were doing the broadcast, not clear whether it was a car accident or something taking place. We clearly know now that the World Trade Center towers have been hit.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: What they’re saying from Washington, D.C., is now that either a plane or a helicopter exploded into the Pentagon. It exploded on the outside of the fifth corridor of the building, which is the Army corridor. And witnesses were saying that the whole building just exploded. Obviously it’s been evacuated now, and we don’t know if there have been any injuries.
AMY GOODMAN: And it is, as we speak, 9:59 in the morning, New York time, as we go off the air. We assume we’ll continue simply to keep the line open if any of the programs want to continue with us. Again, we’re just getting this information as it comes off the wires and listening to the emergency vehicles where we are, very close to the World Trade Center building, and broadcasting to you what we’re hearing on television, as well.
This all happened within the last hour. The World Trade Center towers both engulfed in a—in plumes of smoke, because it seems that planes have crashed into the upper floors of the World Trade Center towers. In addition to that, a plane has hit the Pentagon, causing a major fire there. Evacuation of the Pentagon, evacuation of the White House. There are fires on the Mall in Washington, D.C. All planes have been suspended around the country.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: It looks like from the reports on CNN that the second tower of the World Trade Center has actually been hit again. There’s new clouds of billowing smoke. It’s completely concealed by smoke. It may just be some fallout, but it’s hard to believe that so much explosive smoke has come from one explosion. So it’s—it is actually possible that there has been a second hit on the World Trade Center. As has been said, it has already been hit by two planes earlier this morning. At about 8:15, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, one after the other. And at this stage, everyone on CNN is really just trying to talk around what’s happening.
AMY GOODMAN: It looks as if part of the South Tower of the World Trade Center has apparently collapsed at this point. Smoke is everywhere. Plumes of smoke below as well, so it’s not clear what’s happening. Is it the smoke from the World Trade Center buildings? But it does look like the South Tower of the World Trade Center has now collapsed. Again, as we are here in Chinatown, we’re hearing emergency vehicles racing down to the scene. Planes crashing into—it looks like at least two planes at this point have hit the World Trade Center. Again, another plane has hit the Pentagon. And the government buildings are now being evacuated. Clouds of smoke over the World Trade Center towers. People reporting in Brooklyn miles away that thousands of pieces of what appear to be office paper have come drifting over Brooklyn.
A senior government official said the agency is pursuing reports that one or more of the planes that hit the World Trade Center were hijacked and that the crashes may have been the result of a suicide mission.
Fires on the Mall in Washington, the Pentagon hit by a plane—the Pentagon, the area of the Pentagon, it looks like the area was the Army corridor in the Pentagon on the fifth floor, the President coming in right now from Sarasota, Florida, on his way back to D.C. FAA has suspended all planes in the United States for at least seven hours.
This is the latest news that we are bringing to you. It’s just after 9:00 Eastern Standard Time. We’re bringing you the news as we learn of it from the wires, from hearing what’s happening on the streets of New York, though not able at this point to go out and report on it, and watching the television pictures of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the White House.
Right now, in the last several minutes, a third explosion at the World Trade Center. It does look like part of the South Tower has collapsed. Clouds of smoke are engulfing the World Trade Center.
You are listening to Democracy Now!, as outside the emergency vehicles race towards the World Trade Center, the upper floors of the World Trade Center towers engulfed in plumes of smoke, horrific scene of explosions and fires.
Brad, what is the latest that you see?
BRAD SIMPSON: Right now, they’re simply replaying the video that shows what is apparently a jet aircraft as it circles the South Tower of the World Trade Center and then simply crashes into the South Tower, coming right through the back side of the World Trade Center and an enormous explosion, clouds of smoke billowing from the World Trade Center, parts of the Trade Center falling to the street. Right now, the entire downtown area, including the area around the World Trade Center, is enveloped in smoke, apparently from the collapse of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. It’s really unclear right now exactly what’s happening, but we’re going to continue monitoring CNN and the wires and see what we can get.
AMY GOODMAN: American Airlines, CNN is reporting, it was a hijacked American Airlines plane, one of perhaps three, two or three that have hit the World Trade Center. It looks like the South Tower has collapsed. We are looking at scenes of massive smoke, plumes of smoke that are engulfing the World Trade Center towers right now. Planes crashing into the upper floors, an American Airlines plane crashing into the upper floor. Again, the Pentagon, there are reports of a plane crashing into the Pentagon. They’ve evacuated the Pentagon, the White House, the Treasury. It was the fifth corridor of the Pentagon, the Army corridor, that was hit. We are just watching nonstop pictures right now of the World Trade Center.
Miranda, what have you learned?
MIRANDA KENNEDY: Well, that there has been a third explosion, which has shattered the towers, the South Tower of the World Trade Center, and apparently a Palestinian group has claimed responsibility not for the World Trade Center bombing, but for the attack on the Pentagon. So we’re going to try now to get a Palestinian reporter on the air with us.
AMY GOODMAN: And as Miranda goes to do that, if you’re just tuning in, we’re not even sure who is listening at this point, just continuing with this broadcast. We are quite close to the World Trade Center. We are broadcasting from Chinatown. It looks like the South Tower of the World Trade Center has collapsed, hit by at least two—we’re not clear if there were two or three planes that have crashed into the World Trade Center buildings, the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers. This is a 110-story building We can see scenes of explosion, fires, gaping holes in the 110-story building.
There are emergency vehicles racing there, as well as, of course, all over Washington, D.C. Eyewitness reports of people jumping from the top floors of the South Tower of the World Trade Center as it buckles and collapses. Again, eyewitness reports of people jumping from the top floors of the South Tower of the World Trade Center as it buckles and collapses.
You’re listening to Democracy Now!, broadcasting from Downtown Community Television. We’re about to go to the West Bank to speak with a reporter there to give us the latest news. Miranda Kennedy with us, Brad Simpson with us, Anthony Sloan with us, as well.
This news coming out in the last hour, as we watch the World Trade Center, that is engulfed in plumes of smoke, bridges and tunnels in and out of New York City have all been closed, and we’re continuing to just bring you information as we learn it from television, as well as from the wires, from the internet, and we’ll be speaking with different people through the day. Fire and emergency equipment being raced to the World Trade Center building. Bridges and tunnels have been closed in the greater New York City area for this emergency equipment to make its way to the World Trade Center.
Again, the latest news we have, at least two, possibly three, planes have hit the World Trade Center buildings. CNN is reporting one of them was a hijacked American Airlines plane. We also understand that another plane has hit the Pentagon. They are evacuating the Pentagon now, as well as the White House, as well as the Treasury.
President Clinton is—rather, President Bush is flying up from Florida from Sarasota. We’re hoping to make contact with a reporter in just one minute. The lines are now down. We just had spoken with him, and we’re hoping we will be able to get him on the line.
As we were doing the Democracy Now! broadcast, we heard the several explosions. They definitely—we felt the impact in Chinatown, two major sonic boom-type explosions. Very soon after that, we hear that the World Trade Center has been hit by at least two planes. It looks like that perhaps suicide missions, one plane hitting the South Tower, which looks like it has now buckled and collapsed, people jumping from the upper floors of the World Trade Center towers.
You remember, the last attack on the World Trade Center was February 26, 1993. We’re not jumping to any conclusions, simply reporting what is happening. Not clear who has claimed responsibility, if there has been any responsibility claimed at this point. Planes crashing into the upper floors of the World Trade Center towers. The South Tower looks like it is collapsing right now.
Today is primary day in New York City. I assume that will be perhaps called off, although I don’t know about that. Bridges and tunnels in and out of New York City have been closed. Emergency vehicles are racing to the scene, trying to get the latest information from Washington, as well as New York City. World Trade Center tower, one of them, the top floors of the South Tower buckling and collapsing, eyewitness reports of people jumping from those top floors.
As we try to make contact with reporters in different areas to see how much more we can bring you, the side of the World Trade Center exploding, debris falling like leaflets. It was also described in this way in Washington, D.C. Northern tower seems to be on fire. The southern tower seems to have buckled and collapsed with thousands of pieces of what appear to be office paper drifting over Brooklyn.
We’re going to go to a music break for just a few seconds as we gather more information. Stay with us.
AMY GOODMAN: You are listening to our continuing coverage of what is a massive disaster unfolding in New York, in Washington, D.C., eyewitness reports right now where we are in New York. I’m Amy Goodman here with Miranda Kennedy, Brad Simpson and Anthony Sloan. We’re on Lafayette Street, just south of Canal and not far from the World Trade Center towers. It looks as if the South Tower has collapsed, the North Tower on fire. Eyewitness reports that police saw parts of the South Tower peeling away, as thousands watched, the police frantically telling people to move away.
It looks like what we have is two attacks, three possible attacks on the World Trade Center building, with planes crashing into the towers. One of those planes, CNN reporting, possibly a hijacked American Airlines flight. All airlines have at this point been—all planes have been canceled in the country. Mayor Giuliani has established an emergency management center to coordinate the health, fire and emergency response. There are sketchy reports of an explosion on Capitol Hill at this point. That is the latest information that we have, sketchy reports of an explosion on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
You are listening to Democracy Now!. As we get this report, these reports, we are simply broadcasting them to you, to stations around the country, eyewitness reports of people jumping from the top floors of the South Tower of the World Trade Center as it buckled and collapses in the last half-hour. This all seems to have taken place just about 9:00. We heard the booms, like sonic booms. President Bush called the World Trade Center crashes an apparent terrorist attack. The FBI investigating reports that at least two planes crashes, it may have been a third, hitting the World Trade Center towers, towers struck by bombers in February of 1993. A CNN vice president, Sean Murtaugh, reported the plane was coming in low. It looked like it hit the World Trade Center at a slight angle. Large holes visible in the sides of the 110-story buildings, the landmark Twin Towers. Side of the World Trade Center exploding, debris falling like leaflets, ambulances, emergency vehicles racing to the scene. They have been passing us, as we can hear the sirens going off. Thousands of pieces of what appear to be office paper drifting over Brooklyn, which is miles away. People are seeing this paper.
It does look like there has been an explosion on Capitol Hill. And that is the latest news. We’ll see if Brad or Miranda can bring us in some of this information. Eyewitness reports that police saw parts of the South Tower peeling away. Thousands are watching, police frantically telling people to move away. The latest news, a plane hitting the Pentagon, the Army area of the Pentagon. They’re evacuating the Pentagon, the White House, the Treasury. All planes stopped in the country, and it may be that we have more reports now from Anthony Sloan, our technical director.
ANTHONY SLOAN: Yeah, well, Amy, I’ve been monitoring another radio station. And right now, there have reporters down there on the scene. They’ve closed up all businesses in the area. Hundreds—actually thousands of people, when the building collapsed, when the second building collapsed, people were running up towards, on the street, from the World Trade Center uptown on towards what’s called Franklin Street, towards our way, in other words. And it seems like if a building falls, it falls and there will be other damages to other buildings. So all of the businesses are closed right now. And people are actually—people are going down, because they have relatives in the building, but it’s causing a lot of congestion.
AMY GOODMAN: And Brad Simpson, what’s the latest report you have?
BRAD SIMPSON: We’ve just heard reports from an eyewitness who is a pilot, who reported that the first explosion, which took place in the North Tower of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, was a Boeing 767 jet, which was seen heading towards Midtown. It veered right towards the World Trade Center and flew directly into the north side of the North Tower of the Trade Center at what looks like about the ninetieth floor.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you repeat that?
BRAD SIMPSON: Eyewitness reports indicate that the first explosion on the North Tower of the World Trade Center was a Boeing 767 jet, which was seen heading towards Midtown. The jet veered towards the World Trade Center and flew directly into the north side of the North Tower, somewhere between the eightieth and the ninetieth floors.
AMY GOODMAN: And that’s the plane that hit the north side of the North Tower. The South Tower, it looks like the top of it has buckled and collapsed, witnesses seeing people jump from the top stories. Mayor Giuliani establishing emergency management center to coordinate the health, fire and emergency response. Sketchy reports of—now it seems to—we’re getting more reports of an explosion on Capitol Hill about a half an hour ago. The Capitol evacuated, pushed back by security, two blocks of the Capitol.
Trying to make contact with reporters. It’s, as you could imagine, difficult right now. We are having difficulty getting through on our phones.
South Tower peeling away as thousands of people watch. We are not far from the World Trade Center. President Bush coming up from Sarasota. They’re checking out Air Force One, but then he’s heading up, I suppose—not clear at this point, haven’t heard the latest reports—to Washington, D.C., although they have evacuated the White House, evacuated the Pentagon, evacuated the Treasury. And as you heard Brad just say, that CNN is reporting that the first explosion was caused—this is according to a pilot witness—by a Boeing 767 heading towards Midtown, veering to the left, flew directly into the north side of the North Tower.
The horrendous scenes, we’re seeing on television right now, the World Trade Center towers engulfed in smoke. The South Tower has collapsed.
ANTHONY SLOAN: They’re also reporting that it seems like with all of the fire damage that perhaps the other tower will be damaged beyond repair and might even come down.
AMY GOODMAN: And we are hearing emergency vehicles, again, heading to the scene. All bridges, all tunnels have been blocked. The FAA is reporting that one of the planes was an American Airlines 767 jet that was hijacked out of Boston. Again, the FAA reporting that one of the planes was an American Airlines 767 jet that was hijacked out of Boston.
You’re listening to Democracy Now! We are broadcasting, not clear at this point to who, but we will continue this broadcast going.
We hear emergency vehicles outside of DCTV, where we’re broadcasting from, Firehouse 31. We are in downtown Manhattan, which puts us quite close to the World Trade Center building, though we’re in a garret of this firehouse, and so are not able to see, right where we are, the World Trade Center buildings, though we can see the pictures on television. The South Tower is—has buckled and collapsed, the top of it. The North Tower is on fire. Eyewitnesses are saying they’re seeing people jump from the top of the World Trade Center towers.
In Washington, D.C., the White House being evacuated, Treasury being evacuated, Pentagon being evacuated, and, we understand, a fire on Capitol Hill, the Capitol being evacuated, as well.
These are the—this is the latest news that we have for you from New York City, and we will continue to broadcast as we get more information.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: From the Pentagon, we’ve heard that witnesses saw what they think was a commercial plane flying fast and low, disappearing from view and striking the Pentagon, just missing the Washington Beltway, Route 395. This is a report from an eyewitness who was just speaking from the Pentagon, who saw what looked like—it would make sense, with the reports, that it was an American Airlines jet or a Boeing 747, that this plane flew straight towards the Pentagon, and this is apparently the one that has attacked the Pentagon and brought it into flames.
AMY GOODMAN: It’s really something, Miranda, to be watching the TV screen and not to see two towers, but only one. The South Tower, it looks like it has collapsed to at least the thirtieth floor. We’re talking about two 110-story towers of the World Trade Center building. And again, Miranda just reporting witnesses seeing what they think is a commercial plane flying fast and low—was a commercial plane flying fast and low, disappearing from view and striking the Pentagon, just missing the Washington Beltway, Route 395. And the FAA is reporting that one of the planes was American Airlines 767 jet hijacked out of Boston. That’s the latest news that we have for you right now. Mayor Giuliani establishing emergency management center to coordinate health, fire and emergency response. An explosion on Capitol Hill. Those are the latest reports, as well as a fire at the Pentagon, a plane hitting the Pentagon, as well.
We can hear the emergency vehicles outside of the firehouse, where we are right now, thousands watching, police frantically telling people to get away, the South Tower down at least 70 or 80 stories, has buckled and collapsed, of the World Trade Center North Tower of the World Trade Center. You may be able to hear in the background the sounds of the emergency vehicles. The North Tower is—has smoke that is coming out of the tower.
Breaking reports that a fire has also forced the evacuation of the State Department in Washington, D.C. State Department, Treasury Department, Pentagon and White House being evacuated in Washington, D.C. The latest report, a fire has forced the evacuation of the State Department in Washington, D.C.
You are listening to Democracy Now! We are blocks away from the World Trade Center, as we go to a brief break, and then we’ll continue to bring you the news as we are able to gather it.
AMY GOODMAN: You’re listening to Democracy Now! in exile at a firehouse in Chinatown. We are downtown Manhattan, not far from the World Trade Center. Two towers—the South Tower has collapsed, the 110-story two double towers, the South Tower collapsed, at least to the thirtieth floor. We are recapping now the latest news of explosions and attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., as well. It looks like the World Trade Center has been hit by at least three planes. It looks like the second tower, the North Tower, has just collapsed, as well. Both towers of the World Trade Center have collapsed in New York City. Columns of smoke.
ANTHONY SLOAN: It should be noted that right under the World Trade Center, there’s a major link, a mass transit link from the PATH that goes to Newark, New Jersey. So that’s cut off. With both towers down in that area, depending on how the towers went down, it depends on what kind of damage was done around that area. So it’s a significant thing to see two towers a couple of hours ago, and now you see nothing at all. All of the businesses are closed. You can’t get cell phone service in this—in the downtown area, in the whole radius. Everything’s cut off. If people are looking to try to get to the area, from about 18th Street on down, it’s cordoned off. In fact, the —-— Mayor Giuliani has called this whole emergency here, so everything is blocked off. There’s no use even trying to come down to this area. You won’t be able to get here.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, right now, we’re looking at the landscape of the World Trade Center. Both towers have collapsed. We, here at this building—Miranda just went downstairs in the firehouse, and one of the men who is in this building, his wife, was on the 101st story of the World Trade Center. Both towers have now collapsed. That’s what’s happening in New York.
In Washington, D.C., we said before there were sketchy reports of an explosion on Capitol Hill. It’s not clear if there was an explosion. Of course, so much coming in from all over at this point. It may be that there was no explosion at the Capitol. It’s necessary to tell you, of course, all of this is just coming in. The latest news, also witnesses saw several people hanging out the window where the plane hit the North Tower, letting go as the tower collapsed. Scene of chaos. There was a school near the World Trade Center.
All flights have been canceled around the United States. International flights to D.C. and New York City have been diverted to Canada. Boeing 767 was hijacked from Boston, the FAA is reporting, an American Airlines plane that was, it seems, possibly the first plane to hit the World Trade Center building.
There is so much smoke across the island of Manhattan that it’s very difficult to see any buildings right now. We are reporting it to you as we see it.
At this point, CNN is simply reporting from downtown Manhattan the frantic efforts to get people out of the World Trade Center buildings. And again, we hear that the State Department, the White House, the Pentagon, the Treasury, have been evacuated in Washington, fires on the Mall.
Anthony, what have you just learned?
ANTHONY SLOAN: You know, this is a rather personal thing. A friend of mine works in the World Trade Center, and she actually went to a dentist appointment this morning. But she’s all broken up now, because, you know, as you know, most people work with other people, so this is going to have far-reaching effects, and it’s—I can’t even explain this. It’s just far-reaching effects personally, as well as economically, just everything. The world has definitely changed.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s right. There are —
ANTHONY SLOAN: President Bush has said that there will be retaliation. That’s for sure. He used some strong words, so prepare yourself for a changing world right now.
AMY GOODMAN: Thousands of people work in the World Trade Center buildings. Miranda?
MIRANDA KENNEDY: Yeah, it’s really unbelievable to watch the footage, which many people may be watching, as well, on CNN, of the second World Trade tower—World Trade Center tower collapsing in on itself, just literally crumbling into pieces, and the impact, the power of that impact is unbelievable. And it’s just sort of phenomenal to imagine the number of people who have been—who were inside the World Trade Center because they did not manage to evacuate it.
AMY GOODMAN: Miranda, it looks like 50,000 people work in the World Trade Center complex. 50,000 people.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: Well, I just went downstairs for a moment, and I actually ran into, in the hallway, a man whose wife was on the 101st floor of the World Trade Center, where she works, and he’s been trying to reach her for two hours. And it’ll be fairly impossible to reach her, I’d imagine.
ANTHONY SLOAN: And the cell phone area, it’s tough. Cell phone service in this area is cut off, so again, I’d say that if you’re trying to reach people in this area, or whatever it is, it’s going to be rather difficult, almost impossible. The area is totally cordoned off.
As you know, Manhattan, as it goes down to this area, becomes rather slim. The widest points of Manhattan is 125th Street and also 14th Street. When you get down towards this area, it gets very—rather slim. So it will probably be cut off from the Staten Island Ferry. Everything is affected. The Staten Island Ferry, there’s ferry service that goes to New Jersey. There’s, of course, the PATH that comes over from Newark to Jersey City to the World Trade Center. That should—that’s probably down. It goes right under the World Trade Center. We have basically every—all emergency vehicles are in the area. This is undoubtedly because of the—because there are government offices, federal offices in the World Trade Center, this will have—you’ll have certainly all the major investigative branches of government, as well as the city government, involved with this.
So it’s—I—there’s a couple of things I’m just trying to say. People should not try to come down here. It’s going to be impossible to get in anyway, even if you have press credentials or whatever you have. It’s going to be impossible to try to get through. And if you’re looking for someone and you’re trying to get them on your cell phone, it’s not going to be—it’s not going to work. The cell phones are blocked in this area. It’s–just treat it as an emergency. And all you can do is wait and pray.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s right. All cell phones—I’m calling Washington, D.C.—even non-cell phones, and it’s just a vast busy signal.
Unconfirmed reports, and again, as the world and the media move faster and faster, a lot of stuff gets out there that ends up not to be the case, but CNN is reporting unconfirmed reports of a car bomb at the State Department.
50,000 people work at the World Trade Center. We have no figures yet about the numbers killed and wounded. Certainly the number will be very high. All planes, international flights coming into New York and Washington, D.C. have been diverted to Canada. Again, the first reports of a first plane coming down Midtown way, pilot witnesses say it was a 767. They believe it was a hijacked American Airlines flight from Boston that crashed into the World Trade Center, followed by a second plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. It’s not clear if there was a third plane. It does look like there was a third plane crash at the Pentagon, crashing into the fifth story Army corridor. Evacuations of the Pentagon, State Department, Treasury, White House are now underway.
We’re trying to call into Washington, D.C. It’s just a fast busy signal. I just tried calling Baltimore. It’s a fast busy signal. Cell phones right now—our cell phone is not having much luck.
We’re talking about massive disaster now underway in the United States, does clearly look like attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
President Bush was in Florida, heading up on his plane. And Anthony, you just said that he promised retaliation. It is not clear yet who is responsible for this. We heard these booms during the program, not clear what they are, since we’ve been broadcasting in exile. We’re not in a soundproof booth, and so we do hear sounds occasionally, though this we felt. We felt the reverberation of it, too, and just continued. And then, Keiko Tsuno, who runs DCTV, came running upstairs. I heard some distress as we were going to our tape. And she started to explain that planes had hit the World Trade Center.
You’re listening to Democracy Now! in exile here in Chinatown, not far, blocks from the World Trade Center. Both towers of the 110-story building, both 110-story towers have collapsed. The area all around the World Trade Center is now covered with smoke. As we look out from the garret of this firehouse, I see people on the roofs who are looking with binoculars to see what is taking place. It is a blue sky day here in New York. The clouds, though, obscuring the whole area in Lower Manhattan.
Part of the Pentagon has collapsed. It has just been reported, part of the Pentagon has collapsed.
ANTHONY SLOAN: There has been a lot of damage to other buildings around the area of World Trade Center, and there’s a lot of ash and concrete and dust. People are covered with it. People are wearing masks in the street. So we should be—again, if you don’t have to go down to—well, you shouldn’t have to go to the area now. You shouldn’t go anyplace near the World Trade Center. It’s not going to be passable. There’s no way for you to get in or out.
AMY GOODMAN: According to Free Speech Radio News reporter Rafael Krafft, who’s in Ramallah, a Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the Pentagon bombing. We understand there was a plane attack on the Pentagon. Again, this is according to Rafael Krafft, who is the Free Speech Radio News reporter in Ramallah on the West Bank, saying that a Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the Pentagon bombing.
We are listening to emergency vehicles, their sirens blaring, heading down to the World Trade Center, as we bring you this latest news on this day, Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. It is eight years, seven-and-a-half years since the bombing of the World Trade Center on February 26th, I think it was, 1993. September 11th, 2001—looks like the State Department—go ahead, Miranda.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: It looks like there’s actually reports now of a fourth bombing at the World Trade Center. We’ve already reported three in a row, two planes crash into the World Trade Center starting at about 8:15 this morning, one after the other, then the South Tower collapsed. Then there was a third plane or explosion, we’re not sure which, which caused the South Tower to collapse. And now CNN is actually reporting there has been a fourth explosion at the World Trade Center. What the fallout of that is is unimaginable, because, well, we watched the entire South Tower collapse in on itself, so there’s really very little of the building remaining. But there—it does look like there has been a fourth attack on the building.
AMY GOODMAN: Miranda Kennedy, here with Anthony Sloan. I’m Amy Goodman, Brad Simpson, as we try to gather information, hearing the emergency vehicles with the sirens outside passing the firehouse, where we are right now. Again, downstairs, one of the people who works here, his wife worked on the 101st floor of the World Trade Center building. 50,000 people work in the Twin Towers of this building that was the target of an attack in 1993. What’s the latest you have?
MIRANDA KENNEDY: Well, an eyewitness reporter is now saying that they cannot confirm that there has been fourth attack, but they’ve seen the rest of the building collapse at the World Trade Center, and apparently now the Pentagon is monitoring a second suspected hijacked plane that’s in D.C. These events seem to be timed out to happen simultaneously, and obviously there’s very little expectation of how to follow up on it.
ANTHONY SLOAN: One of the wire services are—is reporting that there is a—it may be unrelated, but a plane crashed in Pennsylvania, so we should check that out.
Again, if you’re trying to come down into this area, you should not. If you’re trying to reach people by cell phone, it’s going to be fruitless. The World Trade Center area is completely cordoned off, I guess you could say, from 18th Street in Manhattan all the way down thereabouts, at least from the highway point of view, from—or rather, traffic point of view. I don’t know how far the subways are going now. I’m sure that most of the subways come through the World Trade Center. I know I’m talking to people that may not even be in New York, but most of the subway systems come through this area, through this bottleneck area of Manhattan. And so, with all the damage to other buildings, all the businesses are closed in the area. And with all that happening, it’s just not wise to even try to come to this area to look for anybody. It’s just not going to work out.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: And as they monitor this second suspected hijacked plane, all federal buildings in Washington have now been evacuated. All of the workers in those buildings have been sent out into the streets and are being pushed back as far away from the center of D.C. as possible. Obviously, there’s a great deal of chaos in the streets. You can only imagine.
Furthermore, as the reports come in, they do seem to be conflicting each other as to whether there has been a fourth attack on the World Trade Center. But it could have been part of the same bomb. It could have been part of the same attack, the third attack on the World Trade Center, which brought another explosion. But just moments ago, there was another explosion in the World Trade Center. And we’re continuing to attempt to monitor this, which is very difficult because all of the phone lines are down. We can’t reach any of the reporters in Washington and have been attempting to reach the Gaza Strip, our reporter there, but to no avail. Apparently not only all cell phones are down, but all lines are down.
AMY GOODMAN: I was just listening to Maria Hinojosa, who is an old friend, a BAI reporter, as well, on CNN. She’s over at St. Vincent’s Hospital. And she said that within 45 minutes of the first explosion, over a hundred people have come to that hospital. That’s at around 12th and 6th Avenue.
ANTHONY SLOAN: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: She said they’re sick from—some are critically wounded, and they are being operated on. Others are throwing up from smoke inhalation. And that was just within 45 minutes. As you could imagine, the hospitals in the entire metropolitan area are bracing for and now beginning to be inundated. We’re talking about a work complex, the World Trade Center, of 50,000 people. 50,000 people.
Anthony, you just said a friend of yours happened to be at a dentist appointment? She works at the World Trade Center?
ANTHONY SLOAN: Yeah, but she didn’t go to work this morning. She went to the dentist appointment instead. And so, she wasn’t a part of that.
But again, I’m trying to just—for people who don’t know, if you’re trying to call down there, it’s not going to—it’s going to be fruitless. The best to you—for you to do is to keep your line clear. If your loved one can get to a pay phone, because it seems like only the pay phones are working, then they’ll probably try to call you and, you know, use a chain or something like that.
Now remember, we are close. The World Trade Center’s very, very—it’s very close to the Stock Exchange. There are—I hate to bring in a Hollywood thing, but as you know from watching the Die Hard movies, there are no schools in that area, luckily, but Wall Street, the Stock Exchange is close that area. And, of course, the PATH train all—the West Side Highway ends there. There—the South Ferry, the Battery Park is in that area. That’s where you get to—you go to Staten Island or you go to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island from that area.
AMY GOODMAN: The latest news that we have, again, people running from—masses of people running from the area of the World Trade Center building. All—a lot of traffic is blocked off from 14th Street downtown. Now CNN is reporting—and again, these kinds of things change all the time, but a sketchy report of federal officials suspecting that a second hijacked plane is heading for Washington, is heading for Washington from—not clear. Not clear, Miranda is saying.
We’re just reporting to you what we’re hearing at this point on television, as all federal buildings are now being evacuated in Washington, D.C. Both towers of the World Trade Center have collapsed. One plane, pilot witnesses say, that crashed into the—one of the towers was a hijacked American Airlines—the FAA is saying a hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767 plane from Boston. And that seemed to have started this. It was right around 9:00 in the morning when we went on the air. And soon we saw both the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center building engulfed in smoke and fire. Then it appeared that the South Tower was buckling and collapsing to the thirtieth floor. And then, most recently, the North Tower collapsed.
In Washington, D.C., it’s reported that a plane slammed into the Pentagon, that the Pentagon is being evacuated, the White House evacuated, Treasury evacuated. State Department, there was a report that there was a car bomb. Again, all these things we’re just getting from television, cannot confirm any.
And what have you learned, Miranda?
MIRANDA KENNEDY: The area to the west of the Pentagon has been evacuated, as federal officials monitor the second jet moving towards the Pentagon, which they say is coming from the west, and obviously it’s been deemed enough of a threat that they have actually sent out a fighter jet to—which one reporter on CNN has seen flying out to meet it out west of the Pentagon. And the whole area around the Pentagon, again, has been evacuated. They’re moving in military officials and as many police as they can get in there to block off the area all around the Pentagon.
AMY GOODMAN: This is, as Anthony was just saying, a new day. This is going to be the beginning of a new era, and the response of the United States, well, we’ll see what happens. At this point, again, we don’t know about this plane, but federal officials are saying that they believe a second hijacked plane is moving towards the Pentagon with a fighter jet also going in its direction. We had earlier reports of the Pentagon being attacked by a plane and the evacuation of the Pentagon, the Treasury, the State Department, the White House. President Clinton was in Sarasota, Florida at the time.
ANTHONY SLOAN: Just a couple of things. One is that most flights around the country have—some of the flights—a lot of flights have been canceled just because of the possibility of hijacking.
AMY GOODMAN: Right, canceled. And over the next seven hours, probably more, and that all international flights coming in to New York and Washington have been diverted to Canada.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: There was a reporter in—speaking to us from Kennedy airport who was saying that the entire airport has been effectively shut down. There’s no way to get out. Flights who have come in, they’re being told to pick up their bags and stay with them. It will be next to impossible to leave the airport. And obviously this goes for all of the airports in the New York and D.C. area.
We’ve also heard that this plane, which is moving towards the Pentagon, has been tentatively detected and identified as a Boeing 767, the same 767 that hit the Pentagon, that’s what CNN just said. In any case, there—they are preparing for a second jet that is moving towards the Pentagon. And military jets have flown out to meet it. The scene above Washington, D.C., I’m not sure how far away it is from the center city or how they know how close it is to the Pentagon, but that’s what the reports are saying.
The level of panic on CNN is pretty unreal, and there’s constant background of shrieks and reporters, as well as sirens. And it’s sort of the same scene here in New York, although we’re in—sequestered in a small studio here. We can hear sirens all around us. And on the floors downstairs in Downtown Community Television, there are people who are sobbing, who are terrified, who are watching out the windows nervously. There’s—really, this is an unbelievable scene.
ANTHONY SLOAN: The FAA has grounded all planes going out of major airports nationwide. That’s one thing. The other thing is that most government offices around the country have been affected. I know that Newark, as well as the surrounding areas, Connecticut, those state office buildings have been shut down. The U.N. has been shut down. It will be no business as usual in New York. There will be a lot of sporting events, etc., that won’t be happening today.
Again, if you’re trying to get down into this area, don’t. You won’t be able to get in anyway. And it’s just sheer panic. If you’re waiting for a loved one to call you, that’s what you should do. Don’t tie up your phone trying to call them, because there is no phone service down in Lower Manhattan. Cell phones are out. Maybe cell phones are back. I just hear something going on. In this area, cell phones are out, so it’s fruitless to try to contact somebody here. Maybe they should try to contact you. Pay phones seem to be working, so maybe if somebody is trying to contact you, as there are long pay phone lines.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: And again, from 14th Street and below in Lower Manhattan, the traffic has been blocked off, and crowds of people are moving from the buildings in downtown Manhattan in the Wall Street district, and slightly north of that, where the World Trade Center is, crowds of people are making their way by foot up above the danger area, since there’s obviously still fallout and will continue to be all day long from the bombing of the World Trade Center.
AMY GOODMAN: The United Nations is being evacuated. The elections in New York have been postponed. I was just watching a replay—someone had videotape of the World Trade Center, after the first explosion around 8:45, at 9:15, and that’s the one that we felt and heard. A plane flying low, moved in on the South Tower, and just you see it move towards the South Tower. It disappears, and then you see a massive plume of fire and smoke as it crashes into it. The South Tower was the first to collapse and buckle. Then the North Tower collapsed.
There also a large plane crashed near Somerset County Airport in western Pennsylvania, 80 miles south of Pittsburgh. And that was near a school, apparently believed to be a 747, untold numbers of casualties. The World Trade Center is a massive workplace, 50,000 people there, either visiting or working, two major 110-story towers.
Then, of course, the news of this other plane, not clear what it is the Pentagon is monitoring, what they say is a second suspected hijacked plane moving towards the Pentagon, a Boeing 767. But we don’t know—you know, obviously we can not confirm what that is and the information that we have.
Israel has evacuated all diplomatic installations in—I assume in the United States right now.
The towers of the World Trade Center are now down. I was just watching footage of people running. They had been standing watching the World Trade Center, and then, as the World Trade Center towers were collapsing, people were running as fast as they could away, as you saw the plumes of debris, smoke, fire, the landscape different now in New York City without the towers of the World Trade Center. It’s very tough for us to get calls out. We’re attempting to do that now. Miranda is attempting to do it.
It is September 11th, 2001, a day that will certainly be marked for a very long time to come. U.S. federal buildings all over Washington have been evacuated. In New York, World Trade Center down. In Pennsylvania, not clear if this is connected, but a 747 crashing near Somerset County Airport in western Pennsylvania, 80 miles south of Pittsburgh.
The United Nations has been evacuated. The New York City elections today, primary day, have obviously been postponed. All traffic is being blocked from 14th Street down.
Yasser Arafat and governments around the world have condemned the attack, not at all clear who is responsible for this. No confirmed reports of anyone taking responsibility for these attacks.
We had heard of a reporter on the West Bank saying otherwise. We do not know at this point, since we can’t reach anyone. The Pentagon attacked by a plane, and Pentagon officials now saying another plane is headed in its direction. The explosions at the World Trade Center, watching as this low-flying plane, we believe it was American Airlines 767 hijacked from Boston, flying into the World Trade Center. You see it disappear, and then you see an explosion in the South Tower, fire and smoke, plumes of smoke, columns of smoke, and now smoke is the landscape of all of Lower Manhattan.
We are broadcasting in exile from a firehouse on Lafayette Street in Chinatown.
ANTHONY SLOAN: Right now, the move is to try to evacuate Lower Manhattan, basically everything below Canal Street. They’re trying to evacuate people from Canal—everything from the Battery all the way from South Ferry right up through Canal Street, which is a major street going across Manhattan. It goes to the Holland Tunnel. So they’re trying to evacuate everybody from the Battery all the way up through Canal Street.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to try to be here as long as possible. We’ll remain broadcasting.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: Hospitals throughout New York City are overwhelmed by casualties. We were just listening to an eyewitness report of when the first attack on the World Trade Center happened, and that was before the towers collapsed in on each other, obviously. And the scene of chaos that erupted at that stage, she’s describing one of complete tumult and people flocking into the streets. Obviously, there’s no way for ambulances to get down to that section of Lower Manhattan right now, so there are going to be a lot of casualties who are going to be untreated. I know that the ambulances and police cars are completely overwhelmed, as well. And the number of casualties is really only growing. As we get more reports, it really—it just sounds as thought there’s only—because there’s still fallout from these attacks and because the attacks are continuing, it’s really impossible to imagine the number of injuries and the number of deaths that are going to result from this.
ANTHONY SLOAN: It should be said that folks are—the City Hall is down in that area a little ways over, as well as—well, hospitals are in that area, but they’ve evacuated City Hall. The Mayor has moved his operations up into Greenwich Village. They’re trying to—again, they’re trying to—no one below Canal Street, trying to evacuate the area from basically the tip of Manhattan right up through Canal Street. There’s a lot of governmental offices. One Police Plaza is down in that area. Over—those folks have been evacuated, except for essential personnel. Most of these—most of the institutions, except for essential personnel, have been evacuated from the area. Again, if you’re trying to get down here, don’t. If you’re trying to locate somebody through cell phone, it’s probably not possible. Just stand by and wait for them to call you, or set up some other form of communication, because the land lines, as well as it seems the cell phone lines, except for maybe payphone lines, are all out.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: And I think that probably most people around the world are aware that Lower Manhattan is where the cluster of businesses is, certainly the Financial District, and city offices are centered in downtown Manhattan. So city government office officials as well as all Wall Street businesses, all of those are the businesses that would have had effects, I guess.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to give out our number: 431-9715. If anyone is witnessing anything now, if they would like to give a call, 212-431-9715. And maybe we can give out another number and also simply take calls. This is, to say the least, a massive catastrophe. CNN is calling it "America under attack." Our other number is 431-9274. All buildings, federal buildings, are being evacuated. Just thinking about the 50,000 people right now who are in—were in the World Trade Center. Both towers have collapsed. 431-9274. We don’t usually give out these numbers, but in order to make contact—we are not able to make contact outside. 431-9274, if anyone was in the area of the World Trade Center building. I should say, it’s 212, because people can call from all over or can call from Washington, if you’re listening to this broadcast. Perhaps WBIX.org is broadcasting us now. We don’t even know. We’re not sure who is broadcasting us. 212-431-9274. If you’re listening to this broadcast, give us a call and let us know that you’re listening, and we’ll see where people are listening. You’re listening to Democracy Now! in Exile, from the firehouse Engine Company 31 in Chinatown, as we bring you the reports as we hear them. We’ll see if anyone is calling in, if anyone hears us at this point.
Miranda, do you see any phone calls coming in? No. 212-431-9274, 212-431-9274. We ask just for someone to call us, just to give us a sense if anyone is able to listen, and then we’re going to find out where we’re broadcasting. We’ll see. 212-431-9274. Again, we are letting you know that hospitals around the area are filling up in downtown Manhattan. World Trade Center towers both down. The numbers are 212-431-9274, 212-431-9274.
ANTHONY SLOAN: Again, there’s been a huge catastrophe, a world, earth-shaking catastrophe that’s going to change the world forever as we know it. Both towers of the World Trade Center have been totally destroyed. There’s been a lot of damage to buildings around. People have been evacuated. They’re trying to evacuate Lower Manhattan all the way from the Battery, from South Ferry, up through Canal Street. And the U.N. is closed. All government offices in New York are supposed to close, and surrounding areas, surrounding states. New Jersey, Connecticut, they’re closing down and being evacuated. Police operations—One Police Plaza is down in that area. They’ve moved their operations. The Mayor, the City Hall, moved their operations. I don’t know what’s happening with Wall Street at this particular point, but it’s the middle of the week, so this is definitely—and it’s after Labor Day, so people have definitely come back for work and come back from their vacation time. So all that is happening. As I said, all the businesses in the area have closed. You still hear emergency vehicles running around this area, and they’ll probably continue all day. I can’t imagine where people—well, they have to be replenished somehow.
Remember, elections—I guess the—I vote early and often, as they say, so I don’t know what’s going to happen with the rest of the—with the populace in terms of elections, but the election has been, from what I understand, suspended in New York City. We had a primary today for mayor, as well as public advocate, as well as council—new council seats for the city, for city government. And all that’s been—and controller was up for election today also. All that’s been suspended.
AMY GOODMAN: If someone could call us at 212-431-9546, we just want to see if anyone is listening to this broadcast. We have now been told that the Mayor wants—urging people to evacuate Manhattan below 14th Street—we are well below 14th Street—walking north to clear the area for emergency vehicles. We are just below Canal Street. If someone could call us at 212-431-9546, just to give us a sense if anyone is listening to this broadcast anywhere, whether on a radio station or on the internet, please give us a call. It will give us an indication of where we should go from here, if we’re helping anyone out with information or not. 212-431-9546. Again, World Trade Center towers down, explosion at the Pentagon. Pentagon officials say another plane is headed to the Pentagon, though that can’t be confirmed. A fire at the State Department. There’s a call coming in. We’re going to take that call. Anthony, our engineer, is now taking that call, and we’re going to hear what this person has to say. You have to hit it again, yeah.
Hi, you’re on the air.
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: Hi.
AMY GOODMAN: Where are you calling from?
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: I’m calling from San Francisco, California.
AMY GOODMAN: And are you listening to this broadcast?
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: Yes, I am.
AMY GOODMAN: How?
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: On the radio.
AMY GOODMAN: You’re listening to KPFA?
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: Ah, OK. Well, thanks very much for calling in and letting us know that. You’re reaction to these events, as you hear about them on the West Coast? Can you hear in the background the emergency vehicles that are speeding down to the World Trade Center?
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: Yes, I can. It’s devastating.
AMY GOODMAN: Fifty thousand people work in the World Trade Center, and who knows how many more visit, etc.? You know, you can go to the top of the World Trade Center, and you can see all of Manhattan. Emergency vehicles are racing down there. They’re talking about evacuating this whole area below 14th Street. We will remain here at the firehouse, Engine Company 31. We’re right in Chinatown, which, to say the least, is a very densely populated area, one of the probably densest populations in all of Manhattan. We are just a block away from many of the federal buildings in Manhattan. That’s the courtroom area. All the courts are just down the block. I was just walking there yesterday. And again, as Anthony said, today primary day in New York. All of that has been canceled. All planes that are—were going to New York or Washington, D.C., right now have been diverted to Canada. All planes in the United States, according to the FAA, have now been canceled in these hours. And in Washington, D.C., we hear all federal buildings have been evacuated, as well, as well as the United Nations in New York.
ANTHONY SLOAN: Caller, may I ask you a question? How are they covering it in the San Francisco area, the local news?
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: They’re covering it pretty well. We—our state is under high alert now. So we’re all very nervous and just very sick about this.
ANTHONY SLOAN: Do you personally know anybody that worked in the World Trade Center or down in this area?
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: No, I don’t.
ANTHONY SLOAN: Any of your friends know anybody?
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: The company that I work for does have an office in New York City, but they’re up north from where the Trade Center is located.
ANTHONY SLOAN: OK, thank you so much for your call.
SAN FRANCISCO CALLER: OK, thank you. Bye bye.
ANTHONY SLOAN: Bye. You are listening to Democracy Now! in Exile from the historic firehouse down here on Lafayette Street, right below—a couple of blocks below Canal Street.
AMY GOODMAN: And we may be linking up with KPFA in just a moment. Thanks very much for your call. And we are broadcasting on KPFA right now. We are not far from the World Trade Center, though in the position we are, we can