Flight 93 hijack: How the fourth aircraft missed its target during 9/11 attacks | World News - Hindustan Times
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Flight 93 hijack: How the fourth aircraft missed its target during 9/11 attacks, story of courage by American passengers

ByAdarsh Kumar Gupta
Sep 12, 2023 04:14 AM IST

On the anniversary of 9/11 attacks, the world also remembers United Airlines Flight 93 which was the fourth aircraft under the seize of terrorists on the day.

Every year on September 11, the world remembers the horrific terrorist attacks( known as 9/11 attacks) that shook the United States and led to the death of nearly 3,000 people. A total of four commercial aircrafts were hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists to execute the deadly attacks.

Smoke billows from the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, New York on September 11, 2001.(AFP)
Smoke billows from the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, New York on September 11, 2001.(AFP)

Two of the planes were used to bring down the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City. The third aircraft was intentionally crashed into the Pentagon building which is home to United States Department of Defense headquarters.

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On the anniversary of 9/11 attacks, the world also remembers United Airlines Flight 93 which was the fourth aircraft under the seize of terrorists on the same day. Here is the story of Flight 93 whose passengers showed ultimate courage in the face of terror and at the cost of their lives. Here is how the passengers and crew of Flight 93 prevented a likely attack on United States Capitol Building, where the country's legislators were in session.

Flight 93 route and other information

Flight 93 was a Boeing 757 non-stop flight from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco, California. There were seven crew members and thirty-three passengers on the flight.

The flight was delayed by more than 25 minutes from its scheduled take off time, due to heavy morning traffic. This very delay proved crucial in causing the terrorists to miss their actual target once they later gained control of the flight's cockpit.

What happened while Flight 93 was in air

At about 9:28 a.m, the terrorists on Flight 93 forcibly acquired control of the aircraft by entering the cockpit. They changed the plane's direction towards Washington, D.C., the capital of USA. Meanwhile, the passengers were taken to the back of the plane.

By 9:03 a.m, the other two hijacked planes had already crashed into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. By 9:37 a.m, the third plane had hit the Pentagon building.

While Flight 93 changed its route, passengers and crew used airfones to report the hijacking and learnt about the attacks by the other three aircrafts. It was then that they planned a coordinated resistance against the terrorists. The passengers and crew fought against the terrorists in a bid to foil their plans.

In due course of time at 10:03 a.m, the terrorists crashed Flight 93 into an empty field in the Pennsylvania countryside outside of Shanksville, PA. All occupants of the plane including the passengers got killed.

As per the flight data recorder, recovered evidences and responses to interrogations, it was revealed that the United States Capitol Building was likely the intended target of the terrorists.

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