Two United Airlines jets crash

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- Two United Airlines jetliners crashed Tuesday in a morning of almost unthinkable terror. United said one crashed near Pittsburgh, and the airline's pilots union said the other hit the World Trade Center in New York.

United Flight 93, a Boeing 757, left Newark at 8:01 a.m. Eastern Time, headed for San Francisco with 38 passengers, two pilots and five flight attendants, the airline said.

That flight crashed near Shanksville, Pa., about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

United Flight 175, a Boeing 767, left Boston at 7:58 a.m. Eastern Time, bound for Los Angeles. That aircraft carried 56 passengers, two pilots and seven flight attendants, the airline said.

United's pilots union said Flight 175 crashed into the Trade Center. The airline declined to confirm the location, but said the plane had crashed, and that its last radar contact with the flight came between Newark, N.J. and Philadelphia.

Without citing a death toll, United said early Tuesday afternoon that it had identified all passengers and crew members on board the two planes and was notifying family members. No names were released immediately. The airline said it was paying families an initial sum of $25,000 to help meet immediate needs.

United said the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was also operating as a code-share, or airline partnership arrangement, with Air Canada under the flight number AC4085, and the Boston-to-Los Angeles flight was also a code-share with Air New Zealand as flight NZ9051. The airline did not say what nationalities were aboard.

Code-shares are increasingly popular partnerships with overseas airlines. Under such an arrangement, the carriers buy tickets on each other's planes and then sell them to passengers on connecting flights as if they were their own.

United CEO James Goodwin said the airline is working with authorities including the FBI to obtain further information on the flights.

United said it was sending a team to Johnstown, Pa., as soon as possible 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.

United said friends or family members who wanted information on the flights may call 1-800-932-8555. United also said it would post any information it has on its Web site, www.united.com.

International toll-free numbers also were established. The numbers: from the Netherlands, 020504051; Germany 06966985407; Italy 024829813; Belgium 027133646; France 0169199659.

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