Recovery efforts scaled back at Pentagon

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

ARLINGTON, Va. -- A week after a Boeing 757 jumbo jet slammed into the Pentagon, officials scaled back the search and recovery effort Tuesday.

"As the debris is removed, there's less room for people to work efficiently," Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher said. The huge building that houses headquarters of the U.S. armed forces is in Arlington, a Washington suburb.

About 150 civilian rescue workers headed home to nearby Fairfax County, Va., and Montgomery County, Md., as construction equipment lifted huge chunks of concrete and steel from the dwindling three-story-high debris pile.

"The crew that replaced us is probably going to find some grisly things under there," said Lt. Mark D. Stone of the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team.

They were among the first units to arrive in the hours after American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles International Airport slammed into one of the building's five sides.

Officials placed the death toll at 189, including 64 people aboard the airliner and 125 people in the Pentagon. One Army civilian died early Tuesday of burns sustained in the attack. Antoinette Sherman, 35, of Forest Heights, Md., was pronounced dead at Washington Hospital Center.

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