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How Washington Is Reacting To Terrorist Attack

Aired September 11, 2001 - 12:09   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Our colleague Judy Woodruff in Washington. Judy?

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, we have joining us now on the phone from the pentagon, our Military Affairs Correspondent Jamie McIntyre. Jamie, I understand you are inside the perimeter of where the commercial jetliner came down at the Pentagon?

Well, it appears that we may have lost the phone connection with Jamie McIntyre. We're going to try to get that restored, immediately. Jamie -- Jamie, are you there? Now we have Bob Franken, our Washington correspondent joining us from the Pentagon. Bob, tell us what you are seeing there.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are seeing, of course, in back of me is the smoke coming from the west side of the pentagon where as we now know, a plane which is believed to have been a jumbo jet, crashed into the Pentagon. It has left a hole that was a collapse of that side of the building. You are seeing the smoke of course to my rear, reporting from an eastside vantagepoint, along a highway that is a major artery here. It is also a place that there has been a constant alert looking skyward. Concerns, repeated concerns that another plane was heading this way up towards the Potomac. These have been concerns that have been out there for a couple of hours. None of them have been realized yet, of course.

The tragedy was that about 9:20 this morning, Eastern Time, the plane crashed into the west side of the Pentagon. You can see overhead frequently, helicopters, helicopters that are circling the area. Of course, looking to provide some visual sighting in case anybody, any sort of invader, anything like that, wants to take to the air. It's interesting these helicopters will also hover on the ground. There are any number of highways here, and they would be looking for suspicious vehicles, that type of thing.

We are told that there are casualties at the Pentagon. We have not been able to get an accurate figure. We are not exactly sure at the moment of the whereabouts of the Secretary of Defense. But the building has virtually been evacuated, if not totally evacuated. There is heavy security there. Investigation is going on as they try and find out what happened.

We constantly see sirens and hear sirens and see ambulances go by, many of them from Walter Reed Military Hospital on the other side of Washington, clearly going in there to help with whatever casualties there are. We also have seen a couple of times, F-16s, at least one F-16 flying overhead a couple of times. That was reported to be the case of the Pentagon scrambling fighter jets in case another plane was heading this way. But as I said right now, there has been no evidence of another plane coming this way. They're on full alert, of course, and trying to now recover from the severe damage that hit the other side of the building. Judy?

WOODRUFF: All right, Bob Franken. I just want to remind our viewers that the section of the Pentagon that was hit between the fourth, fifth and sixth corridors. This confirmed apparently a little earlier by Wesley Clark, General Clark, the former NATO chief. He said from what he could tell, it appears that this was the army section of the Pentagon, planning and logistics area, where certainly army leaders would have been working in their offices.

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