9/11 timeline: A minute-by-minute breakdown of the September 11 attacks

World Trade Center devastation seen from space on 9/11

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On September 11, 2001, millions of people watched two planes collide with the World Trade Center in New York City. That morning has pierced the American national consciousness ever since, with deaths and damage ongoing despite two decades of distance. The 20th anniversary will serve as a time of solemn remembrance as people trace over the events that unfolded on that fateful morning.


The events that culminated in the 9/11 attacks started when five hijackers boarded a Boeing 767 in Boston at 7.59am on September 11, 2001.

Flight 11 departed with 92 people on board and was about to make the roughly six-hour-long trip to Los Angeles.


Approximately 15 minutes later, another Boeing 767 took off from Boston with five more hijackers.

Flight 175 was chartered to follow the same path as Flight 11, with 65 people on board.

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Flight attendants aboard Flight 11 informed ground control that hijackers had taken over the plane just 20 minutes after takeoff, and American Airlines contacted the FBI.

Just beforehand, one hijacker stabbed passenger Daniel Lewin, whom officials speculate was the first victim of the attacks as he attempted to stop the hijackers.


The third flight involved in the attacks, American Airlines Flight 77, took off from Washington DC with another five hijackers.

The Boeing 757 had 64 people on board and was also en route to Los Angeles.


A hijacker unwittingly contacts air traffic control as he attempts to communicate with passengers.


Boston air traffic control successfully alerts the military, prompting the National Guard to mobilise two jets to follow Flight 11.


United Airlines Flight 93, the fourth hijacked plane carrying a final four hijackers and 44 passengers, took off from Newark.

The Boeing 757 was the only one following an alternative route to San Francisco.

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Flight 11 crashes into the World Trade Center’s north tower, between floors 93 and 99.

The plane killed everyone on board and hundreds more working in the building.


Hijackers crash Flight 175 into the center’s south tower, just eight minutes after authorities declare it secure.

The plane collides with floors 78 to 85.


Flight 77 crashes through the Pentagon’s western facade, killing 59 people on board and another 125 military and civilian personnel on the ground.


The south tower, which has now burned for 56 minutes, collapses.

The tower took just ten seconds to collapse and killed more than 800 people in and around the complex.


Passengers and crew storm the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93, causing it to crash near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Of the 44 passengers on the flight, 40 died, including every hijacker.


After burning for approximately 102 minutes, the north tower collapses.

The building kills 1,600 people as it crashes to the streets of Manhattan.


After an FAA order to ground flights at 9.42am, the last flight over the continental Unites States touches down.

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