Seven years ago, murderous jihadists crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03:11am Eastern.
From the 9/11 Commission report:
The Hijacking of United 175
United Airlines Flight 175 was scheduled to depart for Los Angeles at 8:00. Captain Victor Saracini and First Officer Michael Horrocks piloted the Boeing 767, which had seven flight attendants. Fifty-six passengers boarded the flight.40
United 175 pushed back from its gate at 7:58 and departed Logan Airport at 8:14. By 8:33, it had reached its assigned cruising altitude of 31,000 feet. The flight attendants would have begun their cabin service.41
The flight had taken off just as American 11 was being hijacked, and at 8:42 the United 175 flight crew completed their report on a “suspicious transmission” overheard from another plane (which turned out to have been Flight 11) just after takeoff. This was United 175’s last communication with the ground.42
The hijackers attacked sometime between 8:42 and 8:46.They used knives (as reported by two passengers and a flight attendant), Mace (reported by one passenger), and the threat of a bomb (reported by the same passenger). They stabbed members of the flight crew (reported by a flight attendant and one passenger). Both pilots had been killed (reported by one flight attendant).The eyewitness accounts came from calls made from the rear of the plane, from passengers originally seated further forward in the cabin, a sign that passengers and perhaps crew had been moved to the back of the aircraft. Given similarities to American 11 in hijacker seating and in eyewitness reports of tactics and weapons, as well as the contact between the presumed team leaders, Atta and Shehhi, we believe the tactics were similar on both flights.43
The first operational evidence that something was abnormal on United 175 came at 8:47, when the aircraft changed beacon codes twice within a minute. At 8:51, the flight deviated from its assigned altitude, and a minute later New York air traffic controllers began repeatedly and unsuccessfully trying to contact it.44
At 8:52, in Easton, Connecticut, a man named Lee Hanson received a phone call from his son Peter, a passenger on United 175. His son told him: “I think they’ve taken over the cockpit-An attendant has been stabbed- and someone else up front may have been killed. The plane is making strange moves. Call United Airlines-Tell them it’s Flight 175, Boston to LA.” Lee Hanson then called the Easton Police Department and relayed what he had heard.45
Also at 8:52, a male flight attendant called a United office in San Francisco, reaching Marc Policastro. The flight attendant reported that the flight had been hijacked, both pilots had been killed, a flight attendant had been stabbed, and the hijackers were probably flying the plane. The call lasted about two minutes, after which Policastro and a colleague tried unsuccessfully to contact the flight.46
At 8:58, the flight took a heading toward New York City.47
At 8:59, Flight 175 passenger Brian David Sweeney tried to call his wife, Julie. He left a message on their home answering machine that the plane had been hijacked. He then called his mother, Louise Sweeney, told her the flight had been hijacked, and added that the passengers were thinking about storming the cockpit to take control of the plane away from the hijackers.48
At 9:00, Lee Hanson received a second call from his son Peter:
It’s getting bad, Dad-A stewardess was stabbed-They seem to have knives and Mace-They said they have a bomb-It’s getting very bad on the plane-Passengers are throwing up and getting sick-The plane is making jerky movements-I don’t think the pilot is flying the plane-I think we are going down-I think they intend to go to Chicago or someplace and fly into a building-Don’t worry, Dad- If it happens, it’ll be very fast-My God, my God.49
The call ended abruptly. Lee Hanson had heard a woman scream just before it cut off. He turned on a television, and in her home so did Louise Sweeney. Both then saw the second aircraft hit the World Trade Center.50
At 9:03:11, United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center.51 All on board, along with an unknown number of people in the tower, were killed instantly.
Capt. Victor Saracini, 51, of Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, was a Navy veteran. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Michael Horrocks was first officer.
Robert J. Fangman was a flight attendant.
Amy N. Jarret, 28, of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, was a flight attendant.
Amy R. King was a flight attendant.
Kathryn L. Laborie was a flight attendant.
Alfred G. Marchand of Alamogordo, New Mexico, was a flight attendant.
Michael C. Tarrou was a flight attendant.
Alicia N. Titus was a flight atteandant.
Alona Avraham, 30, was from Ashdot, Israel.
Garnet “Ace” Bailey, 53, of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, was director of pro scouting for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. Bailey was entering his 33rd season as a player or scout in the National Hockey League and his eighth with the Kings. Before joining the Kings, he spent 13 years as a scout for the Edmonton Oilers, a team that won five Stanley Cups during that time. As a player, Bailey spent five years with the Boston Bruins and was a member of Stanley Cup championship teams in 1969-70 and 1971-72. Bailey also spent parts of two seasons each with the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues, and three years with the Washington Capitals. He is survived by his wife, Katherine, and son, Todd.
Mark Bavis, 31, of West Newton, Massachusetts, was entering his second season as an amateur scout for the Los Angeles Kings. A Boston native, he played four years on Boston University’s hockey team, where his twin brother, Michael, is an assistant coach. In addition to his twin brother, Bavis is survived by his mother, Mary; two other brothers, Pat and Johnny; and three sisters, Kelly, Mary Ellen and Kathy. The Bavis family lost a brother 15 years ago, and Bavis’ father died 10 years ago.
Graham Berkeley, 37, of Xerox Corp. was from Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Touri Bolourchi, 69, was from Beverly Hills, California.
Klaus Bothe, 31, of Germany was on a business trip with BCT Technology AG’s chief executive officer and another executive. Bothe joined the company in 1994 and was its director of development. He is survived by his wife and one child.
Daniel Brandhorst, of Los Angeles, California, was a lawyer for PriceWaterhouse.
David Brandhorst, 3, was from Los Angeles.
John Cahill was from Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Christoffer Carstanjen, 33, of Turner Falls, Massachusetts, was staff assistant in the office of information technology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
John Corcoran “Jay” Corcoran, 44, of Norwell, Massachusetts, was a merchant marine.
Dorothy Dearaujo, 82, was from Long Beach, California.
Lisa Frost, 22, of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, graduated from Boston University this year, with degrees in communications and business hospitality. She is survived by her father, mother and brother.
Ronald Gamboa, 33, of Los Angeles, California, was a Gap store manager.
Lynn Goodchild, 25, was from Attleboro, Massachusetts.
The Rev. Francis E. Grogan, 76, of Easton, Massachusetts, was a priest at Holy Cross Church in Easton. A veteran of World War II, Grogan served as a parish priest, a chaplain and teacher at Holy Cross schools.
Carl Hammond, 37, was from Boston, Massachusetts.
Peter Hanson, 32, of Groton, Massachusetts, was a software salesman.
Susan Hanson, 35, of Groton, Massachusetts, was a student.
Christine Hanson, 3, was from Groton, Massachusetts.
James E. Hayden, 47, of Westford, Massachusetts, was the chief financial officer of Netegrity Inc. Hayden is survived by his wife, Gail, and their two children.
Herbert Homer,48, of Milford, Massachusetts, worked for Raytheon Co.
Robert Jalbert, 61, of Swampscott, Massachusetts, was a salesman.
Ralph Kershaw, 52, of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, was a marine surveyor.
Heinrich Kimmig, 43, chairman and chief executive officer of BCT Technology Ag, of Germany was on a business trip involving contract negotiations with U.S. partners along with two other BCT execs, the company said in a statement. Kimmig studied mechanical engineering in college. After an internship, he became the design manager at Badische Stahl Engineering, and shortly after, he founded BSE Computer-Technologie GmbH, originally a locally operating software company. In 1999, this company became BCT Technology AG. Kimmig is survived by his wife and two children.
Brian Kinney, 29, of Lowell, Massachusetts, was an auditor for PriceWaterhouse Cooper.
Robert LeBlanc, 70, of Lee, New Hampshire, was a professor emeritus of geography at the University of New Hampshire. After earning his doctorate at the University of Minnesota, LeBlanc joined the University of New Hampshire’s faculty in 1963 as a cultural geographer. With a specialty in Canadian studies, he looked at the Franco-American communities in New England’s mill towns. He was acting chair and chair of the geography department for nearly 10 years, retiring in 1999.
Maclovio “Joe” Lopez Jr., 41, was from Norwalk, California.
Louis Neil Mariani, 59, was from Derry, New Hampshire.
Juliana Valentine McCourt, 4, was from New London, Connecticut.
Ruth McCourt, 24, was from Westford, Massachusetts.
Wolfgang Menzel, 60, of Germany joined BCT Technology AG in 2000 as director of human resources. He is survived by his wife and one child. Menzel had planned to retire in six months.
Shawn Nassaney, 25, was from Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Patrick Quigley, 40, of Wellesley, Massachusetts, was a partner at PriceWaterhouse Cooper.
Frederick Rimmele was a physician from Marblehead, Massachusetts.
James M. Roux, 42, was from Portland, Maine.
Jesus Sanchez, 45, was an off-duty flight attendant from Hudson, Massachusetts.
Kathleen Shearer was from Dover, New Hampshire.
Robert Shearer was from Dover, New Hampshire.
Jane Simpkin, 35, was from Wayland, Massachusetts.
Brian D. Sweeney, 38, was from Barnstable, Massachusetts.
Timothy Ward, 38, of San Diego, California, worked at the Carlsbad, California-based Rubio’s Restaurants Inc. A 14-year veteran of the company, he opened its second restaurant in San Diego and most recently worked in the information technology department.
William Weems of Marblehead, Massachusetts, was a commercial producer.
Tim Sumner remembers:
At 9:03 a.m., on 9/11, terrorists crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the World Trade Center’s South Tower. Four minutes later, the FDNY’s Battalion 7 Chief, his aide, and five firefighters from Ladder 15 — led by my wife’s brother — arrived in that tower’s lobby. While a FDNY City-Wide Tour Commander set up the command post there, a Deputy Chief (4 Bravo) moved from there to Tower 2’s staging area at West and Liberty Streets and the Battalion 7 Chief attempted to establish communications with the Battalion 1 Chief at the command post in the North Tower.
Battalion 7, his aide, and the five members of Ladder 15 then used a working service elevator that they had found and proceeded to the 40th floor. Their mission was to reach the fire floor, report on the situation there, and begin to direct the deployment of the additional units.
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