SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

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       September 11, 2001 is the most tragic hour in the history of the United States, this terror kamikaze attack was called a second Pearl Harbour.

        This day of unspeakable horror for New York and the whole American nation, terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. It was the deadliest assault on the U.S. in its history. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended. The attacks involved four synchronized plane hija­ckings, two from Boston, one from Newark and one from Dulles International Airport in Washington. The planes crashed wi­thin 90 minutes one after another.

       The responsibility for the attacks was placed on Osama Bin Laden, the exiled Saudi millionaire indicted in the U.S. on charges of masterminding the bombings of two U.S. embas­sies in Africa in 1998. He is believed to be hiding in Afghani­stan, with the help from the Taliban, Afghanistan Islamic or­ganization.

        The attack began at 8:51 a.m. when one of the hijacked planes slammed into the first World Trade Centre, one of the New York mightiest symbols. As hundreds of sirens wailed through the city towards the burning tower, some of the cen­tre’s 50,000 workers could be seen falling from the windows of the sky-scraper. They included a man and a woman holding hands. They were alive, one could see them screaming, falling and flailing in the air. It was a horrible scene.

        Then the next plane hit Tower 2, shortly after 9 a.m., and, in an instant, changed the way New York and the nation view its famous sense of invincibility. With thousands of workers still in the second World Trade Centre, the plane pierced the tower like a bullet, leaving a huge, fiery exit wound on the back side. About 10:30 a.m., the top of the second World Trade Centre collapsed. Some minutes later, the second tower fell.

        The whole, chilling moment was caught on videotape, pro­viding a news clip that has already been repeated thousands of times on TV.

        At 9:28 a.m., just as news of the twin attacks rippledacross the city’s jammed phone lines, the third hijacked jet crashed into the Pentagon, the heart of America’s military complex, the building that was considered to be one of the most secure in the world. It was burning more than 6 hours after the plane crash.

        Finally, the fourth hijacked aircraft crashed southwest of Pittsburg shortly after 10 a.m. with 45 passengers and crew aboard. All were dead.

        Several government sources suggested that the Pittsburg flight may have been brought down by a pilot winning a strug­gle with a terrorist.

        The plane attacks rocked the nation like an earthquake. The whole country was seized with grief, disbelief, confusion and shock. Altogether, the four planes carried 266 people. The explosions had claimed the lives of more than 200 firefigh­ters, about 100 police officers and emergency workers. The number of victims in the World Trade Centre and the Penta­gon was horrific.

 

 

 

QUESTIONS

 

1. What happened on September 11, 2001?

2. Who was responsible for the attacks that involved four synchronized plane hijackings and killed thousands of lives?

3. Where is Osama Bin Laden believed to be hiding?

4. What was one of the New York mightiest symbols?

5. How did the terrorists scheme the assault?

6. What was the nation’s reaction to the tragic events?

 

 

VOCABULARY

 

unspeakable — невыразимый

assault — атака, нападение

to hijack — угнать самолет

to exile — изгонять, ссылать

to indict — обвинять в преступлении

to mastermind — тайно руководить

to wail — вопить, выть

sky-scraper — небоскреб

to provide — снабжать, доставлять, обеспечивать

instant — мгновение

invincibility — непобедимость

to pierce — протаранить, проткнуть

bullet — пуля

fiery — огненный, раскаленный

jammed phone lines — перегруженные телефонные линии

military — военный

crew — экипаж (корабля, самолета)

earthquake — землетрясение

grief — горе

explosion — взрыв

to seize — схватить, хватать, охватить

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