11 September 2011

9/11... as it happened

This is an excerpt of a transcript of the Today Show on the morning of 9/11 as the second plane hit the World Trade Center. For years, I could've sworn I heard Katie say "Looks like they've got some air traffic control problems." Turns out I wasn't completely wrong.
Just so you know, Elliott Walker was an NBC news producer who was on the scene, as she lived only a block or two away from the WTC.

KATIE COURIC, co-host:
Obviously, horrified commuters were--were absolutely devastated when they heard this explosion. We talked with somebody a moment ago about that, Jennifer Oberstein, and also another eyewitness, Elliott Walker, who is actually a producer here on the TODAY show.
Elliott, can you hear me?
Ms. ELLIOTT WALKER: Yes. Hi, Katie.
COURIC: Hi, Elliott. Tell me where you are and what you saw.
Ms. WALKER: Well, I live in this area. I returned to my apartment. But I was walking down the sidewalk delivering my young daughter to school. And we heard a very loud sound, the kind of sound you hear when a plane is, you know, going fast past you 'Nnnnnn,' followed by an enormous crash and an immediate explosion. I don't think we could feel shock waves, but we--we sort of felt like we did. And we were in a position where we could see the Trade Center almost immediately between the other buildings, and an enormous fireball that must have been 300 feet across was visible immediately, a secondary explosion, I think, and then plumes of smoke. I must be--there must have been a three-block cloud of--of white smoke. Now, from where I was on the street a moment ago, you can, in fact, see smoke leaving the building on three sides. It seems to be coming out on at least four or five floors. The area is filled with hundreds of dozens of pieces of paper that are just sort of floating like confetti. The area is swarmed with emergency vehicles and sirens. Obviously...
COURIC: Have you seen...
Ms. WALKER: ...we're very sensitive to this kind of thing in this neighborhood.
COURIC: Elliott, have you--of course, because of the incident that occurred in the early 1990s. Have you seen any--any evidence, Elliott, of--of people being taken out of the building? You say that emergency vehicles are there. Understandably so. But, of course, the major concern is human loss.
Ms. WALKER: Oh, my goodness.
COURIC: I mean, do you know if there were many people in the building?
Ms. WALKER: Oh, another one just hit. Something else just hit, a very large plane just flew directly over my building...
ROKER: Oh, my...
Ms. WALKER: ...and there's been another collision. Can you see it?
Ms. WALKER: I can see it on this shot.
COURIC: Oh, my...
Ms. WALKER: Something else has just...
LAUER: You know what...
Ms. WALKER: ...and that looked more like a 747.
LAUER: ...we just saw a plane circling the building. We just saw a plane circling the building, a second ago on the shot right before that.
Ms. WALKER: I think there may have been another impact. Can you tell? I just heard another very loud bang and a very large plane that might have been a DC-9 or a 747 just flew past my window, and I think it may have hit the Trade Center again.
LAUER: To be--to be honest, Elliott, I didn't--I didn't get the impression it was that big a plane. I...
Ms. WALKER: It looked big from here.
LAUER: I did see a plane go by a second ago, though. And it--it--it has now impacted the building.
Ms. WALKER: Yes.
LAUER: I'm trying to see if it is the different tower. It is. It's the other tower.
Ms. WALKER: I think it may have been the other tower.
COURIC: It's the second...
Ms. WALKER: The first one was World Trade Center One, and it looks, from what I'm seeing on television, like it may have been the second building that was hit.
LAUER: We're going to see--this is a piece of tape and we may actually see another plane enter the picture here in a second.
Ms. WALKER: I wonder if there are air traffic control problems.
LAUER: Let's go back to Jennifer Oberstein, who was talking to us a second ago.

So someone does say something about air traffic control problems, but not in the sarcastic way I remember. And it wasn't Katie, like I thought I remembered.

By: Brant

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