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America Under Attack (PART I)

September 13, 2001, GMT, BBC

The exact number of casualties from Tuesday's strikes won't be known for some time. It is known that 266 people were on board the four planes that were hijacked at Boston, Newark and Washington. There were no survivors.

The World Trade Center is 110 stories high. Four hundred firms had offices there employing tens of thousands of people. When the planes hit, it’s thought between 10 and 20 thousand people would have been sitting at their desks. Before the collapse of the building, many people did manage to get away, but figures aren't yet known.

So far 55 bodies have been recovered. Two hundred and sixty police officers and firefighters who went into the building after the planes crashed are missing and feared dead. In the Pentagon, the world’s largest office building, rescuers are still searching the rubble. It’s thought around 80 bodies there have been found but estimates of those who died could go up to about 800.

September 13, 2001, Morning, GMT, BBC

Investigators already working at the three airports used by the suicide hijackers whose extraordinarily tight time table meant they had control of four aircraft in the sky inside 15 minutes, ensuring a sequence of attacks so rapid, that the authorities had no time to respond.

United Airlines flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles took off at two minutes to eight in the morning. One minute later an American Airlines plane flight 11 left also bound for L.A. with another hijack team on board. Two minutes after that, the doomed United flight 93 to San Francisco set off from Newark. And at ten past eight the finale hijack team was airborne from Washington on board American Airlines flight 77 to L.A.

It was the second plane to take off which hit the World Trade Center first. The earlier flight from Boston then came in from a different direction and struck the other tower. The flight from Washington looped back and crashed into the Pentagon.

Finally the airliner from Newark came down in rural Pennsylvania possibly bound for the Camp David presidential retreat. The terrorists had done their homework. At least one of the airports they chose has been recently fined for poor security. To inflict maximum casualties, they targeted long-distance flights with tanks carrying fuel for six hours in the air. Experts say the four hijackings were easy.

Expert: Security in America is putting it probably lightly as lax. Ah, in some places it’s non-existent.



East Coast time: 美国东部时间。美国大陆分为三个时区,事发时美国正处于夏令时,东部时间比北京时间晚十二个小时。EST也就是美国东部时间;GMT是格林威治时间。

FAA: 美国联邦航空局, Federal Aviation Administration的缩写。这是一个对美国航空进行管理的国家政府部门。

convene: v. 集会,开会 

Washington D.C.: 华盛顿,也称哥伦比亚特区,即the District of Columbia。1791年作为南北争议的折衷方案,选定此地作为首都,在1800年美国正式由费城迁都至此。

Norfolk, Virginia: 诺福克。弗吉尼亚州东南部港口城市,是美国重要的海军基地。 

hijack: v. 劫持,抢劫  

Newark: 纽瓦克。美国新泽西州东北部港口城市。

loop back: 转回头。

Camp David: 戴维营。位于马里兰州,离美国首都华盛顿约113公里。从1942年起一直是美国总统的避暑之地。

myriad: n. 无数,极大数量

retaliation: n. 报复











专家: 在美国,安全防卫措施说得轻一点是不够严密的。呃,在有些地方安全防备根本就不存在。