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DoD Official Provides Briefing After Pentagon Attack

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2001 – Survivors of today's apparent terrorist attack against the Pentagon are urged to contact relatives to assure them of their safety, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

"We are asking people to phone their families and loved ones immediately to let them know that they are OK," DoD spokesman Navy Rear Adm. Craig Quigley told reporters outside the Pentagon at midafternoon. It was the first official DoD news briefing after the incident.

Quigley said he had no information on the allegedly hijacked commercial aircraft that crashed into an outside wall of the Pentagon around 9:30 a.m. Eastern time today.

However, he remarked, "This was no accident."

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was in the Pentagon at the time of the crash, and he walked outside the building to investigate and offer help, Quigley said. The admiral noted that the injured had been taken "to a variety of area hospitals" and added that Pentagon officials are working to provide a list of injured.

"We will work our way through to identifying them and getting their names out to their loved ones," Quigley said.

The Pentagon incident followed two other alleged aerial hijackings that resulted in crashes that ultimately collapsed the 110-story twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. All U.S. airports have been closed.

Quigley said defense officials began to assemble a crisis action team after the second aircraft struck the World Trade Center.

"Shortly after that, the aircraft hit (the Pentagon)," he concluded.


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