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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 418-01
September 12, 2001

PENTAGON RECOVERY OPERATIONS CONTINUE

Search and rescue operations at the Pentagon, led by as many as 200 Arlington County firefighters and police assisted by a number of other jurisdictions, continue today.

The area of the Pentagon where the aircraft struck and burned sustained catastrophic damage. Anyone who might have survived the initial impact and collapse could not have survived the fire that followed. When the aircraft crashed into the Pentagon, it reportedly was carrying several thousand gallons of jet fuel, which caused an intense fire in the immediate crash area.

Reconnaissance efforts conducted overnight indicate that there are no survivors in the immediate collapsed area. Listening devices that have been able to get in have proven negative, and it is doubtful that anyone in the immediate impact area survived.

Rescue authorities are planning to use a wrecking ball this morning in the collapsed section of the Pentagon to clear away unstable rubble so urban search and rescue teams can safely begin their search effort in adjacent areas. Stabilizing the building at this point will allow full search and rescue operations and ensure the safety of the teams as they go about their business. This decision was reached after joint consultations with county, state, federal and military authorities.