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Photos Show Jet's Impact Into Pentagon

The Nation

March 08, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A sequence of five government photos shows the moment the hijacked American Airlines plane slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11.

The photos were taken by a surveillance camera positioned north of the section of the Pentagon destroyed by the impact and the resulting explosion and fire.

The images cover a span of four one-hundredths of a second. The first photo shows a small, blurry white object near the upper right corner--possibly the plane just a few feet above the ground. The second shows a white glow immediately after the impact. In the three remaining photos, a mountain of orange fire and black smoke rises above the building.

The five photographs were not officially released by the Pentagon, but officials said the images were authentic and had been provided to law enforcement officials investigating the attack. The photographs were obtained Thursday by Associated Press and other news organizations.

Officials could not explain why the date typed near the bottom of each photograph is Sept. 12 and the time is written as 5:37 p.m. The attack happened at 9:37 a.m. on Sept. 11. Officials said it was possible that the date and time were added the day after the attack when they may have been cataloged for investigative purposes.

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