Skip to main content /US /US

Flight 11 attendant reported events prior to crash

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A flight attendant detailed the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11 up to the final frantic seconds when the jetliner crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center during an in-flight phone call, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The Times' story attributes the account to an investigative document compiled by the FBI and taken from a phone call Madeline Amy Sweeney made to a ground manager at Logan International Airport in Boston.

American Airlines officials told The Times that phone calls are not typically recorded, meaning the conversation was likely reconstructed by the FBI from interviews with Michael Woodward, the manager who took the phone call.

"This plane has been hijacked," Sweeney said, according to the FBI report, in a call that came shortly after the Flight 11 was commandeered.

Where in the plane Sweeney was while the hijacking took place is uncertain, but she provided vivid details to the ground manager, according to The Times report.

Two flight attendants had already been stabbed, she said, while identifying her co-workers by their crew numbers.

"A hijacker also cut the throat of a business-class passenger, and he appears to be dead," she said.

Sweeney, 35 and a 12-year veteran of the airline, was one of nine flight attendants on Flight 11 when it took off from Logan just before 8 a.m. EDT on September 11. The plane slammed into the World Trade Center tower less than an hour later.

Investigators have named five suspected hijackers on the flight that are believed to have used box cutters, razors and possibly small knives to take over the plane.

According to The Times, Woodward asked Sweeney whether she knew her location.

The FBI quoted Sweeney saying, "I see water and buildings. Oh, my God! Oh, my God!"

The conversation ended.

The Times reported officials at American Airlines said information about the phone call was turned over to the FBI.

"The FBI has told us not to discuss anything," said airline spokesman John Hotard.

Officials at the FBI also declined to discuss the call, The Times said.

See related sites about US
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



Back to the top