New accounts of 9/11 passengers who sacrificed themselves to take back flight 93

Flight 93

The passengers of flight 93 fought back against their hijackers and stopped a fourth terrorist attack on a major US city on 9/11 (Picture: AP/NPS)

Newly released accounts of 9/11 passengers aboard flight 93 detail the harrowing moment they sacrificed themselves to take back the plane.

United Airlines flight 93 was a domestic flight intended for San Francisco International Airport before it was hijacked by four al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001.

Forty minutes into the flight, the four hijackers armed with box cutters and knives took control of the cockpit. Air traffic controllers heard what they thought were two mayday calls amid the sounds of a struggle – then the plane turned around and headed east toward Washington DC.

Author Garret Graffs new book, The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, documents the heartbreaking final calls passengers made to their loved ones and the moment they decided to rush the hijackers.

The 33 passengers on the flight had already learned about the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, as well as the one that had flown into the Pentagon, and they were determined to stop a fourth devastating terror attack.

9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers

Just before the flight, passengers learned of the attack on New York City and the Pentagon (Picture: Getty Images)

394262 02: Smoke comes out from the west wing of the Pentagon building September 11, 2001 in Arlington, Va., after a plane crashed into the building and set off a huge explosion. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Smoke comes out from the west wing of the Pentagon building after a plane crashed into the building and set off a huge explosion. (Photo Getty Images)

Graffs book includes the phone calls from passengers to phone operators and loved ones before the plane crashed down in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.



Passenger Tom Burnett called his wife Deena, she said, and told her: Were waiting until were over a rural area. Were going to take back the airplane.

Deena pleaded with her husband not to do anything dangerous, but Tom responded: If theyre going to crash this plane, were going to have to do something.

Lyzbeth Glick recounted the final time she spoke with her husband Jeremy Glick, a national judo champion aboard the plane.

She said: Jeremy said there were three other guys as big as him, and they were going to jump on the hijacker with the bomb and try to take back the plane. He asked if I thought that was a good idea.

Flight 93

There were 33 passengers and seven crew members aboard flight 93 (Picture: NPS)

We debated a little bit. He said that they were going to take a vote and asked what did I think he should do. I said, “You need to do it.”

He was joking, “I have my butter knife from breakfast.” Despite everything, he was able to be a little bit humorous. Then he said, “OK, Im going to put the phone down. Ill be right back. I love you.”

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