When the topic of 9/11 comes up, people’s minds tend to shift immediately to the devastation at the World Trade Center in Manhattan, but the attack that occured almost simultaneously at the Pentagon is generally somewhat of an afterthought, almost completely forgotten amidst the tragedy. Now the FBI have revealed new images that truly detail the carnage at the Department of Defense.
When American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon at 9:37am that fateful morning, 189 people lost their lives, 125 of them Pentagon employees, in the building located just a short distance from the White House. The plane hit the Pentagon at the first-floor level, with the front section of the fuselage disintegrating on impact while the mid-section and tail penetrated farther.
The impact of the crash created a hole 22ft wide and 100ft deep as the aircraft penetrated the three outer rings of the building. The Boeing 757 had managed to travel 310ft in less than a second, causing part of the Pentagon to collapse and sparking a blaze that took firefighters several days to completely extinguish due to the sheer intensity.
These new photos uploaded to the FBI website under the headline ‘9/11 Attacks and Investigation Images’ have very few details, but a range of individual titles, such as ‘9-11 Pentagon Debris’, ‘9-11 Pentagon Exterior’ and ‘9-11 Pentagon Emergency Response’. The images cover a period of several weeks, from soon after the disaster to when the fires had been fully extinguished days after and beyond.
While the bulk of the pictures show the building and the resulting damage, as well as rescue workers, there are some of the debris from the aircraft featuring the American Airlines logo. Others take us into the interior of the building with FBI agents, all wearing hardhats, goggles and gas masks while others are in full body suits to protect them from the fumes, sifting through rubble and carrying debris in wheelbarrows.
The damaged areas of the Pentagon were rebuilt in 2002, with staff able to move back into the building merely 11 months after the attack. An 82,000 square-foot memorial garden was completed near the pentagon in 2008, containing a park bench commemorating each of the victims. But for now, take a look through some of the FBI’s chilling newly-released images of that tragic time in American history.