Two planes crashes into twin towers of World Trade center in New York
President George W. Bush ordered a full-scale investigation to "hunt down the folks who committed the act."
One of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center had been hijacked after takeoff from Boston, a U.S. official said, citing a transmission from the plane.
All planes were grounded across the country by the Federal Aviation Administration. All bridges and tunnels into Manhattan were closed down.
There was no immediate word on injuries or fatalities in the twin disasters, which occurred around 9 a.m.(1300 GMT) and then right around 9 a.m.
President George W. Bush said Tuesday that the crashes were "an apparent terrorist attack on our country."
In Washington, officials said the FBI was investigating reports of a plane hijacking before the crashes.
A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agency is pursuing reports that one or both of the planes were hijacked and that the crashes may have been the result of a suicide mission.
"The plane was coming in low and ... it looked like it hit at a slight angle," said Sean Murtagh, a CNN vice-president, the network reported.
Large holes were visible in sides of the 110-story buildings, landmark twin towers. Dense smoke billowed far into the sky above the gaping holes in the side of the 110 story twin towers and debris pelted down upon street, one of the city's booming work areas. When the second plane hit, a fire ball of flame and smoke erupted, leaving a huge hole in the glass and steel tower.
People ran down the stairs in panic and fled the building. Thousands of pieces of possibly office paper came drifting over Brooklyn, about three miles away.
Ira Furber, former National Transportation Safety Board spokesman, discounted the likelihood of Accident.
"I don't think this is an accident," he said on CNN. "You've got incredibly good visibility. No pilot is going to be relying on navigational equipment."
"It's just not possible in the daytime," he added. "A second occurrence is just beyond belief."
Terrorist bombers struck the World Trade Center in February 1993, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.
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