A mother watched the murder of her son and his family as the plane they were on smashed into the World Trade Centre.
A shocking account of the final moments on board Flight 175 has been revealed in a new book piecing together the order of events on September 11, 2001.
Author Mitchell Zuckoff hones in on Peter Hanson, a computer software company executive flying to California to visit Disneyland.
He was joined on the flight by his wife Sue, a doctoral candidate and senior research technician at Boston University, and Christine, their two-year-old daughter.
When it became clear that the five men later identified as al-Qaeda terrorists had taken over the pilot's cockpit of the United Airlines plane, Peter and many of the other 65 passengers on board made phone calls.
The keen gardener rang the home phone of his parents Lee and Eunice Hanson, who lived in Connecticut .
When Peter told his dad that the plane he was on had been hijacked at first he thought it was a joke, telling his 32-year-old son not to "scare everybody".
Peter assured him he wasn't, delivering the concerning news that the plane was making strange moves and that an attendant had been stabbed.
He urged his father to ring United.
The 73-year-old hung up and tried to get through to the airline, but with no luck.
Instead he called the local police.
An officer told him: "Gee, Mr Hanson, a plane has hit the World Trade Tower. You should turn the television on."
Lee and Eunice switched on the television and watched in horror as the North Tower of the World Trade Centre burned, a great plume of smoke billowing into the sky.
As more and more of the world's cameras trained themselves on the towering inferno at the centre of New York City, Peter called his father again.
"It’s getting bad, Dad. A stewardess was stabbed. They seem to have knives. They said they have a bomb…" he said, Zuckoff records in 'Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11'.
"Passengers are throwing up and getting sick. The plane is making jerky movements. I don’t think the pilot is flying the plane. I think we are going down. I think they intend to go to Chicago or some place and fly into a building.
"Don’t worry, Dad. If it happens, it’ll be very fast."
As the plane got closer and closer to the South Tower Peter spoke his final words to his father.
"Oh my God…oh my God, oh my God."
At the same time as the call cut out Eunice watched the plane hurtle at 587mph into the World Trade Centre, murdering her son, his wife and their daughter.
Ten years after the tragedy Lee recalled the last time he saw the three of them in an interview with Storycorps .
"I was reading a story to Christine and everyone else was outside waiting to say goodbye. And I finished the story, and I put Christine down, and she ran in front of me to go to the front of the house," he said.
"And I said, ‘You know, Christine, I love you.’ She said, ‘I love you too, Papa.’ And I said, ‘Aren’t we lucky that we have each other to love?’
"And she broke into a big smile, put her arms—spread her arms out, and did a happy dance.”
"They took away our dreams. They took away our future," Lee would later testify following the murder of his son.
The newly published book also turns its lens on some of the airline officials caught up in the day's events.
Six minutes after the pilots of the first plane to hit the World Trade Centre, Flight 11, stopped responding to air traffic control, American Airlines flight attendant Becky Ong grabbed an Airfone built into the Boeing 767.
She was passed over to international resolution agent Winston Sadler.
In the course of their 25 minute call Becky explained that the cockpit wasn't responding, someone had been stabbed in business class and sprayed mace was making it hard for everybody to breath.
When another agent took over the call and attempted to soothe Betty she urged them to pray for those on board as the plane turned on its side.
Minutes later another flight attendant Amy Sweeney got through to Michael Woodward in Boston, quickly explaining the situation and giving the seat numbers of the hijackers.
Half an hour later the plane started to descend rapidly as it changed course for Lower Manhattan.
Attempting to calm Amy, Michael asked her what she could see out of the window.
"We are flying low,’ she said.
"We are flying very, very low. We are flying way too low!
"Oh my God! We are way too low!"
At 8.46am Flight 11 exploded into the 96th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, killing all 86 people onboad.
'Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11' by Mitchell Zuckoff is available for purchase now.
Source: Read Full Article