Officials today released tapes from 911 calls to Arlington County emergency dispatchers in the seconds after a hijacked commercial jet hit the Pentagon last week. Earlier in the day, World Bank officials canceled their planned financial meetings in the District later this month.
In the four-minute snippet of tape made public today, the first call came from Arlington Police Cpl. Barry Faust.
"I think we just had an airplane crash east of here," he said, calmly. "Must be in the District area."
At that point, the American Airlines jet, with 64 on board, had just smashed into the nation's military headquarters, killing 124 people working in and around the building. The sound could be heard for miles.
"Okay," responded lead dispatcher Kyra Pulliam.
A few seconds later, Officer Richard Cox reported: "An American Airlines plane headed eastbound over the [Columbia] Pike, possibly headed for the Pentagon."
"Okay," Pulliam responded.
Added Cox: "I see the smoke."
Then came more calls and reports, among them this one, two minutes later, from Lt. Robert Medairos: "There's visible smoke coming from that area, high visible smoke."
At the Pentagon today, officials said today that 90 bodies had been recovered from the area where the hijacked plane slammed into the building. President Bush visited military headquarters again this morning and later went to an Islamic center in the District to urge Americans not to engage in anti-Muslim violence but to "treat each other with respect."
As the region struggled to return to normal, the roads clogged with everyday traffic. Isolated bomb scares were reported in downtown buildings. At Dulles International and BWI Airports, more than three-quarters of the usual flight traffic was scheduled to resume. Reagan National Airport remained closed.
Tours of the U.S. Capitol resumed today on a modified schedule, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to a U.S. Capitol Police spokesman. Other federal monuments and memorials in the city are open, although the Washington Monument has been closed for renovations. However, White House tours, scheduled to resume tomorrow, have been canceled.
In the District, officials put up American flags along Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol and the White House and on the major bridges in an effort, officials said, to "life everybody's spirits."
At tomorrow's Washington Capitals game, fans should expect tighter security. The MCI Center web site warns that fans should not bring "any packages, backpacks, bags, suitcases, briefcases, or any other type of luggage." Fans also should expect "new procedures for parking in the MCI Center garage."
And at the funeral of American Airlines flight attendant Michele Heidenberger at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Bethesda, about 100 flight attendants and pilots filled one side of the pews. She was among those who died when American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund had planned to meet Sept. 29-30, after scaling back from a week-long event. Protesters had promised to be there in force.
D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey had voiced concern that his department would be stretched too thinly to provide adequate security. Anticipating today's cancellation, protest groups had earlier called off plans for massive demonstrations, although Ramsey said scattered protests could still occur on those days.
In scrapping their meeting, World Bank officials acknowledged security concerns and also cited the "deepest respect and sympathy for the families of all those touched by the horrific events" of last week. They said they would resume their normal schedule of meetings next year.
Despite the cancellation, George Washington University plans to go ahead with its decision to close the campus from 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, until 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2. University spokeswoman Gretchen King said school officials are considering whether to allow dormitories to stay open, but no announcement was expected today.
Pentagon Cleanup Continues
When the president visited the Pentagon this morning, he met with military leaders, shook hands with reservists, and sang "God Bless America" with defense workers in the building's cafeteria. He also greeted three family members of a Pentagon attack victim, kissing one of them -- a pregnant woman -- on the cheek before leaving.
In the afternoon, Bush went to the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., to urge tolerance and argue that the terrorists who attacked the Pentagon and World Trade Center are not true Muslims.
"The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam," he said. "That's not whatIslam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war."
Close to 20,000 workers reported to the Pentagon today, the most since last Tuesday. Although the usual workforce is 23,000, officials said today's figure essentially is a full house.
Workers with offices in damaged areas have been sent to other installations or offices, including in Crystal City, the Washington Navy Yard, Fort Myer and Alexandria.
After working 12-hour days since last Tuesday, two exhausted local urban search and rescue teams are being sent home for rest. The teams from Fairfax and Montgomery counties will work their last shifts today, and be replaced by rescuers from other states, according to Arlington Fire Department officials.
The military has announced plans to call up thousands of reservists, and many units were contacted over the weekend to determine their state of readiness, Pentagon officials said.
Meanwhile, Army officials said they have decided to cancel the popular "Spirit of America" show, featuring soldiers in period costume, which had been scheduled Thursday through Sunday at the MCI Center.
"The same soldiers who perform in it are now at the Pentagon digging in the rubble," said Jennifer Lafley, a spokeswoman for the Army's Military District of Washington. "It would have stretched things too much to go on with it."
Commercial Flights Increase
The nation's airports, which were shut down until Thursday afternoon, still are not back to full schedules. Passengers are being urged to call their airlines to check on their flights before leaving for the airport, and to expect tighter security.
Dulles is running at about 75 percent capacity today, although some airlines may be above that and others below, said Tom Sullivan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. That means about 900 flights coming and going.
Sullivan said he expects the airport to operate at that level for several days.
At Baltimore Washington International Airport, according to spokeswoman Nancy Sites, 678 arrivals and departures are expected today, compared with the usual 750 before last Tuesday.
The airport was quite busy early this morning, she said, but "the lines moved quickly at the ticket counters as well as the security checkpoints."
Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore visited Reagan National today, and urged that it not be closed permanently. "Life must go on," he said. Otherwise, he said, "the enemy wins."
Also today, Maryland state transit officials announced that regular commuter bus service into downtown D.C. will resume tomorrow morning. Buses had been dropping people at Metrorail stations because of traffic congestion caused by last week's attack, and will make pickups at stations tonight. But in the morning, they will resume regular routes.
At the District's Greyhound bus station, 1005 First Street NE, travel to New York was surprisingly light, officials said.
Tim Barham, the station's district manager in charge of driver operations, said its hourly shuttles to New York City were only about half full. Since bus service to New York resumed Thursday, the number of passengers has a little less than normal, Barham said.
On the Potomac River, the U.S Coast Guard continued its patrol in the wake of Tuesday's attacks. Boat traffic was banned on the river north of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge after the attacks, and also in the Anacostia River downriver from the Route 50 bridge.
The Coast Guard is allowing controlled ship movement between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the security zone. All ships that enter the zone are subject to inspection, according to the Coast Guard, and no vessels are allowed to enter the zone after 7 p.m. without prior approval.
Staff writers Amy Argetsinger, Patti Davis, Andrew Demillo and Steve Vogel contributed to this report.