Networks fixed on Twin Towers disaster

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In the wake of the apparent terrorist destruction of New York's Twin Trade Towers, all New York stations were focusing on the disaster.

All stations were pre-empting regularly programming to provide coverage, although half of the VHS television signals appeared to be knocked off the air after the twin jetliner collisions and subsequent collapses of both towers. Those signals were still available over cable.

Virtually all networks with news capabilities were carrying the story, switching back and forth in New York and Washington, D.C. - where the Pentagon was target for a plane crash and where national news was also a massive local story.

The story was carried not only by all Fox, NBC and CNN news networks, but also by Court TV and C-SPAN. Spanish networks were carrying feeds from New York and Washington stations.

Shots of the scene in lower Manhattan resembles the aftermath of a volcano, with a layer of ash on the streets. Throughout Manhattan, bystanders were standing on the street in clusters, listening to radio reports of the lower Manhattan cataclysm and gazing southward in stunned silence where the towers had been.

The terrorist act was apparently calculated to use television news coverage as part of the act in New York, as live pictures of the second airline collision were aired. The second collision occurred approximately 18 minutes after the initial airliner hit the first tower at 8:45 a.m. (ET). - Richard Tedesco

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