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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 04:23 GMT 05:23 UK
Papers tell horror story in images
Every newspaper has a full-picture front page, recognising that words can scarcely match the shocking images of the moment two hijacked airliners smashed into the World Trade Center in New York.

Most show the fireball created as the second aircraft ripped through the south tower, minutes after its twin had been hit.

This is "War on America" think The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and the Daily Express, while for the Daily Mail it is simply "Apocalypse" and for The Independent, "Doomsday".

Everyone was panicking. I thought I would die right there

Eyewitness, The Times
On the inside pages, the human tales of the horror unfold with eyewitness accounts and further images of the immediate aftermath of the attacks in New York and Washington.

Some people tell how they managed to escape from the blazing World Trade Center buildings.

One man tells The Times: "People were hurt, their skin burnt off and bleeding.

"There were no lights. Everyone was panicking. I thought I would die right there."

'Screaming and pushing'

Others feared for their friends, colleagues and relatives.

One woman tells The Guardian: "There were so many running down the stairs, running over each other and screaming and pushing and trying to get out.

"That was before I learned that my traders and friends were still up there. I don't reckon I'll see them again."

Reporter David Usborne writing in The Independent describes how he, along with the rest of New York, gazed uncomprehending at the burning skyscrapers.

Jumped to deaths

He tells how people desperately leapt from the tower to escape the flames: "I saw a person jump. And another. And another."

The most murderous terrorist onslaught in world history

The Independent
Then the first tower began to bulge and topple. "All I could think about was Lego towers coming down when I was a child".

Many of the accounts are accompanied by stark shots of people plummeting to their deaths or terrified office workers clinging to the outside of the building.

And most papers carry images of bewildered New Yorkers emerging from the devastation covered in dust and debris.

"A ghost town" is how the Daily Star describes the city in the aftermath.

How and why?

Meanwhile in Washington "there was a palpable air of shock among servicemen and women" after the Pentagon was hit.

"How could this happen?" asks The Sun before beginning to analyse, as do rest of the papers, the security implications of what The Independent calls: "the most murderous terrorist onslaught in world history".

The other question all the papers ask is who could have carried out such an attack.

Suspicion universally falls on Osama bin Laden, the exiled Saudi dissident suspected of financing Muslim terrorism.

The Mail thinks he could be "the most dangerous man in the world," hell bent, it says, on seeking revenge for US missile attacks on two of his bases in 1998.

'Not mindless violence'

And thoughts turn to how the US will respond with the Mail urging: "Now for God's sake Mr Bush, keep your cool."

Whoever carried out Tuesday's atrocities, it should not be described as "mindless violence," thinks the Telegraph.

In its leader column it says: "They knew what they were doing and had reasons to think that it might work.

"It is up to the free world to prove by its actions that they were wrong, not only morally but also pragmatically to do what they did."

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