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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK
What the papers say
Journalist Grania McFadden reviews Wednesday's morning papers.

Every other story is wiped off the front pages today, and replaced by pictures of Manhattan in ruins.

According to the Sun, it was "The day the world changed forever".

While the Mail puts the estimated death toll in Manhattan, Washington and Pittsburgh at 10,000, the Star believes it is likely to be double that.

The papers are filled with harrowing eyewitness accounts of the moments when two planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

The Mail describes the moments after the attacks, when burning bodies "jumped from windows of the skyscrapers like ticker tape".

I walked home and I thanked God I could walk away

Bernadette Hurst

The paper gives over one entire page to a horrific photograph of a man hurling himself from the building, and falling to his certain death.

It was, says the paper, his "only release from the horror within".

The Irish News speaks to Belfast woman Bernadette Hurst, who works at the World Finance Center.

She was on her way to work when the attacks happened. She joined watching crowds before making her way home in shock.

"I walked home," she said.

"And I thanked God I could walk away."


Already, anger is building in America. The Irish Independent quotes one US marine who could not control his anger. "I want to nuke them all," he said.

Most papers point the finger of blame at Saudi terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

The Telegraph claims Bin Laden had warned three weeks ago that he was planning an attack on America.

A former CIA chief tells the Express that the United States would love to bomb him. "But first you need an address."

The press is disgusted at reports that many Arabs rejoiced at news of the attacks.

The Independent quotes a Palestinian man in Jerusalem, who described the attacks as "a gift from God to the Palestinian and Iraqi people".


The question of revenge is raised in several papers.

The Telegraph warns that no single man or group could operate without the backing of states, and says such states need to know there is a price to pay for doing so.

There needs to be action to prove it.

But most papers urge caution.

The Guardian says the temptation now is to make someone pay. But this is a time for America to keep cool and keep control.

Seeking an appropriate revenge will be difficult, says the News Letter's editorial.

The fact that the US President and his family virtually went into hiding in the wake of the disaster points to the very real fear that there is more to come.

Human tragedy

And the paper adds that Tony Blair's swift and decisive reaction with regard to the UK's security status gives rise to real concerns that Britain could be threatened by a disaster of similar proportions.

The financial cost of yesterday's events has yet to be considered.

But as oil prices soar and markets plunge, the Mail says the attacks have created an economic cloud which will choke us for years.

More than 5bn was wiped off the value of Britain's top insurance companies, as they began counting the cost of the disaster.

But the Telegraph reminds us that this is, first and foremost, a human tragedy. It describes how crowds watched in silence as the world trade centre towers crumbled to the ground.

Only one man, clutching a bottle of vodka, kept shouting. As others told him to be quiet, he said: "I am shouting because my mother is in there".

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