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Flight Data, Cockpit Voice Recorders Found in Pentagon
Friday, September 14, 2001
WASHINGTON _ Searchers on Friday found the flight data and
cockpit voice recorders from the hijacked plane that flew
into the Pentagon and exploded three days earlier,
Department of Defense officials said.
The two "black boxes," crucial to uncovering details about
the doomed flight's last moments, were recovered at about 4
a.m., said Army Lt. Col. George Rhynedance, a Pentagon
Rhynedance said the recorders were in the possession of the
FBI, and that officials from the National Transportation
Safety Board were providing technical assistance in reading
any data they contain.
Dick Bridges, deputy manager for Arlington County, Va., said
the voice recorder was damaged on the outside and the flight
data recorder was charred. But he said the FBI still was
confident the data can be recovered from both devices.
Bridges said the recorders were found "right where the plane
came into the building."
Earlier, a fire that flared in the debris had set back
search efforts following the crash of American Airlines
Flight 77. Government authorities said 190 people _ a
combination of military and civilian employees on the ground
and the passengers in the plane _ were believed to have
Late Thursday, rescuers worked to shore up unsteady parts of
the building but flames erupted. The flare-up sent black
smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air over
Firefighters put out the blaze within 20 minutes.
Authorities safely evacuated rescue workers who were
clearing away debris inside the building, said Capt. Scott
Graham, head of the Montgomery County, Md., search and
"This is just a minor time setback," Graham said.
Human remains pulled from the Pentagon were being taken to
Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be identified. The first
two helicopters carrying remains arrived at the base
Thursday afternoon, a base spokesman said.
Members of Congress at the military office complex to watch
the recovery effort Thursday said they were told by rescue
officials that some of the fuselage of the airplane that
slammed into the building remains intact in the wreckage.
"It hits you right in the pit of your stomach," Rep. Ken
Lucas, D-Ky., said of the gaping hole in the building's