Fear and confusion

Memorial opens doors to stranded travellers ST. JOHN’S (CUP) — Memorial University of Newfoundland opened its doors to several hundred unexpected visitors earlier this week. In the aftermath of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorized a shut down of all commercial airlines, diverting thousands of travellers to Canadian airports to wait out the closure. Twenty-seven aircraft were forced to land in St. John’s, leaving 5,000 passengers looking for a place to stay. Memorial offered to help just hours after the attacks. “We made an offer late [Tuesday] afternoon to officials organizing the response to the delayed flights,” said Victoria Collins, the director of university relations.

— David Skinner, The Muse

Students coping under special circumstances

TORONTO (CUP) — Many students will be coping with Tuesday’s U.S. terrorist attacks in their own unique and equally trying way, a Toronto social work expert says. “I’m terrified,” said Caroline Brunet, a fourth-year psychology student at York University. “At the same time, we see this in other countries. It’s not really until it hits so close to home” that it sinks in. Regehr says students will also be affected by the attitudes of their peers. “Students tend to be in an age group that feels invulnerable,” said Regehr. “Terrible things are less likely to have occurred in our life experience. With the expectation of Oklahoma, younger students would be experiencing this for the first time.” Canadian Federation of Students Ontario chair Joel Duff agrees with Regehr but thinks students will be able to rely on each other for support. “Students aren’t in their regular environment of support but they create community on their campus. They create networks of comfort and understanding. Students will provide support to each other.”

— By Shawn Jeffords, Ontario Bureau

Chretien cancels research announcement after attack

HALIFAX (CUP) — Prime Minister Jean Chretien cancelled the announcement of a $50-million digital research project yesterday after terrorists attacked U.S. landmarks in Washington and New York. Chretien was slated to visit Halifax to unveil funding for the Canadian National Site Licensing Project — an online digital research centre that will give 650,000 students and researchers greater access to online research materials and journals. Dalhousie University president Tom Traves was to have hosted Chretien along with Howard Alper, the University of Ottawawa’s vice-rector for research, at the Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre.

— Tyler Kustra, The Gazette

Tragedy leads to major rescue efforts

WASHINGTON (U-WIRE) — Less than 12 hours after a catastrophic act of terrorism leveled New York’s World Trade Center towers and ripped through the Pentagon, the streets in the nation’s capital were eerily quiet. Even as firefighters extinguished the last flames at the Pentagon and World Trade Center and began a rescue effort for hundreds of people feared dead, the destruction and chaos from earlier in the day seemed as confusing and horrific as when it all began.

Confusion, despair

With all federal offices and Washington tourist attractions evacuated, a steady flow of cars and office workers jammed streets and sidewalks in the late morning hours. Some people stood on corners, looking cautiously to the sky when an airplane passed overhead. Others questioned with bewilderment how such a massive attack could be carried out with absolute secrecy.

Shock across the city

For George Washington University sophomore Jessica McLellan, the morning began with the evacuation of her residence hall because of a bomb threat at a hotel next door. “It’s shocking that this is such a large-scale attack and we didn’t know what was going on,” she said.

Rescue efforts underway

Rescue efforts continued through the night and may last for a number of days. Rescuers Tuesday evening reached some areas of the Pentagon and World Trade Center where fires and smoke began to subside. Hospitals in Washington estimated hundreds of people arrived with injuries, but put the death toll under 100. That number is expected to rise steadily as bodies are recovered from the wrangled concrete of the Pentagon. The same outcome is expected in New York as the search effort continues to find victims in the rubble.

— Zeb Eckert, DC Bureau, U-Wire

Terrorists strike U.S. landmarks

OTTAWA (CUP) — In what is considered to be the deadliest terrorist attack in North American history, key U.S. landmarks — the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon — were struck by hijacked planes in the early morning hours of Sept. 11. Prime Minister Jean Chretien, in a prepared statement, expressed sympathy for the victims and their families and denounced the perpetrators of the acts. s. “There can be no cause or grievance that could ever justify such unspeakable violence,” he said. “Indeed, such an attack is an assault not only on the targets but an offense against the freedom and rights of all civilized nations.” In the nation’s capital, officials with the City of Ottawa, while carefully avoiding the term “emergency,” declared a “state of high alert.” “We want to assure the citizens of Ottawa that there is no reason to declare a state of emergency,” said Ottawa Police Chief Vince Bevan. “There is nothing which indicates any imminent threat to the citizens of Ottawa.” Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli acknowledged the magnitude of the day’s events affected the city’s actions. “This is the first time the City of Ottawa is in a state of alert because of events in the U.S.,” said Chiarelli. “It’s a very bad day in our history.”

— Mark Greenan, Ottawa Bureau

Nuclear winter in New York City

NEW YORK CITY (CUP) — A massive collage of death is posted on the wall of New York’s Bellevue Hospital. Days after the worst terrorist attack in United States history, the photos of the missing, most likely lost beneath piles of rubble, have been placed on the hospital wall. Hundreds of faces, presumably dead, adorn the side of Bellevue like a horrible nightmare. New Yorkers still haven’t fully grasped Tuesday’s horror, when two hijacked passenger planes crashed into the World Trade Center, a third slammed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania..

— Douglas Quan with files from Alejandro Bustos, Ubyssey

American students create Web site to locate survivors

BERKELEY, Calif. (U-WIRE) — Following the aftermath of Tuesday’s tragic events in New York and Washington, University of California Berkeley computer science students moved quickly to start a Web site where people can search for friends and relatives who are known to be safe. The idea stemmed from Miriam Walker, a UC Berkeley computer science graduate student, who had members of her co-op borrow her phone to try to call the East Coast. Walker said she realized that the volume of people trying to phone the affected areas was making it impossible for anyone to receive proper information. The overwhelming volume of calls were also hindering emergency communications. She quickly called her friend, Ka-Ping Yee (from Canada), also a UC Berkeley computer science graduate student, to help her program the Web site. “I just woke up because [another] friend called. I was walking around in a daze, probably in disbelief,” Yee said. “I came back and found the phone message [from Walker]. She had the idea to make this database, but she didn’t have a programmer. I ran into her office and did it.” Yee quickly learned PHP, a database programming language, while he worked in order to get the site running. “I was really really shocked about what happened. I didn’t just want to stand by and do nothing,” Yee said.

The web site can be viewed at: http://safe.millennium. berkeley.edu

— By Cyrus Farivar, U-Wire

NYU students face anguish, fear following Trade Centre tragedy

(U-Wire) New York — New Yorkers filled the streets in a state of shock Tuesday as they witnessed the destruction of two 25-year-old skyscrapers that were their skyline.

The mid-moring rhythms of countless Manhattan, N.Y., residents were interrupted around 9 a.m. as two planes smashed into the World Trade Centre punching huge, firey holes in the upper floors of the twin towers. The crash of the second plane, 18 minutes after the first, was broadcast live by television stations whose helicopters had converged in the sky over lower Manhattan after the first crash.

Crying, anguish and prayers were heard on the city streets as masses of businessmen and women covered in soot with bloodshot eyes rushed in shock towards uptown Manhattan after both towers collapsed at 10:38 a.m.

“I didn’t know what happened when they hit. I just wanted to get out alive. That’s what I keep telling myself now . . . I am alive,” said Richard Cohen, who was in a conference at the WTC when the attack occurred.

The soot and smell of burning debris filled the air more than 10 blocks away, while pedestrians looked to the sky in terror in response to the sounds of jets flying above.

“The destruction and deaths are endless. You just don’t know what to do, or where to start helping,” said Favian Gordiyo, who was working at a near-by construction site when the crashes occurred.

“It’s very scary. Not only am I covered in soot, but the chills on my arm won’t stop,” he said.

“My co-workers and I saw it happen in slow motion and then on TV. After that we ran out of the building, but where do we go? It isn’t safe anywhere,” said Stacey Shapiro, who works in the Scholastic Building on Broadway.

“I used to look outside of my office window and feel like I could touch the towers,” she said. “Now they’re gone. It’s so surreal.”

“I just want to go home,” said one unidentified man.

— Michelle Blackley, Washington Square News (New York U.)

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