BREAKING NEWS

By Zeb Eckert
U-WIRE Washington Bureau Chief

The country is still in shock after terrorist explosions in Washington and New York leveled both World Trade Center towers and a section of the Pentagon.

Terrorists reportedly crashed two planes into the skyscrapers, at least one of which was an American Airlines plane en route from Boston to Los Angeles.

Shortly after 10 a.m., another large plane, believed to be a Boeing 767, crashed 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Major buildings in cities across the nation are being evacuated at this hour. In Chicago, police evacuated the Sears Towers and in St. Louis visitors were asked to leave the St. Louis Arch.

The government halted air travel nationwide after the first plane crashed into the giant tower in New York. Access to many of the nation’s airports has been restricted since the bombings began around 9 a.m.

In Washington, all government buildings have been evacuated and traffic is jammed in a mass exodus to leave the city. Washington’s underground subway system stopped admitting passengers at some stations because of overcrowding. Hundreds of thousands of workers commute to the nation’s capital each day.

Classes were cancelled at universities in the Distict of Columbia and as far away as the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, more than an hour away from Washington.

Just a few blocks from the White House, students at George Washington University were evacuated from the student union building and told to return to their residence halls or the university gymnasium.

Train service out of Washington was cancelled around 11:30. All international flights inbound to the United States have been diverted to points outside the country.

More reports to follow throughout the day. 11:31 a.m.

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