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America Under Attack (PART I)

September 13, 2001, GMT, BBC

The exact number of casualties from Tuesday's strikes won't be known for some time. It is known that 266 people were on board the four planes that were hijacked at Boston, Newark and Washington. There were no survivors.

The World Trade Center is 110 stories high. Four hundred firms had offices there employing tens of thousands of people. When the planes hit, it’s thought between 10 and 20 thousand people would have been sitting at their desks. Before the collapse of the building, many people did manage to get away, but figures aren't yet known.

So far 55 bodies have been recovered. Two hundred and sixty police officers and firefighters who went into the building after the planes crashed are missing and feared dead. In the Pentagon, the world’s largest office building, rescuers are still searching the rubble. It’s thought around 80 bodies there have been found but estimates of those who died could go up to about 800.
 

September 13, 2001, Morning, GMT, BBC

Investigators already working at the three airports used by the suicide hijackers whose extraordinarily tight time table meant they had control of four aircraft in the sky inside 15 minutes, ensuring a sequence of attacks so rapid, that the authorities had no time to respond.

United Airlines flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles took off at two minutes to eight in the morning. One minute later an American Airlines plane flight 11 left also bound for L.A. with another hijack team on board. Two minutes after that, the doomed United flight 93 to San Francisco set off from Newark. And at ten past eight the finale hijack team was airborne from Washington on board American Airlines flight 77 to L.A.

It was the second plane to take off which hit the World Trade Center first. The earlier flight from Boston then came in from a different direction and struck the other tower. The flight from Washington looped back and crashed into the Pentagon.

Finally the airliner from Newark came down in rural Pennsylvania possibly bound for the Camp David presidential retreat. The terrorists had done their homework. At least one of the airports they chose has been recently fined for poor security. To inflict maximum casualties, they targeted long-distance flights with tanks carrying fuel for six hours in the air. Experts say the four hijackings were easy.

Expert: Security in America is putting it probably lightly as lax. Ah, in some places it’s non-existent.

 

难点注释:

East Coast time: 美国东部时间。美国大陆分为三个时区,事发时美国正处于夏令时,东部时间比北京时间晚十二个小时。EST也就是美国东部时间;GMT是格林威治时间。

FAA: 美国联邦航空局, Federal Aviation Administration的缩写。这是一个对美国航空进行管理的国家政府部门。

convene: v. 集会,开会 

Washington D.C.: 华盛顿,也称哥伦比亚特区,即the District of Columbia。1791年作为南北争议的折衷方案,选定此地作为首都,在1800年美国正式由费城迁都至此。

Norfolk, Virginia: 诺福克。弗吉尼亚州东南部港口城市,是美国重要的海军基地。 

hijack: v. 劫持,抢劫  

Newark: 纽瓦克。美国新泽西州东北部港口城市。

loop back: 转回头。

Camp David: 戴维营。位于马里兰州,离美国首都华盛顿约113公里。从1942年起一直是美国总统的避暑之地。

myriad: n. 无数,极大数量

retaliation: n. 报复


参考译文:

2001年9月13日

星期二袭击造成的准确伤亡人数在今后一段时间里都无法确定下来。现在已经知道的是在波士顿、纽瓦克和华盛顿被劫持的四架飞机上一共有二百六十六人,机上人员无一生还。

世界贸易中心高一百一十层,里面有四百多家企业,共有数万人在大楼里上班。在飞机撞向大厦时,估计里面有一万到两万人正坐在自己的办公桌前。在大厦倒塌之前,许多人都得以逃出,但确切的数字目前还不清楚。

到目前为止,已找到五十五具尸体。在飞机袭击后进入大厦的二百六十名警察和消防队员失踪,他们恐怕已经殉职。在五角大楼,这个世界上最大的办公建筑物,营救人员仍在废墟中搜索。估计已找到的尸体有八十具左右,而死亡人数可能会高达八百人。
 

2001年9月13日早

调查人员已经对劫机者使用的三个机场展开调查。这些劫机者的时间表异常紧凑,因此他们得以在十五分钟内控制了四架飞机,这就使他们能迅速地进行一系列的袭击,而官方根本没有时间作出反应。

联合航空公司从波士顿到洛杉矶的175号航班在早上七点五十八分起飞;一分钟以后,机上有另一组劫持者的美国航空公司飞往洛杉矶的11号航班离开地面;两分钟以后,注定要遭厄运的联合航空公司飞往旧金山的93号航班从纽瓦克起飞;八点十分,最后一组飞机劫持分子乘坐的从华盛顿飞往洛杉矶的美国航空公司77号航班升空。

第二架起飞的飞机首先撞向世界贸易中心,稍早从波士顿起飞的飞机从另一个方向冲向世贸中心的另一幢大厦。而从华盛顿起飞的航班则回过头来撞向五角大楼。

最后,从纽瓦克起飞的飞机坠毁在宾夕法尼亚州的郊区,这架飞机的目标很可能是戴维营总统别墅。这群恐怖分子事前做了充分的准备。在他们选中的机场当中,至少有一个最近才因安全措施不力而被罚了款。为了造成最大限度的伤亡,他们挑选的都是长途航班,因此这些航班都带有能在空中连续飞行六个小时的油料。专家说这四起飞机劫持行动并不困难。

专家: 在美国,安全防卫措施说得轻一点是不够严密的。呃,在有些地方安全防备根本就不存在。

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