Sept. 11, 2001 | PITTSBURGH (AP)
Officials weren't saying what airline was involved. It was unclear if the crash was related to the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington.
Sean Cavanaugh, a commissioner in neighboring Fayette County, said his emergency management director, Barney Shipley, advised him that the plane originated in either Cleveland or New York and was bound for Chicago, WPXI reported.
Contrary to earlier reports of the plane being a 767, Cavanaugh said he was told the airplane was a Boeing 747, the largest passenger jet flown domestically.
The Somerset County airport, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, in a small, rural facility that does not handle such aircraft.
Because of the attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration had ordered all departing flights canceled nationwide, and any planes already in the air were to land a the nearest airport. The plane crashed shortly after the order was issued.
It was not immediately known if the 747 might have been trying to land at the Somerset County airport when the crash occurred.
The crash came the same morning that terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and the twin 110-story towers collapsed. Explosions also rocked the Pentagon and the State Department and spread fear across the nation.
There were no other immediate details on the Pennsylvania crash.Associated Press
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