Terrorist Threats to Transportation - Box

Terrorist Threats to Transportation - Box

Calculating Fatalities Resulting from the September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks

Fatalities resulting from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, include those killed on the ground at the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City and at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, as well as those on board the four aircraft. The number of aircraft fatalities (265) and fatalities at the Pentagon (125) is considered to be conclusive, while the number of people who perished at the WTC is estimated. Thus, the total number of fatalities (3,035) can only be reported as an estimate.

To calculate the estimated total number of fatalities on September 11, 2001, this report relied on two primary sources. The New York City Office of Emergency Management, Office of Public Affairs, periodically releases data on the total number of fatalities on the ground at the WTC. As of December 18, 2002, this office reported 2,792 fatalities. These include both people who were on the ground and in the buildings when the airplanes struck the towers, as well as the passengers and crew in the airplanes. The New York City data, however, do not include the 10 terrorists on board the 2 flights. Adjusting for these factors results in an estimated 2,645 fatalities on the ground at the WTC.

The Aviation Safety Network publishes detailed data by flight on all airplane crashes worldwide. This data source reported a total of 265 fatalities among the crew and passengers (including terrorists) on board the 4 aircraft (see table below). That total is consistent with the number published by the National Transportation Safety Board; and the number of fatalities per plane is consistent with the U.S. Department of State.

Excel | CSV

Flight Site Crew Passengers Total
American Airlines #11 World Trade Center 11 81 92
United Air Lines #175 World Trade Center 9 56 65
American Airlines #77 Pentagon 6 58 64
United Air Lines #93 Shanksville, PA 7 37 44
Total   33 232 265

SOURCES
Aviation Safety Network, available at http://aviation-safety.net/database/2001/2001/shtml, as of Dec. 20, 2002.
National Transportation Safety Board, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Stats.htm, as of Dec. 20, 2002.
New York City Office of Emergency Management, Office of Public Affairs, personal communication, Dec. 18, 2002.
U.S. Department of State, Basic Facts, September 11, 2001, available at http://www.state.gov/coalition/cr/fs/12701.htm, as of Dec. 20, 2002.