On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and crashed it into the northern façade of the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. the aircraft struck between the 93rd and 99th floors. Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03: a.m., a second group crashed the similarly hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern façade of the South Tower, striking it between the 77th and 85th floors.
The damage caused to the North Tower by Flight 11 destroyed any means of escape from above the impact zone, trapping 1,344 people. The North Tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m., after burning for approximately 100 minutes. At 5:20 p.m. on September 11, 2001, began the east penthouse it collapsed completely at 5:21 p.m.
Flight 175 had a much more off-centered impact compared to Flight 11, and a single stairwell was left intact however, only a few people managed to descend successfully before the tower collapsed. The South Tower was struck lower than the North Tower, thus affecting more floors, a smaller number, fewer than 700, were killed instantly or trapped. At 9:59 a.m., the South Tower collapsed after burning for approximately 55 minutes.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology estimated approximately 17,400 individuals were in the towers at the time of the attacks. Ultimately, 2,753 death certificates were filed relating to the 9/11 attacks. Of all the people who were still in the towers when they collapsed, only 20 were pulled out alive.