PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Everybody remembers where they were on 9/11 and that includes the mayor of Pittsburgh at the time.
Political editor Jon Delano spoke with former Mayor Tom Murphy about his recollections of that day in Pittsburgh.READ MORE: Teen Arrested In Homewood South Shooting That Injured 4
On Sept. 11, 2001, Murphy was having breakfast with African American clergy at Mount Ararat Baptist Church when he learned the World Trade Center was struck. Murphy said he left the breakfast to return to his office in the City-County Building.
By coincidence, Murphy said, Pittsburgh Public Safety officials were meeting in the office, which became a command center. Murphy said 9-1-1 phone calls from passengers on Flight 93 were being received here, so city officials were aware that the plane had been hijacked and was near Cleveland.READ MORE: Wolf Administration Warns Of Surge In Student Loan Forgiveness Scams
Shorty, thereafter, the plane turned around.
“We get a call from the FBI that this plane is turning and will be coming over Pittsburgh. Now, we did not think it was coming to Pittsburgh. But our concern was that if something happened, we have the largest tallest building between New York and Chicago – the U.S. Steel Building – so we decided we needed to get people out of the buildings,” Murphy said.
Murphy said he was told Flight 93 would be over Pittsburgh in 20 minutes, so he ordered an immediate evacuation of the U.S. Steel Building and other downtown buildings.MORE NEWS: Can Kids Be Harmed By Wearing Masks To Protect Against COVID?
The former mayor said Flight 93 came within eight miles of the city but was ultimately brought down in Shanksville by the heroes of Flight 93. He said it was a riveting few hours and perhaps the most focused time of his life.