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Jai Bokey in Pittsburgh
It was really a black day for Americans.
Though I am based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the fourth hijacked aircraft crashed in Somerset county, firsthand news is hard to come by here. All people we knew are glued to their television sets.
In fact, I was worried about a friend, who is based in Manhattan, just a block away from the World Trade Centre.
I later found out that he and his family were fine.
Getting through to him was difficult as telephone lines in the US were jammed for most part of the day. So were the telephone lines to India.
A friend who travelled south to Atlanta for a conference was stranded, with no flights scheduled and with no idea when they will resume.
Luckily, he has a rented car [ which are in short supply due to the tragedy] by which he can drive about 12 hours to reach Pittsburgh.
Everything in Pittsburgh has come to a standstill since Tuesday morning. Offices are closed and all high-rise building in the downtown area have been evacuated. Airports have also been closed.
In fact, it is for the first time in history that no commercial plane has landed or taken off since 9.20 am in any airport in the US. All international flights are being diverted to Canada. Just for the record, at any given time there are about 4000 commercial aircraft in the air during the normal course of a day. All airports will remain closed at least till 12 noon on Wednesday.
All schools and colleges are also closed.
A Pittsburgh-New York flight takes about 30 minutes. And it surely is far way by road, but still it is scary here and one cannot fathom what must be going on in New York itself.
The tragedy reminded me of the Bombay blasts in 1993.
The place where I reside is usually occupied by people of all nationalities, with most being Indians. But a few families are from the
Now, there are policemen all around the locality.
Pittsburgh may return to normal on Wednesday, but fear will still loom large.
(Jai Bokey, who recently shifted from Bombay in India, is doing his Masters in Sports Management at Robert Morris College, Pittsburgh)
The Attack on America: The Complete Coverage
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