As traffic on the World Wide Web came to a crawl the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, chicagotribune.com communicated with many of its readers via e-mail. This is the third of four Tribune Alerts that were sent that day to more than 19,800 readers -- and that probably were forwarded to thousands of others.

Note: Because links originally contained in this e-mail news alert may no longer work or may not reflect the material present at the time, they have been deleted.

Sent: 11:51 a.m.

From the update desk of chicagotribune.com:
As a service to readers who may have trouble accessing chicagotribune.com due to Web traffic, we're sending the full text of updated stories. For the latest, check our front page:
[link deleted]

Or see the specific links that follow each of the two stories below.

A special edition of the Chicago Tribune newspaper, reporting on national and local developments regarding the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, will hit the streets at 12:30 p.m. The edition's content will appear on chicagotribune.com at the same time.
PLANES CRASH INTO WORLD TRADE CENTER, PENTAGON Both towers collapse; third plane crashes near Pittsburgh

By Jerry Schwartz and Ron Fournier The Associated Press

In a horrific sequence of destruction, terrorists hijacked two airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center in a coordinated series of attacks this morning that brought down the twin 110-story towers. An aircraft also crashed at the Pentagon, raising fears that the seat of government itself was under attack.

The Pentagon was struck by aircraft, a car bomb exploded outside the State Department and agents patrolled outside the White House with automatic weapons today as an apparent coordinated terrorist attack spread fear and chaos in the nation's capital.

The enduring symbols of American power were evacuated, the Capitol, White House and more shut down, and the nation's air traffic system ordered shut down. Billows of smoke drifted from the Pentagon over the Potomac River toward the capital.

Within the hour, an aircraft crashed on a helicopter landing pad near the Pentagon, and the White House, the Pentagon and the Capitol were evacuated.

One of the planes that crashed into the Trade Center was American Airlines Flight 11, hijacked after takeoff from Boston en route to Los Angeles, the airline said. American Airlines issued a statement saying it had "lost" two aircraft -- Flight 11, with 92 people aboard, and Flight 77 from Washington to Los Angeles, carrying 64 people.

In Pennsylvania, United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco, crashed about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The fate of those aboard was not immediately known and it was not clear if the crash was related to the disasters elsewhere. In a statement, the airline also said it was deeply concerned about another plane, Flight 175, a Boeing 767 bound from Boston to Los Angeles.

The fate of those in the twin skyscrapers is not known. Authorities had been trying to evacuate the 50,000 people who work in the twin towers, but many are thought to be trapped.

President Bush ordered a full-scale investigation to "hunt down the folks who committed this act."

Within the hour, an aircraft crashed on a helicopter landing pad near the Pentagon, and the White House, the Pentagon and the Capitol were evacuated.