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A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.
We decided to lie to the passengers while we were still in the air. There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U. After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The captain informed passengers that Ground Control in Gander told us to stay put.
In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were U. People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash.We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area.We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time.At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning.