Wall Street Grinds To Halt After World Trade Center Crash

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Several banks and financial institutions in downtown Manhattan shut down operations on Tuesday after two planes crashed into the nearby World Trade Center, causing both buildings to partially collapse.

The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market said trading in stocks would not open until at least 11:30 EDT. Employees at the World Financial Center, located to the west of the World Trade Center and housing the headquarters of firms including Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. did not answer phone calls to their offices.

Several phone lines appeared to be down as well.

A phone call to the main number at the World Financial Center went unanswered.

"Whole downtown shook", said one employee at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. which has headquarters and offices downtown.

Many financial services firms have moved their headquarters from lower Manhattan to midtown, but still maintain trading operations close to the Wall Street area.

One of the planes was American Airlines' Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles, said Lori Bassani, spokesperson for American's flight attendants union.

Bassani, who said she was in a meeting with American officials in Fort Worth, Texas, American's headquarters, said if full, the flight on the Boeing 767 would carry 158 passengers. That would include two pilots and nine or 10 flight attendants, she said.

She said she did not know how many people were aboard.

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