What We Were Spared

Survival Rates on September 11

Certainly no one in their right mind would say that the attacks of September 11 have a positive side, but when it comes to sheer numbers, comparing the number of those who died to the number who could have died is amazing to consider. As “luck” would have it, many people were delayed from reaching their flights or their jobs the day of the attacks. The hijacked planes were far from full, the Pentagon was hit at its strongest point, the overwhelming majority of people in the World Trade Center escaped, and the ultimate sacrifice made by a handful of passengers on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania saved countless lives.

These numbers have been making the rounds on the Internet.

The World Trade Center  

Some 50,000 people worked at the twin towers of the World Trade Center. With fewer than 4,000 dead or missing, 92% of them survived the massacre—a miraculous number!

The Pentagon  

The Pentagon’s 23,000 employees could have been killed by the plane that hit that complex. The latest count shows 123 lost their lives, an amazing 99.5% survival rate, largely due to the fact that the section that was hit was the first of five to undergo renovations to protect against terrorist attacks.

The Planes 

  • American Airlines Flight 77, flown into the Pentagon, could have carried up to 289 people, yet only 64 were aboard. Luckily, 78% of the seats were empty.
  • American Airlines Flight 11 had space for 351 people but carried only 92. Thankfully, 74% of the seats were empty.
  • United Airlines Flight 175 could have seated 351 people but had only 65 on board. Fortunately, it was 81% empty.
  • United Airlines Flight 93 carried only 45 people out of a possible 289; 84% of its capacity was unused. Yet this small band of heroic passengers stood up to the attackers and thwarted a fourth attack, saving countless numbers of lives on the ground.

In Summary:

Of the 74,280 Americans directly targeted, 95% survived or avoided the attacks. That's a higher survival rate than heart attacks, breast cancer, kidney transplants, and liver transplants—all common, survivable illnesses.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. 
~ Margaret Mead

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