Attack closes businesses
September 11, 2001: 10:47 a.m. ET

High-profile buildings evacuated; airport closings will affect airlines
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The worst terrorist attack in U.S. history rattled businesses across the country Tuesday, as fears of further attacks caused hundreds of companies to shut down.

With an American Airlines and two United Airlines flights apparently being hijacked and crashed into the towers of New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, all the nation's airports were shut soon after the attack.

One airline analyst, who spoke on condition his name not be used, said Tuesday's events are certain to send air travel plummeting for months to come.

"This is a huge impact on consumer confidence, and that's the only [part of the economy] that's been good," he said. "This will be sending us into a recession. Even if it wasn't airlines involved, it would be bad for air travel. It's especially bad because of the terrorism overlay."

The analyst said air travel fell sharply following the destruction of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.

The airplane crashes destroyed both towers of the World Trade Center, the 110-story structures in lower Manhattan that were the city's tallest buildings.

Many other high-profile office buildings, including the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Empire State Building in New York and the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco were evacuated following the attack Tuesday.

All of the nation's major financial markets were closed. The New York Stock Exchange is only a few blocks from the World Trade Center site, while the New York Mercantile Exchange is located in the World Financial Center across a highway from the World Trade Center.

Most sporting events were cancelled Tuesday, including all 15 Major League baseball games that had been scheduled. graphic