Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer
Statement on Australian Death Toll in the US Terrorist Attacks
September 13, 2001

I have been advised of the deaths of three Australians in the US terrorist attacks.

A 66-year-old Sydney man was on board American Airlines Flight 11 which crashed into the World Trade Centre in New York, and a 62-year-old Sydney woman was on board American Airlines 77 which crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC. Family members have advised that another Australian, from Queensland, died in the vicinity of the World Trade Centre.

On information provided by family or friends, we are trying to confirm if a further six Australians were on one of the aircraft but confirmation is very difficult to obtain at this stage.

While we believe there are no further Australian casualties in Washington, my Department is working around the clock to collate details of all other Australians who may have been caught up in the devastation in New York.

There are now some 90 Australians, reportedly in the vicinity of the World Trade Centre at the time of the attacks, who are still unaccounted for. Obviously, this figure will change as new information comes to hand. Our staff in the New York Consulate-General are urgently trying to locate the missing Australians with assistance from local New York authorities and emergency services.

Of these Australians still unaccounted for, it appears that 37 are from New South Wales, 10 are from Queensland, 16 from Victoria, one from South Australia, five from Western Australia, one from the Australian Capital Territory and 20 whose state of origin is yet to be determined and who are believed to be long-term expatriates.

My Department in Canberra and staff in the United States, with the help of information from the Australian public, will continue their efforts to locate and assist all Australians involved in this appalling catastrophe. I should caution, however, that this could be a long and complex process which will place very great strains on the families concerned.

They have the deepest sympathy of the Government and their fellow Australians.


©2001 Commonwealth of Australia.