All the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the "guests." Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school.If any women wanted to be in a women - only facility, that was arranged. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes. She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. and around the world were available to everyone once a day.We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

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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.

There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that's nothing new! Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane. Related Article: Did You See Darya in the Stairwell Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

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 were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the U. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly.They started calling us the "plane people." We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers.Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, Newfoundland.