TV Commentator Perishes on Flight

updated 09/12/2001 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/12/2001 8:53AM

As United and American Airlines prepare to release names of victims aboard Tuesday's four hijacked planes on Tuesday, it has been confirmed that MSNBC and CNN commentator Barbara Olson, 45, was killed on the hijacked American Airlines jet that crashed into the Pentagon. Olson reportedly placed two phone calls from the ill-fated plane to her husband, U.S. solicitor general Ted Olson, telling him that hijackers armed with knives and cardboard cutters herded passengers and crew -- including the pilot -- toward the back of the plane. "What should I tell the pilots to do?" CNN reported Olson asking her husband. Ted Olson, who reportedly called the command center at the Justice Dept. to relay the information, told CNN that his wife planned to fly Monday, but delayed her travel because she wanted to be with him the morning of his birthday, which was Tuesday. "She was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon," her husband said. "She called from the plane while it was being hijacked. I wish it wasn't so but it is."

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