Revealed: 9/11, as seen from the skies

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The scene is eerily familiar. The camera angle is not. A cloud of smoke and ash billows above Manhattan after terrorists hijacked two airliners and flew them into the upper floors of what was once America’s tallest building.

A collection of images taken from police helicopters above New York on the morning of 11 September 2001 was made public yesterday, providing some of the first detailed birds-eye views of thecollapse of the World Trade Centre. NYPD photographer Greg Semendinger was responsible for many of the most striking shots on a day when almost all other air traffic was grounded.

His close-up shows the scale of an inferno that rose over almost 40 floors to the top of one of the doomed buildings. These photos are part of a tranche of 2,779 obtained by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology last year during its investigation into the attack. They were released to ABC News yesterday after a freedom of information request.

* World Trade Centre progress