'Most tragic event of our lifetime'


US airlines are likely to be hit hard with almost half of all Americans now saying they will avoid flying, following the terrorist attacks.

Polls reveal substantial concern about flying being expressed, with close to half the public saying it will avoid air travel.

As the aftermath of the attacks on New York and Washington continue to dominate the news, a massive 87 per cent of Americans told Gallup pollsters the disaster was 'the most tragic news event in their lifetime'.

And with the US now on a war footing, two thirds of Americans told another poll that last week's events were more serious than the attack on Pearl Harbour.

Seventy-seven per cent say they have been following the news 'very closely' since last week's events. Previously the highest level of attention to a news event recorded by Gallup was the 55 per cent who followed news of the death of Princess Diana in 1997.

And more than a third of those polled say they are now less willing to go into a skyscraper.

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