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Recorder reveals details of Flight 93 struggle

By Kelli Arena
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Officials familiar with the cockpit voice recorder on United Airlines Flight 93 -- the hijacked jet that crashed September 11 in western Pennsylvania -- say there was a "definite struggle" described as desperate and wild between hijackers and some of the passengers.

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An official has said there was some shouting, but it is not clear who was in control of the plane before it crashed. Several family members of passengers previously have described cell phone conversations saying there might be an attempt to retake control of the plane.

Officials say the voice recorder was able to pick up scuffling sounds.

While visiting the crash site Thursday, FBI Director Robert Mueller said translators were helping to work on a transcript of the tape -- confirming that more than one language is heard on the tape. Officials say there are shouts heard in Arabic and English.

"We and the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) are in the process of transcribing and, in certain cases, translating the dialogue, what little dialogue there is on that voice recorder," Mueller said.

Without going into details, Mueller seemed to confirm that the passengers attempted some type of takeover.

"I think ... both the attorney general and I and the attorney general of Pennsylvania have indicated we believe those passengers on this jet were absolute heroes and their actions during the flight were heroic," Mueller said.

Terrorists hijacked four commercial jets early September 11. Two of them slammed into the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York, and a third hit the Pentagon in Washington.

But Flight 93 -- which departed Newark, New Jersey, en route to San Francisco, California, and turned around over Cleveland, Ohio, to head back toward the east -- never reached its target, which remains unknown.

Instead, the jet slammed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

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