The black boxes, considered crucial for those investigating the attack, were recovered at about 4 a.m. and are now being reviewed at a National Transportation Safety Board laboratory in Washington.
Dick Bridges, a spokesman for Arlington County, Va. authorities, told the Associated Press the voice recorder was damaged on the outside and the flight data recorder was charred in fires that broke out following the crash. But he said the FBI was still confident data can be retrieved from both.
Bridges said the recorders were found “right where the plane came into the building.”
The voice data box records cockpit conversations and the flight data recorder tracks the speed, altitude and flight path of the aircraft.
American Airlines Flight 77 left Dulles International Airport bound for Los Angeles Tuesday, but instead slammed into the Pentagon at around 9:40 a.m. Officials say 190 people are believed to have died, including the plane’s 64 occupants and over 100 inside the Pentagon.
The black boxes recovered at the Pentagon follow the discovery of the flight data recorder at the site of the crash of another hijacked plane in Pennsylvania.
Neither the flight data nor the voice recorders have been found at the World Trade Center crash site, where two passenger planes demolished the center’s twin 110-story towers.
Navy officials say their operation center, badly damaged by the crash, has been reestablished and is functioning. Officials will not say where naval operations are now located.
Approximately 20 percent of the Pentagon is “out of commission,” Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said.