By James Hibberd
Updated September 09, 2011 at 10:50 PM EDT

The official Twitter account of NBC News was apparently hacked Friday and alarming messages were sent to its followers. NBC News issued a statement apologizing for the tweets, which claimed there was a terrorist attack at Ground Zero using a plane.

The Twitter account, which has about 129,000 followers, has temporarily been suspended, but reports of the tweets read:

“Breaking News! Ground Zero has just been attacked. Flight 5736 has crashed into the site, suspected hijacking. more as the story develops.”

A second tweet: “Flight 4782 is not responding, suspected hijacking. One plane just hit Ground Zero site at 5:47. #groundzeroattacked.”

And then: “This is not a joke, Ground Zero has just been attacked. We’re attempting to get reporters on the scene. #groundzeroattacked.”

NBC shut down the account within minutes and issued this statement:

An NBC News staffer urged Twitter followers not to retweet the messages: “The @NBCNews account has been hacked. Working on it. Please don’t retweet any misinformation.”