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EXPLOSION AT THE TWIN TOWERS: The Scene; First, Darkness, Then Came the Smoke


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Author Topic: EXPLOSION AT THE TWIN TOWERS: The Scene; First, Darkness, Then Came the Smoke  (Read 109 times)
Kristin Moore
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« on: April 10, 2011, 02:25:13 am »

(Page 2 of 2)

Not far from where they lay, a gaping hole had opened up and two floors had collapsed into rubble. Behind them, the metal doors of the garage were twisted. A "Sorry Garage Full" sign lay bent and on its side.

All three agents escaped serious injury. Her heels gone, Ms. Russillo left a hospital later wearing green hospital slippers.

In a ballroom of the Vista Hotel, right above what appeared to be the center of the eruption, tables and dressing rooms had been prepared for a children's beauty contest yesterday. There were cracks in the floor. A big piece of the ceiling dangled crazily. Rubble was everywhere. But the children were not yet there.

Courage also made its appearance. As soon as he realized there was fire, Don Burke, a Port Authority employee on the 66th floor, scrambled back into his office and found Kathleen Collins, a lawyer who uses a wheelchair. Mr. Burke and a colleague assisted her down the 66 flights. She would bump herself down, like a child playing, for a few steps, then the men would take turns carrying her. Near Death in an Elevator

Michael Dugan, a firefighter, tackled the elevators in 1 World Trade Center. "We opened an elevator door and found people who had been in there for at least two hours," he said. "There were 10 people lying on the floor. None of them was moving. It was like a scene from a movie. All we could hear was one woman crying. The rest were semiconscious with coats thrown over their faces. They were five or 10 minutes from death."

Some people sought safety higher up. A pregnant woman was plucked off the roof of 2 World Trade Center by a police helicopter. Later, a helicopter also picked up a police officer after he was overcome by smoke.

Some people stayed put. David McDonnell, an engineer, remained in his 51st-floor office, knocking out some windows and waiting until rescuers arrived. Destruction and Confusion

Confusion was rampant. Those who fled said they had no formal warnings, no sirens or alarms. Most said they didn't encounter rescue workers until they had reached the last couple of dozen flights. The director of the World Trade Center, Charles Maikish, said later that damage from the blast had "destroyed" the center's elaborate evacuation plan.
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