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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 111 times)
Kristin Moore
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« on: April 10, 2011, 02:25:37 am »

 Many complained afterward about the lack of guidance. A 27-year-old trader working at the commodities exchange on the eighth floor of 4 World Trade Center said he was enraged that 4,000 people on the trading floor were not evacuated until 1:30, more than an hour after the explosion.

Frances Morrill, a travel agency manager who escaped from the 25th floor, said, "No one was telling us whether we were walking away from the danger or whether we were all fleeing right down into the fire."

Some of the firefighters and police officers succumbed to smoke inhalation. One firefighter, Tom Shea, suffered a broken left kneecap trying to pull a man out of the basement. The floor collapsed under him and he fell two stories. No More Than a Rumbling

People chose their course of action in odd ways. Raquel Vidal, a legal assistant for Federal Home Loan Bank, was at her office on the 103d floor. That high up, she said, she detected no more than a rumbling. "We said, what was that?" she recalled. "My boss said, 'Let's wait a while before we do anything.' "

Ms. Vidal picked up the phone and called her sister and asked her to turn on the radio and see if there was any news about the World Trade Center. "She heard plenty," Ms. Vidal said, "and she shouted at me, there's been an explosion, get out of there now."

As she threaded her way down the stairs, she began to feel much older than her 43 years. "About the 40th floor, my knees starting to give in," she said. "I didn't think I was going to make it. But my co-workers kept egg ing me on. Let's keep going, they'd say. We only have 40 floors to go. We only have 30. We only have 20. So I kept going, and I'm not sure my knees will ever forgive me."

Photo: The explosion that shook the World Trade Center yesterday left a crater 60 feet wide below the building. (Reuters)
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