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Top 10 incredible stories from September 11th




[WARNING: Contains disturbing footage] September 11th is not only the most frightening tragedy in recent history, but also one of the most frustrating. The terrible pictures of the day – planes crashing against skyscrapers, towers collapsing, spectators fleeing clouds of dust and debris – were almost entirely one-sided.

Television coverage was largely distant, as journalists tried to stay safe and not broadcast the most macabre spectacle of the event – those who jump off the towers. They swung out as we leaned forward.

The viewers looked outward, an impersonal perspective, even though thousands of flesh and blood souls fought for their survival when the towers slowly died. Let's examine some of the things we missed that day: the stories of individual victims, survivors, and heroes.

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0 famous people who avoided death on September 11th

10 First among first responders


Battalion chief Orio Palmer was in exceptional shape even for the physically demanding work of a firefighter. The 45-year-old was an avid marathon runner, and on September 11, his stamina among his colleagues proved unsurpassed.

Although the planes touched the upper floors of both buildings, the south tower was hit slightly lower from the 84th floor to the 78th floor. The latter was a sky lobby, a connection point in the middle of the building where passengers switched from express elevators to elevators serving the local floors.

Firefighters faced an almost impossible task: climbing dozens of stairs with equipment weighing over 70 pounds while tens of thousands of evacuees were shooed in the opposite direction.

Only a handful actually reached the impact zones, and the very first one was Orio Palmer. After Palmer and his crew found one of the few elevators that still worked, they drove as far as possible to the 40th floor. From there, Palmer sprinted in front of his friends and can repeatedly hear check-in as he made superhuman progress on the stairs. Then, around 9:44 am, this:

"We have numerous 10-45 Code 1," he says desperately, using the FDNY code for civilian deaths. Palmer sent a small group of injured but outpatient civilians down the same stairwell he had come up to with instructions to find the working elevator on the 40th floor and to shut it down.

Unfortunately, the building collapsed before they turned it off, showing the hopelessness of the situation despite Palmer's incredible accomplishment.

9 The Goriest Floor


What Orio Palmer greeted upon reaching the 78th floor of the South Tower was the worst human wreck ever seen that day.

Here, too, the 78th floor was a sky lobby – a transition point between express and local elevators. And since so many in the south tower decided to evacuate after the first plane hit the opposite tower, the sky lobby was filled with up to 200 people [1] when United Airlines flight 175 cut through it at 9:03 am.

The explosion blew everyone away. "I flew from one side of the floor to the other," recalls Ling Young from Aon Corporation. She cleared the blood from her glasses and saw: "It was like a flat country. Everyone lay down. “Judy Wein, also from Aon, was in the air long enough to remember how terrible it was to die. When she landed, her ulna was almost irreparably broken.

You were one of the lucky few. Only 14 people survived. [2]

bodies were simply destroyed. Those who were not burned beyond recognition were divided into two, three, four parts. Blood spurted from the walls and collected on the floor. Several survivors slipped into blood as they worked their way through the slaughter to the stairwell.

The happiest survivor of the Sky Lobby was Kelly Reyher [3] who had just made the unwise decision to return to his office on the 100th floor when the explosion literally blew him into the elevator. He was beaten senselessly, but came to and was evacuated.

8 The ticket agent who should have listened to his stomach


At 5:45 a.m. he was greeted with a first-class one-way ticket and an angry look from a man with an Islamic name.

“I said to myself, 'If this guy doesn't look like an Arab terrorist, it doesn't do anything. & # 39; Then I slapped myself mentally because it is not nice to say such things these days. [I said to myself] "You have checked in hundreds of Arabs, Hindus and Sikhs and you have never done that." I was kind of embarrassed. "

This was Michael Tuohey, a ticket agent at Portland International Jetport in Maine, and warned himself to be suspicious of the Middle Eastern man at his check-in counter.

This man was Mohamed Atta [4] who, after Touhey got rid of his worst fears, caught his flight with a companion, Abdulaziz Alomari, to Logan Airport in Boston, where they boarded American Airlines Flight 11, in which Atta crashed against the North Tower.

Atta's anger this morning was based on the fact that he was informed that he would have to go through security again when he arrived in Boston. "I thought there was a one-step check-in," he said to Tuohey. He was wrong – and Tuohey was right, to be suspicious.

If Tuohey had responded to his first impulse, Atta and Alomari would probably have missed their flight [5] from Portland and then never boarded Flight 11 And since Atta was the pilot of this terrorist team, his absence would have prevented the plane from being flown into a skyscraper.

A few weeks later, Tuohey was shown a collection of photos and asked to identify the men he served on that day. "I went straight to Atta," he said. "It's like the skull on a poison bottle. This face is unmistakable."

7 The other suicide mission of the day


It is known that when it became clear that the attacks included several kidnappings, fighter jets were mixed up Coincidentally, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted military exercises that day, leaving several jets ready for takeoff.

Of course, the shortened timeline of the event and the sheer did The nation's size is unlikely to intercept terrorist-piloted aircraft, and when NORAD confirmed that the hijackings reported were not just drills, the north tower was already affected, [6] and United Flight 175 was only 17 minutes from the south tower American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. de Reported as a suspected kidnapping only at 9:00 am [7] – an extremely narrow intervention window.

United Flight 93, which was delayed before the start [8] remains in the sky after the first three crashed.

Much has been said about Vice President Dick Cheney's order to [9] shoot down hijacked airplanes instead of letting them hit another target. The order eventually became controversial since it was issued only after Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field when passengers attempted to regain control of terrorists.

But the fighters looking for Flight 93 would not have shot him down. They were unarmed [10] because they had no time to arm weapons before the start.

"We wouldn't shoot it down," said pilot Maj. Heather Penney. "We would ram the plane. I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot."

Like the firefighters, police officers and other first aiders that day, the fighter pilots were ready to make the ultimate sacrifice to save lives. [19659021] 6 French Film Noir

French filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet had a project that was innocent enough: a documentary of human interest about FDNY firefighters. Ironically, there was a lack of severe fires in the summer of 2001, which limited the action.

That changed on September 11th. Jules went to investigate a small gas leak in downtown Manhattan. Suddenly the roar of an airplane that is far too low penetrates the air. Jules swung his camera up just in time to take the only footage from American Airlines Flight 11 – the first plane – to hit the North Tower.

This fire station – home to FDNY Engine 7 and Ladder 1 – was one of the first to reach the World Trade Center. Jules would give the greatest insight into what firefighters experienced on that terrible day.

Jules made some difficult decisions along the way. When he got to the north tower, he met two people who were on fire after being sprayed with burning jet fuel. [11] Jules decided not to point his camera at what his eyes saw. Soon, however, the cruelty of the day would become inevitable.

"At first I heard this huge noise," he said. "It was almost like a car dropping from the top, and it could be part of the falling building."

"And then," he continued, "I heard the fireman behind me say," OK, we have sweaters. & # 39; “

Jules decided not to film the remains of bodies splashed on the sidewalk. About 40 minutes after the start of the finished documentary [12] however, the collisions of bodies that hit the hall sounded one life after the other. The film won a broadcast journalism award.

10 reasons why some of the official 9/11 account remains suspicious

5 Last call

Kevin Cosgrove would be fine. In fact, he had just called his wife quietly to tell her so much.

The Vice President of Aon Corporation, which occupied floors 98-105 of the South Tower, took on his duties as a civilian firefighter on his floor to evacuate colleagues before they left themselves. Something was obviously terribly wrong in the other tower, and – despite announcements that encouraged the residents of the south tower to stay there [13] – Cosgrove and his team decided to play it safe.

And then at 9:03 a loud bang and a disgusting tremor. United Airlines Flight 175 had hit Tower Two and severed all but one staircase (of which very few in the South Tower had ever heard of [14] – and quickly covered the upper floors with scorching heat and suffocating smoke.

Cosgrove and two colleagues ended up in an office where the smoke was less intense, but he knew that he was having serious problems. At 9:54 a.m. he called 9-1-1 and alerted the emergency services to his exact location a few minutes later, and Cosgrove replied.

"Hello. We look inside … we look at the financial center. Three of us. Two broken windows."

Then a nerve-racking, croaking growl. [19659002] "Oh God ! Oh -! ", Cosgrove yells. The line breaks when his bottom connects to the 110 other stories that fall to the ground.

Cosgrove's audio later became the pursuit of Zacarias Moussaoui used a conspirator in the attack.

4 The delay of one man cost two lives.


The most avoidable deaths of the day were possibly Victor Wald and Harry Ramos. The former was hampered by his own mental fragility; The latter died to save forest from himself.

Together with his colleague Hong Zhu, Ramos evacuated from the 87th floor of the north tower, a few floors below the impact zone. In particular, the aircraft made all stairs and elevators in and above the affected floors inaccessible – a demarcation line of the demise. [15]

Not so for those under the 92nd floor, almost all of whom since since. Although the tower was first hit at 8:46 a.m., it fell at 10:28 a.m. second together. Ramos and Zhu had enough time to get to safety. Then they came across Victor Wald, a complete stranger.

As shown in Inside the Twin Towers (above), in which interviews and dramatizations are combined to depict stories of people evacuating the buildings, Wald fought powerfully – physically but even more mentally. He is shown how he thinks about irrelevant questions, theorizes about those responsible for the attacks, and, most frustratingly, pauses repeatedly to rest and think as the tower's lifeline sinks to zero.

The trio met firefighters on the 36th floor, who informed them that the other tower had collapsed. They urged Ramos and Zhu to leave the forest [16] and save themselves.

Zhu listened; Ramos didn't. Zhu survived; Ramos didn't.

In fact, Ramos was the only employee of his company, May Davis, who perished that day. Unfortunately, Wald's inability to save himself cost the life of a potential hero.

3 The man who dodged an airplane

Only 18 people survived [17] who were in or over the impact zones when the planes crashed. All of them were in the south tower, and perhaps the most incredible was Stanley Praimnath. Praimnath, an employee of Fuji Bank, was on the 81st floor when United Airlines took flight 175 on it – in the midst of the plane's fatal destruction of floors 78-84.

He should never have been there. After the first plane hit the north tower, Praimnath took the elevator to the south tower lobby, where a security guard assured him that the building was safe. He went back to his office with his boss Kenichiro Tanaka [18] who died that day.

Shortly after he got back to the office, Praimnath looked out of his south-facing window.

"I saw this giant aircraft … come towards me in slow motion – eye level, eye contact. And I just froze. "

He froze just in time to dive under his desk when United Flight 175 crashed through walls, brought down the ceiling, and destroyed every desk except the one he ducked under. Praimnath was buried in ruins and as evidence for his closest calls, a piece of the airplane wing was pinched in his office door. [19]

A perfect stranger, Brian Clark, heard Praimnath's subsequent calls for help and freed him from the rubble, and the two climbed to safety.

2 "And her unborn child"


Among the victims that day were 10 pregnant. [20] In official memorials, their names contain these four terrible words – "and their unborn child" Every woman's name, none of this disturbing subgroup is more heartbreaking than Patricia Massari.

Massari worked for Marsh & McLennan Company on the 98th floor of the Together with more than 1,350 other Tower One workers, their fate was sealed early that day – at 8:46 a.m. when the first plane, United Flight 11, crashed into the north tower and gave everyone access to all the stairs and elevators at or above them his point of impact was extinguished. You had no chance.

Patricia was on the phone with her husband Louis when the plane landed near her office. "Oh my god," she exclaimed … and their connection was broken forever. It is unclear whether she was killed during the first impact, the subsequent fire, or the collapse of the building.

Her conversation was about the pregnancy test Patricia had just taken that morning. It was positive, [21] and would have been the couple's first child. Massari was just 25 years old.

1 A bubble in the wreckage


After FDNY Ladder Company captain Jay Jonas had climbed 27 floors of the North Tower by 10:00 am, he gave the wisest command of his career.

"I'm pulling the plug," he said to his crew. It was time to go in a double pack.

Jonas’s crew was 60 stories before reaching Tower One’s impact zone and had just learned that the south tower had collapsed. Jonah realized that the only lives he could save were those of his fire fighters.

On floor 20, this number increased by one when the team came across Josephine Harris, [22] a port authority accountant who had been injured in a car accident two weeks earlier. Adding Harris to the group slowed their descent considerably.

"We want to stay together as a unit," Jonas recalls, "[23] " but now we're going step by step. Step by step. We don't go step by step. We're going step … step … step … "

It wasn't fast enough. The group was on the 4th floor when the tower collapsed. They ducked, got ready, and prayed when that Booms of pancake bottoms were getting closer.

"I always waited for this big jet to hit or that big piece of concrete to come down and crush us."

And then it stopped.

The enormous size of the Jonas and his team saved the building: with 110 floors and one hectare per floor, the rubble of the imploded building was stacked over four floors, which, together with the unique location of his staircase in the middle of the building, left for evacuees who lived until the 22nd Floor of the so-called miracle of staircase B, life bags. [24]

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About the author: Christopher Dale ( @ChrisDaleWriter ) writes about politics, society and sobriety. His work has been published in the Daily Beast, New York Daily News, New York Post and Parents.com, among others.

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