NY Times & Victims Family FOIA Request making Suppressed Firemen Statements public:
A rich vein of city records from Sept. 11, including more than 12,000 pages of oral histories rendered in the voices
503 firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians, was made
The city has announced that it will also release today a written log of calls to the 911 system, many from trapped
office workers, as well as tapes of fire dispatchers. Other records, including tapes of 911 operators, are being assembled
are not yet ready for release, city officials said.
The New York Times sought the records under the freedom of information law in February 2002, but the Bloomberg
administration refused to make them public and the newspaper sued the city. Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals,
Over the last three and half years, The Times has obtained some of these records through unofficial channels, and they
can be found on the Web at www.nytimes.com/sept11
These include the dispatch tapes, nearly 100 of the Fire Department oral histories, and a log of calls to Emergency Medical
that were channeled through the 911 system.
N.Y. Police Statements released under FOIA
Audio Dispatches: NYFD and
FIREFIGHTER PATRICK MARTIN
My lieutenant said he looked down at the first floor, and he could see the first floor of the south tower
like exploding out. I looked up. I looked up, and the sky was filled with that debris cloud.
Stephen Gregory , Assistant Commissioner (F.D.N.Y.) flashes, explosions p 14
I know I was with an officer from Ladder 146,
a Lieutenant Evangelista, who ultimately called me up a couple of days later
just to find out how I was. We both for whatever reason -- again, I don't know
how valid this is with everything that was going on at that particular point in
time, but for some reason I thought that when I looked in the direction of the
Trade Center before it came down, before No. 2 came down, that I saw low-level flashes. In my conversation
with Lieutenant Evangelista, never mentioning this to him, he questioned me and
asked me if I saw low-level flashes in
front of the building, and I agreed with him because I thought -- at that time
I didn't know what it was. I mean, it could have been as a result of the
building collapsing, things exploding, but I saw a flash flash flash
and then it looked like the building came down.
Q. Was that on the lower level of the building or up where the fire was?
A. No, the lower level of the building. You know like when they demolish a building, how when they blow up a building, when it falls down? That's what I thought I saw. And I didn't broach the topic to him, but he asked me. He said I don't know if I'm crazy,
(Strangely, he talks about
page 20 Q. Clearly not building material?
A. No. The building material was sort of gray and you could see it, you know, how it differed from the plane. I was listening to the tape this morning of the people calling up and they were describing the plane that hit the building. Actually, so many people saw it. They actually described the plane as it came in. They said it was a military-type plane and it was green and it was this. I mean, I never saw the color of the plane.
FATHER JOHN DELENDICK FDNY bombs & explosions before WTC2 fell
The top of the building kind of started to rumble, and we all looked up. So his original thought was that he thought it was a bomb up there as well.
I remember asking Ray Downey was it the jet fuel that blew up. He said at that point he thought there were bombs up there because it was too even. We didn't know the building came down. We just knew the top of the building exploded and didn't know what happened to the rest of the building.
CHIEF STEVE GRABHER-FDNY WTC2 poof,poof, windows pop out, explosion
Just as I go out of the building, one of my men says hey Captain, the building is coming down. I looked over my shoulder and you could see the whole top of south tower leaning towards us. It looked like coming over. You could see the windows pop out just like in the picture, looked like a movie. I saw one floor of windows pop out, like poof, poof. I saw one and a half floors pop out. It looked almost like an explosion. The whole top was teetering, and I really thought just the top of the building was falling off. I didn't think there was any way we were going to make it out because just being this close, it looked
like it's leaning right on top of us. So we ran.
It wasn't that far. I guess You could see over the top
of the building from where we were standing, the whole building was coming on
top of us this other building. At this time I thought just the top of the
building fell down. I really wasn't sure that the whole tower was going to come
down. It turns out I was looking at the
FIREFIGHTER ROBERT NORRIS
I HEARD WHAT SOUNDED LIKE A THIRD
PLANE COMING IN. I HEARD THE PROPULSION OF AN ENGINE
As I'm looking up at the building, I hear a loud noise and I see the south side of
the building collapse. I see the south upper
third of the tower start to pitch in my direction. At that point I yelled
to Mike Kane, Mike, it's coming down. I turned around
and I ran south on
All of a sudden you heard the rumble and people yelling and screaming. You look and I didn't see the top of the building. I didn't see the top of tower two. The collapse started. You felt like the ground -- it was like a deep sound, rumble; like you're laying on the platform and the D train is coming. You look and you see what -- I best describe it as a wave coming.
At that point I just heard a THUNDEROUS SOUND
I was already covered with soot and
all sorts of particles that were coming out of the building. I dived into the
truck, and that’s when pieces of the BUILDING LIFTED THE TRUCK
Several blanked out paragraphs
I think it was the lobby of the building behind us blew out. Everybody started running, I didn't see him again that day. He got thrown one way, I got thrown the other way. There was smoke, there was debris, there was everything flying around. The cops that were in there were telling everybody get out, get out, get out. Stuffs blowing up.
FIREFIGHTER MICHAEL MACKO
LIEUTENANT PATRICK SCARINGELLO
I heard the explosion from up above. I looked up, I saw smoke and flame and then I saw the top tower tilt, start to twist and lean.
We did go past -- we went up Church, we went up Vesey, past 7 Trade, which at the time didn't look like it was involved
FIREFIGHTER RICHARD BOERI WTC2 explosion before collapse
We had our backs to the tower and under that pedestrian bridge walking south, myself, Eddie Kennedy and the officer, when you heard the crackling. You looked up and you saw the one floor explode on itself and the top start to slide.
FIREFIGHTER DEAN COUTSOUROS
WTC2, crackling sound, like a million firecrackers
was directly in the middle
of the street on
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM REYNOLDS
WTC2- large explosion below plane impact area before the collapse
After a while, I was distracted by a large explosion from the south tower
and it seemed like fire was shooting out a couple of hundred feet in each
direction, then all of a sudden the top of the tower started coming down in a
pancake. I remember my jaw dropping and just staring at it and Richard Banaciski, one of the firemen that was
there, yelled "Run" and I turned and I started running into the
parking garage of the
Q. Bill, just one question. The fire that you saw, where was the fire? Like up at the upper levels where it started collapsing?
A. It appeared somewhere below that. Maybe twenty floors below the impact area of the plane. I saw it as fire and when I looked at it on television afterwards, it doesn't appear to show the fire. It shows a rush of smoke coming out below the area of the plane impact.
The reason why I think the cameras didn't get that image is because they were a far distance away and maybe I saw the bottom side where the plane was and the smoke was up above it.
FIREFIGHTER TIMOTHY BURKE WTC2
WTC2 Explosion before collapse
Then the building popped lower than the fire level which I guess was the aviation fuel fell into the pit and whatever floor it fell on heated up really bad and that’s why it popped at that floor. That’s the rumor I heard, but it seemed like Oh My God There is secondary device that the way the building popped I thought it was an explosion.
FIREFIGHTER KEVIN DUGGAN WTC2
we just heard this real loud roar. We looked up and we could see the south tower. Looked like the middle of it was just exploding out, and at that point, one of the officers just said, "Run," and we were just turned and started running into the garage.
FIREFIGHTER CHRISTOPHER FENYO FDNY WTC2
explosions before collapse
Port Authority transcripts:
About a couple minutes after George came back to me is when the south tower from our perspective exploded from about midway up the building. We all turned and ran into the garage. At that point a debate began to rage because the perception was that the building looked like it had been taken out with charges.
FIREFIGHTER HOWIE SCOTT
We just made our turn to go in towards the lobby of tower two.
For whatever reason, I just happened to look up and saw the whole thing coming down, pancaking down, and the explosion, blowing out about halfway up. I remember looking back and noticing that big mushroom cloud just roaring at us like a freight train.
Edward Cachia FDNY WTC2 explosions before collapse
my officer and I were looking at the south tower, it just gave. It actually
gave at a
lower floor, not the floor where the plane hit, because we originally had thought there was like an internal detonation explosives because it went in succession, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then the tower came down.
FIREFIGHTER KENNETH ROGERS
Meanwhile we were standing there with about five companies and we were just waiting for our assignment and then there was an explosion in the south tower, this exposure just blew out in flames. A lot of guys left at that point. I kept watching. Floor after floor after floor. One floor under another after another and when it hit about the fifth floor, I figured it was a bomb, because it looked like a synchronized deliberate kind of thing. I was there in '93.
Then we heard a rumble, some twisting metal, we looked up in the air, and to be
totally honest, at first, I don’t know exactly…but it looked to me just like an explosion. It
didn’t look like the building was coming down, it looked like just one floor had blown
completely outside of it. I was sitting there looking at it. I just never thought they would around and saw the debris coming down.
FIREFIGHTER RICHARD BANACISKI WTC2 explosions
We were there I don't know, maybe 10, 15 minutes and then I just remember there was just an explosion. It seemed like on television they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions. Everybody just said run and we all turned around and we ran into the parking garage because that's basically where we were. Running forward would be running towards it. Not thinking that this building is coming down. We just thought there was going to be a big explosion and stuff was going to come down.
There was just a tremendous cloud that came into the parking garage. Somebody actually laid out a search rope.
FIREFIGHTER CRAIG MONAHAN
Then all of a sudden you heard something, and it sounded like a harrier jet was landing right over top of us. Sure enough that second tower was just coming straight down. When it sounded like the explosion stopped, the steel hitting, when it all seemed to stop, this just like a fire storm of wind and material, a sandstorm kind of, just came and wailed by, really flew past us quick.
FIREFIGHTER KEVIN MCCABE
WE WERE READY TO GO STRAIGHT AHEAD
YOU HEARD A ROAR SOME
MY FIRST THOUGHT TO MYSELF, O
LIVE DOWN IN ROCKAWAY SO HAVE HEARD PLANES COMING OVERHEAD FOR
YEARS, IT SOUNDED LIKE A PLANE GETTING CLOSER
SHORTLY AFTER AS IM WALKING YOU
PARAMEDIC JOEL PIERCE
THATS WHEN WE HEARD THAT SOUND AGAIN
At that time we were looking at the top of the towers and all the rubble and people coming off, and all of a sudden you heard – it sounded like another airplane, or a missile. It was like a slow shake. The whole ground just vibrated and shook. We just told everybody to run, run into a building, let's go, run, run, run.
PARAMEDIC ROBERT RUIZ
The next thing you know, you
hear a loud thundering noise. It sounded like a jet, a big rumble. I start
looking around and I'm like, what is that? The next thing I know, I see the cop
just take off. I'm like, where's he going?
Then I see the things on the floor, like
I look up and I was saying, oh, no, the building's going to fall down.
So I turn around. Right where I'm standing I turn around. I'm in
the center of the building. I turn around, and I try to go inside the building, but that door happens to be locked. So I run towards the
corner where the cop was, and I keep trying all the doors.
CHARLES WELLS Division Chief
We felt a loud -- a very
strong vibration, shaking, and a loud noise like a subway train coming through
a station at speed, like a jet engine
at full throttle. It was a roaring sound, and he wanted to continue down
made it about halfway across
and I saw the
as I looked up, I saw this helicopter hovering from in front of one of the buildings, it was the first one that was hit. Then all of a
sudden I heard this huge explosion,
I didn’t know what it was because nobody was telling me anything. I didn’t know
until we were called back to Chambers and something, Chambers and
firemen, PD, everyone is running away from the
This is North End, we was running around Vessey and around North end to get away
from the first smoke. After the first building, I guess, I didn’t know at the time that the
building fell. After the smoke cleared, I went back, I was helping some people that were
covered in dust and stuff like that.
FIREFIGHTER JOSEPH MEOLA
As we are looking up at the building, what I saw was, it looked like the building was blowing out on all four sides. We actually heard the pops. Didn't realize it was the falling -- you know, you heard the pops of the building. You thought it was just blowing out.
FIREFIGHTER KEITH MURPHY FDNY
I HAD HEARD A DISTANT
FIREFIGHTER THOMAS TURILLI
All of a sudden you just heard like it almost actually that day sounded like bombs going off, like boom, boom, boom, like seven or eight, and then just a huge wind gust just came. My officer knew how to actually get out and and we just walked out of there.
At that point we were kind of standing on the street and I looked to my left and actually I noticed the tower was down. I didn't even know what it was when we were in there. It just seemed like a huge explosion.
In that process of him trying to explain to me to pull my ambulance over, I heard a loud bang. We looked up, and we just saw the building starting to collapse. I was screaming from the top of my lungs, and I must have been about ten feet away from her and she couldn't even hear me, because the building was so loud, the explosion, that she couldn't even hear me.
I HEARD LIKE A BIG EXPLOSION, TREMENDOUS EXPLOSION, LET
ME PUT IT THAT WAY,
His conclusions were blanked out
LT. THOMAS PIAMBINO FDNY
The south tower had fallen, but at that time I didn't know what it was. All I heard was a tremendous explosion.
LIEUTENANT JOSEPH PATRICIELLO FDNY
As my men went to obtain some extinguishers, I happened to be looking up and saw the explosion or the building fail with the ensuing fireball and cloud. It didn't appear to me at that moment the building was coming down.
But when the noise level began to pick up, it
was obvious that something wrong was going on. We all proceeded to run
FIREFIGHTER CRAIG CARLSEN -explosions (or pancakes) when buildings fell
File No. 9110505 WTC2
I guess about three minutes later you just heard explosions coming from building two, the south tower. It seemed like it took forever, but there were about ten explosions. At the time I didn't realize what it was. We realized later after talking and finding out that it was the
floors collapsing to where the plane had hit.
then realized the building started to come down. At that point everybody at the
command post took off into -- there were two garages across. I guess it was by
I made it in about 20 feet inside the door,
and I tripped over an
started to come down , and you could see the force
of air coming towards you. I was just trying to drag the
We made it to approximately Vesey and West, which is just north of the bridge. Then the
second building started to come down. At
that point everybody just took off in all different directions. As far as I
know, we just went north up
FIREFIGHTER FERNANDO CAMACHO WTC2 Explosions
We went across the lobby of the hotel, going north, and we exited and made a right going towards the second tower, the south tower. We must have walked about 100-200 feet to revolving doors, which led into a hallway to where the mall was. I could see maybe 20, civilians and I believe Ladder 25, which was about another 100 to 150 feet ahead of us. As we came in through the revolving doors, the lights went out. A second or two later everything started to shake. You could hear explosions. We didn't know what it was. We thought it was just a small collapse.
As I looked straight ahead of me, I saw total darkness. Everything was coming our way like a wave. The firefighters that were ahead of us and the civilians that were ahead of us totally disappeared.
We turned around. We were all pretty much within ten feet of each other: lieutenant,chauffeur, roof, OV, can. As we turned around, I ran probably maybe ten feet and that's when the body of the building or body of the collapse hit, and we were flying through the air basically. I must have flown 30, 40 feet through the air. Then total quiet. You couldn't breathe. You couldn't see anything.
I had no clue what was going on. I never turned around because a sound came from somewhere that I never heard before. Some people compared it to an airplane. It was the worst sound of a rolling sound, not a thunder. All I know is –and a force started to come hit me in my back. You had to be there. All I know is that I had to run because I thought there was an explosion. I thought it was a major explosion.
I THOUGHT IT WAS EXPLODING ACTUALLY THATS WHAT I THOUGHT FOR HOURS AFTERWARDS THAT IT HAD EXPLODED OR THE PLANE OR THERE HAD BEEN SOME DEVICE ON THE PLANE THAT HAD EXPLODED BECAUSE THE DEBRIS FROM THE TOWER HAD SHOT OUT FAR OVER OUR HEADS IT WAS RAINING DOWN
(blanked out paragraph)
THERES AN EXPLOSION.
I was hooking up the regulator to the O-2, when I hear people screaming and a loud explosion, and I heard like “sssssssss…” the dust like “sssssssss…” So I come out of the bus, and I look and I see a big cloud of dust and debris coming from the glass… through the condominium, the other building, and like, glass falling. So I just started to run, everybody ran, so I just ran. Our bus, it got totaled.
FIREFIGHTER ANGEL RIVERA
the chief told us go to the Marriott Hotel, go from the 14th floor up, search and evacuate all the floors. So we walk all the way up, no problem. Then we hear the explosion and debris falling. We were looking out of the windows and see body parts all over the place.
PARAMEDIC DANIEL RIVERA
Q. WHAT DID YOU
I saw the first building collapse I noticed that the first three or four floors , they were pretty good, that was on my mind. Wow,
they were pretty good. THEN THEY SAID THERE WAS A
CHIEF ALBERT TURI FDNY
I turned around to assess the situation, and the fireball had pretty much dissipated, and what I actually thought at that time, and mistakenly so, was it's not as bad as it looks; most of the fuel was expended on the exterior of the building. So we ran back to the car and laying right in back of my car was a large object which I thought was probably part of one of the aircraft turbines.
FIREFIGHTER EDWARD SHEEHEY
(My comments in parentheses: Sheehey heard an explosion
"Q. Where exactly were you when the south tower collapsed?
A. We were proceeding across
Q. South of the command post?
A. Straight across from it, going in towards the south tower. We were probably just at
We dropped all our tools and gear, and we turned around. There was a parking garage to the right of the command post, so we ran down into the parking garage."
(Mayday distress calls just before the collapses---why? Could this be due to more complications from unexpected explosions going off? That could be a possibility but not conclusive.)
"Q. Did you hear any emergency transmissions on the handy talky? Did you have a handy talky?
A. No, I didn¹t have a handy talky.
Q. Did you hear anything being next to
A. I heard maydays. As we were at the command post, we heard maydays. I couldn¹t make out what they were for.
Q. Was this before the collapse or after?
A. Before the collapse. Then after the collapse I heard -‹ we looked for someone with a radio, and we found a captain from another engine company. I couldn¹t tell you what company he was from. He was looking for the rest of his men, and he had a handy talky. He said if he heard them calling for us he would let us know. I heard a couple of maydays on his handy talky but couldn¹t make out who was giving them or where they were."
So I said, let me take him to the hospital. So as I was pulling off, I’d say about half a block away, we heard a big boom, and we seen a whole bunch of ashes, everything just started coming towards us.
BATTALION CHIEF BRIAN DIXON WTC2
I got just a little ways back and it was just like -- you hear the noise, a boom, and then a blast of air. It just kind of threw me against the wall. That's where I decided to stay. Since it blew me there.
PARAMEDIC NEIL SWEETING
We were probably about half a block away from t h e complex at this point . You heard a big boom, it was quiet for about t e n seconds. Then you could hear another one.
CAPTAIN JAY SWITHERS
At that point I looked back and most of the people who were triaged in that area with the triage tags on them got up and ran. I took a quick glance at the building and while I didn't see it falling, I saw a large section of it blasting out, which led me to believe it was just an explosion. I thought it was a secondary device, but I knew that we had to go.
BATTALION CHIEF THOMAS VALLEBUONA
I REALIZED THAT WE WERENT FAR ENOUGH AWAY FROM THIS BUILDING
FIREFIGHTER JOSEPH RAE
We started walking north to just about the second footbridge, which would be 6 World Trade, and all of a sudden we heard the explosion and the building started to come down and I ran
I HEARD SIX
FIREFIGHTER KENNETH ESCOFFRY FDNY WTC2
incoming missile before collapse
“On the way out between tower one and six, we heard something like an incoming missile, and we started to run. That's when the second tower came down. I was knocked down.”
The next thing I heard was a loud like an engine roar. I looked up, and the next thing I knew I just saw -- I don't know if it was the tail end of the plane or what, but I saw something. When I looked up, I heard "boom." Now, when the explosion hit I don't know if -- it actually took me off my feet, because I fell. I actually got cuts and stuff
like that all over my hands and whatnot
FIREFIGHTER THOMAS ORLANDO FDNY
I would say on the 18th floor when we took a little break. At the time the building was shaking. It was hit with something. At that time we thought it was another missile attack, so we all just ran into the stairway and just helped cover us and other civilians and firemen until it stopped shaking. We didn't know what it was at the time. We were told that there's been a collapse -- they didn't say what collapsed – and to start working your way out.
I had her sit in the chair and I put some oxygen on her, because she wasn't breathing right, she was hyperventilating. I was just trying to calm her down.
I was strapping her onto the stair chair, and that's when the building comes down. So I strapped her on. As I this tidal wave, it's like a tidal wave of soot and ash coming in my direction, my life flashed before my eyes. I made a U turn, and I started to run -- I took about ten steps, and the lady started screaming, "Don't leave me! Don't leave me!" That's when I gathered myself. I got a hold of myself, wait, what the hell am I doing? I turned back around. I got her out of the chair. I said, "Ma'am, can you run?" She said, "Yes." She took off. I immediately made a U turn, and I've never moved so fast in my life.
after that -- the building came down. It's like snow fall. The cars are
covered. The streets are covered. I'm covered and breathing in mouthfuls. You
couldn't see. The scene was totally
blacked out. You're just running in the direction that you think is away. I knew I was running -- this would be westbound.
I was running westbound down Vesey. I ran
about a block to
FIREFIGHTER JOHN MALLEY
I felt the rumbling, and then I felt the force coming at me. I was like, what the hell is that? In my mind it was a bomb going off.
The pressure got so great, I stepped back behind the columns separating the revolving doors. Then the force just blew past me. It blew past me it seemed for a long time. In my mind I was saying what the hell is this and when is it going to stop? Then it finally stopped, that pressure which I thought was a concussion of an explosion. It turns out it was the down pressure wind of the floors collapsing on top of each other. At that point everything went black, and then the collapse came. It just rained on top of us. Everything came. It rained debris forever. I was semiburied.
There were secondary explosions, I don't know, aerosol cans or whatever. But we're in the darkness. We see basically the glow of a flashlight and still things coming down. The noise, the explosions, whatever it was.
Like I said, we were standing there watching
the north tower and not even paying attention to the south tower. Then you look up and it's like holy shit, the
building didn't come down, it shot
straight out over our heads, like straight across
FIREFIGHTER JOSEPH SULLIVAN
Now, when it did collapse, I saw a chunk come down. I thought it was a partial collapse, like maybe part of the fascia coming down. It came down, and we were looking, and all of a sudden the cloud rushed. It was like whoa, but then a couple of seconds it overtook us.
FIREFIGHTER LIEUTENANT ANTHONY MANCUSO
From what we could see, we couldn't see the whole tower that was coming down. We could just see the facade coming off, and we backed up.
FIREFIGHTER MICHAEL HAZEL
the tower started to come down. At first it looked to me like just the top of the tower, like maybe the top 15 floors, like the skin of the building was just peeling off and coming down.
FIREFIGHTER FRANK SWEENEY
I hear what sounded like firecrackers and a low rumble. I look up, and the south tower – I could see the top part of the siding overlapping the bottom side of the siding. The siding actually was like this. Then I saw the dirt above that. I ran. I was right behind Scott. Scott ran into the Winter Garden and got against a concrete pillar
And then all of a sudden, when you looked up, you froze for a couple of seconds, you saw these little pieces falling off. Then all of a sudden, everyone started to run. Then, you started to run,
FIREFIGHTER TIMOTHY JULIAN
We came out from 90 West ,
made Left, headed East, and right when we got to the corner of
FIREFIGHTER EDWARD KENNEDY
We took two steps, there was a tremendous boom, explosion, we both turned around, and the top of the building was coming down at us. With this I just turned to Richie and said run.
Then all of a sudden there was like a loud -- almost like a rushing sound, a roar, and we looked up and we could see it looked like an implosion and the building kind of went in and out and kind of like shook.
BATTALION CHIEF JOHN SUDNIK
THEN WE HEARD A
CAPTAIN JOHN LUONGO
His conclusions were blanked out
It seems as if suddenly there was a -- our attention was drawn to the south tower. There was some kind of explosion, you might say, up in the area where the fire was. Actually, in hindsight, that was the start of the collapse. Now, we were very close at that time.
LIEUTENANT ROBERT LAROCCO
survivor of WCT2 collapse who was in Lobby when it fell p20
Just as I put my foot on the first stair on the escalator, the building started like shaking. It was like a wave in the floor and a real loud noise. What we did was, me and the police officer started running from the east northeast end of the building toward the west. Anyway, just to describe to you the collapse of the south tower coming down, I really wasn't aware there was a full collapse. I thought it might have been just a localized collapse. It was the loudest noise I've ever heard in my life. It was in both ears. Kind of like those rockets that they launch the space shuttles with, it was like I had one going off in
each ear. When I thought it was the loudest noise I ever heard, every second it was just increasing getting louder and louder and louder.
I was running as fast as I could. With this noise getting louder and louder, also what's happening simultaneously was light – whatever light we had was becoming darkness, like obscuring and getting dark fast, like someone pulling down the shades real fast. Anyway, it kind of sounded to me as if the collapse was aimed right at me, right at my back. I was running as fast as I could, and when I felt that I was getting overtaken by the collapse, where there was no hope, I threw myself on my knees at the next concrete column that I came up against I kept that on my right side. With that the collapse came and I started getting buried. Stuff was falling down. It was loud and just kept coming and coming.
BATTALION CHIEF BRIAN OFLAHERTY
Several survivors of WTC2 collapse:
I KNEW WHAT WAS COMING
DOWN. THE BUILDING I WAS IN WAS COMING DOWN.
IT WAS TERRIBLE NOISE
BESIDES THE BUILDING SHUDDERING THE SOUND WAS HORRENDOUS TO ME IT SOUNDED LIKE
STEEL CUTTING THROUGH STEEL. THATS HOW I
EXPLAIN IT YOURE LAYING THERE THERES STUFF
HITTING YOU HAD MY RIGHT
CAPTAIN HOWARD SICKLES FDNY
WE HEARD RUMBLING WE THOUGHT IT WAS ANOTHER PLANE WE
SAW THE TOWERS
I STARTED CALLING PEOPLE ON THE RADIO I
I looked up and saw this big gaping hole where the south tower used to be. That's the first point that I realized that the south tower had collapsed. Maybe ten or 15 stories high left of it. Probably most of it being a pile of rubble.
When the first building collapsed, we both started -- my partner and I both started walking back to the vehicle and we opened up one of the compartment doors where we put all our equipment in and as it was coming down, we started seeing a mob of people start running towards us. So we opened up our back doors and we put in as many people as we could and then my partner was kind of motioning to the civilians and the ESU workers, that whoever wanted to get a ride, they just hop in and we would take them. And this whole time the building was still coming down. It was only halfway down. I proceeded to get into the driver's seat and there were like several people running up to the bus saying, "get out of here." And we actually ended up driving with several people on the hood and people were hanging off the sides of the mirrors, off the back step of the ambulance, and I'd say we probably got about like 30 -- maybe 30 people out of there before it actually came completely down and the smoke came.
CAPTAIN JANICE OLSZEWSKI
SO AS WE HEARD IT START TO COLLAPSE
I THOUGHT IT WAS AN EXPLOSION OR SECONDARY DEVICE BOMB, THE
I was on the side of the church. I looked and all this debris just started exploding everywhere, and I turned around to run. When I got maybe halfway the block, I got knocked to the ground. My helmet got cracked. A piece of debris had hit my helmet.
EMT SEAN CUNNIFFE WTC2 falls in stages
American Express building. That was our next staging point, in the lobby there. The rumbling started and a big cloud of smoke came by the windows and started breaking the windows.
Q. Now we're talking about the south tower collapsing?
A. Yeah, it collapsed. I'm sure it was some significant time in between. It seemed like ten minutes, the whole job.
WTC2 falls in 2 stages
I SAW IT LOOKED LIKE THE TOP MAYBE 70 60
FLOORS COMING OFF THE BUILDING
Then after running 2 blocks:
Eric Berntsen FDNY
WTC2 takes a few minutes to collapse??
We heard the explosions from the kitchen. We went up on the roof and got there just in time to see the second plane hit the towers. So we ran downstairs. It was about five after .
The officer went off, got orders from a Chief, and we were told to go to the 74th floor of the south tower. He came back, told us what we were doing. We gathered the company together, started heading north through the Marriott. Then we made a right and went down the ramp to get to the concourse level. We headed eastbound in the concourse level to where it first turns up to the left, where the mall turns up to the left. That's when we heard the building start shaking. I looked up into the Marriott, because you could see up into it from where we were standing, and just saw black, like dust. The lights went out. I jumped into a corner under an archway.
After the building stopped shaking and there was no rumbling noise any more. We all got back together. We all turned on our lights.
When we got out on to Vesey, there was a Port Authority cop with us and he said that they were given reports that the second building was going to come down. So we made a decision we'd better leave. We were
exhausted from carrying this gentleman who was pretty
heavy, we estimated about 300 pounds, 275. It took six guys to carry him. We
were all exhausted. We were changing. We
made it a couple of steps and then we heard
the rumble and we knew the second tower was coming down. Everybody let go
of the guy and ran. Vinnie
and the cop jumped under a car. There
was no room for me there and I thought I could make it a little bit further
than that. So once I hit the sidewalk on the
Then I looked up and I saw a dark cloud and I
grabbed my helmet. The force knocked me down, blew me. I don't
know how far I went, but I went forward pretty far. It knocked the wind out of me. I got covered with debris and just kept my hands on my helmet. Something
pretty big hit me and knocked my helmet off. I felt weight piling up on my
back. I said I can't just lay here. I
said let me get out of here. Let me see how deep I am, see what I can do. I was
up against the wall of the
WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER THE FIRST
BUILDING COLLAPSED I RAN LIKE HELL I LEFT EVERYTHING THERE
FIREFIGHTER TIMOTHY BROWN- WTC2 Blast, 70 mph wind
I ran into the doors of the Two World Trade
We finally set up -- prior to this I believe it was the west side of the core of the building there were elevators.
I told Chief Burns that I was going to go
As we ran towards the rear, which is the
three side of the hotel, and rounded the corner to go into
nailed down. You could not any longer run into the wind because you were getting pummeled by stuff. You couldn't see anybody to communicate.You couldn't hear anything. It was becoming our grave.
I wound up crawling on the floor as the wind got stronger and the roar got louder. I found what I'm guessing was a 12 by 12 boxed out steel column, which I tried to become one with. I got as close as I could to it. I had a helmet on. The helmet got blown off by the wind.
PARAMEDIC KEVIN DARNOWSKI
3 Explosions before WTC2 fell
At that time I started walking back up
tower two started to come down.
BATTALION CHIEF DOMINICK DeRUBBIO - WTC2 appeared like a timed explosion
I was looking over t h e Winter Garden a t t h e second tower, and then I saw that starting to come down. It was weird how it started to come down. It looked like it was a timed explosion, but I guess it was just the floors starting to pancake one on top of the other.
EMT MOUSSA DIAZ WTC2, big boom then collapse
When we heard the big boom, I looked up and I just saw the building collapsing.
WTC2 falls it appeared there were explosives planted
“The sound it made. As I said I thought the terrorists planted explosives somewhere in the building. That's how loud it was, crackling explosive, a wall.”
LIEUTENANT ROBERT DORRITIE FDNY WTC2
I got my guys and started walking across
LIEUTENANT GEORGE J. DeSIMONE
I thought it was an explosion initially. We got hit with the powder. We tried to run.
We proceeded to 3 World Financial Center, the American Express building They set up a triage area in that lobby. ...
At that time, when I heard the 3 loud explosions, I started running
building and at that time I started treating patients.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM MCLAUGHLIN FDNY
I LOOKED UP
FIREFIGHTER JOHN PICARELLO FDNY
I started to hear that rumbling sound again. I looked up, and the first thing I saw was the aerial on the top of the tower just rocking one way and rocking the other way, and all of a sudden there it goes.
FIREFIGHTER KEVIN GORMAN WTC1 explosions, then falls
John Malley, who was right behind me, I turned around for him, because he was doing something, either putting his coat on or something, and as I was looking at him I heard the explosion, looked up, and saw like three floors explode, saw the antenna coming down, and turned around and ran north.
Q. About how long would you say it was from when
the police officer told you it was leaning?
A. Within 30 seconds
LIEUTENANT GARY GATES
I looked up, and the building exploded, the building that we were very close to, which was one tower. The whole top came off like a volcano. I'm looking at the face of it, and all we see is the two sides of the building just blowing out and coming apart like this, as I said, like the top of a volcano.
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM GREEN
He POINTED UP. HE SAID ITS
FALLING I LOOKED
they were trying to get things reorganized after the first blast they -- I know they started some of the crews and somebody over in the other tower
Then I noticed, like, the top of the tower seemed to shoot up a little bit and start to fall down a little bit. that's when Bill Simon and I just bolted in towards one of the other overpasses just to get some cover
FIREFIGHTER KEVIN HOWE
I'm hearing like a rumble and I'm looking up and I'm seeing the antenna start to do this type of nonsense, swaying a little bit it seemed, and sure enough the building was coming down. That was tower number 1, the north tower. As it started coming down, we saw this ferocious amount of black cloud, a brown cloud that was chasing everybody.
When I came back this time, not only was it snowing but I could see the other tower, and the tower was starting to break off. It was kind of looking like it was going to tip, and there was a piece of the building coming down right on top of me and Mike. We sat there like for a split second and we just watched it in amazement that this building was coming down, the second building was coming down. The building was hitting other buildings. This time it was worse. We were just running. This time we ran all the way back as far as we could to the railing. I was damn near ready to jump in the river. I swear to God, I was holding the railing, looking back, as this thing's coming towards us.
was debris almost to
LIEUTENANT JAMES WALSH
THE NORTH TOWER LOOKED LIKE WHEN IT
STARTED TO FALL IT LOOKED LIKE THE TOP FELL MORE TOWARDS THE NORTH
Q. THATS THE WAY IT
LOOKED ON THE TAPE
Captain Karin Deshore
"... SOMEWHERE AROUND THE MIDDLE OF THE
We took the two elderly ladies from the
building with us, now 12 or so, going out of the building and to get down
toward the water. So here these
explosions are getting bigger and louder and I told everybody if this building
totally explodes, I’m going in the water. Just then, a small
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER THOMAS FlTZPATRlCK FDNY
We looked up at the building straight up, we were that close. All we saw was a puff of smoke coming from about 2 thirds of the way up. Some people thought it was an explosion. My initial reaction was that this was exactly the way it looks when they show you those implosions on TV. I don't think I remember that. I remember seeing, it looked like sparkling around one specific layer of the building. I assume now that that was either windows starting to collapse like tinsel or something. Then the building started to come down. II would have to say for three or four seconds anyway, maybe longer. I was just watching. It was interesting to watch, but the thing that woke everybody up was the cloud of black material. The black cloud was coming down faster than the building, so whatever was coming down was going to
hit the street and it was pretty far out. You knew it wasn't coming right down. Judging from where people were jumping before that, this cloud was out much further.
James Ippolito FDNY
It looked like some kind of maybe a command
post or something was there. I Started to walk towards
it, and that's when the building came down. I heard an explosion and turned around and the building was coming
down. At that point, we dropped
everything we had. We started to run north on
WTC1 Ground level explosion before it fell
Police Lieutenant Michael Murphy Handwritten report. Pages 3&4 (pa-police-reports01.pdf pages 10-11) http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=38371
“…We came upon the NYPD Chief of Detectives with a couple of his men. They appeared to be appraising the situation. We proceeded past them and were within a block of WTC when a couple of loud explosions occurred in front of us.”
FIREFIGHTER KEVIN MURRAY
We got up to the fifth floor and there was severe damage. The ceilings had come down, some walls had caved in . Major sprinkler damage. Then we went to the sixth floor and did the same t h i n g . Same sort of damage up there .
The south tower had collapsed. Now, it shook us and knocked a couple of guys down. Everybody ran to the stairwell.
We basically did an evacuation at that point and we started trying to get the people to keep going down the stairs.
When the tower started -- there was a big explosion that I heard and someone screamed that it was coming down and I looked away and I saw all the windows domino -- you know, dominoeing up and then come down.
WHEN WE MADE IT INTO THE LOBBY THERE
WAS DEBRIS FALLING FROM THE BUILDING GUYS WERE TRYING TO
FIREFIGHTER ROY CHELSEN -firefighters leaving WTC1 find lobby blasted
we proceeded in Tower 1. I think the revolving doors were kind of busted up, so I think we went through a window.
We made our way up to 29 or 30. We were again resting again. All of a sudden just -- I don't know if the sequence is right, but everything went black, and all the power went out. There was just this rumbling. I felt like it went on forever. Someone came down and tell us to evacuate. From there it was just asses and elbows. We all just started running. I didn't even have my mask on anymore. We just dropped everything. Actually between 20 and 30.
We got down to the lobby. The lobby is like gone.
LT. THOMAS PIAMBINO FDNY
the north tower started to fall, and my perception was that when I looked back at the tower as it was starting to come down -- I was booking -- was that there was -- I thought it exploded, It looked to me like an explosion, and you could feel the -- you could feel it coming, and they were still running away from it.
LIEUTENANT GREGG HANSSON
we took another rest at the 27th f loor. I questioned t h e guy from t h e 90th floor , who said it was a plane. That ' s when I first realized that we had a plane up t h e r e . He said there was a fireball on the 90th f loor and a lot of smoke on the 90th floor.
He stated to me that he believed everyone from the 90th floor had gotten out.
The conditions in the stairway were absolutely clear. There was no smoke whatsoever. Then we continued our way up again, eventually reaching the 35th floor .
Then I heard a mayday given over the command channel to evacuate the building. A couple people, civilians , indicated to me that there was an elevator that was working at this time.
We were outside the building. Then a large explosion took place. In my estimation now that was the tower coming down, but at that time I did not know what that was. I thought some type of bomb had gone off. We were all hit with debris. At that point it was a total blackout. You couldn't see anything.
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM GREEN After WTC1 fell thought it was explosion
At that point in time I called
explosion at the
LIEUTENANT JOHN CITARELLA FDNY WTC1 explosion before collapse
I turned, took a couple of steps, and then I heard another explosion, it sounded like. I looked up, and the north tower was starting to come down. So me and Steve started running.
Frank Campagna, FDNY Ladder 11 in
We just kept walking up. As far as we knew, there were no planes or anything coming in. We just knew there was a fire up there. Any other explosions that we felt from inside were maybe extra machinery or something like that. Those were the words that we were getting
Lt. NEIL BROSNAN FDNY WTC1 Explosion in lower level
Q. Did you know what the explosion was? A. No. We never heard through this whole event. I happened to have been there when WTC1 collapsed. I seen that collapse.
A. I went in a good 200 yards, right short of the Path station. Retreated back when I seen 238 coming in the hallway I had just come in. I had just hooked up with 238 at the elevator bank.
They observed the explosion and the hallway disappeared. They thought the hallway blew up where I had come from. They thought they seen debris coming down and said, “The Lieutenant’s dead.” My senior guy regroups the company. He yells out, “Regroup”. They’re under light debris also.
John Jonas FDNY: WTC1 collapse survivor “we were hearing explosions
LIEUTENANT GLEN ROHAN
We got approximately to Vesey, a little further past Vesey, I would say about 200 feet from the tower, when we heard a noise. I wouldn't even call it an explosion, but it was enough to make you look up.
When we looked up, you could see things coming off the sides of the building of what was then number One World Trade Center. We looked at
it for probably about five seconds before I realized that this building is coming down.
(firefighter helped get survivors of WTC1 collapse out)
FIREFIGHTER HOWIE SCOTT
The second one just seemed like it just opened up all over the place.
BATTALION CHIEF THOMAS VALLEBUONA
LIEUTENANT WILLIAM WALL FDNY
AT THAT TIME WE HEARD AN EXPLOSION WE LOOKED UP
FIREFIGHTER KEVIN QUINN
Looking up at the towers and it looked like it just basically imploded. Then I guess the cloud came right at us and we got zero visibility, we couldn't breathe.
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM GREEN
LIEUTENANT Ohagan REPORTED IN TO THE
FIREFIGHTER GERARD GORMAN
in WTC1 when WTC2 fell
It was like an earthquake. It was like worse and worse. It got real dark. I remember diving into the core of the building by the elevators. I fucking forgot my mask, dove in, just diving. It was shaking and then the lights went out and it got shitty in there. We all made it back in
the stairway, all got out -- I mean, our officer, Lieutenant Bohack, said that's it, we're going out. That's it, we're out of here.
WE ACTUALLY THOUGHT IT WAS ANOTHER PLANE THATS RIGHT THATS WHENTHE OTHER
BUILDING CAME DOWN BECAUSE
WE HEARD THE RUMBLE.
Firemen evacuating WTC1, after WTC2 collapsed
Sean Brown damage, then collapse
“The Maydays started coming in to vacate the north tower.
So as we started going down. At that point, we proceeded down. Most of the civilians -- we didn't see any civilians at that point. It was mainly firefighters. Made it down to
the lobby. There were about maybe 30 firefighters that
were with us. Made it to the lobby, and the lobby was like a war zone. All the windows were blown out, and the command post wasn't there. we made it to the corner of West and Vesey when the building came down. That was myself, and Firefighter Tim Marmion
We ended up putting out as many fires as we could from West Broadway and Warren all the way down to West Broadway and Vesey.
Putting out all those fires, in that interim, the second building had come down. I remember hearing a lot of explosions, the street turning completely gray, gray clouds of smoke all over the place. Everybody had stopped what they were doing and ran back up the block.
Firefighter Pete Felluca.
At that point, attention was called upon me to go back
and get -- there was a chief that they pulled out,
so I ran over to grab that chief, and proceeded to move to pull him towards the ambulance. We got him the help he needed.
I have medical training, so I figured I would
do my best to help him out, and put him in the
ambulance. Then the building totally collapsed, and I
would say I was on West and Barclay. The guys from the
company were on West and Vesey.”
P. Ashby -
(blanked out paragraph followed by)
SO THOUGHT SOMEBODY LAUNCHED MISSILE FROM THE
IM TRYING TO
Robert Bohack, Lieutenant FDNY lots blanked out & missile attack reported
After a blanked out paragraph:
19th floor WTC1 - after plane hit WTC2 and before WTC2 fell
AS SOON AS WE
Another 2 blanked paragraphs
WE GO UP TO ABOUT
Q. Was that 7? No. Seven was here. That wasn’t on fire.
Another blank paragraph
WE ENDED UP PUMPING FOR TWO
DAYS. I HEARD THAT THE WATER DEPARTMENT
FIREFIGHTER PETER FALLUCCA File No. 9110388
You heard the explosion and everything, but I saw the big
fire ball. The stuff was coming down across the street. It looked like a meteor came flying across the
street. They said it was the engine. I don't know what it was. It was a big
fireball or something from the plane I guess, came from across the street in
front of our rig, and as we get out of the
rig, there's a cop, city police officer, in the street. He's telling us, "I'm getting out of here. I just saw a rocket." He said he saw it come off the
And we were like, holy -- I'm saying to myself, I didn't even go in yet. They're shooting
rockets. I don't know what we're doing over here, but after I watched it on the news a couple of times, I could see it was a piece of the plane or something flew off the building and made like a -- it looked -- if you didn't see it actually come off the plane, you saw like the stream of smoke coming from one building to the other, but actually came from the tower, and they didn't go the other way, so he swore he saw a rocket, but at the time we thought it was a rocket. We thought -- I thought we were under attack, and we were under attack, naturally, but I thought we were under
attack in the city. You know, I thought guys were in these buildings with rockets shooting at the building, and we made our way in. (it does not appear that the plane engine trajectory would have been confused with something from
Sal D’Agostino FDNY
“And somebody was saying that they were hitting us with
rockets from the
Derek Brogan FDNY WTC1 after WTC2 fell
rubble in 4th floor stairwell & lobby damage & blast
(After WTC2 had collapsed)
As we got back in the stairwell, we didn't know whether we were going up or going down. But the rumbling was so intense that we didn't really know what had happened. We just assumed that our building had been hit by another plane. The officer just looked at all of us and said, "That's it. We're getting out of here. We're done. So we started going down the stairs.
We got to the fourth floor, and the stairwell was filled with rubble. We couldn't go down that stairway anymore. So we went out into the hallway through the fourth floor, and the officer again yelled that we have to look for windows. Maybe we could blow out a window and just get fresh air from a window, whatever it was that was in his mind.
There was no windows in the lobby when we were leaving.
started running up
Do you remember your exact positioning, where exactly it was when you started to run at that point?
A. We were just beyond the Verizon building, which I think the Verizon
building is the north side of
James Drury (Assistant Commissioner FDNY) WTC1 explosions and bombs?
"I came close to arriving at the corner of Vesey and West again where we started to hear the second roar. That was the north tower now coming down. I should say that people in the street and myself included thought that the roar was so loud that the explosive - bombs were going off inside the building.
As I said I thought the terrorists planted explosives somewhere in the building. That's how loud it was, crackling explosive, a wall.”
LIEUTENANT MICHAEL CAHILL FDNY WTC1, boom,boom,boom,boom
That's when the second collapse started to come down. All kinds of noise. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, very loud. Nobody knew what it was. Everybody stopped when we heard it. Everybody took it very seriously when the firefighters started running.
The north tower came down, and I got hit with some debris. I remember getting banged up to the divider by the rig which was in the street. I made my way underneath the scaffolding again and just tried to outlast the collapse, which I thought was just another bomb going off.
CHIEF ALBERT TURI FDNY
In the construction of
And as my eyes traveled up the building, and I was looking at the south tower, somewhere about halfway up, my initial reaction was there was a secondary explosion, and the entire floor area, a ring right around the building blew out. And as my eyes traveled further up the building, I realized that this building was collapsing and I turned around and most everybody was ahead of me running for the garage,
WTC1 debris pile & survivors
Q. Describe the debris
you saw when you finally got down to
A. I guess the debris
was steel and dust. Steel and dust, in some spots two stories
high, in most spots ten feet high covering the entire
F o r t u n a t e l y f o r f i v e or s i x of our people, I was wrong and people were rescued out of a s t a i r w e l l sometime l a t e r ., Ladder 6 and t h e 11th B a t t a l i o n , Richie P i c c i o t t o , Jay Jonas.
Albert Barry FDNY damage to lobby area of WTC1 before collapse
We proceeded to the north tower and entered the lobby area through a broken window. From there we made it to about the 20th floor when we heard a radio signal for a mayday to remove ourselves from there, the building was in eminent collapse. Our lieutenant said there's no need
for us to be in here, let's make our way out the way we came in, and that's what we did. Once we came out the window, there was debris all over the place. We took a few steps out, turned around, and the north tower was coming down.
CAPTAIN JOHN KEVIN CULLEY lobby of WTC1 before 2nd plane hit
In the lobby of tower 1, all the usual people, the 1st Division, 1st Battalion, reporting in units, I can't remember specifically, the Fire Safety Director, who I recognized, FBI agents, people on the staff, building staff, particularly people that were involved with helping us read the elevator panels. Our first thought, normal high-rise operation is you want to get people up to the floors, the fire floors. That's normally done on elevators and we had a problem. There were no elevators in operation. What made it more of a problem is that all those elevators were shut down and there were people in them. So we were actually -- once I had staff that could operate the panel, they could speak to each individual elevator, ask how many people are in the elevator, what floor they were on.
Q. Can you describe what you visually were seeing around, like outside or on the concourse? A. On the concourse? I don't remember on the concourse. In the lobby? As I said, the usual people that would show up. Q. Was there a lot of debris falling at the time?
Once the plane hit, there was no debris, or it fell. What we did have coming out of the building were people. Also, I'd note that, once I arrived at the fire command station, I was told by someone who had actually witnessed the plane hitting it that it was indeed a plane
LIEUTENANT JAMES WALSH FDNY
IN THE CENTER OF THESE TWO ELEVATOR
SHAFTS WOULD BE ELEVATORS THAT GO TO THE
LOWER FLOORS. THEY WERE BLOWN OFF THE
HINGES. THAT’S WHERE THE SERVICE
ELEVATOR WAS ALSO. Q. WERE THESE
ELEVATORS THAT WENT TO THE UPPER FLOORS? THEY WERENT
NO ID SAY THAT THEY
WENT THROUGH FLOORS 30
WTC1 Condition before collapse
WAS THERE ANY INDICATION BEFORE IT WAS COMING DOWN? DID
ANYTHING? A. NO I DIDN’T. THERE WAS NO INDICATION THAT IT WAS GOING TO COLLAPSE BEFORE IT ACTUALLY STARTED COLLAPSING. NO I BELIEVE THE HOLE THAT HAD SEEN IN THE WORLD TRADE CENTER DONT KNOW IF SAID THIS INITIALLY BUT THE HOLE SEEMED ABOUT THREE STORIES HIGH THAT THIS PLANE HAD MADE A THREE STORY HOLE IN THE WORLD TRADE CENTER.
TELL WHAT WAS ON THE SOUTH
THERE WAS NEVER ANY SMOKE IN THE BUILDING NEVER
INCURRED ANY SMOKE IN TOWER
LIEUTENANT JAMES WALSH
THE NORTH TOWER LOOKED LIKE WHEN IT
STARTED TO FALL IT LOOKED LIKE THE TOP FELL MORE TOWARDS THE NORTH
Q. THATS THE WAY IT
LOOKED ON THE TAPE
FIREFIGHTER THOMAS TURILLI
The elevator came back down, 13 got on and said, listen, if you guys want the elevator, we're not coming back with it. You've got to send somebody up. The officer actually said for me to give my radio to a senior guy there, Louie Cacchioli, and he took the radio off of me and he went up
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM GREEN
WE TRIED TO MAKE THE 44TH FLOOR. THERE WAS REPORT OF AN ELEVATOR ON THE 44TH FLOOR THAT WENT INTO THE 60S
Captain James Fody WTC1
Was there any fire in the elevator shafts? Did you notice the elevator to any extent?
A. I heard reports that there was one elevator working that some guys used. There were no elevators by the time we got there.
I didn't see fire in the elevator shafts. There was a good deal of soot, like a white soot all through the lobby. A couple of the doors of the elevators were buckled, so there was some kind of explosion or fire in there. (perhaps not, some were trapped & force used to get them out)
Then as we were starting to treat some more patients , we heard rumbling. We thought maybe it was debris falling from the tower. You look up and you see the flame of the plane hitting the second building. When you see t h e footage on TV, you see it fly in one side and the fire ball shot out through the other side . We actually saw the fire ball shot out from the north side of that building .
That's when we heard the rumbling of the tower starting to collapse and we started to get people inside the church because you saw the cloud of the smoke and the soot that was kicked up when the tower fell.
WE WALKED BACK TOWARDS WHAT SAYS 4 WORLD FINANCIAL
I started taking my equipment out and all of a sudden I heard this sound. It sounded like a jet, a high, whistling sound. There was like a rumble behind it. I heard people screaming. All of a sudden, the firemen that were behind me were throwing their hose packs down. When I came out of the back of the truck, I looked up and I saw
the second tower coming down.
When the building came down, it had to be like a ten-story dust cloud or storm that came after us, and you didn't know what the hell was in there. All you saw was papers and you could see like the light in the papers. You didn't know if it was glass or whatever.
We pulled the equipment out of the LSU truck, because it had like two inches of dust inside, the multi-laters were covered with dust.
I HEARD THAT ROAR AGAIN. It SOUNDED LIKE A BIG
I started to make my way to the command post when I heard that horrible sound again, you know, that whining screeching jet engine.
FIREFIGHTER GEORGE KOZLOWSKI
AS WE WERE WALKING, WE HEARD WE
THOUGHT IT WAS ANOTHER PLANE COMING. IT WAS LIKE BIG SHHHHH A THOUSAND TIMES LOUDER THAN
THAT. IT SOUNDED LIKE A MISSILE COMING
FIREFIGHTER MICHAEL HAZEL
When I looked up and I saw the antenna on the second tower coming straight, just like falling straight into the building,
That whole side of the West Side Highway was just pretty much just demolished. That's where the walkways were.
We went down there and there were numerous rigs burning, cars burning. It looked like something out of a war movie.
Brian Becker, FDNY Engine 28, Group 22.
WTC1 lobby explosion
We saw a lot of debris in the street as we came up, and I was concerned. I could see what seemed t o be remains of bodies in the street . Our chauffer ended up hooking up on Barclay and West Broadway. That's just north of 7 World Trade Center, which it all interconnected, we think.
So we moved into 1 World Trade Center from that northern pedestrian overpass, from underneath that , so we took t h e shortest route , and I think we just went in a window. I think the glass was blown out there .
I ' d say we were i n t h e 30th or 31st, 32nd Floor, or something like that , and a few of the guys were lying wiped out on t h e floor , you know, taking a break with their masks off and lying in the hallway when t h e r e was a very loud roaring sound and a very loud explosion, and I had a momentary concern t h a t our building was collapsing.
The Chief said "Everybody, we are -- all Fire Department personnel are out of the building. We are getting out. Q. Did you have an idea what time you guys started to descend down? A. I would say it was like one minute after the first building collapsed, the first collapse of the other building . Q. So then? A. Yes.
When we got to the lobby, there was total devastation then . When we went in , it was blasted apart , and there was broken glass everywhere. All the windows were out, we were in the northwest corner of the building, so we were diagonally separated a hundred percent from the first collapsed building. We were on the opposite corner -- we were the most sheltered part.
We saw an arrest being made of some Arab-looking type
guy. I think he had a blue uniform type
like he was being arrested by a Port Authority type policeman. That's my impression. I remember them putting cuffs on him.
The collapse hadn't begun, but it
was not a fire any more up there. It
was like -- it was like that -- like smoke
explosion on a tremendous scale going on up there. A f t e r t h e -- a f t e r t h e collapse
, we were about 50 t o a hundred yards north of the pedestrian walkway,
and t h e c o l l a p s e was occurring, and then t h
e black cloud j u s t came roaring a t us.
All the rubble was on
We were in World Trade Center 1. It was a tremendous explosion and tremendous shaking of our building. We thought it was our building maybe collapsed, there was a collapse above us occurring. That was our
experience when the other building collapsed.
FIREFIGHTER PAUL HYLAND elevators working in WTC1
We went in, busted through one of the windows, opened up, made like a door. The maintenance guy said I think the elevators are working, or it was the Chief said it. The Chief went around and says take a look at some of the elevators. I think we had a
maintenance guy with us at the time. He said these low-rise are working, it will get you up to 16. So we went up to 16, which was great because, walking 16 flights, we wouldn't be able to operate.
Now I'm about 20 to 25 feet from the windows and the building starts to shake, and I look out and I'm just seeing all the
steel from the south tower coming down right in front of my face, just all the steel, I mean, everything.
Then someone gave a Mayday to get out of the building. So it took us quite a bit of time to hit the lobby and it was just destroyed. I mean, it looked like -- it wasn't the same lobby 15 minutes ago. It was just completely gone, every window was shattered, all the ceiling tile, the elevator banks had let go it seemed, the floor was all crushed down.
LIEUTENANT WAYNE MERA FDNY elevators working at WTC1
We were walking up Vesey
and we saw parts of the plane on the ground still burning. So we turn down onto
FIREFIGHTER HUGH METTHAM
THE SCENE IN THE LOBBY
FIREFIGHTER KEITH MURPHY FDNY
WE CAME INTO THE LOBBY
SOMEONE SAID AN ELEVATOR WHEN THE
SO WE PROCEEDED
WE DIDNT GO BACK INTO THE MARRIOTT
WHERE WE HAD COME OUT WE KIND OF WE BASICALLY MADE LIKE TURN AROUND THAT
ELEVATOR BANK THAT I DESCRIBED WE
Michael Beehler, FDNY WTC1 lobby devastated
We made it down to Vesey
and on to
A Chief come over the radio. Anybody in the north tower get out now.
When we got down to the lobby I just remember seeing all the windows in the north tower on the lobby floor blown out and there was like dust and debris everywhere
FIREFIGHTER PETER FALLUCCA File No. 9110388
Every window in the place on the bottom floor was broken. When we first got there, just the windows where we went in there were broken, but now the windows in the back of the lobby were -- there wasn't a window in the bottom of the lobby,
FIREFIGHTER TIERNACH CASSIDY
In the rubble of WTC1: some firemen in the building survived the collapse
Q. There guys were down in the big hole? Where were these guys? A. The fourth Floor of the north tower when it came down. HOW THEY SURVIVED I HAVE NO IDEA. I COULDNT BELIEVE IT.
FIREFIGHTER TIMOTHY MARMION
WTC1 after WTC2 fell(another survivor of the collapse):
I met a couple of the other firemen that were at the bottom of the stairs waiting there for me. As far as I know, there was no smoke condition in the lobby at that time. There were people over there (at the lobby command center). Eventually our officer who had lagged behind somewhat, he told us that he climbed out of the building(after the collapse). He was in that area with 6 Truck and that woman.
LIEUTENANT JAMES MCGLYNN survivor of WTC1 collapse
WE YELLED ON THE FOURTH FLOOR I SAID OKAY HE MUST HAVE KEPT GOING. AT THAT POINT WE TURNED AROUND
WHEN WE CAME OUT RIGHT HERE THERE WAS THIS GULLY IT WENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS REMEMBER WHEN WE FINALLY CAME OUT WE HAD TO
Conclusion blanked out.
Captain John Jonas FDNY
The Miracle of Ladder Company 6
John Jonas FDNY: “And we were hearing explosions
Saving civilian on 7th floor of WTC1 after it fell:
We hooked up with a guy from Rescue 5 and a guy from Rescue 2 and we helped rescue one civilian who was trapped on the 6th floor and pulled him down there from – So we had to climb up and this guy is trapped at probably about the 7th or 8th floor and he was just sitting on a piece of concrete when the whole building came down. I had shimmied out like a piece of conduit and he lowered him to me and I pulled him over, because we were over a big hole, I think it was the north tower.
FIREFIGHTER KIRK LONG major damage to Port Authority area- 22 floor
We walked through the main doors. We made it up to the 22nd floor.
We did locate somebody at the end of the hall, but everything was blown
out. The ceiling had fallen. The drop ceiling had blown to the floor. Some of the walls were blown out. So Andy and I had crawled down the
hallway to get to the Port Authority command post. After that we went back to the members, and when the building started to shake. I don't
remember anybody telling us to get out, but there was a Port Authority person with us and I believe he had orders to leave.
I get outside, still helping people out, still not knowing the south tower had gone down. We get outside, help some old man out. We
FIREFIGHTER MICHAEL YAREMBINSKY Port Authority Area
WHEN YOU LOOKED DOWN
Fireman Louie Cacchioli - FDNY
”I was taking firefighters up in the elevator to the 24th floor to get in position to evacuate workers. On the last trip up a bomb went off. We think there was bombs set in the building.” http://www.prisonplanet.com/louie_cacchioli.html
FIREFIGHTER ARTHUR RICCIO
Battalion 11, I don't know who it was, he came around and said,
"You know what, this elevator here goes to 16. So we took it, went to 16. We walked up and got to 21. 21 was locked. We went back down to 21, forced the door, we go in. Nobody was in there. It was a little hazy. The bathrooms were charred.
When we got down to the lobby, it was like a bomb hit it. I looked around and said, oh, my God, every window is busted.
FIRE PATROLMAN PAUL CURRAN
(car fires after WTC1 fell)
At that time I went back to the north tower again, and they were stretching a line. A lot of car fires erupted. All of a sudden cars were blowing up everywhere. I went back and I helped a guy stretch
a line. The guy was all by himself. I helped him stretch a line and started putting water on the car fires. I remember distinctly walking
past -- I saw 118 Truck. 118 Truck was parked
Paul Bessler FDNY some radios were working in WTC1
22nd floor of WTC1 after 2nd tower collapsed. Unlike reported, the radios were working in WTC1. Several of the firemen said so in their statements. Perhaps some radios weren’t working.
FIREFIGHTER JOHN DRUMM FDNY
In WTC1 on 31st floor after WTC2 collapse radio message to evacuate WTC1
After the noise had stopped, there was a transmission on the radio that I had. I was in a position on 39 control that day, so I had a radio so I could hear it myself on my radio. There was a transmission that I'm guessing was repeated about five times: "Imminent collapse, imminent collapse of the north tower. Immediate evacuation." At least five times I heard that.
FIREFIGHTER CHARLES GAFFNEY
WTC1 after WTC2 collapsed
I remember hearing a radio transmission, "Urgent!" I don't know who gave it, but I remember hearing an "Urgent!" that all inside operations were off. Everybody out of the building, and we all started running down the stairs.
FIREFIGHTER ROBERT BYRNE radio was working some
. WTC1 before WTC2 collapsed
Setting up in WTC1, then setting up triage area in WTC7 lobby
At that time radios were working, cell phones we were having a lot of trouble with.
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM GREEN
IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABOUT 30 SECONDS LATER HAD HEARD HANDY TALKY TRANSMISSION BELIEVE IT WAS MAYDAY MAYDAY EVACUATE THE BUILDING EVACUATE THE BUILDING ON CHANNEL 1
File No. 9110373
I went over to his office, which faces the
cash area was and I started the tape and as I
was getting my fire gear ready looking out the window again, when we saw the
second plane crash into the second tower. I left the tape running and I knew it
was not an accident, you know, that this happened. I got
back up towards
took a few pictures as I saw the building start to collapse,
FIREFIGHTER GERARD CASEY WTC2
concourse restaurant & street gone, huge crater after WTC2 fell
We put our gear on, started going moving forward, and that's when we heard the rumbling. Somebody screamed, "The building's coming down." I had one shoulder strap on, I dropped my mask and I turned around and made it to -- I tried to run towards the restaurant to get out.
I didn't get any more than one step and everything just turned black, and I got pulled into a corner in there that was still standing.
I came out. I came out of the crater. The street was gone, the restaurant and everything was gone.
Fire Chief Salvatore Cassano FDNY
There was no debris on that street at all from the first plane. I didn't see jumpers from the south tower. I saw jumpers from the north tower.
CHIEF JOSEPH PFEIFER FDNY
Vesey and West.
I pulled in front of the building. I looked up and I saw no fire coming out, no smoke coming out, which would have been the west side of the building.
We saw there was somewhat of a hole, from our position, certainly, maybe three or four of the stories, three stories I think I said. Again, there was no fire coming out. So, when we got there, there was no fire and on the west side there was no smoke. But there was an obvious hole in the building. I went into the lobby. Q. You were the first highest ranking officer on the scene? A. Correct.
But right before the south tower collapsed, I noticed a lot of people just left the lobby, and I heard we had a crew of all different people,
high-level people in government, everybody was gone, almost like they had information that we didn't have.
PARAMEDIC JOEL PIERCE
I WAS DEFINITELY THERE FOR A LONG TIME. I’M
Firemen statements regarding WTC7
Firemen statements by witnesses to planes and plane debris
WTC2 Survivor Statements by those a plane level or above:
WTC1 Victim statements by those at plane level or above