moments of trade center victims
May, 2002, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
About half the victims died in the north tower
Hundreds of doomed workers inside the World Trade
Center spent their last moments saying goodbye -
many in a calm manner - to friends and relatives
outside before the twin towers collapsed, it has
In the first detailed picture of what went on
inside the skyscrapers after they were hit by
hijacked planes on 11 September, the New York
Times reveals how some victims waited in vain for
help while others made their escape.
It looks like a plane struck... it's horrible
Sean Rooney, south tower
The insight came from accounts from survivors and
relatives and friends of those who died, as well
as e-mails and phone calls made from victims
inside the towers.
More than 2,800 people perished in the attack,
nearly half of them above the 91st floor of the
north tower, just below the point of impact, the
About 600 civilians died in the south tower near
where the second plane struck, the Times said.
A picture of panic and confusion in the north
tower after the first plane hit at 0846 local time
emerges from accounts of those trapped inside.
On the 92nd floor, worker Damian Meehan rang his
brother Eugene, a firefighter.
There was confusion and panic after the attack
"It's really bad in here, the elevators are
gone," he told him.
Another worker, Rajesh Mirpuri, rang his boss,
Peter Lee, telling him he could not see more than
10 feet (three metres) in front of him.
Twenty minutes after the north tower was struck,
Christine Olender, a worker in the Windows on the
World restaurant, called her general manager's
home, saying: "The ceilings are falling, the
floors are buckling."
Another restaurant worker, Ivhan Luis Carpio, left
a message on his cousin's answer machine saying:
"I can't go anywhere because they told us not
to move. I have to wait for the
Some workers did not know what had happened.
Carrie Tillman, whose grand-daughter Veronique
Bowers died in north tower, said her
grand-daughter kept telling her the building had
been hit by an ambulance.
"She was so confused," said Ms Tillman.
South tower spectators
In the south tower, many workers watched the
tragedy unfolding in the neighbouring tower,
unaware they too would be hit 17 minutes later.
One man went berserk, screaming
Linda Thorpe, victim's widow
Sean Rooney left a message on his wife's
voicemail, saying: "There has been an
explosion in World Trade One - that's the other
building. It looks like a plane struck it. It's on
fire at about the 90th floor. And it's, it's -
it's horrible. Bye."
Survivor Stanley Praimnath was on the telephone
when he saw United Airlines Flight 175 hurtle
He said he could make out a red stripe on the
plane's fuselage as the aircraft grew larger
before he flung himself under his desk.
Linda Thorpe, whose husband Eric called from the
upper floors of the south tower, recalled what she
heard in the background.
"Someone asks: 'Where is the fire
extinguisher?' Someone else says: 'It already got
thrown out the window.'
"One man went berserk, screaming... I heard
another person soothing him, saying: 'It's OK,
it'll be OK'," she said.
The south tower collapsed about an hour after it
was hit, while the north tower fell after nearly
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