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By LMBoroLMPark(2,097)

LMB resident John was working in one of the twin towers in New York City the morning of September 11, 2001. During the next few days his story will be posted in the LMBoroLMPark Newsletter. Below is Part 2. Click on LMB RESIDENT SHARES HIS SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 EXPERIENCE Part 1  to read Part 1.

People left the South Tower for safety reasons. If the North Tower collapsed it would effect the South Tower. “Just looking at the North Tower with its huge amount of damage, we knew it could collapse. I don’t think anyone wants to be on the 80th floor if that happened.”
We were on the 44th floor. I thought I shouldn’t hit the elevator. We ran and hit the steps, which was about a third of the way up the stairwell that served our floor. As I entered the stairwell my first thought was “I hope it doesn’t get so crowded and people panic.” People filled the stairs but they were never extremely packed.
It felt like a fire drill. You knew a lot of people had just been killed but you tried to make small talk. In the back of my mind I wondered if we would get the show done, since the reality that we probably wouldn’t return hadn’t set in yet. I recall noticing the odor of jet fuel at some point while going down the stairs. Another thing going on was that women were ditching their high heels on the landings, so you saw lots of not real practical footwear there. One woman behind me that was pretty scared, crying. Perhaps she had been there in 1993. Otherwise things were calm.
When I reached about the 15th floor level someone from the Port Authority called over the loudspeakers “Attention! Attention! There was an accident in building one. Building two is secure. You can return to your offices. I saw one person going up, and I think he was from the Port Authority.” Nobody else turned back.
I think part of the reason I didn’t turn back was that a well-known person hired for security had told Stanley that if something happened in the building, he should get out first---that he could always come back. “Do not listen to the Port Authority,” Stanley was instructed.
John finally reached the mezzanine and moved with others toward an escalator leading to the concourse. “Before I got on the escalator, I stepped out of line for a second to call my girlfriend. If I was going underground, I wanted to call her to explain what was going on, to say I was on my way out,” John said. “But before I could tell her that I was already downstairs the phone cut out.”
Making this call delayed John for 20 seconds.
He reentered the line, took the escalator, and headed east in the concourse, headed towards the first right, so he could head in a direction away from the North Tower.
So he could get onto Liberty Street.
“I was just rounding the corridor to the turn to go south, headed to the door, when the second plane hit the South Towers,” he said. “It sounded like someone up stairs hitting an industrial size dumpster with a sledge hammer. I heard two big explosions. The first explosion was sound of the impact traveling through steel, and the second may have been the sound (of the explosion traveling) through the air or the fireball going up. I and a few others got up against a wall, wondering ‘What was that, did Building One start to fall over?’ I didn’t think it was a second plane, but it was a big enough sound you just wanted to get against something solid. I wanted to pause a moment to see what happened, probably a few seconds.”
Andy was ahead of John in the concourse. When they compared notes a couple of years later, Andy told John his hands were on the door, pushing it open, when he felt the “whoosh” of the plane and saw the fireball reflected in the building across the street. Andy backed into the building.
Return to the LMBoroLMPark Newsletter tomorrow for the third part segment of John’s 911 story.

This Blog Post has been read 20 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Monday, January 01, 2007
View other posts by LMBoroLMPark

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