Skip to comments.What it was like to jump from the World Trade Center on 09-11-01
Posted on 11/01/2001 6:06:29 AM PST by vannrox
I'll pass on the "happy news" from any of the talking heads, I notice they rarely speak of the atrocities of 9/11.
I won't ever forget.
I took my family (kids) to see ground zero this past weekend. I don't want them to ever forget what it looks like and feels like....It's historically essential we always honor those killed that day.
I've seen the pictures of the people jumping, it made me so sad but I think it's important to remember the innocent lives that were murdered so brutally.
You wouldn't have died fighting that day -- you would have died being burned to death at temperatures in the range of 1000-2000 degrees Fahrenheit, if you did not jump. There was nothing or nobody to "fight." They were doomed.
I saw people jumping that morning and am still haunted that I can't even imagine what was so horrible in there that they felt compelled to jump.
When the floor is burning your feet and you're choking on black smoke and the doors to the stairway are locked, you pretty much know that you're screwed. My understanding is that it was quite hideous on the floors just above the impacts and that people knew pretty quickly that they were doomed.
Fighting as in fighting for your life (ie: doing something to at least try to survive), not as in looking for someone to punch.
Of course, he has gotten around to places like:
The people who were on the floors above the impacts were doomed. There was no escape for them. It was jump or be burned alive. Trust me, it was a gruesome and very scary scene -- even on the ground, four very short blocks away, where I was showered with tiny shards of slivers of glass. As numb as I was that morning, the jumpers still really got to me.
For what it is worth I have a strong opinion regarding those people who think some of these photos and threads are for morbid interest. Yes, looking at this - heck, just the knowledge of this all - is unthinkable. It is not comfy to look at or to envision. But it is REAL. It happened. We have to make ourselves look at the things we do not want to see.
I truly feel for your personal witnessing of this terrible event. Actually "terrible" isn't enough. But you know there are no words that can adequately describe these events. And when we feel how awful it is to remember that scene and to now look at these pictures how in the world can we dishonor those right in the middle of it all losing their very lives by shielding ourselves from this horror. I hate to look but I have to. We must always remember this and I know we will.
(PS...I LOVE New York City. I have always wanted to live there. G-d bless you.)
Then you do not understand what I am saying. There is nothing cowardly about being afraid of being burned, that is a natural and normal reaction and it is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is still a fear. Nor do I paint anyone who didn't get out as a coward who didn't fight 'hard enough' to save their life.
It is an undeniable fact however that everyone who decided to jump decided to STOP fighting for their life (I didn't see any makeshift parachutes or gliders and I don't think any of them expected to fly). They gave up all hope of surviving and picked the death that was most acceptable to them, AND IT IS THAT TOTAL GIVING UP OF ALL HOPE THAT I CAN NOT RELATE TO. They were without sufficient faith in themselves/God/chance to try any longer and I can't see myself every getting to that point. Daniel didn't kill himself to avoid being eaten alive by lions.
I know full well that if I was in their place it would have taken a miracle to suvive, and that miracles like that do not happen often, but I would not deny the chance for such a miracle by jumping, especialy if the fire wasn't even on my floor yet. My life will not end with my cooperation (unless it is to save the life of another), and if you are offended that I state I would make a different choice, too bad for you.
I sure would like to hear those tapes. Do you have a link? They had a Port Authority spokesman on Fox a few days ago defending their decision to lock the roof doors to prevent suicides.
I hope what you heard is true but after that press conference I would like to hear the tapes myself.
Warning, graphic description follows.
Have you ever accidentally splashed boiling water (212 degrees) on yourself, or touched with your bare skin the pan you were pulling out of a 350 degree oven?
That's intense, unbearable pain for the few moments it takes to remove your hand from the searing pan, or run cold water over the splash site, and it's *far* less than the heat it takes to actually "singe" anything.
Now imagine that pain over your entire body, unending, like leaving your face pressed up against the inside of a hot oven, as hot air at several hundred degrees rising from the fires blows through the floor you're on and/or out the broken window you're clinging to.
I'd jump too. And I wouldn't have any reason to wait until flames were actually licking my body.
08:48:03 EXPLOSION ON TOP OF WORLD TRADE
08:48:07 PLANE INTO TOP OF BLDG
The date was Sept. 11 and incident No. 0727 was flashing onto the screen before the citywide dispatcher for the Fire Department's Emergency Medical Service in downtown Brooklyn.
The times registered when each call was logged. The codes and abbreviations were the same as for a fender bender or a kitchen fire. MC was a male caller. FC a female caller. STS stood for states, or says.
8:45 AM: Smoke billows from 1 World Trade Center after it is hit by first hijacked jet.
08:50:12 MC STS PLANE JUST FLEW INTO WORL TRADE CENTER---POSS COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE
08:50:22 FC STS WTC BLEW UP
08:50:29 FC STS SME AS ABV
The dispatcher was already sending ambulances to the scene. The screen recorded the arrival of Mario Santoro and Keith Fairben, who would be among the eight emergency medical people listed as missing.
08:50:46 #8027 SANTORO EMT...#8001 FAIRBEN EMT...@01 WORLD TRADE CENTER.
The screen kept flashing summaries of 911 calls received by police operators, at first mostly from people far enough away to immediately register what had happened.
08:52:53 FC STS BIG HOLE IN THE RIGHT SIDE
08:53:28 MC STS SOMEONE FELL OUT OF BUILDING
Then the screen flashed the first calls from inside 1 World Trade Center.
08:56:44 MC STS HE IS ON THE 87 FLR--STS 4 PERSON THERE W HIM--STS THERE IS FIRE
08:56:57 FROM FLR 47 ANON FC STATS BLDG SHAKED AND SMELLS GAS
One caller gave the name Hanley. The list of the missing would include a Christopher Hanley, who had been attending a Risk Water Conference at Windows on the World.
08:57:02 MC HANLEY STS SMOKE ON THE 106 FLR...PEOPLE CANNOT GET DOWN
Other calls came from the floors just below.
08:57:26 PEOPLE SCREAMING IN BACKGROUND--STS CANNOT BREATHE---POSS SMOKE COMING THRU THE DOOR---FLR 103... TRAPPED.
MC LUTNICK STS...SMOKE ON 104 FLR
Lutnick was apparently Gary Lutnick, of the bond trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald. He was the brother of the firm's chairman, Howard Lutnik, who had not yet arrived because he took his son to the first day of school.
08:58:52 CALLER STS ML CAME THR THE WINDOW
08:59:17 MC WILLIAM FRM 86 FLR--CEILING COLLAPSED
The dispatcher continued to send EMTs and paramedics, including two more who would never return, Yamel Merino and Carlos Lillo.
08:59:22 #4124 Merino
08:59:25 #3723 Lillo
The calls kept coming, giving floors and room numbers where even the bravest rescuer could not reach.
09:01:34 MC STS 104 FLR STS THERE ARE 12 PEOPLE STUCK AT LOC
09:01:53 FC STS HER SON AND ANOTHER MALE IS TRAPPED IN ROOM 8617.
09:02:10 FC CALLER STS PEOPLE ARE TRAPPED ON TOP OF BLDG---STS NEED SOMEONE TOP OF LOC
09:03:11 MC STS WANTED TO KNOW HOW TO GET OUT OF BUILDING
More calls came from Cantor Fitzgerald, where 655 employees would go missing. These would include Ian Schneider, 45-year-old father of three.
09:03:12 MC SCHNEIDER STS ON 105 FLR THERE IS SMOKE W A LOT OF PERSONS INSIDE
There was also young Richard Caggiano.
09:04:14 MC CAGGIANO...STS PEOPLE TRAPPED ON THE 104 FLR...IN BACK ROOM...STS 35-40 PEOPLE
By then, the smoke had reached the lower floors.
09:04:24 MC STS TRAPPED ON FLR 22---HOLE IN HALLWAY---SMOKE COMING IN---UNABLE TO BREATHE---MC STATES WILL BREAK WINDOW
The calls kept coming from those above.
09:04:50 MC---STS 103 FLR--CANT GET OUT---FIRE ON FLR...PEOPLE GETTING SICK
A report from police aviation flashed across the dispatcher's screen.
09:05:03 AIR SEA #14 PEOPLE FALLING OUT OF BUILDING
Person after person jumped. The next police report marked the end of hope for those on the uppermost floors.
09:06:41 AIR SEA #14 UNABLE TO LAND ON ROOF
Call after call after call came from the trapped.
09:07:40 CALL FLR 103--ROOM 130---APPROX 30 PEOPLE---LOTS OF SMOKE---FC IS PREGNANT.
Eleven seconds later, an official notification flashed on the screen.
9:10 AM: Fire and debris explode from the second tower.
09:07:51 SECOND PLANE HIT THE SECOND BUILDING...UNK EXTENT OF INJ
The calls kept coming from the first building.
09:08:02 FC SCREAMING
09:08:15 FC STS WORLD TRADE ON FIRE---STS FIRE DEPARTMENT NEEDED TO PUT OUT FIRE
09:09:14 MC STS HE'S IN THE OFFICE WITH 40 TO 60 PEOPLE---UNSURE WHICH WAY TO GO
Now, the first calls came from the second building
09:09:21 MC STS 2WTC---PEOPLE ARE JUMPING OUT THE SIDE OF A LRG HOLE---POSS NO ONE CATCHING THEM
The towers were now twins in terror.
09:07:25 MC STS DIFF BREATHING AT LOC
09:09:43 ON FLR 104--MC STS HIS WIFE IS ON THE 91 FL---STS STAIRS ARE ALL BLOCKED---STS WORRIED ABOUT HIS WIFE
09:08:22 STUCK OCCP ELEV ON 104 FLR---PEOPLE IN ELEV
09:11:30 FC STS POSS FEM IN WHEEL CHAIR ON 68TH FL...POSS ALONE
09:11:55 FC STS SON IS IN WORLD TRADE CENTER--STS IN RM 8617 FLOOR 86
09:12:18 MC STS ON 106 FLR ABOUT 100 PEOPLE IN ROOM---NEED DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO STAY ALIVE
The call summaries were interspersed with with notations of arriving ambulances and police reports of airport shutdowns, bridge closures and evacuations of public buildings.
09:13:52 100 FL FC UNABLE TO ID EXACT LOCATION NEEDS HELP
09:14:25 1 PP AND GRACIE MANSION BEEN EVACUATED
09:14:52 FC STS 100 FL---UNABLE TO SPEAK
09:15:34 SEVERAL JUMPERS FROM THE WINDOW AT 1 WORLD TRADE CENTER
09:16:06 HAVE UN BUILDING EVACUATED FORTHWITH
09:16:55 ALL MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS---TO BE EVACUATED
09:17:20 MC STS HE CAN'T GET OUT---1 WORLD TRADE CENTER
09:17:39 MC STS ON 105 FLR...STAIRS COLLAPSE
09:19:16 EMPIRE STATE BUILDING IS BEING EVACUATED
09:19:20 120 PEOPLE TRAPPED ON 106TH FL A LOT OF SMOKE NOT SEEING FIRE...CAN'T GO DOWN OR UP THE STAIRS
The screen then reported a desperate scramble to nowhere.
09:19:58 EVACUATION TO THE TOP FLR OF WORLD TRADE CENTER
The calls scrolled on and on.
09:21:31 FC STS THEY ARE IN STAIRWAY C...ON 82ND FLR...STS DRS ARE LOCKED AT LOC...STS NEED SOMEONE TO OPEN DOOR
09:23:05 MC STS HES ON 84 FLR---NUMBER 2 TOWER---CAN'T BREATHE---CALLER DISCONNECTED.
09:23:28 FC STS SHE SAW PERSON IN THE BUILDING. THE PERSON IS WAVING
09:24:54 MC STS STAIRWAY COLLASPE ON 105 FLR
09:25:28 MC...STS TRAPPED IN ROOM ON 103 FLR...STS DOORS ARE HOT
09:27:33 FC DIANA STS HUSBAND FRIEND TONY IS STILL ALIVE ON THE 101 FLR
09:28:42 FC STS SOMEONE WAVING A WHT FLAG 1ST BLDG THAT WAS HIT---10 FLR DOWN FRM THE TOP
09:32:14 2 WORLD TRADE---105 FLR---PEOPLE TRAPPED---OPEN ROOF TO GAIN ACCESS.
09:36:33 FC STS THEY ARE STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR...STS THEY ARE DYING.
The screen reported the approach of an airplane.
09:37:35 AIRCRAFT IS MILITARY
09:38:52 MC COSGROVE STS CALLED BEFORE STS HE NEEDS HELP STS CANT FIND STAIRCASE TO GET OUT OF LOC STS PEOPLE NEED HELP ON 105 FLR
09:39:25 MILITARY AIRCRAFT--- ENFORCING NO FLY ZONE
09:40:45 MC STS PEOPLE PASSING OUT
09:42:04 PEOPLE STILL JUMPING OFF THE TOWER
09:39:40 FC MELISSA STS FLR VERY HOT NO DOOR STS SHE'S GOING (TO) DIE...STILL ON PHONE...WANT TO CALL MOTHER
More people trapped, more people jumping, and then a first hint of what was to come.
09:47:15 FC STS 2 WORLD TRADE CENTER---FLR 105---STS FLOOR UNDERNEATH HER ---COLLAPSE
The screen scrolled on.
09:47:23 ML WAVING JACKET...ML JUST JUMPED
09:49:21 1 WORLD TRADE CTR...20 PEOPLE ON THE TOP WAVING...THEY ARE ALIVE PLEASE SEND HELP
09:54:36 ANOTHER CALL CAN HEAR PEOPLE CRYING...NO VOICE CONTACT
Then came another hint.
09:55:28 2 WTC---106 FLR---105 FLR CRUMBLING
The screen kept scrolling, mixing calls with official reports.
09:54:21 MC STS ON 93 FLR 30 PEOPLE IN THE ROOM---STS SMOKE IS GETTING WORSE
09:56:22 PENTAGON IN WASHINGTON HAS BEEN STRUCK BY AIRPLANE
A Rumbling Roar
One woman called from Duane St., saying she had seen the planes hit and noticed white particles that had been falling along with the jumpers.
O9:59:03 FC CONCERN ABOUT RESPIRATORY EFFECTS OF THOSE PARTICLES
10:00:22 ANY UNIFORM PERSONNEL TO BATTERY PARK CITY...ELECTION DETAIL UNITS RESPONDING.
10:00:33 MC STS SON CALLED---ON FLR 93---STS IN THE SECOND TOWER THAT WAS HIT---STS SMOKE IS GETTING WORSE
Twelve seconds later there was a rumbling roar.
10:00 AM: The World Trade Center has collapsed.
10:00:45 WORLD TRADE CENTER HAS COLLAPSED.
All calls from the south tower suddenly ceased with a notation.
A message came from an EMS unit.
10:07:54 TRAPPED BUILDING FELL ON THEM
A police report flashed on the screen.
10:10:31 NUMEROUS (OFFICERS) IN BLDG THAT JUST COLLAPSED--PERSONNEL TRAPPED IN BASEMENT...PEOPLE IN THE RUBBLE
The calls from the north tower continued; people trapped, people jumping.
10:12:35 MC STS HE CAN BARELY BREATHE...105TH FLR
The sister of a former Xavier High School football star called.
Paramedics rush an injured woman from the scene.
10:16:02 FC STS HER BROTHER IS IN THE WORLD TRADE CENTER 104 FLR---STS NO ONE HAS COME FOR HIM YET
Then, came a series of warnings.
10:26:34 DOES APPEAR THAT TOP OF TOWER POSS LEANING AT THIS TIME---AIR SEA #14---IS BUCKLING---LEANING TO SW
10:29:25 NORTH TOWER IS LEANING
10:31:18 N TOWER POSS GETTING READY TO FALL
10:32:56 NORTH TOWER COLLAPSING
10:33:29 SECOND BUILDING CAME DOWN
10:33:42 ENTIRE TOWER DOWN
The calls from the second tower ceased with another rumbling roar. Incident No. 0727 ended with reports of the surviving EMS teams aiding the few survivors of what had first flashed on the screen just like a kitchen