FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM QUICK
When I started to run back, all of a sudden I heard the rumble. Now all of a sudden I see people running towards me. I said all right, maybe part of the plane fell off in the building or a section. I had no idea that the whole building was coming down.
When I got in front of the Millennium Hotel, all of a sudden I had my back to the towers. All of a sudden I heard the rumble again. This time, I figured, I just started running up the steps of the Millennium Hotel.
Early morning, about , I was parked down at Church and Barclay, regular normal routine, getting our breakfast. While inside the deli a few minutes later, there was a large explosion. We went outside, the building shook we were in, looked up and we saw the top half of the
Q. This is the first building collapsing?
A. Right. There was an explosion and after we started running, I was able to make it to Chambers and West, where I only saw one EMT, EMT Vega.
EMT GREGG BRADY
At that time, as they were speaking we heard a loud rumble and we look up and we saw that the south tower was coming down.
We were standing underneath and Captain Stone was speaking again. We heard -- I heard 3 loud explosions. I look up and the north tower is coming down now, 1 World Trade Center.
They were talking about what was going on. At that time, when I heard the 3 loud explosions, I started running west on
FIREFIGHTER DANIEL LYNCH
Just as we got the masks and were trying to figure out what we were going to do next as far as head in what direction, we started to hear a rumble that was about a thousand times more intense than the sound of the subway that runs underneath the ground, but something similar to that. Like I said, a thousand times more intense. With that, somebody came running around the corner and I always make the comment that I don't think his feet were touching the ground. To me I would assume it was a police officer. He had a badge around his neck. He was holding a handkerchief over his mouth and he was saying run run run, the building is coming down.
Q. Anything else you would like to add to it, just --
A. The only thing it's something that I'm sure many people have said and I just recall that those first -- those first minutes from the time that sound started, the rumbling started to occur and the dust started to fall and then stopped to get gear and equipment from the fire truck and then continue down to West Street and getting there and seeing the crushed fire trucks, crushed cars, vehicles on fire. It was like a movie set.
EMT MALA HARRILAL
Q. Initially when you were there and the first building came down and you ran and all these events took place, then somewhere in that time frame like an hour later, the second building –
A. The second building came down.
Q. But you weren't involved with that part, because you were already out of the area, you were by the boat loading people?
A. Right, because we heard the explosion. We wasn't there.
A. It was just like -- I think the second building, I could be wrong, but the second building that fell crumbled. It's the first building that fell. It actually came down, so -- I really didn't witness the second building at all.
EMT LAURA SIEBUHR
I remember just hearing a very low hum, I guess because I was focused on what I was doing with the patients. But I do remember hearing a very low hum in the background, which people will probably tell you different, but this is what I heard; and then just a massive explosion, and that was loud, because I was standing right underneath it when the second plane had hit.
Still I didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t know it was a plane. I just thought it was an explosion from the other tower. I didn’t know a plane had hit.
So I started walking back. The next thing that I know, I was just about there, and a firefighter, which I really wish I knew who it was. I have no idea who this person was, but a firefighter started running and he said – this is another one he actually grabbed my arm. He said, “Oh, my God, Honey, run.” I looked up, and it looked like the tower was leaning. I was almost underneath it, so it actually looked like it was leaning. So you didn’t know which way to run. You just saw a lot of firefighters and police and
CAPTAIN HOWARD SICKLES
We heard a rumbling. We thought it was another plane. We looked up, and you actually saw the towers just starting to roll down at you. You saw the building portions coming down. I stood there and couldn’t move. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at.
You just heard a rumbling and you heard things, and it got very black.
EMT JEFFREY WARNER
ASSISTANT CHIEF FIRE MARSHAL RICHARD MCCAHEY
I don’t know what came or how much we got until somebody – I heard a roar and somebody said, whatever, it’s collapsing, it’s going and everybody started running.
We were looking up at the thing like it was normal stuff. I heard that roar again. Sounded like a big jet plane and my back was facing. I was talking to the Commisioner, and I could see the look on his face. I turned around and all I saw was that mushroom coming down.
CAPTAIN KARIN DESHORE
I asked at that time – everybody else was with me still and I kept pushing them back and back and back, because I said what is this, a subway at the end of the overpass, because there is fire coming out of the ground. I didn’t realise that that was a car already on fire over there.
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 with an airplane. It was the worst sound of a rolling sound, not a thunder. I can’t explain it, what it was. All I know is – and a force started to come hit me in my back. I can’t explain it. You had to be there. All I know is I had to run because I thought there was an explosion. I ran about 10, 12 feet up this little grassy hill and by then this force and this sound caught up with me already. I threw myself behind the last support column of the pedestrian overpass. It became pitch dark. The sound got worse, the force just kept passing me. I was unaware what was happening. I thought it was just a major explosion. I didn’t know the building was collapsing.
I can’t tell you how long it was before it died down. I just felt like the darkness the loneliness and being alone was the worst thing I ever experienced in my life and not being able to breathe. There was no air. Whatever this explosion was simply sucked all the oxygen out of the air. You couldn’t breathe and the feeling of suffocation, I can’t explain no further then that.
Somewhere around the middle of the
So here these explosions are getting bigger and louder and I told everybody if this building totally explodes, still unaware that the other building had collapsed, I’m going in the water.
Again, I didn’t see what was happening behind me, but knowing of all the explosions I thought here was another explosion coming and this sound again and this wave of this force again.
CAPTAIN JANICE OLSZEWSKI
I didn’t know what was going on. I thought more could be happening down here. I didn’t know if it was an explosion. I didn’t know it was a collapse at that point. I thought it was an explosion or a secondary device, a bomb, the jet – plane exploding, whatever.
So at that point you heard that the second – I heard the rumbling again, and that was the second collapse.
We were in the staging area the entire time. Shortly before the first tower came down I remember feeling the ground shaking. I heard a terrible noise, and then debris just started flying everywhere. People started running towards the staging area.
By the time the debris settled from the first collapse, we started to walk back east towards West Street, and a few minutes later – I really don’t remember the time frames because we were so busy in trying to account for who was in the staging area and who wasn’t – we basically had the same thing: The ground shook again, and we heard another terrible noise and the next thing we knew the second tower was coming down.
ASSISTANT CHIEF JOSEPH CALLAN
I took command and we started assigning additional units to the upper floors. I gave them instructions that we are not going to be extinguishing fire. What we were going to do is assist in evacuating the building.
Approximately 40 minutes after I arrived in the lobby, I made a decision that the building was no longer safe. And that was based on the conditions in the lobby, large pieces of plaster falling, all the 20 foot high glass panels on the exterior of the lobby were breaking. There was obvious movement of the building, and that was the reason on the handy talky I gave the order for all the Fire Department units to leave the north tower.
FIRE MARSHAL SALVATORE RIGNOLA
I’m over there standing and someone starts yelling: There’s an explosion. All of a sudden you could hear some weird sound like crumbling.
DEPUTY CHIEF THOMAS GALVIN
I would say from that time maybe a minute later, two minutes later, is when the hotel just started shaking. Everything came down. I ran south down the lobby, and that when I got caught in debris in the lobby there. There was just dust, debris coming down all over.
BATTALION CHIEF JOHN SUDNIK
At that point that’s when the second plane hit. I heard the noise of the plane coming in, and I heard the explosion. I looked up and felt the heat from the fire ball and everything like that.
The best I can remember, we were just operating there, trying to help out and do the best we could. Then we heard a loud explosion or what sounded like a loud explosion and looked up and I saw tower two start coming down.
Like I said, we started ahead like halfway across
Q. The first one to come down was the south tower, number two.
A. Two? We were standing on