Wednesday, September 19, 2001

My cousin worked at the World Trade Center. She is back in North Carolina now. She called me this morning and told me of her story of escaping the WTC.

She lives in Raleigh, NC and would fly to NYC on Monday mornings to do some consulting work the Port of Authority. Her company paid for an apartment for her to live at which was just a few blocks from WTC. On Fridays after work, she would fly home to NC.

She was on the 70th floor of the first tower that got hit.

She said they heard the explosion and then the building started to shake. Everybody went out of their offices, and thought it was an earth quake. Then they heard word that a plane had hit the building... they thought it was a small plane. The PA System was not working, so they started down the stairs... her office was close to the stairway. People were going down the stairs in a calm manner. She feels that if they would have know it was a terrorist attack, people would have been stamping their way down. They saw the smoke and smelled the jet fuel. When they got to around the 20th floor, they were met by firefighter (she called them kids - she is 40 or 41, so I guess a kid would be early 20's to her). The firefighters were dressed in their garb with air tanks and mask. The firefighters told them that they were going to be OK and continue out as they climbed on up the stairs. Linda knows (or feels strongly) that those firefighters never made it out. When they got to the bottom, they went though the mall (which was located under the WTC) and made it outside. When they got outside, the police were telling them to run. She said there was debris on the ground, and things falling on them. It took them over a hour for them to get out of the building.

They didn't know that it was a terrorist attack until they got to a friend's apartment and saw the news. They were able to get one phone call out after many tries to many numbers. That person lived in Florence, AL. They gave her a list of numbers to call to let their family know who was all right. When the first tower crumbled, they realized they were still to close to it and left the apartment. It took them all day to get off of Manhattan island to Long Island and to rent a car to drive home.

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