9/11 — Coming Down the Stairwell

Henry's Views


I stepped off the elevator on the 71st floor of 1 World Trade Center only seconds before the first airplane hit.   There was one person, a young man, still on the elevator when the doors closed.

The airplane jolted the building in such a sharp fashion that I lost my balance.  I recall having the thought it was pointless to react to the lurch in the building because if the building went over, I was dead anyway.

Only a few feet from the elevator, I was standing near a stairwell entrance, which was situated next to the entrance to my department.  A consultant I knew ran out of the department entrance, dashed to the stairwell door, and opened it hastily.  As he did so, I asked him what he was doing, and he said he had been here in ’93 and was getting the hell out.   Still stunned, I…

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