On September 11, 2001 two hijacked passenger jets crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Both WTC towers collapsed, releasing a massive cloud of dust and debris. This terrorist attack on the twin towers killed nearly 3,000 people.
AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT
"I arrived in New York City on September 10th for a seven day city trip vacation. The next morning I left my hotel early, to visit the observation deck of the World Trade Center which opens at 9.30AM. So I would be sure to be the first one up on the observatory roof. Around 8.30AM I walked from Chambers Street subway station towards the WTC, impressed by the immense height of the two shiny towers. I never had been to Manhattan before. I walked through the shopping concourse underneath the twin towers, following the signs for the observation deck ticket office. My plan was to first check the location of the ticket office, then going to the WTC plaza to take photos of the towers, until the ticket office opens. While standing on an escalator in the lobby of the South Tower, suddenly there was a bang and I saw debris coming down. This was the first plane hitting the other tower. I ran down the escalator and out of the building through an exit on Liberty Street. Dust and office paper came down from the smoking holes in the North Tower. At the time of the second impact, I was in Vesey Street opposite the Millennium Hilton, and took cover behind a van. Then I decided to get away, thinking more planes might be on their way to crash onto Manhattan. On West Street I joined two New York businessmen on their way to the marina for a ferry to Jersey City. To get there, we had to take the risk of getting closer to the WTC. The South Tower collapsed a few minutes after we arrived at the Jersey City waterfront. Luckily we had managed to get away just in time! We spent the rest of the day in the apartment of one of the businessmen, overlooking lower Manhattan. Through the windows we saw the North Tower collapse. In the evening I returned to my hotel in Brooklyn by PATH-train and subway. I want to thank John and Carlos for helping me get away from the WTC site, and especially John for letting me stay in his apartment during the day." — Jeroen Morriën, The Netherlands (email@example.com)