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9/11 anniversary: ‘It was like hell was opening up’ – how I escaped from the 84th flooring of the south tower | UK Information

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On September eleventh 2001, practically 3,000 folks died when hijacked planes have been flown into the World Commerce Middle and the Pentagon in a terrorist atrocity orchestrated by al Qaeda.

Janice Brooks, 61, from east London within the UK, was among the many hundreds of survivors caught up in what stays the deadliest terror assault on US soil.

Because the world marks the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy, Ms Brooks has relived the day she escaped from near the highest of the south tower in New York, and has revealed how she is without doubt one of the a whole lot survivors nonetheless haunted by what they witnessed.

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Janice Brooks was on the 84th flooring of the south tower when the World Commerce Middle was attacked

Once I arrived in New York in August 2001 I actually could not consider that, not solely was I now dwelling within the metropolis, I used to be working from the 84th flooring of one of many World Commerce Middle buildings.

Simply weeks earlier I had been working for a similar insurance coverage brokers of their London workplace. My job at Eurobrokers concerned answering the phone, doing invoices, and dealing with the managing director.

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The morning of September eleventh was completely wonderful weather-wise. I left my flat in Battery Park at 7.20am and loved the 10-minute stroll to the south tower.

A fireball erupted from the South Tower after a second plane hit the World Trade Center
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Each the north and south towers have been hit by planes through the assault

Once I bought to the workplace one of many first issues I did was choose up the telephone to name the chief govt, and as quickly as I did I heard a loud bang and my PC display screen flickered.

Extra on September 11 Terror Assaults

Then I may hear this man shouting: “Everyone out!”

I picked up my bag to depart and thought I might name London. I used to be put by way of to Robin, the top of the London workplace, and advised him “one thing’s occurring subsequent door, I am on the brink of depart”.

Robin screamed: “One thing occurring subsequent door? F****** hell Janice, a aircraft has hit the constructing. Get the f*** out of there.”

Janice Brooks has shared her story in full within the newest episode of StoryCast ’21, a Sky Information podcast collection telling 21 tales from the yr 2000 to 2021.

Subscribe to Storycast 21 now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Spreaker

I headed out to the hall and joined a throng of individuals taking place the steps – it was a Tuesday and everybody was simply chatting away, it wasn’t an anxious scenario.

Minutes later, after I should have been in the back of a gaggle of about 10 folks, there was this loud crashing sound. Lights fell down and dirt and chunks of ceiling have been far and wide.

I did not fall down however I used to be knocked to the facet.

After a few minutes some individuals who had been knocked to the bottom have been now on their ft and dusting themselves off. The group I used to be with needed to work laborious to open a door, and all we may see was that the staircase had gone.

The South Tower, where Ms Brooks works, is seen crumbling into a cloud of dust after the attack
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Ms Brooks labored for Eurobrokers within the south tower. Sixty-one employees on the firm died that day

There was simply mud, darkness and a few flickering of flames. Then there was this almighty screaming sound, a girl screaming the scream of nightmares, a scream that I can nonetheless hear in my head.

Then a door was opened and a girl got here by way of. She had glass throughout her hair and it regarded to me like nearly all of her toes on one foot have been lacking. One other man got here out with a shard of glass in his chest.

After which lastly got here the screaming woman, she hadn’t stopped screaming all this time. “I can not see, I can not see, I can not see.”

Each of her eyes have been stuffed with blood. Somebody had a bottle of water they usually washed out her eyes. She shook her hair and glass simply went in every single place.

Hundreds of firefighters were among those who died in the 9/11 attacks
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A whole bunch of firefighters have been amongst those that died within the 9/11 assaults

We truly assumed that the constructing subsequent door was collapsing into us. We could not go down the staircase we had simply got here from as a result of it wasn’t there anymore, after which, as if by magic, there was one other door. One after the other all of us squeezed by way of and commenced strolling down the steps.

After strolling for about 20 minutes some firemen got here up the steps and made certain nobody wanted assist. I regarded down at my shirt and there was blood throughout my shirt, I may really feel this scream constructing within me however I gathered myself collectively.

A woman in entrance of me had a foul leg and was shaking and a girl behind me had bronchial asthma – we have been the sluggish finish of the group of individuals.

A fireman calls for more rescue workers to make their way to the rubble of the World Trade Center
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A fireman requires extra rescue staff to make their strategy to the rubble of the World Commerce Middle

We lastly made it out onto the road and it was a scene of absolute chaos, emergency companies have been working frantically and there have been large bits of constructing simply laying in every single place.

You can additionally hear these terrible thwacking sounds however I had no thought what they have been.

I regarded up on the World Commerce Middle, and the place our flooring ought to have been there was a gaping gap. I simply stood there and cried.

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It has been 20 years since 9/11 – so how did it change the world?

Shortly after that I walked again to the corporate’s residence block the place I lived and took a name from the spouse of one of many firm’s administrators – a person named Kevin. She hadn’t heard from him and advised me to let her know if he turned up on the residence block.

I obtained a name from Eileen, who works within the HR division, and a plan was hatched that I might make my strategy to her within the Queens a part of town.

Once I bought as much as her residence we watched the aftermath unfold on tv, you would see the smoke from the towers from her balcony.

The following day Eurobrokers had arrange a assist desk and drawn up an inventory of all of the the staff who have been nonetheless lacking.

Firefighters rest near the wreckage of the World Trade Center after planes hit each of the two towers
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Firefighters relaxation close to the wreckage of the World Commerce Middle after planes hit every of the 2 towers

I regarded down and noticed Kevin was one in every of them. He was one of many 61 Eurobrokers employees who died that day.

Even in any case these years, I can shut my eyes and return to September eleventh 2001 straight away. I later discovered the terrible thwacking sounds I had heard have been the sounds of individuals leaping from the constructing and hitting the bottom.

What I hope most of all is that someday at the moment or tomorrow you give some thought, not solely to all my buddies, however to everybody who died on September eleventh, and all of the survivors, as a result of we’re nonetheless struggling.

Hearken to Janice Brooks’ story in full within the newest episode of StoryCast ’21 – a Sky Information podcast collection telling 21 tales from the yr 2000 to 2021.



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