911  2001
An Attack by Political Extremists using Hijacked Airliners
J. I. Nelson, September 2011

Part 2:  The Pile, The People & The Streets:
a photo album of the 9/11 attack on New York
Bottom & links


911 New York: Rubble, Water and CarsBelow the South Tower. Looking down WestSt at the corner with Liberty St.  
Click to enlarge.  Photo: Boudicon One - AP.

Rubble, water and cars below the South Tower.  Looking south down West St at the corner with Liberty St. 

911 - The Pile at Ground Zero
Photo: Peter Morgan - Reuters

911 WTC - Gutted cars, rubble-strewn streets.  
Photo: Reuters.

Looking north up Washington Street at South Tower's remains.   911 - The Pile at Ground Zero.  
Photo: Douglas Zimmerman, NYFD (left); Jim Bourg - Reuters (right).
(To see the photos side-by-side, pull your browser window wider.)

Left (or above): Looking north up Washington Street at South Tower's remains.
Right (or below) The Pile at Ground Zero.  
The steel was sold around the world, mostly to China, Malaysia, Korea and India.

911 WTC area: a charred bus with the collapsed 7 WTC buildng at the end of the street.  
Photo: Edward A. Ornelas - San Antonio Express-News.
This used to be a bus -- you can see where the wheels were.  At the end of the street lies the  facade of 7 World Trade Center, on the north side of the WTC campus.  If you consult the ground plan & list of buildings
use your browser's BACK button to return.  7 WTC collapsed at 5:21 pm the same day as both Towers, when low water pressure rendered its fire sprinklers useless, and the heat softened its structural steel, just as in the Towers.  The more modern we make our technology, the faster and more completely it can disappear.  

West Street looking south on the afternoon of the 9/11 attacks.
World Wide Photos - AP.
West Street looking south on the afternoon of the attack.


911 - The Pile at the World Trade Center.  NYFD firemen at The Pile, ground zero of World Trade Center collapse.
Photo: AFP, Agence France-Presse (left);       Justin Lane - New York Times. (right)

There is no register of first responders not in the NYPD or NYFD.  The most likely total number, including city police and firemen, is between 60,000 and 70,000.  The absence of an official register makes it easier to deny medical care to first responders ("Where were you? Which days?  Where's the written record?  You tell me, I can't tell you.").  The lack of medical records proving the volunteer first responders were healthy before they responded is a clincher for denial of medical care.  

I just wish for once the city would open their eyes and help the living .... Get more personal, not political. "How can this make us money?" That's all the city cares about.  
Thank you for all your support, and if you ever meet a New York City cop, firefighter or EMS, just tell them thanks. Because that's all they will ever get.
Yours truly,  James Zadroga, New York City Detective

June 2003 submission to the 9/11 Commission by James Zadroga.
Detective Zadroga died on 5 January 2006.  
"The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010"
was filibustered in Congress until Jon Stewart ridiculed Senators publicly.
It then passed, but minus coverage for cancer.  

911 - NY Fire Dept firemen at The Pile.  
Photo: Shawn Baldwin - AP.  

The New York firemen pounding up the stairs when we were coming down (Tom Paxton's mp3) deserve honor from us the living, but also better communications and training next time.  They will try to help us every time.  It is our fault if we did not give them the communications gear and supporting infrastructure to master the situation in time.    

JAKE PAULS (Building Safety Analyst):
"The stairs were narrow. They were crowded and they have firemen coming up. Now, every time a firefighter comes up heavily loaded with gear, the people coming down the stairs have to stop or twist to the side, so the firefighters, if anything, tended to slow down the evacuation. In perfect hindsight, firefighters should have focused on facilitating people getting out of the building at the bottom as opposed to trying to help them at the top of the building. Those people were already lost."  What equipment those firemen could carry would have made very little difference, Pauls adds; controlling the fire was hopeless.  

911 WTC attack: hauling gutted cars off the streets.   911 WTC - The Pile at Ground Zero - another red body bag come out of wreckage.

Photo: Amy Sancetta - AP (left);  Bill Farrington - AP (right).
Gutted cars are hauled off the street.  The search for victims at The Pile goes on around the clock, but few whole body bags come out.

Ten years later, more than 1,000 known victims have yet to be identified from remains, while grieving survivors who already received and buried an identified body part are signing legal releases of their rights to any more.  They  don't want to be upset by additional body parts as identification continues.  Sophisticated genetics sequence-searching software was developed to make the identifications possible.  The most famous example is the Mass Fatality Identification SYStem, MFISys (pronounced “emphasis”).  Howard Cash, founding CEO of the Gene Codes Forensics Corporation was honored on the House Floor by Rep. John Dingell for his efforts.  The technology is becoming a standard tool for those seeking to bring legal prosecutions against tyrants anywhere on earth who fill mass graves with their victims' bodies. 


911 WTC The Pile engulfed in flames.     911 - WTC - Working around the clock at the Ground Zero "pile".  
Photo: Steven Hirsch - Corbis Sygma (left);  Doug Kanter - Agence France-Presse (AFP; right).

Fires at Ground Zero were not extinguished until 14 December 2001.  

911 - The Towers' outer columns lie in rubble at Ground Zero.   911. Dusted in white silicates and pulverized concrete everywhere, the Towers' outer steel columns lie in piles of rubble.  
Photo: Peter Morgan - Reuters (left or above); Doug Kanter - AFP (right).
Kanter's picture was taken after only one tower's worth of debris had fallen.  

Doug Kanter, "The Man with the Fire Extinguisher":

"I heard someone yell, It's coming down! It's coming down! I didn't know what they were talking about. I didn't have a clear line of sight of the South Tower, but then the dust cloud raced around the corner. I turned and started running, but the cloud overtook us all pretty quickly."  He worked his way back.  "The streets were pretty much deserted, and that's when the person in the picture emerged. He looked like a maintenance worker, had a fire extinguisher in his hand, and was calling out to see anyone could hear him, saying they should make noise, and people would come and help. That's when I took the picture."  A policeman made him leave, and then the North Tower fell.  He never learned who the man was, whether he lived.  

Tell The Man with the Fire Extinguished that we all came to help.  

What comes out of the lungs of first responders if you biopsy them?
Construction workers with known asbestos exposure from a variety of trades but no experience at the WTC "pile" had biopsies with asbestos content, but negligible amounts of the sulfate and aluminum and magnesium silicates that so heavily burden the lungs of WTC first responders and workers at the pile.  Carbon nanotubes are unique to WTC patients, and arose from the huge amounts of carbon-containing plastics that burned in high heat and low oxygen.  

For what it's worth, it is my personal opinion that the fibrosis, fibroblastic foci and granulomas found in WTC workers' lungs support the accelerated emergence of cancers, anyone knows this, and that is why The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 excludes medical coverage for cancer.  A nation that will not honor and support its heroes doesn't deserve any.  


911 New York: The Ash Man (Stan Hine) makes his way home from the World Trade Center North Tower  
Click to enlarge.  Stan Honda, AFP.  

Edward Fine on his way home from work, 9/11/2001. Years later (2010), the battered black briefcase, the suit -- a gray Joseph A. Banks single-breasted model he bought in the late ’90s for about $300 -- and the shoes still sit in Fine’s closet. He keeps his unused, return ferry ticket and his World Trade Center pass as constant reminders of how fortunate he is to be alive.  He used the briefcase a few more years until his wife insisted he get a new one.

Fine was waiting for an elevator on the 78th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the building at 8:46AM. Thinking a bomb had gone off, Fine and others made their way down the emergency stairs. Fine reached the street and began to walk away from the World Trade Center when the South Tower collapsed an hour and 19 minutes later, at 10:05 a.m..  An hour or so to get down 78 flights of stairs is good time -- after the February 1993 WTC basement truck bombing, some people needed two hours to get out.  On the street, emergency medical personnel shouted "Get down, get down on the ground" and the South Tower debris rolled over everyone.  He got up and trudged relentlessly uptown.  "... I must get uptown, I must keep surviving, I must walk.  ... I wasn’t looking or thinking about anything other than surviving.”    The clock above reads 10:13.  He has 15 minutes to get further uptown before the next tower comes down at 10:28.  

MSNBC.com has other "Where are they now?" stories for you to ponder.  Be thankful you are not famous.  

911 - The Pile at the WTC on 14 September 2001.    
Photo: (left) James Estrin, New York Times -AP; (right) Beth A. Keiser - AP

Covered in ash, office worker trudges updown from the WTC disaster      
Photo: Reuters.

911: covered in ash, trio trudges home from WTC disaster
Photo: Phil Penman.

911 People nearly buried by the collapse of the 2nd Twin Tower walk uptown  
Click to enlarge.  Photo: Gulnara Samoilova - AP.
Overtaken by the first cloud of debris, trying to escape the second.  


Gulnara Samoilova from Bashkortostan, Russia,  worked in AP library, not as a photographer, so she could sleep late and start late.  But the sirens: “It just went on and on and on.”  Her apartment was four blocks from the WTC. One glance at the TV and she grabbed her camera and a handful of film, and ran to the South Tower.  The scene was too chaotic to shoot.  Back outside, right beneath the South Tower, its smoking bulk filled her 85mm lens.  She saw the tower begin to crumble and got off one more shot before someone nearby screamed, “RUN!”

The force of the collapse “was like a mini-earthquake,” knocking her off her feet. People began trampling her, with the debris cloud not far behind. "I was afraid I would die right there,” the 46-year-old photographer says. She got up just as the cloud was about to envelop her. She dove behind a car and crouched. Like “a strong wind,” the storm of debris rocked the car, filling her eyes, mouth, nose and ears.

It was very dark and silent,” she says. “I thought I was buried alive.”

Suddenly, she could hear the fluttering of thousands of pieces of paper.  Blown out as each floor collapsed, blowing out the windows, they settled last. Her sight returned. She had survived. She changed film and lenses (telephoto to normal).  As she looked down Fulton Street, other survivors began limping out of the mist. She stepped out from behind the car and began shooting.

In the most powerful image from that sequence, a line of about a dozen people fills the frame. One man holds a jacket over his mouth, while the woman next to him tries to brush debris out of her hair.  "I love that photo,” Samoilova says. “To me, it looks like a sculpture. Like, frozen.”  She was shooting in black and white. People have asked her if she wishes that photo had been in color.  “It wouldn’t matter even,” she replies. “They were all covered in dust ­ the gray dust.”

At the library her job involved cataloging and filing 911 photos that poured into the Associated Press.  "I was crying almost daily.”  It became too much.  Samoilova was able to leave the AP 2003, start her own studio, and choose different subject matter.  “I love weddings,” she says. “I get to be part of the happiest days of people’s lives.”
(Other photographers' stories are here.)

9/11: Few WTC casualties were treatable -- you either made it or you didn't.    Marcy Borders in another building lobby after fleeing her Bank Of America desk in the North Tower.   9/11: People flee uptown as debris clouds sweep across Lower Manhattan.    
Photos: Medical treatment on street, Gulnara Samoilova, AP; Office building lobby in yellow light, Stan Honda, AFP.
People flee uptown as debris clouds sweep across Lower Manhattan, Amy Sancetta, AP.

Left:  There was not often need for medical treatment, only gene technology to identify pieces.

Center: Marcy Borders was a month into her new Bank of America  job on Sept. 11, 2001, when a hijacked plane hit the north tower where she worked.  
Panicked, she ignored a boss' order to stay at her desk and fled out to the street. She was paralyzed by what she saw.
"There were wounded and the injured" everywhere, she said.
Then the South Tower collapsed. "I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. The world went silent," she said.
A stranger pulled her to safety in another building lobby -- where a AFP photographer Stan Honda snapped the ghostly picture.  

In the South Tower, people had a close-up view of people plunging to their deaths from a building that was a mirror image of their own. "I looked at a couple of people jumping, and that was it. I'd seen enough. I said, 'We've got to get the hell out of here,' " says Jaede Barg, who worked for Aon on the south tower's 100th floor.

911 People flee collapse of the WTC Towers   
Click photo to enlarge.  Suzanne Plunkett - AP. (Great photo, Suzanne!!)

"I just froze and started taking pictures before I turned and ran, too. As I was running, the thing that kept going through my mind was, How on earth am I going to outrun a one hundred-story building toppling in my direction? I phoned my family, leaving what my dad calls a very disturbing message full of 'I love yous' and 'goodbyes.'"

 "The man wearing the backpack in the photograph contacted me a few years ago.  I had always wondered who he was, and I was really relieved he was OK. He told me that he donated the backpack, ID badge and wristwatch that he was wearing in the photograph to a museum in New York."

9/11 People flee the financial district and Lower Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge.  
Click  photo to enlarge.   Photo: Daniel Shanken - AP.

NY Fire Department dispatch tapes: "Everything south of the Brooklyn Bridge is in a dust cloud. There's no visibility. People all over the streets. Travel is near impossible."


9/11 Variable Message Sign message on all highways NEW YORK CITY CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC       9/11 Rt 95 highway sign: BWI AIRPORT CLOSED - no flights arriving/departing

Photos: (left, New York) David Duprey-AP; (right, Maryland) Kim Harris.

We were all transfixed at the sight of jumbo jetliners being flown into buildings. That day,  I collected pictures like that,  trying to understand the unbelievable.  Yet the images I never want to see again as long as I live are the little ones above, saying  that my cities are gone, the society is shutting down, the lights are going out.  

(right) In the Washington DC metro area, a sign on the Baltimore-Washington Expressway Rt. 95 announces that Baltimore-Washington International airport has shut down.  

(left) The NY and NJ Port Authority ordered all local bridge and tunnel Variable Message Signs (VMS signs), for example, on the George Washington Bridge, to flash CLOSED at 9:12 AM.  It wasn't until 11 AM that the VMS signs on all highways leading into the city flashed "NEW YORK CITY CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC."  This sign is in the Buffalo area on the NY State Thruway, upstate where photographer David Duprey works.  

Thank you, Dan Leonard, for finding this photo again after I lost it, and before it nearly disappeared completely from the Internet.  The photo makes a cameo appearance in "Attack on America", a Shockwave Flash video watched by millions.  

STEVE GOLDING'S VIDEO  "ATTACK on AMERICA"   (soundtrack Enya "Only Time")
(Don't go to youtube -- there are so many copycat fakes, you could never find an original.)
Steve Golding went to work in the financial district, saw the 2nd (South) Tower explode with his own eyes,  lost friends in the attack, and started constructing his animated album of 9/11 pictures while people were still shocked and feelings ran high.   Not surprisingly, he produced an emotional work filled with pain and the desire for revenge, as well as hope and the promise to rebuild.  Ten years older, the nation stands in a different place:

2001:  We thought we would solve the problem by attacking a state, Afghanistan.  But the attackers were stateless, and they slip into failed states that do not detect or deter them.  

2001: We thought terrorism was a problem you could solve by killing something.  There's some truth in that (Bin Laden), as long as you don't overdo it (a few hundred thousand civilian deaths).  But terrorism is also a method used by political extremists driven by ideology.  So you have to fight ideas as well as be strong militarily.  What would Thomas Jefferson say now?   Responding to a vicious assault by attacking your core values shows no respect for your Founding Fathers.  

2001: Our leaders would be firm shields as we helped one another recover.  But our leaders misled those who helped, refused ever to accept responsibility for first responders' damaged health,  refused for years to pay for treating it, and still deny cancer coverage.  The financial district itself recovered only to bring us Credit Default Swaps, Collateralized Debt Obligations, subprime mortgages,  and an economy too weak to drive a fast recovery at Ground Zero or anywhere else.  

2001:  We would win the war on terrorism.  Today this slogan has taken its place with Winning the War on Poverty, Winning the War on Drugs.  After we Win the War on Human Nature, the rest will fall into line.
Leading the people to achieve what they wish for unites the country in pride.  Steve, we still stand there beside you, united in wishing for the same things. 

911 - US close airspace - stranded int'l travelers bed down in Halifax, NS, Canada at Exhibition Park 9000
Photo: Tim Krochak/Canadian Press - AP.  

9:42 AM FAA grounds all US aircraft and orders foreign flights diverted to Canada and Mexico.  
US flights already airborne are told 3 minutes later to land at the nearest airport.  
Photo: Stranded international  travelers bed down in Halifax, NS, Canada at Exhibition Park.
Others were housed at Shearwater Naval Air Station.  

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA.  Pilot of Delta flight 777 from London Gatwick, England, to Atlanta, Georgia:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I have some terrible news.  The Pentagon and the two World Trade Center towers have been hit by terrorists who've apparently hijacked four commercial jets.  The two towers have collapsed and are no more."  A moment's silence . . .   "We have been diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia.  All airspace in North America has been closed."  

Before it was over, 42 planes were parked cheek to jowl down a Halifax  International Airport runway, and 9,080 unanticipated guests had climbed off (the Red Cross tallied 8,666 in their care).   800 Halifax residents came by this facility to offer their homes for overnights stays or just to  take showers and simply relax.  

Stephen Jay Gould was en route from Milan to New York:  "Bless the good people of Halifax who did not sleep, who took strangers into their homes, who opened their hearts and shelters, who rushed in enough food and clothing to supply an army, who offered tours of their beautiful city and, above all, who listened with a simple empathy ...  I heard not a single harsh word, saw not the slightest gesture of frustration, and felt nothing but pure and honest welcome... We, 9,000 strong, are forever in your debt, .... we will always share this bond of your unstinting hospitality to people who descended upon you as frightened strangers, and received nothing but solace and solidarity in your embrace of goodness... "  

Ripples from 9/11: Total ID check in Kokosuka, Japan US Naval Base    9/11 Stewardess tries to get cellphone call through at Albuquerque's Sunport Airport  
Photo: (left) Toshiyuki Aizawa; (right) Pat Vasquez-Cunningham, AP.

9/11 ripples:  total ID Check at US Naval Base, Yokosuka , Japan.  
Stewardess now grounded at Albuquerque's Sunport Airport tries to place cell phone call -- colleagues, family?

911 WTC Peace March - 21 Sept 2001 - New Yorkers march for a mature and responsible foreign policy
Photo: Edward A. Ornelas - San Antonio Express-News

Friday, 21 September 2001:  
ten days after the Pearl Harbor of their century,
three to five thousand New Yorkers march for better foreign policies.  
  • "If McVeigh bombed the WTC, would we bomb Michigan?"  (sign in photo)
    • McVeigh was not Arab
    • McVeigh was not "jealous of our freedoms" -- he was one of us. Something else must have been bothering him.
  • "Find the bastards but don't make war on innocent people."
    • 92,003 innocent people (civilians) have been killed in Iraq, as counted in the US Army's War Logs for Iraq, from 1/2004 to 12/2009.  In a War Log, only incidents with American troops are counted. A written report is filed for each incident.  The reports add up to 92,003 deaths, according to the government.  600 people must have not stopped their cars soon enough, or they didn't understand something, so they were shot  at checkpoints, maybe  through the windshield of their own car.  30 of these 600 are children.   The reports are withheld from the American people.   
    • 601,027 violent Iraqi deaths overall are estimated by a famous old British medical journal, "The Lancet".  But Americans did not do all the violence. 
    • Afghanistan: 6,215 - 9,007 deaths are the direct result of U.S.-led military actions. 
    • How many terrorists does it take to win The War on Terror?  
  • "How can America be free if others are being oppressed -- especially if we are the oppressors!" 
    • Much of our foreign aid does not go overseas -- we grant the foreign government a credit of Federal tax dollars, they use the credit to order weapons systems from our arms manufacturers, pay for it all, and presto,  taxpayer dollars have been converted to private wealth and profit at Lockheed MartinNorthrop Grumman, or United Technologies .  When foreign citizens rebel against their dictators, the kids in Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt hold up the spent tear gas cannisters so you can read the Made in USA labels.    
 The gift of democracy is that many people walking down the street will pick better policies than governments do. It is a precious gift.  

911 - An Attack by Political Extremists using Hijacked Airliners
Page 1: Tall Buildings
Page 2:  The Pile and the streets -- you are here
Page 3: Taking Charge   - I give my respect and gratitude to those who took charge of how to die . . .
                                            and jumped.  Their public act saved 2000 lives in the other tower.
Page 4:  The Pentagon, Pennsylvania & the Freedom Tower
                    The WTC site back then
                    Ground Plan & Buildings
                    Freedom Tower  
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