Guide 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

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102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, More Details author. Dwyer, Jim, Flynn, Kevin, A Look Inside Awards. This item was nominated for the following awards:. Excerpt from Book. Authors' Note For minutes on the morning of September 11, , 14, men and women fought for life at the World Trade Center. This book aims to tell what happened solely from the perspective of the people inside the twin towersoffice workers, visitors, and the rescuers who rushed to help them. Their accounts are drawn from interviews with survivors and witnesses, thousands of pages of transcribed radio transmissions, phone messages, e-mails, and oral histories.

All sources are named and enumerated. No single voice can describe scenes that unfolded at terrible velocities in so many places. Taken together, though, the words, witnesses, and records provide not only a broad and chilling view of the devastation, but also a singularly revealing window onto acts of grace at a brutal hour. The immediate challenges these people faced were not geopolitical but intensely local: how, for instance, to open a jammed door, or navigate a flaming hallway, or climb dozens of flights of stairs. Civilians or rescuers, they had to take care of themselves and those around them.

Their words inevitably trace a narrative of excruciating loss; they also describe how the simplest gestures and tools were put to transcendent useeverything from a squeegee in a stuck elevator to a squeeze on the shoulder, from a voice booming an order to get out to a crowbar smashing Sheetrock around a jammed door. As chapters in the history of human valor and frailty and struggle, these are matters of first importance. They brought us to this book. That the crises in the two buildings had identical beginnings and endingssuicidal attacks by terrorists in airliners, followed by raging fire and total collapsesevokes the parallel shape and size of the buildings, suggesting one more way in which the towers were twins.

Yet the events in each tower ran on different clocks and took different courses, each separately instructive. The north tower was hit first, at , sixteen minutes and twenty-eight seconds before the strike against the south tower at ; this gap between crashes afforded some opportunity to begin an evacuation in the south building before the second plane flew into it. Conversely, the south tower, though hit second, was the first to fall, collapsing at , twenty-nine minutes and twenty-six seconds before the north tower, which fell at in effect, giving notice that total calamity was not only possible but also imminent, and thus providing a chance for rescuers to pull out of the north building.

In heartbreaking measure, many people could not take hold of those fleeting opportunities.

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During those two intervals, and ultimately, across the entire minutes, decades of struggle over safety in skyscrapers and over the sensible operation of New York's emergency services would come to shattering ends. Nothing can diminish the culpability of the hijackers and their masters in the murders of September 11, , which stand beyond mitigation as the defining historical truth of the day.

The ferocity of the attacks meant that innocent people lived or died because they stepped back from a doorway, or hopped onto a closing elevator, or simply shifted their weight from one foot to another. That said, simply to declare that the hijackers alone killed all those people gives them far more credit as tacticians than they are due.

The buildings themselves became weapons, apparently well beyond the designs of the hijackers, if not their hopes; so, too, did a sclerotic emergency response culture in New York that resisted reform, even when confronted again and again with the dangers of business as usual.

102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

At least 1, people in the trade centerand possibly many moresurvived the initial crashes but died because they were unable to escape. This book aims to tell what happened solely from the perspective of the people inside the twin towers--office workers, visitors, and the rescuers who rushed to help them. Their words inevitably trace a narrative of excruciating loss; they also describe how the simplest gestures and tools were put to transcendent use--everything from a squeegee in a stuck elevator to a squeeze on the shoulder, from a voice booming an order to get out to a crowbar smashing Sheetrock around a jammed door.

That the crises in the two buildings had identical beginnings and endings--suicidal attacks by terrorists in airliners, followed by raging fire and total collapses--evokes the parallel shape and size of the buildings, suggesting one more way in which the towers were twins. At least 1, people in the trade center--and possibly many more--survived the initial crashes but died because they were unable to escape from their floors or elevators while the buildings stood.

Those people were not killed by the planes alone any more than passengers on the Titanic were killed by the iceberg.

102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

With minutes in the north tower, and 57 minutes in the south, thousands of people had time to evacuate, and did. Those who did not escape were trapped by circumstances that had been the subject of debates that began before the first shovelful of earth was turned for the trade center, and that continued, at a low volume, through the entire existence of the towers. Could the buildings withstand the direct impact of an airplane?

Was the fireproofing adequate? Were there enough exits? The willingness of firefighters, police officers, and medical workers to serve others, never in question, was indelibly established on September English Available from another library. Place Hold OverDrive. Add a Review. Add To List.

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