Kelannar Witnesses World Trade Center Tragedy - Well-known Tolkien fan tells horrifying tale.
I'm writing to you at 2:30am in the morning. The bloodied and dead are everywhere, and there is wreckage and a warzone in all of lower Manhattan.
I woke up early this morning because I wanted to catch the PATH train from the WTC to New Jersey to cancel my bank account in Jersey and transfer
it to Citibank. As I was in the subway, they said that they were diverting the train because there was an explosion at the Tower. I got out at the Chambers Street stop which is just north of the tower, and as I exited I could clearly see smoke and flames burning the top of the first
I started walking down Broadway towards the towers, and I swear to God not more than two or three minutes after I began walking, I saw the second plane crash into the second tower, and a gigantic explosion literally shook the ground beneath me. It was unbelievable.
I saw everything. I saw the first tower collapse, and then the second one. It was the most horrific sight I have ever seen. I saw people jump from the tower to their deaths. People on the streets next to me were screaming and crying and panicking. I will never forget those screams, or the faces of the people I saw plummeting to their death. As the first tower collapsed, the gigantic ash cloud began to pass over us like an erupting volcano. We ran as fast as we could but it was too fast for us. People were choking and crying everywhere. A cop saw me and gave me a dose of oxygen before I was able to breathe again. Then, the wind started blowing the smoke off to the south and eastern section of Manhattan, so we could see a little better. At that point, the second tower collapsed, and all hell broke loose again. Finally, we just started walking north. I must have walked miles today. We walked past Port Authority station, and someone there yelled "Bomb threat" and everyone started running again. I saw people trampled by the stampede. Finally, when I got to Times Square, I was able to catch a taxi back to my apartment.
Another one of my friends works at Tower 2 and was just about to enter the building when the first plane crashed into Tower 1. She hid for a while as the wreckage rained down, and then bolted to the exit. She also saw the second plane hit the building later, and ran for her life as the towers came crashing down. For the entire half of the day, I thought she was dead.
Cell phones and telephone lines weren't working. Not even the pay phones worked. Finally, around 3pm today I was able to get through to my parents to tell them I was alive. They thought I was fine because I live near Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side, but they had no idea how close I came to death. When I told them, my mom broke down in tears. It's impossible to get out of the city now, all bridges are closed and I don't know if any of the subways are working yet. When I came back to my apartment, there were other kids who were hyperventilating and in shock.
You have no idea how close I came to death. When I got home, the pictures on the TV didn't even begin to describe the horror of the day. The TV images don't include the screams and the sound of the explosion. It was unimaginable - an apocalyptic nightmare. I will never forget those screams, or the image of those bodies and crashing buildings as long as I live.
Thank God I get to live another day.
We, too, are thankful that you survived this terrible tragedy.