FactsOfIsrael.com News, Comments and Links

<- Back to Main page

September 06, 2002
 Send to Printer    Link to this page
Survivor of September 11 attacks tells his story

USA Today (www.usatoday.com) has published an article that tells the story of Alan Mann, 35, who was inside an elevator in the World Trade Center on September 11, but managed to survive.

Alan Mann, 35, an executive vice president at Aon Corp., an insurance company, squeezed into an express elevator packed with 25 people evacuating the south tower. He was the last person in. The doors closed. The elevator descended normally for the first seconds of a ride to the ground floor that should have lasted 60 seconds. Then United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower, tearing through the elevator machine room on the 81st floor. That cut most cables to the express elevators. Elevator No. 13 began a free fall from 900 feet above ground. [...]

Mann found himself trapped in a corner of the elevator, lying on top of someone. Debris and dust filled his mouth. Other passengers screamed and moaned. He heard other elevators crashing nearby. [...]

Mann helped rip off a piece of metal but cut his left hand badly. He stuck his head through a small hole near the elevator floor and tried to push himself through. He couldn't fit. He was 10 feet above the lobby floor but couldn't get out. [...]

The lobby was deserted. He walked through revolving doors and found four firefighters in the underground shopping mall. He brought them back to the elevator. "You need to help these people," he said. He fled the building and ended up in an ambulance.

Everybody else in the elevator died, including Friedlander and Giordano. Mann doesn't know what happened to the woman.

Thanks to Lgf for the link. I copy the full article below.

Plunge just the start of nightmare
By Dennis Cauchon and Martha T. Moore, USA TODAY
http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/
2002-09-04-elevator-young-usat_x.htm

Passenger elevator No. 13. South tower, 78th floor. 9:02 a.m.Alan Mann, 35, an executive vice president at Aon Corp., an insurance company, squeezed into an express elevator packed with 25 people evacuating the south tower. He was the last person in. The doors closed. The elevator descended normally for the first seconds of a ride to the ground floor that should have lasted 60 seconds. Then United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower, tearing through the elevator machine room on the 81st floor. That cut most cables to the express elevators. Elevator No. 13 began a free fall from 900 feet above ground.

"Get on your knees!" somebody screamed. Everybody knelt. People prayed aloud. The elevator fell, banging against the sides of the shaft. As the plunging car neared the ground, the emergency brake grabbed onto the thinnest of nine elevator cables the only one remaining and the elevator jerked to a stop.

Mann found himself trapped in a corner of the elevator, lying on top of someone. Debris and dust filled his mouth. Other passengers screamed and moaned. He heard other elevators crashing nearby.

It was dark. A man unpacked his laptop computer and turned it on for light. Injured people begged others not to move because it caused them pain. He could see two Aon colleagues, Alan Friedlander and Donna Giordano.

"Alan, I'm hurt," Giordano sobbed.

"Donna, don't worry, we're going to get out of this thing," Mann said.

Then, somebody yelled, "Oh my God, fire!" Burning jet fuel shot flames into the car, burning Mann's neck. He gasped for breath.

I'm going to die the worst possible death, Mann thought. My wife is going to be a single mother.

Someone was praying, repeating, "In God's name, in God's name."

Mann told himself: Don't give up. He crawled over people some dead, some alive to the other side of the elevator. There, two men and a woman were trying to push aside a piece of metal outside the elevator where the doors once were; the metal was blocking the exit.

Mann helped rip off a piece of metal but cut his left hand badly. He stuck his head through a small hole near the elevator floor and tried to push himself through. He couldn't fit. He was 10 feet above the lobby floor but couldn't get out.

He pulled his head back inside the burning elevator and pushed a petite woman out the hole. The woman hit the floor hard but stood up. "Go get help! Go get help!" Mann yelled.

She stood there, dazed.

Mann put his feet into the hole and squeezed out feet first, crashing to the floor. He was barefoot and shirtless, his pants shredded.

The lobby was deserted. He walked through revolving doors and found four firefighters in the underground shopping mall. He brought them back to the elevator. "You need to help these people," he said. He fled the building and ended up in an ambulance.

Everybody else in the elevator died, including Friedlander and Giordano. Mann doesn't know what happened to the woman.

Mann had numerous injuries: burns, nerve damage to his arms and legs, a deep cut that limits use of his left hand. He's back at work now, but his 12-hour days are in the past. Mann spends more time with his wife and daughters.

"I got a second chance on life."

Posted by David Melle at September 06, 2002 02:55 AM
Comments
Post a comment 
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?



Email this entry
Email this entry to (please enter email address):


Your email address:


Message (optional):


Referrers to this Page

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains some copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.




(According to digits.com)