Tuesday, May 18, 2004

NO helicopter rescue plan

Listening to today's 9/11 hearings at the New School in NYC, once again I am filled with sorrow and horror at the enormity of that crime. Having been in the midst of it all,  having lost family and friends, it is still impossible to convey the shock and grief of that awful day. And to convey how extraordinary New Yorkers proved themselves to be.
I have been troubled by the fact that no helicopters were sent to rescue those who climbed to the top of those Twin Towers escaping the horror below them. That question was answered today. There is NO helicopter rescue plan for sky scrappers. It was explained that it is too windy that high up. That when the Twin Towers were bombed in 1993, the wind was uncharacteristically still, and they were able to send choppers to those who were on the roof. But that was unusual. And was outside the norm.
The plan still in place today for high rise fires etc. is to tell people inside to stay put until help comes up from below. Though those testifying did concede that after 9/11, it is unlikely that people will stay put in the event of an emergency.  I know that I certainly wouldn't. But, until I heard today's testimony, I, if I were closer to the roof than the ground, would have gone upstairs, waiting, evidently fruitlessly, for a helicopter rescue.
Now we know...


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