Genealogy Trails

September 11, 2001

History of the World Trade Center, Timeline of the Events of the Day, Casualty Lists
World Trade Center - c. 1976

Williamsburg Bridge, Spanning East River at South Sixth Street between
New York City & Brooklyn, with World Trade Center in background, c. 1976


Casualty Lists:

WTC Casualty List
Pentagon Casualties
American Airlines Flight 11
American Airlines Flight 77
United Airlines Flight 93
United Airlines Flight 175

World Trade Center History:
The World Trade Center in New York City was a complex of seven buildings, mostly designed by Japanese American architect Minoru Yamasaki and developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It was initiated by a Lower Manhattan Association created and chaired by David Rockefeller, along with strong backing from the then New York governor, his brother, Nelson Rockefeller. Larry Silverstein held the most recent lease to the complex, the Port Authority having leased it to him in July of 2001. The complex, located in the heart of New York City's downtown financial district, contained 13.4 million square feet of office space, almost four percent of Manhattan's entire office inventory.

In 1966, construction of the World Trade Center began with a groundbreaking that razed 13 square blocks of low rise buildings, some of which predated the US Civil War. In 1970, construction was completed on One World Trade Center, with its first tenants moving into the building in December 1970. Tenants first moved into Two World Trade Center in January 1972. Initially conceived as a complex dedicated to companies and organizations directly involved in "world trade," they at first failed to attract the anticipated clientele; during the WTC's early years various governmental organizations became key tenants. It was not until the 1980s, as New York's economy improved, that an increasing number of private companies — mostly financial firms tied to Wall Street — became tenants.

On any given day, some 50,000 people worked in the towers with another 200,000 passing through as visitors. The complex was so large that it had its own ZIP Code: 10048

French high wire artist Philippe Petit walked between the towers on a tightrope in 1974, and Brooklyn toymaker George Willig scaled the south tower in 1977.

On February 13, 1975, the WTC North Tower was beset by a fire, which "burned at temperatures in excess of 700°C (1,292°F) for over three hours and spread over some 65 percent of the 11th floor, including the core, caused no serious structural damage to the steel structure"
(New York Times, Saturday 15th February 1975)

On February 26, 1993 at 12:17 PM, a Ryder truck filled with 1,500 pounds (682 kg) of explosives was planted by Ramzi Yousef and detonated in the underground garage of the North Tower, opening a 100 foot (30 m) hole through 4 sublevels of concrete. Six people were killed and over a thousand injured.

Many people inside the North Tower were forced to walk down darkened stairwells which contained no emergency lighting, some taking two hours or more to reach safety. As the Port Authority was a bi-state agency, the towers were exempt from New York City building codes. Subsequent to the bombing The Port Authority installed emergency lighting in the stairwells. It is believed that this lighting saved many lives during the events of September 11, 2001. As a memorial to the victims of the bombing of the tower, a reflecting pool was installed with the names of those who had been killed in the blast. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, relief workers found a single fractured piece of this fountain; to date it is the only remaining part of the 1993 memorial that survived the collapse of the towers

One of the world's largest gold depositories was stored underneath the World Trade Center, owned by a group of commercial banks. The 1993 bomb detonated close to the vault, but it withstood the explosion, as did the towers.

Best known for its iconic 110-story Twin Towers, all of the original buildings in the complex were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks: 1 WTC, 2 WTC (North and South Towers) and 7 WTC collapsed; 3 WTC (Marriott Hotel) was crushed by the collapses of 1 WTC and 2 WTC; and 4 WTC, 5 WTC, and 6 WTC were damaged beyond repair and later demolished.

Ultimately, 2,749 death certificates were filed relating to the WTC attacks, as of February 2005.
13 people died after the disaster, from injuries received on September 11; three of these people died in Massachusetts, Missouri, and New Jersey, and the rest died in New York.




1,368 Ft high
110 Stories
Built 1966-1973

Surpassing the Empire State Building, the WTC was the tallest building in the world from 1972 - 1973 -- until it was surpassed by the Sears Tower in Chicago, IL

World Trade Center 1

World Trade Center on fire

September 11, 2001 Timeline

7:59 AM: Mohamed Atta boards AA Flight 11 which under his control will crash into the World Trade Center

8:18 AM: AA Flight 11 is taken over by Mohamed Atta and other hijackers

8:46 AM: American Airlines flight 11 crashes into the World Trade Center north tower

9:03 AM: United Airlines flight 175 crashes into the World Trade Center south tower

9:37 AM: American Airlines flight 77 crashes into The Pentagon

9:59 AM: South Tower of World Trade Center collapses

10:03 AM: United Airlines flight 93 crashes into a farm in Shanksville, PA

10:28 AM: North Tower of World Trade Center collapses

5:20 PM: WTC building 7 collapses


According to the 9/11 Commission, approximately 16,400 to 18,800 civilians were in the World Trade Center complex at the time of the attacks.

Only 18 people escaped from within the impact zone (floors 78 to 84) of the South Tower after it was hit. They escaped down Stairway "A," the only stairwell that had been left intact (though somewhat obstructed with broken drywall, and filled with smoke in one area). No one was able to escape from above the point of impact in the North Tower after it was hit.

Of the estimated 200 to 300 people trapped in the towers' stalled elevators, 22 managed to escape: 16 people from four elevators in the North Tower and six people from two elevators in the South Tower. Perhaps the most amazing escape was that of six people trapped in an express elevator on the 50th floor of the North Tower. There was no elevator bank on that particular floor. After prying open the inner doors, they cut through three layers of drywall with a squeegee handle, then broke through a wall of tiles into a 50th-floor bathroom. All six escaped the tower five minutes before it collapsed.

Only 20 people were pulled alive from the debris after the towers' collapse:

Fourteen people, including a dozen firefighters, one police officer (a Port Authority policeman), and civilian secretary Josephine Harris, 59, were in Stairway "B" on the 1st through 6th floors of the North Tower when it collapsed. The firemen had stopped to help escort Josephine from the building at the time of the collapse. They crawled out and were then escorted alive from an air pocket in the debris. The fourteen survivors from stairway B in the North tower include (spellings uncertain):

Firefighter Mickey Kross (Engine Company 16)
Battalion Chief Rich Picciotto (11th Battalion)
Firefighter Billy Butler (Ladder 6)
Firefighter Tommy Falco (Ladder 6)
Firefighter Jim McGlynn (Engine 39)
Captain Jay Jonas (Ladder 6)
Firefighter Rob Bacon (Engine 39)
Firefighter Jeff Coniglio (Engine 39)
Firefighter Jim Efthimiaddes (Engine 39)
Officer Dave Lim (Port Authority Police K-9 Unit)
Firefighter Michael Meldrum (Ladder 6)
Firefighter Sal D'Agastino (Ladder 6)
Firefighter Matt Komorowski (Ladder 6)
Josephine Harris (civilian)

First Union Bank employee Tom Canavan, 42, and an unidentified young man were in the underground shopping mall beneath the South Tower when it collapsed. They were able to climb to the surface.

Police officers Sgt. John McLoughlin, 48, and Will Jimeno, 33, were in the underground shopping mall beneath the North Tower when it collapsed. They were pulled out by rescue workers.

Pasquale Buzzelli, 32, a structural engineer at the Port Authority, was in Stairway "B" on the 13th floor of the North Tower when it collapsed. After losing consciousness, he awoke on the surface, on top of a pile of rubble, and was carried away with minor injuries.

Genelle Guzman McMillan, 30, a secretary at the Port Authority, was in Stairway "B" on the 13th floor of the North Tower when it collapsed. She survived in an air pocket for 27 hours before she was rescued. She is famous for being the last person pulled alive from the rubble.

Five people, some of whom were firefighters, were reported to have been rescued on September 13, 2001, 50 hours after being trapped under debris in an SUV. However, they had in fact been trapped that day




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