Louie Cacchioli, 51, is a
firefighter assigned to Engine 47 in Harlem.
We were the first ones in the second tower after the
plane struck. I was taking firefighters up in the
elevator to the 24th floor to get in position to
evacuate workers. On the last trip up a bomb went off.
We think there was bombs set in the building. I had just
asked another firefighter to stay with me, which was a
good thing because we were trapped inside the elevator
and he had the tools to get out.
There were probably 500 people trapped in the
stairwell. It was mass chaos. The power went out. It was
dark. Everybody was screaming. We had oxygen masks and
we were giving people oxygen. Some of us made it out and
some of us didn't. I know of at least 30 firefighters
who are still missing. This is my 20th year. I am
seriously considering retiring. This might have done it.
Carl Cunneff, 36, an oil broker
who works at the World Financial Center, located across
the street from the WTC.
I was taking cover beneath the overhang of a building
when I saw this big booklet fall from the sky and land
on the sidewalk. I picked it up. It was a spreadsheet
book with the name Cantor Fitzgerald. It's a financial
company where some of my friends work on the 102nd
floor. I thought, "That floor must be gone."
Police guided us across the West Side Highway, then
we heard a loud roar and looked up to see a second jet
headed right for the south tower. We heard the engines
speed up as it turned sideways and hit the corner of the
building head on. It looked like it melted into a
fireball. We thought there might be other planes. So we
all started running toward the Hudson River to the ferry
service to New Jersey. The ferry was packed with people
crying and hugging one another, not knowing if their
coworkers were dead or alive.