Friday, September 11, 2009

[...] Jack Gentual, dean of student services at the New Jersey Institute of Technology got a call from his wife Alayne who worked in the tower and was trapped on the 97th floor. "She told me smoke was coming in the room, coming through the vents, her breath was laboured ... She said to me 'I'm scared' and she wasn't a person who got scared. She said that she loved me and to tell the boys she loved them." Alayne told her husband that she was going to try to escape to the lower floors and that she would call later.

But Gentual never heard from his wife again. Her body was found on the street in front of the building across from hers. He wonders if his wife was one of the many who decided to jump. "In some ways it might just be the last elements of control. To be out of the smoke and the heat, to be out in the must have felt like flying."

For those who jumped, the fall lasted about ten seconds. The jumpers hit the ground at 240 kilometres a hour. It wasn't fast enough to cause unconsciousness while falling, but ensured instant death on impact.

Witnesses there that day say there was a constant stream of jumpers over the next hour and a half. [...]


Cathy_of_Alex said...

Horrifying. I wonder what they thought. Die on the ground or wait for the smoke and flames to overtake them? Or, did they think when they saw others jumping that they knew something; like maybe there was a big trampoline on the ground or something?

What really gets to me is the images of the people in the windows or in the burned out holes waving or just standing there looking and waiting for help that never came. I'm also effected by the images of the first responders as they walked into the buildings.

It's all just horrible. A nightmare that won't go away.

belinda said...

Dear Miss Cathy, I had this same conversation with my Fire Chief
because I too was upset that people were jumping and he said that when your next to intense heat your first inclination is to get away and by any means.

He put it this way... Belinda when fire is licking your ass you would think differently.

He has gone into fires that are hotter than 800 degrees which is signifiantly hotter than my oven. Can you imagine putting on a coat and a mask and going into your oven?

God bless the families of these people and God bless our emergency workers who have seen some really horrible things. Please offer up a prayer for my husband. Thanks :)

On a personal note I am keenly aware of my surrounings, exits etc.. at all times. My father was an emergency worker and I have heard these stories all of my life.