One of the survivors of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center Collapse, Tom Canavan has narrated how he felt when the incidence occurred.
Tom Canavan is one of the few persons that came out from the rubbles of the collapsed of the complex in the United States, following a coordinated terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda.
On that day, four commercial airliners were reportedly hijacked by terrorists and diverted to hit the large complex of seven buildings leading to the death of about 2,977 victims.
Tom Canavan said he was lucky to live to tell the story haven been in the South Tower of the World Trade Centre when it fell.
He told CNN that he initially thought he was dead because everywhere around was dark.
“All of a sudden, I felt this rush of air coming down and heat, a thumping noise. And I remember yelling or trying to yell. I don’t even know if I got it out of my mouth to one of the women who was ahead of me to head for a doorway.
“But I don’t — again, I don’t know if I got it out of my mouth before I was just smashed to the ground like a bug. And then it got real quiet. I heard just some — what sounded like sand trickling and just complete darkness and no sound at all. And my first reaction was, I’m dead.”
According to Canavan, he encouraged himself that he needed to go and see his wife and he gradually began to pull himself through till he came out.
“There was a slab of concrete that had fallen at an angle and hit me on the top of the head, pushed me down. I didn’t know all this at the time — I just felt something on top of me. So I felt for the edge, and I said: “I can’t stay here.” Things around me — it was just so hot. There were little pieces of paper just starting to burst and a male voice said to me, Don’t leave me.
“And I said, “Well, I’m leaving. If you stay here, you’re gonna burn and suffocate. And my wife at the time was pregnant. And I said, I have to see my daughter born. My son’s turning 3 next week. So I’m leaving. And I just started digging. And the guy came behind me and we moved like snakes. You couldn’t even get up onto your knees, that’s how congested it was. All I remember is concrete,” he said to CNN.
September 11 is set apart in the US as a memorial for those who lost their lives in the said attack.
The US President, Joe Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and top military and governments officials gathered to observe 9/11 ceremony for the victims.
Speaking at the remembrance ceremony at the Flight 93 memorial, Pennsylvania, former US president, George Bush urged Americans to remember those who died and to stand united and focused in the face of challenges.
“This is not mere nostalgia. It is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been and what we can be again. 20 years ago, terrorists chose a random group of Americans on a routine flight to be collateral damage in a spectacular act of terror. The 33 passengers and seven crew of Flight 93 could have been any group of citizens selected by fate. In a sense, they stood in for us all. The terrorists soon discovered that a random group of Americans is an exceptional group of people,” he said.