Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript

CNN TV

EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN BREAKING NEWS

Airplanes Hit The World Trade Center

Aired September 11, 2001 - 13:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: William Rodriguez (ph) is a maintenance worker at the Trade Center, I believe. In any case, he's on the phone with us now.

Mr. Rodriguez can you hear me?

WILLIAM RODRIGUEZ, MAINTENANCE WORKER, TRADE CENTER: Yes, I can hear you now.

BROWN: Tell me where you were when -- which of those two buildings were you in?

RODRIGUEZ: I work in building one. The one that got hit the first time.

BROWN: Tell me what happened.

RODRIGUEZ: I was in the basement, which is the support floor for the maintenance company, and we hear like a big rumble. Not like an impact, like a rumble, like moving furniture in a massive way. And all of sudden we hear another rumble, and a guy comes running, running into our office, and all of skin was off his body. All of the skin.

We went crazy, we started screaming, we told him to get out. We took everybody out of the office outside to the loading dock area. Then I went back in, and when I went back in I saw people -- I heard people that were stuck on an the elevator, on a freight elevator because all of the elevators went down. And water was going in, and they were probably getting drowned. And we get a couple of pipes and opened the elevator and we got the people out.

I went back up and saw one of the officers from the Port Authority Police, I been working there for 20 years so I knew him very well. My routine on the World Trade Center is in charge of the staircase, and since there was no elevator service, I have the master keys for all the staircase doors.

So, I went up with the police officer and a group of firemen. As we went up, there was a lot of people coming up, and while we got -- it was very difficult to get up.

BROWN: Mr. Rodriguez, how many time has taken -- has elapsed here in this, as you recount the events? Did it seem like hours, minutes, seconds? RODRIGUEZ: No, it wasn't hours.

BROWN: What did it seem like?

RODRIGUEZ: Well there was a big time, like a gap. There was a gap of time. I won't be able to tell you if it was 15 or 20 minutes.

BROWN: OK.

RODRIGUEZ: But there was a gap of time. We heard, while we were on the 33rd floor, I'm sorry on the 23rd floor, because we stopped there with the fire department because their equipped was very heavy and they were breathing very hard. They took a break because they couldn't continue going up. So they wanted take a break.

And we had a person on a wheelchair that we were going to bring down on a gurney, and a lady that was having problems with a heart attack, and some other guy that was bleeding hard. And we went a couple of floors up. While they were putting the person in the gurney, got up to the 39th floor, and we heard on the radio that the 65th floor collapsed. It collapsed.

BROWN: Mr. Rodriguez, let me stop you there at the 65th floor, and let me add you are a lucky man, it seems like, today. Thank you for joining us.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top