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America Under Attack: New York City Eyewitnesses Tell Their Stories

Aired September 11, 2001 - 15:18   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 ANCHOR: To Washington and our colleague Judy Woodruff -- Judy.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Aaron, I -- again, listening to your conversation with James Calstrom and the others, it's -- we can only begin to grasp the magnitude of what's happened here. And I keep thinking back to what your New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani, said about, what, 30 minutes ago. He looked at the camera and he said: It's safe here in New York City.

But I would just say, without contradicting the mayor at all, that for so many people watching these pictures, it's very hard to believe or to know what is safe after four commercial jetliners caused the death that we have seen today.

We have right now -- we want to show you some pictures, some conversations with people on the street, the streets of New York City this morning, about the time of the airplane crashes into the World Trade Center. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... the actual airplane hitting the building. It was surreal. As we looked at it we thought it was something out of a movie. It just didn't seem. The airplane just came in at the tilt, we heard the scream of the plane, then a crack, crack, crack, boom, boom, boom, and the plane just disappeared, you didn't see the plane anymore, and then you saw the blowout from the other side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people acquainted this to something like Pearl Harbor. You were there. You saw this. Could (UNINTELLIGIBLE) perspective that you saw this. You know, nothing has ever happened like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I now have imagines that will never leave my mind. As I'm walking up from -- we walked down from downtown up to Ground Central here and I just keep seeing that airplane hitting.

I saw also, prior to the second airplane, while we were still standing there, I must have saw about seven or eight bodies flying through the air, coming from 80 floors up. Just they pulled from the debris and you just saw them cartwheeling down, bouncing off the building. It was devastating.

I am not an emotional person in the least, I actually felt a tremendous emotion at that point, because I do have a lot of friends in both buildings. And I do know that last time, as I said, it took two and a half hours for somebody on the 70th floor to get out of that building. So it's absolutely devastating. I believe being down there is tens of thousands of people dead. That is what I believe at this point.

I am not emotional, but I'm very feeling very emotional about this. I have feelings of revenge, but I just sure that the government does -- doesn't arbitrarily select an enemy and decide to for political reasons obliterate that enemy just for this, but I do hope they find the people who are responsible for this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... it was complete dark. Complete dark, there is no light. So, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) little light came on, because it we could not see what was happening. The all, you know, dust and debris.

QUESTION: How did you get out?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, the firefighter -- somebody came when the lights came eventually, and we were following him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police officer told everybody to form a human chain, and we held on to each other and he (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and he directed us to building 5 and we went out building 5.

QUESTION: Did you see people bleeding, and what did you see?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, everybody -- you want blood, here's blood. Everybody is bleeding. People were laying all over the floor, it's horrible! And I was there the first time, and this is twice.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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