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America Under Attack: Stories of Those Not Able to Escape

Aired September 14, 2001 - 00:46   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.
COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Jim, thanks. Well, on Wednesday we brought you the story of Morgan Stanley and what officials there call the miraculous escape of the vast majority of that firm's employees from the World Trade Center.

But now, sadly, we have to bring you the story of another firm that was not so lucky. CNN's Peter Viles has that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the saddest vigil you can imagine. Scott Hazelcorn's parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not even revenge. I mean, I don't - I just want to hear my son's voice.

VILES: Members of June Koo Kang's (ph) church.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all pray every night.

VILES: John Pricante's (ph) wife, expecting their child in December.

PRICANTE: He calls me at 10 to 9:00 and said, Our building has just been hit by a plane, turn on the news. And I changed the channel and I saw what happened. And I said, 'God, John, please get out of there safely.' And he said, 'I love you. I have to go.'

VILES: What links these stories is that all the missing worked at Canter Fitzgerald, all above the 100th floor of the North Tower of the first one hit. Canter is not a glamorous firm, but it is crucial, one of the world's largest bond trading firms. A thousand people worked up there, fewer than 300 are accounted for. But it is not clear any of those now safe were on the top floors Tuesday morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't think anybody got out at this point, but we pray for miracles.

VILES: Scott Hazelcorns' parents suspect that their son did not run for his life.

MR. HAZELCORN: He didn't care about himself. He only cared about his friends.

MRS. HAZELCORN: And Scott was there and he was getting out, he'd probably help everybody out. That's the kind of kid he was.

VILES: They gather at a city designated center for relatives of the missing on 26th Street, where trees have become pleas for help. And further uptown at the Pier Hotel, a gathering site for Canter Fitzgerald families.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think the company has the information that we need. I think they're sharing everything they know, but we have not heard of one survivor. We have not been able to validate any stories that we've heard.

VILES: There are official clearinghouses for information on the missing, and Canter Fitzgerald is using them. But these friends and family members are convinced that any extra effort they can make on behalf of their loved ones is worth making.

Peter Viles, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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