Excerpts from oral testimony provided by NYC firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians, downloaded from this page courtesy of the New York Times, and transcribed by Agent99. These are only a few of many more first responders and others at the scene whose testimony has reference to bombs, explosions, holes in vehicles, burning metal and/or other evidence of controlled demolition. We have added the emphasis. Click on a name to download the full PDF of that person's testimony.
Richard Banaciski, Firefighter (FDNY)
... I just remember we were -- initially we were out by the street and they started having jumpers, so they all kind of moved back towards the building, so nothing could come down on us.Edward Cachia, Firefighter (FDNY)
We were there I don't know, maybe 10, 15 minutes and then I just remember there was just an explosion. It seemed like on television they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions. Everybody just said run and we all turned around and we ran into the parking garage because that's basically where we were. Running forward would be running towards it. Not thinking that this building is coming down. We just thought there was going to be a big explosion.
... As I'm standing with my officer, the people are continuing to jump. Ganci is still on the radio trying desperately to get some information concerning this third plane in the air.Dominick DeRubbio, Battalion Chief (FDNY)
As my officer and I were looking at the south tower, it just gave. It actually gave at a lower floor, not the floor where the plane hit, because we originally had thought there was like an internal detonation explosives because it went in succession, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then the tower came down.
With that everybody was just stunned for a second or two, looking at the tower coming down. Then everybody started to turn towards the garage. That was it. We were just kind of blown into the garage with all the dust and the debris and material from the building. It came up rapidly right up the street.
As I remember turning, if you were out in the street somewhat, a good amount out in the street, you were kind of blown down the street, where we were kind of forced into the garage. ...
... Going down Vesey, sort of in front of Seven World Trade Center. I knew they were airplane parts. You could see gears and pieces of airplane.Karin Deshore, Captain (EMS)
It was weird how it started to come down. It looked like it was a timed explosion, but I guess it was the floors starting to pancake one on top of the other.
... when somebody just simply shouted and I have no idea who it was, it's blowing.Brian Dixon, Battalion Chief (FDNY)
... It was the worst sound of a rolling sound, not a thunder. I can't explain it, what it was. All I know is -- and a force started to come hit me in my back. I can't explain it. You had to be there. All I know is I had to run because I thought there was an explosion.
I ran about 10, 12 feet up this little grassy hill and by then this force and this sound caught up with me already. I threw myself behind the last support column of the pedestrian overpass. It became pitch dark. The sound got worse, the force just kept passing me. At times I thought it was like an orange light maybe, coming past me.
... Whatever this explosion was simply sucked all the oxygen out of the air. You couldn't breathe and the feeling of suffocation, I can't explain no further than that.
... when I saw the second building of the World Trade Center, still unbeknown to me the first one had collapsed.
Somewhere around the middle of the World Trade Center, there was this orange and red flash coming out. Initially it was just one flash. Then this flash just kept popping all the way around the building and that building had started to explode. The popping sound, and with each popping sound it was initially an orange and then a red flash came out of the building on both sides as far as I could see. These popping sounds and the explosions were getting bigger, going both up and down and then all around the building.
So here these explosions are getting bigger and louder and bigger and louder and I told everybody if this building totally explodes, still unaware that the other building had collapsed, I'm going in the water.
I'm still standing there trying to figure out what my next move should be, when the same sergeant says fucking shit, it's coming at us, and that's a quote.
Again, I didn't see what was happening behind me, but knowing of all the explosions I thought here was another explosion coming and this sound again and this wave of this force again. ... Here whatever it was just came right at us again. The sergeant is yelling at one officer. The second officer was in the back with some of the people that had been in the back of the boat. I had no clue what was going on back there. The sergeant is yelling at the second officer, get the fuck out of here, get the fuck out of here. I'm sorry for using that word repeatedly. The poor guy behind the steering wheel is saying I can't go any place, we are tied on.
That is about what saved our lives, because this force came at us and hit us with everything. The boat was attempting to overturn and it kept hitting in the back against the pier.
... By the time I started to pass by in front of 10 and 10. As I got down a little further, there was what looked to be a piece of the cabin of the airplane, I guess. It looked like a piece of it maybe six feet long. It looked like the windows.Thomas Fitzpatrick, Deputy Commissioner for Administration (FDNY)
... This is on Liberty and just west of 10 and 10, whatever that next building is there. ... It actually looked like the rounded cutout of the windows of the cabin of a plane.
Ganci was just figuring out where they were putting people. I was watching the fire, watching the people jump and hearing a noise and looking up and seeing -- it actually looked -- the lowest floor of the fire in the south tower actually looked like someone had planted explosives around it because the whole bottom I could see -- I could see two sides of it and the other side -- it just looked like the floor blew out.
I looked up and you could actually see everything blew out on the one floor. I thought, geez, this looks like an explosion up there, it blew out. Then I guess some sense of time we looked at it and realized, no, actually it just collapsed.
As I just got in under the entrance there, I got a little ways back and it was just like -- you hear the noise, a boom, and then a blast of air. It just kind of threw me against the wall. That's where I decided to stay. Since it blew me there, I just hung on the wall.
So I'm out in the street and it had to be half an hour because I'm there when the second one comes down too and I'm not far north on Vesey when I hear the same noise again and look up and realize oh, this one's coming down.
When that one came down, I heard the rumble on that. That started to come down. Now I know I'm not alone. All of these people I see were running up West Street, and I just started north on West Street running. I don't know how far I got. I heard a boom behind me, I looked back and I knew I had to outrun the debris. I saw like 150 feet of the cloud. I figured I didn't outrun it the last time and I don't think I'm going to outrun it this time either. So I got caught up in that again, the thick cloud.
Maybe we were up there, because at that point they were talking about secondary devices.
Q. Did you witness the second plane hitting?Timothy Julian, Firefighter (FDNY)
A. I heard it but I didn't look up. The noise from the plane was enough to make you not want to look up. I thought the plane was actually going to land in the street to be honest with you. The noise was outrageous. When it hit the building it was even worse. I figured as long as I didn't get hit by the plane, we were ahead of the game. The next thing I was worried about was getting hit by the parts. Various pieces of the plane were falling in the street. As we went down the street you could see the parts of aircraft with stencil numbers on it and things like that. There was a wheel, or like a wheel housing or something else there in the street.
There were a lot of bodies coming down but I didn't pay much attention to it. For some reason I was more focused on the airplane parts until somebody started pointing out the body parts. I was particularly concerned with getting hit by something falling out of the building....
It was evident that we weren't going to be able to get the people above the fire. Based on the number of jumpers, we could only assume that hundreds of people were trapped.
... We assumed from the last explosion that there were big big chunks of glass coming down from somewhere. So we told him to get back against the building.
... We looked up at the building straight up, we were that close. All we saw was a puff of smoke coming from about two thirds of the way up. Some people thought it was an explosion. I don't think I remember that. I remember seeing, it looked like sparkling around one specific layer of the building. I assume now that that was either windows starting to collapse like tinsel or something. Then the building started to come down. My initial reaction was that this is exactly the way it looks when they show you those implosions on TV. I would have to say for three or four seconds anyway, maybe longer. I was just watching. It was interesting to watch, but the thing that woke everybody up was the cloud of black material. ... The black cloud was coming down faster than the building, so whatever was coming down was going to hit the street and it was pretty far out.
... It wasn't very loud but it was big. A big noise, it wasn't like a crash, like a car accident, more like a big thud. And a blast of air and debris came through the garage.
... I said the second one is coming down. This is getting to be a little bit too much.
... The reason I knew the second building was gone because the smoke drifted for a second, and the sunlight came through and I knew it wasn't an optical illusion, it was just gone. So that's all I know about the second one.
... When we were in the north tower, just before we left, there was a report of a third plane coming in from the Port Authority. I don't know if anybody knew whether to take that seriously or if it was true or not.
Still in the north tower. A lot of the marble in the lobby was falling off the walls, big slabs of marble were falling down. From the impact, I guess. The lobby didn't look too good. The integrity of the elevators - I started to think about the elevators. They had either blown out, cut off or could possibly have the cars coming down. The lobby was becoming an untenable place, especially if we wanted to continue operations.
First I thought it was an explosion. I thought maybe there was a bomb on the plane, but delayed type of thing, you know, secondary device.Daniel Rivera, EMT
You know, and I just heard like an explosion and then a cracking type of noise, and then it sounded like a freight train, rumbling and picking up speed, and I remember I looked up, and I saw it coming down, and I was able to make it across Washington and Albany.
It was the loudest rumbling I ever heard. The ground shook, and I got thrown down, and I remember being buried. ... I was able to stand up and push everything off me, but now I felt like I was in the street or the sidewalk, and it was hot, smoky. I felt like I was in a fire, and I remember digging my way out. A lot of cementation, powdery insulation, whatever you want to call it. Almost like being in a blizzard with metal debris right on me.
... and at that point the second building collapsed. I heard the same exact noise all over again. ...like a big wave again, a woosh, paper, and debris, and powder, and fire and smoke.
As I was treating the patient with the laceration and the asthmatic patient, that's when the second plane hit. All I heard was just a thunderous noise. As I looked up, I saw a ball of flames coming down. So everyone ran, the patients and everyone.Kenneth Rogers, Firefighter (FDNY)
It was a frigging noise. At first I thought it was -- do you ever see professional demolition where they set the charges on certain floors and then you hear "Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop"? That's exactly what -- because I thought it was that. When I heard that frigging noise, that's when the building came down.
Q. So you were still over there when the second building collapsed?
A. Right, because I ran back. Not too bright of me, of course. I ran right back in, and I was right -- I could actually touch the building when it collapsed, the second time when it collapsed.
But again, I was prepared because I heard that same noise. It was like a waterfall noise. That's when I ran.
We moved the vehicle. It had several holes.
Meanwhile we were standing there with about five companies and we were just waiting for our assignment and then there was an explosion in the south tower, which according to this map, this exposure just blew out in flames. A lot of guys left at that point. I kept watching. Floor after floor after floor. One floor under another after another and when it hit about the fifth floor, I figured it was a bomb, because it looked like a synchronized deliberate kind of thing. I was there in '93.Albert Turi -- Deputy Assistant Chief of Safety (FDNY)
Then we went back from the North Cove harbor, we went back to the building and the second collapse occurred when -- the three of us were in the back of the building: myself, Oscar and Joe Petrich. There was a really heavy draft. My helmet just flew off into this black curtain of soot behind the building.
and what I actually thought at the time, and mistakenly so, was it's not as bad as it looks; most of the fuel was expended on the outside of the building. That's what I originally thought.Thomas Turilli -- Firefighter (FDNY)
So we ran back to the car and laying right in back of my car was a large object which I thought was probably a part of one of the aircraft turbines. It was laying about ten feet from the car and it was still on fire, smoking and fire.
... people were jumping on that side, and ... I didn't want to be killed by someone falling on top of me.
Q. Let me stop you there for a second, chief. When you were in the lobby of 1 World Trade, can you describe the interior and the condition of the lobby?
A. Yes. I was surprised that all the glass was mostly out. I wasn't sure how it got out. I didn't think we took it out. I just assumed that it was the vibration from the aircraft hitting it. And I did notice some pieces of marble that looked like it was dislodged from the core area.
The next thing I heard was Pete say what the fuck is this? And as my eyes traveled up the building, and I was looking at the south tower, somewhere about halfway up, my initial reaction was there was a secondary explosion, and the entire floor area, a ring right around the building blew out. I later realized that this building was collapsing...
And I got about 20 feet down the ramp into the garage, I'm going to estimate 15 to 20 feet, when all the dust from debris blew into the garage like it was a hurricane force wind and I ducked into some small alcove.
And I started walking south on West Street to find out where Chief Ganci went when I heard this enormous roar. It was the same roar I heard when the south tower collapsed and I knew that this was collapsing. I didn't even look at it this time. I turned around and I started running north on West Street. I probably ran half a block before the dust was so choking that, if I continued to run, I thought I would die, and I laid down on the ground and put my coat over my face.
I guess the debris was steel and dust. Steel and dust, in some spots two stories high, in most spots ten feet high covering the entire West Street.
The door closed, and they went up, and it just seemed a couple seconds and all of a sudden you just heard like it almost actually that day sounded like bombs going off, like boom, boom, boom, like seven or eight, and then just a huge wind gust just came and my officer just actually took all of us and threw us down on the ground and kind of just jumped on top of us, laid on top of us.
with assistance from Agent99