Friday, March 31, 2006

City Releases Tapes of 911 Calls From Sept. 11 Attack

The NYT has a story and graphics of the release of the 911 tapes. The bad part:

"They describe crowded islands of fleeting survival, on floors far from the crash and even on those that were directly hit: Hallways are blocked on 104. Send help to 84. It is hard to breathe on 97.

Be calm, the operators implore. God is there. Sit tight."

No more than 2 of the 130 callers were told to leave, the tapes reveal, even though unequivocal orders to evacuate the trade center had been given by fire chiefs and police commanders moments after the first plane struck. The city had no procedure for field commanders to share information with the 911 system, a flaw identified by the 9/11 Commission that city officials say has since been fixed.

The tapes show that many callers were not told to leave, but to stay put, the standard advice for high-rise fires. In the north tower, all three of the building's stairways were destroyed at the 92nd floor. But in the south tower, where one stairway remained passable, the recordings include references to perhaps a few hundred people huddled in offices, unaware of the order to leave. Rest here

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