Sunday, December 5

A survivor of September 11: “I should have died 50 times that day”


20 years after the 9/11 attacks, euronews has interviewed one of the survivors, Bruno Dellinger, a French businessman, whose office was on the 47th floor of the North Tower. When you arrive that morning at the building, remember the moments before the impact of the first plane at 8:46 a.m.

“We lived in heaven, in the World Trade Center, in immense tranquility, unlike the rest of the city. I looked at the view. Little by little my employees arrived, then I checked my emails when suddenly I heard the shrill sound of aircraft engines, an unheard-of noise that could not be understood. Then there was an immediate impact on the facade where my office was, about twenty floors up. I experienced first-hand the collapse of the facades, the building swaying in a very, very disturbing way (…) You could feel that you were about to break. It lasted a long time, two or three minutes. “

Without seeing it, Dellinger immediately thought it was a plane, remembering that a plane had accidentally hit the Empire State Building in the past. Not wanting to panic, he initially stayed at his table, before realizing that he had to urgently evacuate the building.

“I came across a group of people who were taking a stairway different from mine, they died. And I came out at the end of a descent that lasted 50 minutes, very complicated with terrible heat” (…) “I should have died 50 times during that day, if I had come out ten seconds later, I would have indeed died”

After hitting the street in shock, Dellinger had to watch the towers collapse. He heard an explosion, and then a gigantic cloud of dust engulfed him. The experience particularly impacted him:

“In the space of a few moments, everything turned blacker than night, and there was not a single sound. Faced with the excess of stimuli, my body believed dead. All these things: the noise, the lights, the sound, they are things that we do not learn, that we know since we are born. But when they are challenged by the force of events, the body and the mind no longer understand them. “

Traumatized and terrified, the businessman waited three months before having the courage to return to the scene of the disaster. So he had to go on living. He went back to work, wrote a book and had children … 20 years later, he remembers this difficult rebuilding process

“It was very difficult to rebuild myself, because I was a ball of pain, because I was really psychologically dead. When I was going down the street and I saw a sign of life, the sun shining, I said to myself: this is not possible because you are dead, I had a fuse that exploded in my head. The signs of life began to reappear a month, two months later: a good-tasting tomato, for example. Silly things”.

Dellinger speaks regularly in the media and also in schools to tell the horror of that day to a generation that did not experience 9/11.


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