Whitehorse Daily Star

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A DAY OF HORROR – Smoke and fire surround the upper floors of the World Trade Center in New York City this morning in this image from television, after a second plane slammed into the building. Planes crashed into the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers minutes apart in a horrific scene of explosions and fires that left gaping holes in the 110-storey buildings before they completely collapsed, leading to a horrendous loss of life. AP Photo/NBC

Yukoner witnessed dreadful moments in New York City

Whitehorse’s Norman Shorty watched in horror from his Manhattan hotel as the World Trade Center collapsed – one twin tower at a time.

By Whitehorse Star on September 12, 2001

From three or so kilometres away, Shorty watched the first 110-storey tower fall after it was struck by a huge passenger jet, either a Boeing 757 or 767.

And as he watched, the second jumbo jet cruised into view and straight into the side of the second tower, about two-thirds of the way up.

“I was awake and just looked up and saw the first tower burning and I called the guys,” Shorty said in an interview from his hotel room this morning. “Then we saw the f——-g second plane.

“Everything down here is pretty nerve-wracking. I just want to get home, man.”

Shortly said he was supposed to fly out of New York today, but now he is wondering if he and four other truck drivers who dropped loads there earlier this week will even be able to escape Manhattan.

Shorty was returning a truck for an outdoor tent company.

He said police have blocked off streets, closed tunnels and are allowing only emergency vehicles to travel.

But he and the group of truckers do have access to a small vehicle and were going to attempt to get to Hartford, Conn., or to the Canadian border some six or seven hours away.

“It’s scary; we are trying to figure out how to get out, but everything is shut down.

“The general feeling when I was walking around the streets, is everybody is saying, ‘Let’s kill the bastards (those responsible for the terrorist attack).

“You have police going down the road, you have police going everywhere and have emergency vehicles going everywhere. It is just nuts. I just want to get home.”

Shorty’s sister, Elaine Shorty, said this morning from Whitehorse her family is tremendously concerned about the situation, and only wants to find a way for her brother to reach some Canadian centre from which he can make his way back to Whitehorse.

Anyone who may want to help with the unexpected airfare can call their sister, Jackie Shorty, at the Kwanlin Dun First Nation, Elaine said. Norman said there is ever-present tension in Manhattan, for fear the violence that rocked the United States’ largest city at 8:48 a.m. isn’t over.

By CHUCK TOBIN Star Reporter

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