News24

I'm going to die - 9/11 victim

2011-09-08 19:19

New York - They called on God and they called for human help, but in the end the victims who phoned from 9/11's inferno knew there was no one to hear their screams.

Most of the nearly 3 000 people blown apart on September 11  2001, when hijackers turned four planes into missiles against the Pentagon and New York's World Trade Centre, died in their own very private hell.

But thanks to the radios of first responders, cellphones, the office phones in the Twin Towers and even onboard payphones in the hijacked airliners, some of the doomed were able to place a final message to the outside world.

Melissa Doi, a 32-year-old manager at IQ Financial Systems on the 83rd floor of the World Trade Centre’s South Tower, spoke to the emergency services for at least four minutes.

'Ma'am, say your prayers'

Doi, her terror-stricken voice contrasting starkly with the purposefully emotionless tone of the operator, described how the heat is making it hard to breathe.

"I"m going to die aren't I?" she cried.

"No, no, no, no, no." the operator responded.

"I'm going to die."

"Ma'am, ma'am, say your prayers," the operator said, trying to console her.

"Please God," Doi said.

The conversation apparently ended shortly after, Doi crying in a ragged voice: "Help!"

Among the other futile calls to the emergency services was a desperate last cellphone contact from insurance broker Kevin Cosgrove, just as his 99th-floor office disintegrated in the South Tower.

Last attempts

"Oh my God.... Aaaaarrggggghhhh!" Cosgrove, vice president of brokerage firm Aon Corp, is heard shouting at 09:58, his voice fading, amid crashing sounds of the collapsing tower, before the line cuts.

Passengers and crew on the four airliners also made heartbreaking last attempts to reach out to the living.

Brave flight attendant Betty Ong, on American Flight 11 from Boston, called ground control, calmly describing how two colleagues had been stabbed and "the cockpit's not answering the phone".

"I think we're getting hijacked," she said at 08:19. Less than half an hour later Ong and the rest of those on the plane disappeared in a fireball in the North Tower.

Alice Hoagland, mother of United Flight 93 passenger Mark Bingham, tried to call her son after seeing the shocking news. He didn't answer, so she told him, her voice remarkably calm and mother-like: "Try to take over the aircraft.... Group some people and do the best you can to get control".

Bingham, whom she calls "sweetie" in the message, is believed to have helped lead an insurrection against the hijackers that sent the plane crashing into a Pennsylvania field, rather than its likely target of Washington DC.

Flight 175

Seated on United Flight 175 just minutes before it smashed into the South Tower, Brian Sweeney also left a message, in this case to his wife Julie.

Following a chirpy, automatic "message one!" heard on the answering machine, his words are simple and moving.

"Listen, I'm on an airplane that's been hijacked," he says. "I just want you to know I absolutely love you. I want you to do good, go have a good time. Same to my parents and everybody. I totally love you."

The majority of victims' families never had a chance to say goodbye, or, in many cases of those killed at the World Trade Centre, even to identify their vapourised remains.

But a different sort of anguish afflicted those who were able to exchange final words.

Last words

Beverly Eckert remembers how happy she was to receive a call from her husband Sean Rooney at about 09:30: she assumed he'd been able to escape from his office in the Twin Towers.

But "he told me he was on the 105th floor, and I knew right away that Sean was never coming home".

After long minutes of talking, he whispered "'I love you' over and over. Then I suddenly heard this loud explosion," Eckert wrote in New York magazine this week. Her husband was still alive but they both knew what the sound was: the tower starting to collapse.

"I called his name in the phone over and over. Then I just sat there huddled on the floor holding the phone to my heart."

Comments
  • First48 - 2011-09-08 19:43

    Heartbreaking :(

  • Colin - 2011-09-08 20:13

    Why on earth are you making this public? I think that this is inflammatory journalism and shouldn't be in the public domain. No empathy for the relatives of all those poor people murdered/sacrificed in the interest of an ideal which will be revealed one day in the future.

      GonnyVonYuri - 2011-09-08 20:19

      Colin, its important this is out there - freedom is sacred and people need to realise who are enemies are. islam is the enemy of freedom and progression.

      Tuesday G - 2011-09-08 20:49

      In the UK they are currently running a TV series - where the actual calls can be heard. I do not quite understand your objection that it is inflammatory journalism and should not be in the public domain. 3000 people lost their lives on September 11, and whether you want to acknowledge it or not - it changed the world.

      Tuesday G - 2011-09-08 21:01

      @Gonny. Sorry to disagree with you - but what happened on September 11 was based on the actions of individual human beings interpretting a scripture according to what they wanted it too. And over the years, how many tragedies were the result of human actions, all defended because it was in the name of a religion - including Christianity? Woman were burnt or hanged because they were deemed witches? The Crusades? I can still clearly remember in my high school years how a " dominee" firmly defended apartheid with verses from the Bible, and then stated that there is a seperate heaven for white and black people?

      rc8000c - 2011-09-11 08:05

      It's in public domain so that people never forget why they are in afghanistan trying to dismantle al queada.

  • ArrestedDevelopment - 2011-09-08 20:39

    So, what was the Christian God doing while this was happening? Seem He is even though He is almighty, He is also slow to anger. I can understand and accept this world and all its troubles without the God figure that is portrayed in available literature today. I don't see the merciful, caring God that allows people to suffer and He can do something about it. Why all the drama?

      mbulelo.bikitsha - 2011-09-12 11:32

      That is because the God dude doesn't exist man. People will believe in anything that helps them make sense of all the crazy stuff they do to each other without having to take responsibility for their actions.

  • Raymond - 2011-09-08 20:53

    There are good and bad people in all walks of life irrespective of religion or colour.I have worked in an industry for over 40 years and I have build up and still maintain a friendship of all sorts.I have never encountered any friction regarding colour or creed.Life is about mutual respect.

  • Law01 - 2011-09-08 22:01

    Gonny I see you changed your user name, WHY???? Scared that people might question your idol worshiping??? Mohammed you spot on!! Gonny you so filled with hatred that you spend so much of time defaming Islam, what about Idol Worship Gonny Boy?? You may have gone through some Bad experience that built this enmity & hatred within, I really do pity you & feel for you. The Quran is such a comprehensive scripture that it needs to be read in its entirity and not just verses in isolation, A vast majority whon have read it with an Objective Mind have subsequently become Muslim. You are fighting a losing Battle. Osama was not behind the 911 attacks, go to www.iamthewitness.com and also read " confessions of an economic hitman" by John Perkins towards Muslims

      Tuesday G - 2011-09-08 22:24

      Law - you might be on the opposite side of the coin of Gonny - but between yourself and Gonny your form a perfect circle of intolerance, prejudice and judgement.

  • Law01 - 2011-09-08 23:04

    Tuesday: Islam means peace and promotes tolerance, so I advocate peace and exercise tolerance towards all. Gonny has has baggage which is inherited from his ancestors from India where there is unfortunately Major prejudices based on Religion, colour, cast, The north of India being "Upper Cast". Please Go and do reasearch as Gonny promotes a lot of hatred towards Islam which is unsubstantiated and based on his deep rooted prejudices. Gonny is still in the Dark & is blinded to the truth about 911 by these very prejudices and it is sad for him as well. He should visit www.iamthewitness.com and read "confessions of an economic hitman" by John Perkins. Gonny should also read Famous Author John Harts BOOK: Title: The 100, A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History Also research how Indonesia became a Muslim Country, islam was spread through the character of Muslims who traded there.

      Tuesday G - 2011-09-09 13:11

      Law, you state that you advocate peace and exercise tolerance? That is done by accusing and assumptions, mocking of another religion whatever it might be and as an afterthough add pity?

  • Action - 2011-09-08 23:17

    Good grief... this story is a perfect example of the media's bloodlust... it if bleeds it leads as they say. Judging by the timing of these types of articles, it seems easiest way to sell news is to profiteer off the anniversaries of awful events with rehashed (this information came out in February this year) reminders of how awful and helpless the families of the victims must've felt hearing these messages. Poor form.

  • NoKaK - 2011-09-09 08:23

    Planes that crashed into the towers were not commercial American Airlines planes but in fact military planes used to transport personel - if you view the pictures you will see it has no windows and something on the underbelly. This confirmed by a Fox News reporter. No plane crashed into the Pentagon either. This was a missile. So how on earth are there recordings to family members and why are they only surfacing now? I say bull. Watch In Plane Sight.

      buka001 - 2011-09-09 11:17

      Jys volK!! So much of what you say has been proven wrong YEARS ago. Its been 10 years and still no proof of any conspiracy. Thousands of tons of proof proving the real story.

      Tuesday G - 2011-09-09 12:57

      Er...and Global warming is a myth to scare us all, the Illuminati orchestrated Aids in Africa, there was no moonlanding and Elivs is still alive?

  • *~`*`~*H4H*~`*`~* * - 2011-09-09 08:42

    can someone please tell me ....amidst all the hatred here.....apart from the 3000 people that died on 911 .....what about the war america has waged on the rest of the world and what about the milllions they have manslaughtered!!!!! what about the kids of afghanistan and iraq......what about the wives of men killed in palestine....AMERICA IS SALUTE YOU! ......crying for a few human beings while you kill the rest of the world! if we leave relgion aside......where is humanity @gonny : did you know that islam is the fastest growing relgion of the world? do you know that americans are reverting to islam by the droves after 911....because they had a chance to read the quraan and see the truth.... peace my brother! have a nice day :) and smile :)))

      JK - 2011-09-09 09:06

      If if wasn't for the USA you'd be speaking German now. Thanks to the West's aid Africa isn't nearly as bad as it would have been without it. Almost all of Islamic countries are pro West, just the muderous Isalamic radicals that has a thorn in their side for no apparent reason. They're just a bunch of 'I'm so angry at the world' murderers. Don't confuse the true Islam with these bunch. You can't use a religion to justify killing innocent people, something this brainwashed lot can't comprehend. All my love.

      Messenger - 2011-09-09 09:14

      You have to see this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQq0jSm22-A Hallelujah!

      Tuesday G - 2011-09-09 13:03

      @H4H: " amidst all the hatred here" "crying for a few human beings while you kill the rest of the world" and then finally: "where is humanity" I rest my case.

  • *~`*`~*H4H*~`*`~* * - 2011-09-09 08:44

    @ gonny : one question : if jesus was God......how can God die??????

      Marni - 2011-09-09 09:02

      Apparently your knowledge of literature is pretty low. Jesus was "The Son of God", therefor not God... Even if you don't believe in what the Bible says, it might not be a bad idea to do some research before you comment on something you clearly know nothing about...

      Messenger - 2011-09-09 09:11

      There is a very good reason why Jesus died. One which you obviously do not understand.

      Law01 - 2011-09-09 11:02

      Messenger: You say jesus(peace be upon this great prophet)died for Mans sins, so we are free to sin, where is the sense in that, causing injustice to others?? We must be judged for our actions and accept the Punishment on the day of reconing.

      Messenger - 2011-09-09 11:46

      No, Law01, you have got the wrong idea. We are not free to sin! Jesus said: "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." To be born again means to turn away from sin and toward God. What did Jesus say to the prostitute in John 8:11? "Go and sin no more." Jesus definitely did not say we are free to sin because He died for us.

      Law01 - 2011-09-09 12:07

      Messenger: Then which of Man's sins did he die for?

      Messenger - 2011-09-09 12:54

      Law01, Jesus died for all Man's sins. Jesus died so that we could be reconciled with God. Jesus died so that we can be forgiven when we repent and turn away from our sins.

      Tuesday G - 2011-09-09 12:54

      @Law: To understand why Jesus has died on the cross for ALL our sins, and the meaning behind it all, I would recommend that as you have stated earlier in one of your replies that a scripture should be read in full, read the Bible (in full).

      Law01 - 2011-09-09 16:01

      But Messenger If we repent and turn away surely GOD will forgive us, he is most mercifull, most compassionate. So jesus died in Vain?? Does not make sense. God allowed his son to die for our sins, God could just forgive us, why must his son be sacrificed??? In Islam Jesus is a very repected Prophet and we dont believe that he is the son of GOD, so is Moses, Abraham, David, Joseph etc.

      Messenger - 2011-09-10 14:03

      Law01, you need to read some testimonies of Muslim converts to Christianity. These people believed just like you do now, but they studied the Bible and found the answers. Start with: http://answering-islam.org/Testimonies/abdul.html http://answering-islam.org/Testimonies/yucel.html

      Law01 - 2011-09-10 18:58

      Messenger: Give me some names mate, go and Google Famours reverts to Islam, Cherry Blairs Sister, Cat Stevens,Wayne Parnel etc etc, then come back to me!!

      Law01 - 2011-09-10 19:02

      Messenger: Then why is rape of little Boys by Priests so common, if those Priests did not find the answers then How can the Layman find such answers??? Oh also Google famous priests who reverted to Islam!!

      Messenger - 2011-09-10 23:35

      Law01, have you read the testimonies that I suggested? Those people really made the effort to study the Bible and the Holy Spirit revealed the message to them and inspired them to convert to Christianity. So you admire celebrities who converted to Islam, but disregard other, more humble people who really immersed themselves in Bible studies? I don't dispute the fact that people convert to Islam, just as you cannot dispute the fact that people convert to Christianity. Not all people find the answers in the Bible. If only they did, the World would be a different place, a Utopia.

  • Proudly.South.African - 2011-09-09 08:46

    This is so sad to read, may all the families who lost a family member/s find closure on their loss

  • tommy 2 - 2011-09-09 09:18

    What more can i say........ News 24 have deleted, the posts. In future do not let GONNYVONYURI,slam a religion. By doing this there will be no need to delete comments. Hey gonny keep spreading the word.

  • MsWhyte - 2011-09-09 09:42

    Very sad, I never want to lose family/friends like that. But then again, its not my choice how they go, but to make sure that you love them every single chance you get. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

  • bungy69 - 2011-09-09 10:14

    Lets all remember what happened on 9/11. Hate mail is really not needed, I lost a relative in the second tower and some people lost husbands, wives & children. Lets honour them as innocent bystanders in a evil terrorist attack.

      Law01 - 2011-09-09 11:07

      Bungy my Dear compatriot, 911 was orchastrated by the West. Please go visit www.iamthewitness.com and also read "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" to realise the truth. PEACE!!!

  • bungy69 - 2011-09-09 10:32

    Lets stop with all the hate mail. I lost a relative in the second tower and as hurtful as it is we cannot hide that day. My heart goes out to all the husbands, wives & children who lost their lives because of a evil act of terrorism. The wheel does turn, KARMA has a way of coming around when you least expect it!!!!

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