Transcripts of radio transmissions made on Sept. 11, 2001, offer “rich, bittersweet and harrowing new details” about the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in lower Manhattan, according to the New York Times.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released about 2,000 pages of documents, most of them transcribed radio transmissions, from dozens of people in and around the trade center. The Times requested copies of the records in 2002 and eventually sued the Port Authority for their release.
The transcipts begin a moment before the first plane struck at 8:46 a.m., and continue for nearly two hours after the final collapse at 10:28 a.m. They include calls from Port Authority police officers and conversations on two-way radios among civilian employees who worked in building trades in the complex.
At their most wrenching, the transmissions reflect the critical difficulties faced by those who survived the plane crashes – at least 1,100 people, an investigation by The Times found last year – yet were unable to escape the buildings.
Few, if any, of those speaking over the radio appear to realize that the buildings are moments from total collapse. The messages include some desperate calls for help, but many of the transcripts deal strictly with the logistics of evacuations – of saving people in the building, and of survival.