Leila Negron, whose husband Peter was killed at the World Trade Center, said hearing details of the emergency calls made from the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001 will be “like being slapped int he face with it happening again,” the Associated Press reports.
The impending release of the transcripts of the calls is evoking a range of responses from victims’ families less than three weeks before the second anniversary of the terrorist attack that killed 2,792 people.
A state judge ruled Friday that the transcripts must be released by the close of business Thursday, rejecting a bid by Port Authority, which owned the trade center, to back out of an agreement it made last month with The New York Times.
The agency had argued it was trying to protect the privacy of victims’ families by preventing release of the transcripts, which cover radio transmissions and calls to Port Authority police on the morning of the attack.
The Port Authority decided Monday not to appeal but urged the news media to “refrain from publishing gruesome, gratuitous or personal details.”
Laurie Tietjen, whose brother Kenneth Tietjen died in the attacks, is not optimistic about how the media will react.
“People are looking for the horror stories, not the good things,” said Tietjen, 31, who said she has read the transcripts. “A lot of the information there is pretty personal. It doesn’t help to have it out there in the public. It’s just extremely hurtful to the families.”
Monica Gabrielle of West Haven, Conn., welcomes the release of transcripts. Her husband, Richard, died in the attack.
“I think the public needs to be aware that they are in situations that aren’t exactly perfect. And this comes from knowledge,” said Gabrielle, co-chair of a skyscraper safety group formed after the terrorist attacks.
“There’s not much that’s private about this,” she said. “Hopefully, there’s a whole host of information there that can contribute some information as to what went wrong, what could be done better, what went right.”