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Eyewitness Report – Escape From Manhattan (Part 2)

The following is the second part of Miles Thompson’s account of his escape from Manhattan. For the first part see... Eyewitness Report - Escape From Manhattan .
For images see… Scoop Images: Escape From Manhattan and Scoop Images: Manhattan Burning

The whole bottom part of the island looked like a war zone by this stage, covered in a thick layer of dust, and bits of paper....

So we walked up the island. All subway services, train services, bridges and tunnels were closed. The plan was merely to get uptown and away from the financial area. As I say, people were very calm and collected.

I decided, after a while to part company with my office workers and head across the bridge.

Some of us had dust all over us, and some people had a bit of blood, but most people, like me, seemed generally fine and able bodied.

I exchanged a couple of war stories with people on the bridge.

Apparently, north of where the towers had been for many blocks, all the cars were burning and the smoke was still very thick.

at this point, (5pm, ie 7hrs later ) the NY fire brigade have decided that they can't get into that area to rescue people and have decided to abandon the area.

I also heard stories from people who were outside the building, that they saw body parts and filing cabinets (?) coming out of the building.

I heard, also, some disturbing stories that the dust might have been somehow infected with a biological agent or something. I dismissed this as panic type stories. At this point we were still mostly in shock, and I was pretty calm and collected really. Apparently there may well have been asbestos in the dust, so when we got home I did have a very vigorous shower.

Anyway, basically we made it back ok. I made friends as we crossed the bridge with a fellow Brooklyn Bridge escapee and now a new friend, Diane.

As soon as we got back, and I made phone contact with my wife (the phones are working, sporadically, but they are ok if you keep trying, even from NZ)

It was only at this point that things really started to hit. Paul Holmes interviewed me on the phone (somehow) and talking to him at this point, I started getting very emotional. I guess the reality was only then beginning to sink in.

Anyway after some hard scrubbing in the shower and stuff, we made a whole lot of sandwiches, and bought some paper cups and water, and cantaloupe, etc.

(brief break whilst I say good bye to Diane.. As I get back into the room, I find myself bawling again for some reason)

Anyway…

We made the sandwiches and walked to the Manhattan bridge where people were still walking across - evacuating from Manhattan, and gave them out to the people coming off the bridge.

We have photos of that evacuation, (at this point, some time later, the people walking out were all from uptown - ie away from the towers and generally in good spirits. Al I guess that might be photos under the title 'escape from Manhattan'

It was good to keep busy I guess.

So yeah, alive and very freaked out.

ENDS

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