1. The rumour of the third plane

Spreading the Rumour


Richard Bylicki works as a NYPD Sergeant for the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM), located on the 23rd floor of World Trade Center 7, also known as the Salomon Brothers building. While in his office preparing for Operation Tripod, a bio-warfare emergency exercise scheduled for September 12th, he hears a loud, missile-type noise, looks up and sees the North Tower exploding in flames. On the third floor, firefighter Tim Brown, whom the FDNY assigned to the OEM, is enjoying breakfast in the cafeteria, when suddenly electricity goes out for a few seconds. American Airlines 11 just hit the World Trade Center 1 with a cruising speed of approximately 443 mph.
Rattled, Bylicki and Brown are leaving their whereabouts, searching for a supervisor. On the floor, Calvin Dreydon, deputy director for operations for OEM, tells Brown to get the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) running. At the same moment, 20 floors above, Bylicki meets New York City Police Department (NYPD) Inspector John Odermatt, OEM’s First Deputy Director, who advises him to open the EOC for a fully staffed operation. Brown will leave WTC 7 shortly thereafter, to later almost die in the collapsing WTC 2. Bylicki will assist the Watch Command in the EOC in handling, as he recalls, “an enormous influx of telephone calls”.[1]
After the second hit, and shortly before 09:30, an FAA representative informs him via one of the phone lines that „at least one other plane [is] unaccounted for and possibly heading for NYC.” (The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) Report from September 2002 will claim that the involved FAA entity was Kennedy Airport Tower.) Bylicki relays the info to Deputy Director and FDNY Captain Richard Rotanz, the highest-ranking OEM official in the building. Rotanz, in turn, orders the evacuation of the EOC.[2]
The message quickly leaves WTC 7. From 08:50 on, OEM Director Richard J. Sheirer was running an OEM command post in the lobby of the North Tower to monitor inter-agency operations. At around 09:30, he gets the call from the EOC. “Richie Rotanz told me there were other planes unaccounted for,” Sheirer remembers, “I said in [the] lobby that another plane was on the way. As an example of how we were grasping for straws, I instructed the Police Department aviation to not let another plane hit. But looking back, how could a helicopter stop a commercial jet going over 400 miles per hour?” In the video documentary from Jules Clément and Thomas Gédéon Naudet, Sheirer can be seen and heard yelling “There’s another plane!” At the same time he relays the info about the unaccounted plane to the people in the lobby, OEM evacuates the EOC. “The rest of 7 World Trade Center had been evacuated earlier, but after the report of a possible third plane, we had to get our people out of the building.” One of his deputies informs Sheirer about the evacuation.[3]


The message about the third plane spreads from the OEM to the New York Fire Department (FDNY). Inside WTC 7, Captain Abo Nahmod and EMT Richard Zarillo are trying to manage the ongoing crisis. Suddenly, Zarillo remembers, „a rep from OEM came into the main room and said we need to evacuate the building; there’s a third plane inbound“. Both men immediately leave the office and proceed to the Ground Floor. Outside, they meet EMS Division Chief John Peruggia and EMS Captain Mark Stone, who independently from one another just wanted to enter the building, and inform them about the evacuation. Peruggia is bemused. “I questioned as to what the nature of the evacuation was,” he recalls. “I was told that it was not because of what was occurring across the street. No one feared that the building was in any danger as a result of two airplane attacks and subsequent fires, but that there were reports of a third plane that had been hijacked. It was unidentified, the location, and they thought it may be coming in for an additional strike.”[4]
Peruggia won´t be the only one to be upset. Some 25 minutes after the second plane crash, FDNY Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen and his executive assistant Captain Ray Goldbach leave the North Tower to move to WTC 7, where they expect Mayor Giuliani to meet them. Having taken the escalator to the second floor, they just want to enter the elevator to the OEM, when they meet Peruggia on his way down, telling them to leave the building. “How ridiculous,” Von Essen thinks. “We’ve got a thirteen-million-dollar command center and we can’t even use it.” “How can we be evacuating OEM? We really need it now,” the Fire Commissioner frets. (Later, he would revise his initial reaction: “Making that decision was probably a tough one to make at the time, but it was a wise decision.”) “Believe it our [sic!] not running through my mind at that time [was] do we order an evacuation of this facility during the worst disaster this city has ever seen and abandon our post or do we stick it out,” another OEM official (unnamed) is quoted in Tricia Wachtendorfs dissertation about NYC Crisis Management on 9/11, “And the only reason we evacuated was because we heard there was a third plane out there.”[5]
Meanwhile, the rumor about the third plane, through the initial call from Richard Sheirer, spreads around the lobby of the North Tower, where several Fire Chiefs, among them Joseph Pfeifer, Albert Turi, and Peter Hayden, are running a command board for firefighting operations. “We had a report from OEM that there was possibility of a third plane coming in. That really put the antennas up for us because, number one, if a third plane does come in and hits these buildings, they’re coming down for sure,” Hayden remembers. “[P]eople started runnng and yelling, `There is another plane coming at the building.´”, firefighter John Snow, who is also stationed in the North Tower Lobby as well, will later recall.[6]
Joseph Callan serves as the FDNY Citywide Tour Commander on 9/11. Standing besides Pete Hayden, he is the highest-ranking chief on the scene in the lobby and therefore in charge of the tower. The apocalyptic conditions in the lobby and the rumor about the third plane lead him to the decision to withdraw firefighting operations. “I don’t know if anybody knew whether to take that seriously or if it was true or not,” remembers Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick, who is standing right next to Callan, “[b]ut I heard Chief Callan telling guys to come down, to get out of the building.” „All units in Building 1,” he announces over the CWTC-4D radio channel at 09:32, „All units in Building 1, come out, down to the lobby. Everybody down to the lobby.” The order has no visible effect to him – noone answers him. Few firefighters claim to actually have reacted to the order or even recall it. One of the few would be Lieutenant Gregg Hansson, who just arrived at the 35th floor of World Trade Center Tower 1, when he hears „a mayday given over the command channel to evacuate the building. He started to tell everyone to evacuate, as I did also. I saw all the units get up,” he recalls. “Everybody got their gear. Everybody started for the staircases to evacuate.”[7]
Operations in the Lobby, furthermore, are delayed. “At that point they indicated we needed to move the command post. There was a report of another plane coming,” remembers Walter Kowalzyk, EMS Chief in the North Tower Lobby. “We moved quickly but cautiously outside and started to establish a command post in the driveway in front of Two World Financial Center.” Deputy Commissioner Lynn Tierneys recollection confirms how the threat was taken seriously. “Pete Hayden said we’ve got to move this command post out of here. There’s a report of a third plane. We don’t know what’s going on here. At which point Bill Feehan, Tom Fitzpatrick and I went to find a place where we could move a new command post.”[8]
WTC 7 and the North Tower won´t be the only buildings in which operations were delayed because of the report. Firefighter Edward Cachia and a team of firefighters are just about to enter the South Tower, when they hear a Chief they believe to be Ganci announcing over the radio “There’s another plane in the air. I don’t want anybody to go into the towers. Everybody stay put.” On the FDNY radio channel, Ganci can be heard trying to find out if the military sent out interceptors for the third plane. And again he announces, “Make sure no companies go in right now. There’s another plane up in the air. We don’t know what’s going on.” Ganci, the FDNY Chief of Department at this time, is the highest ranking uniformed fire officer at the scene. He would die in the collapsing World Trade Center Tower 1, and be succeeded by his dear colleague and friend Daniel Nigro, who as well recalls the threat of another plane. “The third plane was — I don’t think it came over the handy talky. I think somebody walked up to me and told me, somebody of some credibility,” Nigro recollects, “because I recall taking it as a serious issue.“[9]
On West Street, one block away from the North Tower, firefighters John Malley and Kevin Gorman are operating, when they receive an urgent radio message that OEM reports a third plane inbound to NYC. “[W]e kind of froze there,” Malley recalls, “We said now what do we do? Do we go back into the building or take cover under where the command post was in the garages[?]” Just a few meters away, EMT David Blacksberg was similary frozen, facing the horror of people jumping out of the Twin Towers: “Pretty much that’s all we could do is just watch and listen, listen to our radios and see what would happen.” The third plane rumor also reaches him: “We just sat and watched, had people coming to us, and next thing you know, we started hearing — just actually, there was a lot of rumors that a third plane was going to come in, so we were standing by looking up, listening. There was no third plane.”[10]


OEM personnel weren’t the only ones passing the third plane rumour at the WTC site. The NYPD was also instrumental in spreading the word. In the Lobby of the North Tower, Deputy Commissioner Lynn Tierney is standing near Chief Hayden, when “police officers came in and said that they had a confirmed report of a third plane coming into the building”. Outside the North Tower, under the foot bridge that connects World Financial Center 3 to the World Trade Center, firefighter Joseph Casaligi hears “police officers talking about a third plane coming into the area”. This is echoed by firefighter James Murphy, who remembers “a couple of cops”, telling him to “[b]e careful, guys, there’s a third plane heading in.” In classical rumor fashion, „somebody said the cops said there’s a third plane coming in”, remembers Assistant Commissioner Stephen Gregory, who was heading a command post on West Street.[11]
And indeed “the cops” said so. Around 500 meters above, Officer James Ciccone and his co-pilot Detective Greg Semendinger are sitting in a NYPD helicopter, circling the burning buildings, when they receive the chilling report of a third plane from FAA Air Traffic Control. “Central,” Semendinger reports from his position Aviation 6 to his dispatcher at 09:30, “be advised there may be another aircraft inbound. There may be another aircraft inbound. La Guardia is tracking a fast-mover moving inbound.” His dispatcher affirms having received the info, and Semendinger repeats that “LaGuardia is advising us that they got a fast mover inbound at this time.”[12]
500 meters below, NYPD detective Hector Santiago stands north on West Street, in front of the North Tower. With him are Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik, Chief of Police Joe Esposito, and Rudy Giuiliani, the NYC mayor. Kerik and Esposito, thinking about other possible targets of the attacks, just implemented Operation OMEGA, the city’s highest state of alert at the time, shortly after the strike on World Trade Center 2 at 09:05. “I ordered the city to shut down,” Esposito describes. This resulted in the evacuation of City Hall, the U.N., Police Headquarters, and the Empire State Building from 09:18 on. In addition, all bridges and tunnels are getting closed in consultation with the Port Authority Police. “Get us some air support. We need F16s,” Kerik relays to his chief of staff John Picciano, promptly receiving the answer “What the fuck are you talking about?” And the situation remains far from resolved. “Now I hear there’s a third plane en route,” Santiago remembers. “I yell, `Boss, we have to go. There’s a third plane coming. We´re underneath the building. We have to go.´” They leave their place and “getting out of there saved our lifes”, judges Santiago.[13]
Inside the north tower, a team of NYPD officers climbs up the stairs in rescue operations. Amongst them is officer Cliff Allen. While placing an oxygen mask over the face of a fireman, he overhears the warning about a third plane over the FDNY´s radio. Immediately, the message is repeated on the NYPD´s channel Tac-G, and from there springs from radio to radio: “There´s another plane heading for the towers!”[14]

The Port Authority

After American 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center, John Morris, the Port Authority Police Chief of Department, orders police personnel to respond to the disaster. The Port Authority personnel then as well became a victim of the false report. “I´ve just been advised I (Inaudible) the Mayor’s office, he’s been advised that there’s another plane headed to this area, copy,” a police officer can be heard speaking on a Port Authority phone line at around 09:35. “Roger, I understand that, the Mayor’s office says another plane in the area,” his colleague acknowledges. The messages quickly spread throughout the Port Authority’s lines: “As per NYPD, there is a report of a third plane on its way now,” and “be advised the [OEM] command post is going to be moving”. (From the Tapes alone, however, there is no direct evidence that the relocation was actually a result of the third plane report.)[15]
Dozens of Port Authority personnel were located on West Street and the corner of West and Barclay Street, helping with the evacuation procedure, when the message about the new threat comes in. “As the remaining police officers and myself were conducting crowd control we were instructed by Lt. John Murphy that there was another aircraft approaching the area. We walked down Barclay St. toward West St. and stopped at the corner,” remembers Officer Pasquale Russo, who is directing evacuation from the North Tower along with Officer Danielle Vasquenz. As remembers Officer Mark Roman: “A report came over the radio about a third airplane in the area possibly enroute to the W.T.C. We then started moving evacuees who were not injured north on West St. and ordering bystanders to leave the rescue area.” “As we began to walk north on West St. a uniformed New York City Police Officer yelled and motioned for us to run after he received a radio transmission that a possible third aircraft was approaching the Trade Center.” Detective Sergeant Thomas Bomengo recalls. Detective Ronald Snyder just left his car, when someone tells him about the incoming plane: “I ran east and started directing onlookers to leave the area and take cover.”[16]
Members of the Port Authority on charge of operations quickly decided to move their command posts when alarmed about the third plane. “We […] decided that we would all move to a safer position on the corner of West and Vesey streets,” Sergeant William B. Ross recalls. “Here, we would await additional officers, firefighting equipment and information about the third plane.” Inspector Timothy I. Norris is directing evacuation near the North Tower, when he receives the rumour in classical rumourous fashion: “Sgt. Feeley informed me that an NYPD supervisor stated that the OEM advised that there was a third plane on the same flight path, heading our way.” Norris decides to draw back: “I radioed and advised all units on the PABT frequency of the third plane threat. With the threat of another attack, I relocated my unit one block west and north.”[17]
Inside the North Tower, Officer Roger Ferndandez is descending from his office in the 13th floor, where he has been since the early morning hours. Remaining inside the building after the first crash, he misses the second one. While rapidly decending the stairwell to the Lobby, he overhears “a transmission on a fireman´s radio that made me realize that this was no accident. The transmission was `we have a third one incoming´.”[18]
In the Lobby of the Tower, the message arrives with full blow. “Suddenly someone slammed a phone down and yelled, `There´s another airplane headed for the building, evacuate the building.´”, Officer Julian C. Hampden recalls, “Everyone began exiting.” When Lieutenant Dennis P. Stafford receives the message that “the FAA had information stating that a third plane was inbound,” he “strongly suggested to a Fire Chief that this area should be evacuated and a new command post re-established.” Officer Aaron Greenstein, however, keeps his cool: “Over the NYPD radio there was a transmission that a third plane was heading towards us. I looked up to the top of the escalator, made eye contact with the NYC police officer’s and looked straight ahead at the FBI agent. We then continued to assist with the evacuation.”[19]

Tracking down the third plane

Three weeks after 9/11, a tape was found in the rubble of WTC 5, containing firefighters´ communications from the WTC as they were passed through a radio repeater, located at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD) Police Desk inside WTC 5. Speaking with the voices of the dead, the terrifying recording contains the solution to the rumor of a third plane. At 09:31, a firefighter from Ladder 15 relays the rumor about the third plane to his aide: “Steve, tell Chief Palmer they got reports that there’s more planes in the area, we may have to back down here.” Just 15 seconds later, the same firefighter debunks the rumor in an exchange, which, with the knowledge of hindsight, puts a lump of bitter irony in one’s throat:

Ladder 15: Fifteen to 15 Roof.
Ladder 15 Roof: Fifteen Roof.
Ladder 15: We got reports of another incoming plane. We may have to take cover. Stay in the stairwell.
Ladder 15 Roof: Ten-four. [FDNY code for acknowledgement.]
Ladder 15: Fifteen to 15 Roof. That plane’s ours. I repeat. It’s ours. What floor are you on, Scotty?
Ladder 15 Roof: Fifty-four.
Ladder 15: Alright. Keep making your way up. We’re behind you.
Ladder 15 roof: Ten-four.[20]

“That plane’s ours. I repeat. It’s ours.” The NYPD´s radio quickly relays the same message: “Disregard. It´s a military plane.” Outside the towers, between WTC 1 and the Custom House, NYPD Sergeant Mike Curtin and three other cops are ducking and looking around after hearing the report of a third jet, when a radio transmission confirms Curtins suspicion that the incoming planes are military ones. In his helicopter, NYPD Detective Semendinger just got word from La Guardia that the inbound aircraft is most likely a fighter jet. “Be advised that is a military aircraft, ATC is talking to him now at this time”, he informs Central. This is almost at the same second FDNY Citywide Tour Commander Callan unsuccessfully tries to get firefighters out of the North Tower, based on the third plane rumor.[21]
The debunking of the alarm didn´t immediately arrive everywhere it should. At 09:35, FAA Tapes reveal, FAA employees at LaGuardia were still relaying old news to each other:

Position 82: Eight-two Reynolds to command.
Command: Eight-two Reynolds, go ahead. Go for command.
Position 82: Be advised there is a report of a third plane (inaudible).

Similarily, at 09:36, the Port Authority Tapes show the message still to be broadcasted as well:

New York City, all we have is [Inaudible], they may have another plane heading towards the Trade Center. Advise all units, there may be another plane heading in that way, in this time, right now. [Inaudible] they are advising of one more plane heading in.

On 09:37, five minutes after the third plane rumor had been debunked on the scene, a WPIX (W11) news anchor relays not only old, but false news live on Television: “We understand there is another plane heading for the World Trade Center and there is a report that they may attempt to shoot it down.” The other plane were the Otis fighters, and neither was there an attempt to shoot any plane down at this time, nor was there an authorization.[22]


In the official reports on the events, the third plane episode is frequently mentioned. “Shortly after the order was given, chief officers in the lobby learned that the threat of a third plane was false,” the McKinsey Report acknowledges. “At this point, the chiefs continued the search and rescue operations.” Similarily, the 9/11 Commission Report concludes: “Once the rumor of the third plane was debunked, other chiefs continued operations, and there is no evidence that any units actually returned to the lobby.” Both reports, however, do not connect the dots with respect to the best explanation so far: The rumor of the third plane is sourced in the unrecognized arrival of the Otis fighters. The 9/11 Commission Report instead blames the false report on “a Secret Service agent in 7 WTC”, who probably just acted as an intermediary between FAA and people on the ground. The MTI Report goes even further, claiming the plane unaccounted for “was the plane that ultimately crashed in Pennsylvania”, which was certainly not the case, since United 93 was flying directed away from NYC when it was hijacked at 09:28, and didn’t turn south until 09:57.[23]
The dots were first connected on 9/11, the day itself, as confirmed through the voice of a firefighter who died in the collapsing World Trade Center Tower 2 just half an hour after he debunked the third plane rumor; and as confirmed through NYPD detective Greg Semendinger, whose voice was recorded on the NYPD Special Operations Division channel. In 2005, New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn connected them again in their masterful reported “102 Minutes”.[24]
The false report about a third plane wasn’t trivial and without consequences. The FDNY command post in the Lobby of the North Tower, for example, was temporarily relocated outside the building due to the report. The report would be part of a whole series of false reports leading to evacuations and relocations. Firefighter Timothy Hoppey would later describe the atmosphere as “kind of pandemonium. The U.S. marshals were saying a third plane was coming in. They said there were bombs in all the buildings around there. No one really knew where to assemble. Every time you tried to set up a spot, you were being told to keep moving further north.“[25]
The most striking consequence of the false third plane alarm was the evacuation of the 23rd floor of WTC 7, through which the OEM became ineffective, as the NIST Report on the Emergency Response regretful notes. While acknowledging the work of OEM personnel at local command posts, NIST concludes that “[t]he challenges related to the establishment of unified operations were made significantly worse when the OEM facility located inside WTC 7 had to be evacuated.” As a result, “FDNY and NYPD were primarily operating as independent organizations based on their operational responsibilities.” This statement is echoed by the McKinsey Report, whose conclusion is that “[t]he evacuation and subsequent destruction of the headquarters of the city’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in WTC 7 further impaired the coordination process among the FDNY, NYPD and other responding agencies on September 11.” The 9/11 CR even concludes that “OEM headquarters, which could have served as a focal point for information sharing, did not play an integrating role in ensuring that information was shared among agencies on 9/11, even prior to its evacuation. There was a lack of comprehensive coordination between FDNY, NYPD, and PAPD personnel climbing above the ground floors in the Twin Towers.” Less critical, the MTI report states that “[OEM] officials were able to overcome the loss of the OEM EOC because they knew one another, had worked together, and were empowered to manage the emergency through preplanned strategies. The success of this effort underscored the fact that emergency response, like reactions in battle, cannot depend on central command hierarchies, but must be based on coordinated planning for crises and their consequences.” In a similar spirit, James Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf from the Disaster Research Center of the University of Delaware are praising that OEM “exhibited resilient, adaptive behaviour” on 9/11. “OEM,” the authors claim, “did exhibit considerable robustness as an organization, demonstrating an ability to continue to function even after losing its facility and a great deal of its communications and information technology infrastructure.“[26]

Some questions remain. First, the exact source of the false report is still unknown. Following the accounts from members of the NYPD (Greg Semendinger) and OEM (Richard Bylicki) as well as the reporting of Dwyer and Flynn it can reasonably be assumed that poor informed FAA personnel were responsible for the false alarm. As to this moment, however, I am not aware of any primary data backing up this assertion. Thus, the evidence remains circumstantial, let alone the lack of any name.
The authors Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins, in their Giuliani-book “Grand Illusion”, partly blame the false report on OEM Director Richard Sheirer, who, in their opinion, “instantly convert[ed] unspecific information into a very specific false alarm. All Rotanz actually knew, from a Secret Service agent he saw in the building, was that there were unconfirmed reports of planes in the air. Sheirer´s dangerous extrapolation spooked the chiefs in the lobby and quickly wound up on Fire and Police Department dispatches.” This is an unfair criticism, given that the initial reports from Bylicki and Semendinger contain the heading/target NYC as well. We need the testimony of Rotanz, however, to finally evaluate this issue. This should also help clearing up why the 9/11 Commission refers to an unnamed Secret Service agent as the source for Rotanz, while Richard Bylicki, who is a NYPD Sergeant (retired), claims to be his source.[27]
Second, even assuming that FAA personnel was responsible for the false alarm, it remains an open question whether there was one report about a third plane or if there were different reports from different FAA facilities. NYPD Officer Bill Beaury, telling his story to both New York Times Reporter Dean E. Murphy and retired NYPD officer Anthea Appel, recalls that the report was from Kennedy Tower. This claim is echoed in the MTI report. In the NYPD Special Ops Division Transcript, however, helicopter pilot Aviation 6 (Semendinger) refers to La Guardia ATC, which, in turn, is claimed to be the source of the erroneous report by Dwyer and Flynn. There is some flimsy evidence for this, as the advice that “there is a report of a third plane” is depicted in the FAA Tapes from La Guardia, but this is from 09:34 EDT, some minutes after the claim was already debunked on the scene. In fact, there might have been multiple reports, planted independently from each other, by different sources within FAA. And it might as well be that LaGuardia relayed info from Kennedy Tower or the other way around. Without primary data, there is no way to decide.[28]
Third, last, and most important, when was WTC 7 evacuated? The convergence of the evidence presented throughout this essay suggests a time shortly after 09:30, when the rumor about the third plane started to circulate around the WTC complex. This time is also featured in the 9/11 CR. NIST, however, in its 2005 WTC 1 & 2 report, claims that the OEM was evacuated at approximately 09:44, and that news of the Pentagon attack played a critical role in the decision to evacuate. In the 2008 WTC 7 report, the evacuation time similarly would be 09:45.[29]

A short digression

As a footnote on a superficially related topic, the accounts of the participants in the evacuation unequivocally suggest that OEM wasn’t evacuated before 09:30. This casts doubt on the recollection of City Housing Authority worker Barry Jennings, who claimed to have found the OEM empty at the time the South Tower was hit. Given that he would have meet someone in the OEM before the evacuation, and given that there very likely would have been someone hampering him from entering the building during the evacuation, it is reasonably to conclude that Jennings entered WTC 7 not before, say, 09:40. The events he memorized as explosions could therefore have been the collapses of World Trade Center 2 at 09:59 and Tower 1 at 10:28.[30]
Furthermore, there is no corrobation to Jennings´ account. According to the NIST report, an EMS Triage Center was established at WTC 7 around 09:30. It was run by EMS Division Chief John Peruggia, Captain Abo Nahmod, Engineer Mike Catalano, and Dr. Glenn Asaeda, Deputy Medical Director with the Fire Department Medical Affairs, who, according to their own accounts, were constantly at the scene in the lobby and in front of WTC 7 until the collapse of World Trade Center 2. Temporarily, they are joined by Dr. Michael Guttenberg from the Office of Medical Affairs, Paramedic Manuel Delgado, and EMS Captain Mark Stone. None of these persons describes any explosion inside or from WTC 7 between the OEM evacuation and the collapse of World Trade Center 2.[31]
Jennings as well as his comrade Michael Hess, New York City’s corporation counsel, also remember being unable to use the elevator, which fits with FEMA´s claim that “Con Ed shut down power to the building [WTC 7] immediately following the collapse of WTC 2”. This also indicates that the events Jennings remembered took place significantly later and not while, as he recollects, “both [of the Twin Towers] were still standing”. NIST, in its 2005 WTC report, will place the events around 50 minutes later than Jennings recalled them happening.[32]

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