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Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Eyewitness: The twin towers fall
New Yorkers fleeing in panic
Panic stricken New Yorkers fled the collapsing World Trade Center
BBC News Online's David Schepp was near the twin towers of the World Trade Center when they collapsed.

The felling of the twin trade towers is a scene that no New Yorker will ever forget.

Shortly after 0900 local time thousands gathered on the sidewalks of New York to view an improbable scene. Two gaping, flaming holes in the side of both towers caused by planes flown deliberately and directly into them.

On the streets below crowds gathered wherever there was a view of the smoking towers. People's reactions ranged from stunned disbelief to weeping.

New Yorkers choking in the dust cloud after the collapse of the World Trade Center
People choked in the dust cloud after the collapse of the twin towers
Others pitched in, doing what they could to direct traffic or assist people.

Along 6th Avenue, New Yorkers stood aghast as they watched the buildings burn, and a sudden shriek went up when the south tower collapsed, sending a huge plume dust into the air.

People ran screaming as a growing cloud of debris hit the streets of lower Manhattan and pushed them up the Avenue.

It was like the scene out of a movie as the huge ball of rubble grew behind a terrorised crowd, running for cover.

Shortly after the first tower went down, the second collapsed, sending more smoke and debris into the air.

Further uptown, trolleys formed outside St. Vincent's Medical Centre in Greenwich Village awaiting the injured.

Hospital staff went through the crowd pleading with people to donate blood.

Shopkeepers shut-up shop, while others remained open as employees gathered around televisions and radios to hear what had happened.

Major north-south thoroughfares were shut down for access to police and emergency vehicles only, as pedestrians made their way uptown.

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The BBC's David Schepp
"The first tower collapsed into a dust ball which sent myself and others running"
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