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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Belfast paramedic recalls US terror
Search for survivors continues in New York
Search for survivors continues in New York
A Belfast paramedic has told how he treated the injured victims of the World Trade Center attack in New York which left thousands of people dead.

Roger Smith, 30, from north Belfast is a 911 paramedic based at NYU Hospital in Manhattan.

Two passenger jets crashed into the Twin Towers on Tuesday, causing them to collapse.

Speaking from his home in Brooklyn on Thursday, Mr Smith said the events had been "quite strenuous and beyond what words can describe".

"From where I live in Brooklyn I could see the World Trade Center hit. I immediately got into my car and started heading over the Brooklyn Bridge," he said.

It looked like a scene from the Holocaust

Roger Smith, Belfast paramedic
"As I was going over the bridge I saw the second jet hit the World Trade towers.

"Thousands of people were streaming over it in screaming panic, with a black cloud emanating from downtown covering the whole bridge."

He said it looked like a "scene from the Holocaust".

Ruth McCourt and her daughter Juliana were on hijacked plane
Ruth McCourt and her daughter Juliana were on hijacked plane
"It was a crazy scene. When I arrived at the hospital I was designated to an ambulance and we took care of a burns victim - a 24-year-old female who had third degree burns over her entire body.

"We then took an ambulance right to the center of the carnage - about 200 ft from the bottom of the World Trade Center and when one of the buildings crumbled there was a lot of fire department personnel and emergency workers covered in rubble."

Mr Smith said he had treated many fire department workers who had escaped from the rubble.

A Foreign Office emergency number for British people worried about friends and relatives has also been issued: 020 7008 0000.

The Dublin Department of Foreign Affairs has also released an emergency number: 00 353 1 408 2000.

BBC NI's Conor Bradford
speaks to Belfast paramedic Roger Smith
See also:

12 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Survivors' family die in tragic twist
11 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
US envoy thanks NI for support
12 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Security increased at NI airports
12 Sep 01 | UK
UK on high security alert
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