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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Fiancée recounts skyscraper call
Derek Sword
Derek Sword's fiancee is checking hospital lists
The fiancée of a British man missing since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center has described speaking to him on the phone as the catastrophe unfolded.

Maureen Sullivan said Derek Sword, a 29-year-old banker from Dundee in Scotland, called her twice on Tuesday.

His first call was after the first plane hit the north tower - he then called again to say he was trying to flee the burning south tower where he had been working on the 89th floor.

Mr Sword is among the thousands still missing following the attack and collapse of the twin towers in Manhattan.

When I can't stand sitting around any more I go out hanging flyers everywhere with his photo and details

Maureen Sullivan

He was working for American finance firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. The company website lists his safety as "unconfirmed".

The banker called his fiancée and his family in Dundee after the initial impact to say he was safe at his desk in the other building.

But just minutes later he joined the thousands of people rushing to escape the burning tower after a second airliner was involved in the outrage.

On Thursday Ms Sullivan, 30, speaking from her Manhattan home, described how Mr Sword had contacted her in the moments after the attack.

Ms Sullivan, who got engaged just ten days ago, said: "He phoned me after the first plane hit the other building - he was in tower two.

"He phoned me to say it wasn't his building and that he was okay.

"Then after the second plane hit he phoned me again to tell me that his building was now on fire, but he was okay, to call his parents to make sure they know he's okay, and that he was going to be evacuated."

World Trade Centre on fire
Hijacked planes crashed into World Trade Center

The pharmacist said she had been calling her fiancé's mobile phone regularly since the tragedy, but it was not ringing.

She said: "I call it every hour just, you know, ... I call his cell phone all the time, but it just forwards me to a voicemail, it doesn't ring."

Asked how she was coping, she responded: "Just, you know, holding in there."

She added: "We've been in constant touch with his family and his brother in Dubai.

"Everybody has been ringing the doorbell and phoning up to offer support.

"When I can't stand sitting around any more I go out hanging flyers everywhere with his photo and details.

"We are constantly calling hospitals and it's just a case of hoping."

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See also:

13 Sep 01 | Americas
Bush promises victory as US mourns
13 Sep 01 | Scotland
Missing son phoned from skyscraper
12 Sep 01 | Scotland
Scotland's leaders united in sorrow
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