Americas day of terror
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Front Page | One year on

After the attacks on America BBC News Online received thousands of e-mails from people who had witnessed the terrible events. Here is a selection of those moving accounts.

 Richard Wajda

 Brendan MacWade

 Mike Shillaker

 David Hsia

 Sue Frederick

 Anshuman Das

 Eric Levine

 Richard P Stearns

 William Frankenstein
David Hsia
Worked in the World Trade Center shopping mall
David Hsia
"I turned left at the nearest intersection and started running uptown. I've never experienced such fear in my life."

I was in the concourse level when the first plane struck. In my store all I heard was this 'whush' sound, a couple of clanks, and then this mass of people running from right to left in such a panic. I ran out of my store, heard people yelling 'BOMB!' and immediately ran back in my store, told everyone to get out, and ran myself.

I wandered onto the street in a daze looking up at the hole on the side of 1 WTC. We heard it was a plane, that it was an accident. The shock of the blast, the adrenaline was still rushing through all of us, so we didn't think anything of it. Accident, sure - yeah... now what?

We stared up in utter awe. Police were pushing us off the streets and onto the sidewalks. More police were rushing into the building... by the dozens. Looking up, we started to notice that people were jumping out of 1 WTC. It wasn't from the blast, and they were very much alive. Their arms were flailing and people behind me yelled and turned away in utter horror.

'I saw the second tower started to tumble'

We started to notice the helicopters surrounding the building, then all of the sudden the second blast happened. I was in too much of a daze that I didn't hear the plane coming in - we were directly behind the second building. All we saw was the explosion and the tremendous amount of debris falling down on us.

I started running immediately, without any instinctive thought otherwise. People behind me were being crushed by falling concrete, steel and glass. I ran up Vesey Street and turned the corner to catch my breath. Everyone was still running up and i just stood still, taking everything in. It didn't even register in my brain yet, but people started yelling 'second plane' and 'terrorists' all around me.

I stood there for awhile, talking to people around me. Soon someone told us that the Pentagon was hit also, and that a fourth plane was unknown.

I was walking past Vesey and towards the east side when all of the sudden a mass of people started running up and I saw the second tower started to tumble down. I stood in awe and then started running when I saw the huge plume and smoke coming down the street towards us. I turned left at the nearest intersection and started running uptown. I've never experienced such fear in my life.

'People huddled around TVs'

Everyone ran, ran away from the smoke, the fire, everything. People yelling, screaming, crying out. I just ran.

Walking uptown New York was surreal. Stores and shops were still open, people offered free water. People huddled around TVs and radios to hear the latest.

I didn't see 1 WTC collapse, but I saw the immense amount of smoke building behind me. I noticed the giant antenna was gone, I knew the people were too.

I remember walking uptown in a daze - bumping into people, trying to grasp the level of carnage. It's nothing I can comprehend. I managed to get home around 3pm and embraced my family.

I turned on the news and watched tapes of plane colliding with 2 WTC. I was right underneath that explosion. None of that debris hit me. I can't believe this. I still can't believe it.

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