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Brian Clark : The life and story of 9/11 survivor
Transcript of Brian Clark : The life and story of 9/11 survivor
Who is he?
- Born in 1947 in Canada
- Was 54 years old when the first plane hit
- One of the only survivors of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, that was above the 80th floor
What was he doing at the WTC?
Clark worked for the American International brokerage firm Euro Brokers, who's New York branch had it's place on the 84th floor. It lost 61 members of that particular branch on the eleventh of september.
After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Clark had become a volunteer fire warden for his floor, being issued a helmet, whistle and flash light by World Trade Center security commission.
At 8am on September 11th, the first tower was struck. Seeing this through his office window, Clark collected his gear and he and seven other coworkers of his floor that had survived the impact gathered together and started to descend Stairwell A. However, as they began to make their way down, they found their way blocked by debris and more. While the group argued as where they should go next, Clark overheard a cry for help and few feet away. Leaving the group along with only one other coworker to their argument, he stepped away to rescue whoever was trapped and screaming for help.
Who did he rescue?
The man that Clark had managed to remove from the debris was the Fuji Bank employee Stanley Praimnath. After pulling him out from the rubble, Stanley kissed Clark and thanked him over and over again, claiming that they would be brothers for life. Clark was slightly taken aback but insisted that they should go on.
What happened to the rest of the group?
Unfortunately, the rest of the group would go on to lose their lives that day. They took the decision to climb up to the roof to await helicopter rescue, where they found themselves barricaded in as the door were locked, just when the second plane hit. But even if the doors had been unlocked, no helicopter rescue would have come, as deemed too dangerous by the NYPD.
How did he escape afterwards?
Clark and Praimnath's descent through the floors of the impact was impeded by some debris and smoke, but by removing the debris, it was passable. They found that phones were working in on the 31st floor. Clark was on the telephone for over three minutes before his 911 call was understood.
He and Praimnath did not feel a sense of urgency, and before calling 911 they each made one brief personal call.
This call was one of the only chances for workers to understand that there wasa free stairwell a few hundred feet above.
Clark described how, when they had gotten about two blocks away, Praimnath told him he thought the buildings were going to go. Clark was skeptical, repeating how solidly built the towers were, but he did not finish his sentence before Tower Two started to collapse. Praimnath thanked Clark for saving his life. But Clark, in turn, also thanked Praimnath since he felt that the act of going and freeing Praimnath drew him out of a debate that might have ended with him joining the others who went up to their deaths. They were among only four people who managed to escape from above the impact zone in Tower 2.
Thanks for listening
Inaki Sayrols and Vicky Kershaw