Notícias e Eventos


9/11, John Abruzzo’s story

11 September 2015


As the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks comes around, everyone can recall where they were when it happened. It is an occasion to pause and reflect, and remember the victims and heroes from the atrocious event.
Whilst many lives were lost, some were saved by the help of others and evacuation equipment at the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001.

John Abruzzo, 41, a staff accountant, was working at his computer on the 69th floor of the World Trade Centre when the first hijacked plane crashed into the skyscraper.

John, who is a C 5-6 quadriplegic, relies on an electric wheelchair for mobility and remembers the day vividly. He recalls how he made his way to the hallway where his colleague was there with an Evac+chair waiting to assist him. He was transferred into the rescue device which is a universal evacuation solution for smooth stairway descent during an emergency situation without the need of great physical strength or lifting. Ten of his fellow workers stayed with him and took turns to take him down the 69 sets of stairs.

On floor 40 a dangerous thick cloud of smoke meant the team had to cut across to a stairwell on the other side of the building which was made possible by wheeling John in the Evac+chair. At the 20th floor, they heard an ear-splitting thunder that emanated from the second tower as it was hit.

Eventually they made it to the lobby where Abruzzo had to be heaved over large pieces of fallen debris. Since chunks of boulder-sized concrete made their exit impassable, Abruzzo, still harnessed to the Evac+chair, was hoisted and evacuated through a smashed window and out onto the sidewalk.

As he looked back, ground zero was behind him. An ambulance rushed Abruzzo for medical attention. He lived to tell the tale thanks to the Evac+Chair and the brave people that stayed behind to help him down the stairs.

To hear Johns full story click the link below.



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