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9/11 is the deadliest day for American firefighters. – Latest US News Hub

At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, the hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 against the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City,

Six minutes later, the first contingent of New York City firefighters (two ladder companies and two engine companies) had arrived at the affected building. They had just started climbing a ladder in an effort to reach people trapped on the upper floors, when another hijacked plane, United Airlines Flight 175, hit the south tower at 9:03 am

The New York City Fire Department lost 343 among its ranks, while 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority officers lost their lives, according to the 9/11 Commission that investigated the attacks and the emergency response.

Mike Scott of California Task Force-8 and his dog, Billy, search through the rubble for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center September 21, 2001 New York City, NY. (Andrea Booher/FEMA/Getty Images)

In the ground, fire department officials quickly realized there was no hope of controlling the fire, Instead, they concentrated on the desperate mission of evacuating the office workers inside the two massive buildings.

Although they surmised that the twin towers had sustained structural damage and that the fire suppression systems might have become inoperable, they had almost no hard information about the situation inside, so the firefighters hastened into the unknown.

But no one probably realized how bad it would beamong the 2,753 people killed at the World Trade Center site on 9/11, 343 were FDNY deaths,

That grim figure far exceeds the 78 lives lost in the next biggest catastrophe for firefighters in history, a wildfire in Idaho in 1910.

A New York City police officer talks on the phone at the World Trade Center after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 in New York. (Ron Agam/Getty Images)

FDNY deaths from 9/11 amounted to more than a third of the roughly 1,000 emergency personnel on the scene, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s final report on the World Trade Center attack.

The first fatality occurred at approximately 9:30 am, when a civilian jumping from the south tower struck the firefighter Daniel Suhraccording to the 9/11 commission report and an oral history interview with FDNY Capt. Paul Conlon, who was a witness.

Climbing the stairs in heavy protective clothing and carrying equipment was a strenuous task, even for physically fit firefighters. Exhaustion set in quickly and some were separated from their units, according to the national 9/11 commission report.

To further complicate matters, radio communication became more difficult as they climbed inside the buildings, whose steel and reinforced concrete structures interfered with the signals.

But even without those vulnerabilities, there would have been no way to prepare for what happened at 9:59 am, when the south tower suddenly disintegrated and collapsed in on itself in just 10 seconds.

Retired Fire Chief Joseph Curry shouts orders to rescue teams as they clear debris from what was once the World Trade Center on September 14, 2001 in New York City. (US Navy Photo/Jim Watson/Getty Images)

There was no time to run away, and the collapse killed all firefighters and emergency personnel inside the building, According to the 9/11 commission report. After being crushed under a mountain of rubble (250,000 tons of steel, concrete and furniture), some of their bodies were not recovered until months later.

About a minute later, FDNY officials, realizing that the north tower could also collapse soon, radioed in and gave an order to all firefighters in the north tower, telling them to evacuate, but with the interruption of the radio communication and disaster confusion, some firefighters did not listen to the evacuation orderaccording to the report.

Some units delayed their own evacuations to help civilians having trouble getting out, while others delayed to find other firefighters so they could go down together. Others stopped to rest on the way down.

Among those who died outside the north tower was Department Head Peter J. Gancithe FDNY’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, who was working on the radio and commanding the rescue efforts.

Although the FDNY paid a terrible price that day, the heroic efforts of the firefighters undoubtedly saved thousands of lives. As it turned out, there were far fewer people in the towers that day than feared (an estimated 17,400, according to NIST) and 87% of them were safely evacuated

Keep reading:

9/11 is the deadliest day for American firefighters.



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