Interviewer: The ladies that are with me were in the World Trade Center in the first building [North Tower] and escaped through the lobby, where they report they believe there was a bomb in the lobby.
Michelle Scott: We ran down the steps to the lobby. There was no lobby. Everything was torn up. And even the turnstyle was burnt and it was sticking up. And they just told us to run.
Evalle Sweezer: My boss ran out of the office. He said one thing, “Run!” Everybody just ran. And we ran down the stairs. They told us to come back up the stairs. And we were like, “Come back up the stairs? Are you crazy?” So we continued down the stairs. We came outside in the lobby. There was no lobby. The lobby was totally gone. I
nterviewer: Did you see other people?
Evalle Sweezer: People? There was a woman with her face blown off. … And as we were coming out we passed the lobby. There was no lobby. So I believe the bomb hit the lobby first. And in a couple of seconds, the first plane hit.
“A second WTC maintenance worker has now come forward with eye-witness testimony that a massive explosion erupted in the lower levels of the north tower at approximately the same time the jetliner struck the tower’s top floors.
Jose Sanchez, 45, of New Jersey in a never-released tape recorded statement made in early 2002 to William Rodriguez, the first WTC maintenance man to claim a bomb exploded in the north tower basement, said he heard what sounded like a “huge bomb,” causing lights to flicker on and off, while he worked in a small sub-level 4 workshop. [Editor’s note: At this point, Mr. Sanchez was in sub-basement B4 of the North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the airplane’s impact point at floors 93 to 98.]
Sanchez, who worked for American Building Maintenance Co. at the WTC for 14 years, was unavailable for comment, but made the taped 2002 statement to Rodriguez, recounting his 9/11 personal experience. Sanchez, who fell on hard times after 9/11, revealed the details of a basement bomb-like explosion while Rodriguez and two CNN interns, Carolina Inojosa and Evita Zerebrinsky, interviewed victims and documented information for the many unfortunate people having trouble getting needed government assistance after 9/11. …
“I knew Jose very well since we worked for the same company,” said Rodriguez in a telephone conversation from his New Jersey apartment. “At the time, I taped his statements, I was more concerned about getting people needed assistance and, anyway, back then I really thought the government was seriously investigating the WTC attacks. “But since then I have learned otherwise.
I realize now they are covering-up the real truth and that’s why I want to release Jose’s statement. What really upsets me and, you can take this message to the White House, is that people like Jose and many others like him who experienced what happened in the basement of the north tower were simply ignored and never interviewed by the 9/11 Commission.
“If they really wanted to get at the truth, these are the very people who should have been interviewed, not public officials who knew very little about what occurred inside the buildings that tragic morning. “However, instead we all have been ignored in order to cover up the truth.
The victims, those who died and the families who lost loved ones deserve nothing less than the truth and I intend to keep talking until the truth is finally told.” Sanchez’s explosive comments, shooting another large hole in the government story, now adds even more credibility to Rodriguez’s recent statements that he heard a massive explosion in the WTC basement just seconds prior to the jetliner striking above while working in a sub-level 1 office along side 14 others, all who heard and felt the very same thing as Rodriguez.
Since the outset, the government has stood firm that only burning jet fuel brought down the towers, but has ignored mounting eye-witness testimony and scientific data showing that a controlled demolition was an additional cause.
The government also has not fully explained why it immediately tampered with a crime scene, a criminal offense, by having all the hard evidence from the WTC removed and shipped overseas before independent investigators had a chance to study the structural components of the towers in order to help determine the real cause of the tower’s collapse.
While arguments continue in the scientific community about the structural cause of the WTC collapse, Sanchez’s eye-witness testimony adds more credibility that explosives were placed and detonated in the lower level of the north tower. In the 2002 taped statement, Sanchez recalls, at the same time Rodriguez and the others heard the explosion, being in a small sub-level 4 workshop with another man who he only knew by the name of Chino when, out of nowhere, the blast sounded as the two men were cutting a piece of metal. [Editor’s note: Chino is the nickname of Hursley Lever.]
“It sounded like a bomb and the lights went on and off,” said Sanchez in the tape recording. “We started to walk to the exit and a huge ball of fire went through the freight elevator. The hot air from the ball of fire dropped Chino to the floor and my hair got burned,” said Sanchez in the tape recording.
“The room then got full of smoke and I remember saying out loud ‘I believe it was a bomb that blew up inside the building.’ “I said ‘Chino, let’s go we gotta get out of here.’ But Chino was wounded and told me he needed help. I remember him saying that the hot air came with such force that it broke his leg. We finally went out through another exit and his leg and knee were both broken.”
Sanchez, all the time helping Chino, then recalls exiting into a parking lot on sub-level 4 where he encountered a group of other people also trying to flee. In the parking lot, a person assisted the pair, wrapping Chino’s leg with a bandage from a first aid kit. Chino was then driven in an SUV to safety while Sanchez decided to walk up four flights of stairs through the stairwell, trying to exit at the plaza level but being turned back by debris and falling glass.
“I went back down the stairwell to B-4 and encountered several people coming up. I told them to turn back around and then went across the parking lot up another stairwell, making a left and then finally getting outside,” said Sanchez.
“It took about 15 or 20 minutes to get outside and for me it was like a bomb with huge smoke all around. Then when I got outside, the other plane hit the south tower. It looked and felt like a war as I hid behind a wall to get out of the way of falling debris.”
“Two more WTC workers have come forward with eye-witness testimony that a huge explosion ripped apart the lower levels of the north tower at about the same time a jetliner rammed into the top floors.
The pair not only reported hearing an underground blast, but were both injured, one suffering severe burns to the face, arms and hands and the other cuts and bruises after being trapped in a stalled basement elevator.
Burn victim, Felipe David, employed by Aramark Co. and Salvatore Giambanco, a WTC office painter trapped in a basement elevator, were both unavailable for comment, but made their explosive testimony – never before released in America – to a Colombian television station in 2002 on the first anniversary of 9/11. …
Standing in front of a freight elevator on sub level 1 near the office where Willie Rodriguez and 14 others were huddled together when the explosion erupted below, David said in the taped interview: “That day I was in the basement in sub-level 1 sometime after 8:30am. Everything happened so fast, everything moved so fast. The building started shaking after I heard the explosion below, dust was flying everywhere and all of a sudden it got real hot. [Editor’s note: At this point, Mr. David was in the basement of the North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the airplane’s point of impact at floors 93 to 98.]
“I threw myself onto the floor, covered my face because I felt like I was burned. I sat there for a couple of seconds on the floor and felt like I was going to die, saying to myself ‘God, please give me strength.’”
Although severely burned on his face, arms and hands with skin hanging from his body like pieces of cloth, David picked himself up, running for help to the office were Rodriguez and others were gathered.
“When I went in, I told them it was an explosion,” said David, who was then helped out of the WTC by Rodriguez and eventually taken by ambulance to New York Hospital.”
“That morning a note had been left for Joe by the Chief Engineer of the midnight to 8 a.m. shift telling him that a tenant on the 38th floor wanted to see him as early as possible. So after distributing the work orders to his staff, he entered one of the tower’s elevator cars and headed up into the building. On the 38th floor, Joe Shearin exited the elevator and began his walk down the hallway to meet with the tenant who had requested to see him. About 50 feet down the hallway, he heard a loud explosion and was lifted into the air.
“I can’t even tell you how far I traveled,” he recalled. When he landed, people were already coming out of their offices into the hallway.
“They were screaming, hollering,” he said. “They were asking what they should do and where they should go”. Joe directed them down the stairwells and out of the building. [Editor’s note: At this point, Mr. Shearin was on the 38th floor of the North Tower, approximately 650 feet below the airplane’s point of impact at floors 93 to 98.]
What Joe first believed was that an equipment room on the 43rd floor, which had an electrical substation, had blown up. He proceeded up the 5 floors to that level. Upon reaching the 43rd floor, “there were patches of ceiling that was just down on the floor, water pipes were broken, water was gushing like a brook or river that was just running down the corridor of the machine room.” [Editor’s note: At this point, Mr. Shearin was on the 43rd floor of the North Tower, approximately 600 feet below the airplane’s point of impact at floors 93 to 98.]
Mr. Johannemann was in the basement of the North Tower when the first plane impacted. “I was right there. I was down in the basement. Came down. All of a sudden the elevator blew up. Smoke. I dragged a guy out. His skin was hanging off and I dragged him out and I helped him out to the ambulance.” [Editor’s note: At this point, Mr. Johannemann was in the basement of the North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the airplane’s point of impact at floors 93 to 98.]
Mike Pecoraro and a co-worker were working in the sub-basement of the North Tower when the first airplane hit. “They had been told to stay where they were and “sit tight” until the Assistant Chief got back to them. By this time, however, the room they were working in began to fill with a white smoke.
“We smelled kerosene,” Mike recalled, “I was thinking maybe a car fire was upstairs”, referring to the parking garage located below grade in the tower but above the deep space where they were working. [Editor’s note: At this point, Mr. Pecoraro was in the sub-basement of the North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the airplane’s impact point at floors 93 to 98.]
The two decided to ascend the stairs to the C level, to a small machine shop where Vito Deleo and David Williams were supposed to be working. When the two arrived at the C level, they found the machine shop gone. “There was nothing there but rubble, ” Mike said. “We’re talking about a 50 ton hydraulic press? gone!”
The two began yelling for their co-workers, but there was no answer. They saw a perfect line of smoke streaming through the air. “You could stand here,” he said, “and two inches over you couldn’t breathe. We couldn’t see through the smoke so we started screaming.” But there was still no answer. The two made their way to the parking garage, but found that it, too, was gone.
“There were no walls, there was rubble on the floor, and you can’t see anything” he said. [Editor’s note: At this point, Mr. Pecoraro was in the basement of the North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the airplane’s point of impact at floors 93 to 98.]
They decided to ascend two more levels to the building’s lobby. As they ascended to the B Level, one floor above, they were astonished to see a steel and concrete fire door that weighed about 300 pounds, wrinkled up “like a piece of aluminum foil” and lying on the floor.
“They got us again,” Mike told his co-worker, referring to the terrorist attack at the center in 1993. Having been through that bombing, Mike recalled seeing similar things happen to the building’s structure. He was convinced a bomb had gone off in the building. Mike walked through the open doorway and found two people lying on the floor. One was a female Carpenter and the other an Elevator Operator. They were both badly burned and injured.”
“… As I’m walking by the main freight car of the building, in the corridor, that’s when I got blown. I mean the impact of the explosion, from whatever happened, it threw me to the floor. And that’s when everything started happening. It knocked me right to the floor. You didn’t know what it was. Of course, you’re assuming something fell over on the loading dock, something very heavy, something very big. You don’t know what happened. And all of a sudden you just felt the floor moving. … [Editor’s note: At this point, Mr. Morelli was in the sub-basement of the North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the airplane’s point of impact at floors 93 to 98.]
I was racing – I was going towards the bathroom. All of a sudden. I opened the door. I didn’t know it was a bathroom And all of a sudden a big impact happened again. And all the ceiling tiles were falling down. The light fixtures were falling, swinging out of the ceiling. And I come running out the door and everything, the walls were down. And I now started running towards the parking lots.”
“As I ran to the parking lots, you know, I mean, everybody screaming … There was a lot of smoke down there. … You gotta go clear across the whole — from One to Two World Trade Center. That’s the way you gotta run.
And then all of a sudden it happened all over again. Building Two got hit. I don’t know that. I just know something else hit us to the floor. Right in the basement you felt it. The walls were caving in. Everything that was going on. I know of people that got killed in the basement. I know of people that got broken legs in the basement. People got reconstructive surgery because the walls hit them in the face.”