A haunting glimpse of Ground Zero: Doctor who raced to the scene on 9/11 reveals never-before-seen images of the clean-up after nearly 3,000 people ......
Sept. 10, 2019
A physician who roller-bladed to the scene of 9/11 as the Twin Towers burned has published never-before-seen photos from the recovery effort at Ground Zero, as America prepares to mark the 18th anniversary of the attacks tomorrow.
After seeing the towers ablaze on September 11, 2001, Dr Emil Chynn, who had been walking his dog, rushed to the site to see what was happening.
When he arrived he was surrounded by debris and smoke but rapidly got to work setting up what he claims to be the first triage center on site.
Over the following days, thousands of construction workers, first responders and volunteers gathered at Ground Zero to search for survivors and begin the long road to cleaning up the site, fires still raging and clouds of dust swirling in the air.
Eighteen people were freed alive from the rubble, one of them as late as 12.30pm on September 12, but thousands more were trapped. The death toll was 2,977 including the attack on the Pentagon and the fourth plane which was brought down by heroic passengers in Pennsylvania.
This year the 9/11 Memorial was expanded to honor the firefighters, police and others who died or fell ill months or even years later, after exposure to toxins unleashed in the wreckage.
Debris covered the ground, bodies and body parts hidden among it, fires still raging after the jet fuel from the two airplanes exploded on the Twin Towers.
The al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked commercial planes in a devastating co-ordinated attack and used them as missiles, both towers coming down within less than two hours after they were hit.
The collapse of the World Trade Center produced thick dust clouds, and fires burned for months in the rubble.
More than 51,000 people have applied to a victim compensation fund that makes payments to people with illnesses potentially related to 9/11.
Now 50, the physician has released the photographs he took during the week he volunteered at the scene to demonstrate the kindness of strangers in America's darkest hour.
Vvolunteers including ironworkers and members of the demolition and construction trades also arrived at the site to support the rescue efforts, while the FBI searched for airplane parts and black boxes.
Mr Chynn said: 'When I saw the plumes of smoke coming from downtown I knew I had to go down and see what was going on.
'As soon as I arrived I was surrounded by smoke, debris and paper inches deep but I had to go and find the buildings.
'Along the way I met other volunteers and after about 30 minutes of looking we found the remains of the Twin Towers, which were only about three stories high. The scene was awful, people were trying to clear debris and body parts from all over the place.
'I quickly did what I could to help and - as the first physician on the scene - set up the first triage center. 'I was on the scene volunteering for about a week and captured these photos whilst I was there.
'As distressing as the time was and the photos are, they show the pure compassion that people have for other strangers.
'Everyone looks back on what happened in dismay at the human race instead of how a city came together to risk their lives and help people they didn't even know.'
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