Thousands of people are expected to gather today at Manhattan in order to commemorate the 9/11 anniversary. Stock market analyst Frank Reinhardt was in an elevator that day and was going to the ground floor to get a coffee when the planes struck, according to the National Post.
"I got out of the elevator and felt intense heat at my back," he said in an interview. "I looked back and there was a huge fireball blowing out of the elevator which kept burning as the jet fuel poured down the shaft. I believe in fate. It just wasn't my turn. I was just 10 seconds, or 10 feet, ahead of the fireball."
He said that firefighters and other responders who passed people over to safety probably saved a lot of lives.
However these very people are now facing severe health risks because of inhaling toxic fumes. "There should no longer be any doubt about the health effects of the World Trade Center. Our patients are sick and will need ongoing health monitoring and treatment for the rest of their lives," said Dr. Robin Herbert, co-director of the team at Mount Sinai hospital.
A research paper estimates that 40,000 people may have risked their health that day. But while the victims received ample compensation, little has been done for these responders.