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Special report September 11 2001

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Special report: September 11

Archived articles: September 11

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The suspects

In this section
David McKie: Perchance to dream

The day the earth screamed

German court clears student of plotting with 9/11 terrorists

Bomb joke Briton seeks deal with cash for 9/11 fund

German court clears 9/11 suspect

Terror inquiry hampered by White House

Hijackers carried fake visas

German trial hears how Iranian agent warned US of impending al-Qaida attack

Timothy Garton Ash: Next stop Syria?

Muslim cleric held in US

9/11 memorial chosen

Warring architects unveil compromise tower

US 'need not have suffered' attacks of 9/11

German trial of 9/11 suspect collapses

Deyan Sudjic on the Ground Zero memorial

NY firefighters reached South Tower crash zone

David Batty and Julian Borger, Washington
Monday August 5, 2002
The Guardian

A tape recording found in the rubble of the World Trade Centre shows that two firefighters managed to reach the wounded on the 78th floor of the south tower, where the airliner struck, before it collapsed.

According to the New York Times a fire commander can be heard calling reinforcements to the south tower but those answering the call were held up by traffic jams and confusion about where to report. That almost certainly saved their lives.

The tape, which has come to light days before the official report on the fire department's response to the attacks is published, was not examined by the investigators.

The report by the management consultants McKinsey & Co finds that more firefighters died than should have done, because of poor communication and management and lapses in discipline.

Joseph Callan, the assistant fire chief, who radioed an evacuation order about an hour before the building collapsed, told the Guardian: "I got no acknowledgement... Some of those who escaped later told me they never heard it."

The department lost 343 members in the disaster, and Mr Callan admitted that its emergency planning had not been good enough.

"The largest fire we'd dealt with in a high rise building was only over two floors. And we only trained for operations that lasted a few days."

Special reports
Attack on America
War in Afghanistan
Britain after September 11
Political response to September 11
Media response to September 11

Interactive guides
Click-through guides to the events of September 11

Video and audio
America's day of terror

Comment and analysis
Writers' responses to September 11

Photo galleries
Images of the September 11 attacks
The victims

11.09.2001: Terror and its aftermath

Useful links
List of the victims - New York Times

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