Air crash on the 79th floor

Bedford Army Base, Massachusetts, 8.55.
The morning of July 28, 1945 is cool and unpleasant. The dense cover of the clouds does not let in the rays of the sun, it drizzles from time to time. The war in Europe has already ended over two and a half months ago, and the collapse of Japan seems to be a matter of days. 27-year-old Lieutenant-Colonel William F. Smith Jr., looking like Hollywood imagines a brave military pilot,
he has the last stage of a routine flight ahead of him. His two-engine B-25 belongs to the 457th unit of bombers, stationed in southern Dakota. Smith flies through the United States, counting numerous stops along the way. Bedford is the last stop on the way to the destination, which is Newark, New Jersey.
A native of Alabama, Smith is an experienced combat pilot with high honors. In 1942 he graduated from the elite military academy in West Point. Then he had over 100 combat operations over Germany, of which 34 as a pilot of a "flying fortress".
After 18 months spent in Europe, in June 1945 he returned to the USA.
This foggy morning also includes the sergeant Christopher S. Domitrovitch to the B-25 - also a pilot with high decorations and Albert G. Perna - air mechanic from Bedford.
It's exactly five-nine, when the B-25 breaks off the ground to the final stage of the flight. The meteorological service has announced for the east coast a fog and a low hanging cloud cover.

Empire State Building , Manhattan, New York at 9.45. < br /> 102 floors, 381 meters high and 200,000 m2 of usable space. The girders alone weigh 55.000 tons. The skyscraper was opened on May 1, 1931. In 1945, this office building is still the highest building in the world.
In the first years of existence, the New Yorkers gave it the nickname "Empty State Building", because in times of recession, its expensive office space was rarely rented. It was only during the Second World War that the situation changed slightly. The NBC radio has placed its headquarters here, most offices have been leased - among others, organizations that emerged after America's accession to war.
However, on the morning of July 28, the Empire State Building once again fully deserved its malicious name. During the war on Saturdays in New York, you do not work at all or in a reduced composition. Viewing platforms on floors 86 and 102, which are visited by up to ten thousand people a week, are almost empty.
The upper part of the skyscraper is lost in a low hanging cover of fog and clouds. In fine weather, the view from the top of the building stretches to 130 kilometers, but visibility diminished to just a few meters that day. During normal business days, there are up to 15,000 people in the Empire State Building, on July 28th, no more than 1,500 people are present.

La Guardia International Airport, Queens, New York, 9:45 am.
Victor Barden is on duty at the airport tower this morning as head of change. Unexpectedly, he receives a report from Colonel William F. Smith, who is about 15 miles south and asks for information about the weather conditions over Newark. Barden is surprised because Newark is just 15 miles southwest of La Guardia, so Smith must have already arrived at his destination in his machine.
The tower crew advises the pilot to head directly over Newark. A few minutes later, the watchmen from the La Guardia control tower noticed the B-25, which appears in the sky from the south-east. Barden assumes that Smith wants to come to land, so he gives him typical instructions on the runway, strength and direction of the wind. The pilot replies that he wants to make a flight to Newark.
After this report, the tower controllers report to the "area control". There, however, no one reported this flight, because the B-25 flies according to VFR (regulations regarding flights with visibility), so below the observed air corridors. The area control makes the ceiling above Newark only 180 meters, so Smith should land on La Guardia immediately.
The B-25 is a military machine, so the control of flights from a civilian airport to obtain the right to issue a landing permit must first receive instructions from the Military Advisory Flight Control Service. The B-25 must at this time shoot horizontal eighths in the "air waiting room", southeast of New York.
To Barden's surprise, military controllers declare that the weather information of their civilian colleagues is wrong: after all, Newark has a fairly good weather, the cloud cover lies at a height of 1000 feet, a good 300 meters, and visibility is two and a quarter of a mile - more than three kilometers.
The tower again reports to Smith and gives him the weather information received from the army. Let the pilot with these differing weather reports decide himself whether he wants to land or if he prefers to fly to Newark.
La Guardia is located directly on the East River, in the Queens district, Smith is now making a small turn to the east and can now reach Newark over Brooklyn and Staten Island - flying mainly over the water. If he chooses a direct route to Newark, he will save a few seconds of flight, but then he would have to fly over Manhattan.
Barden, reluctant, finally gives permission to fly to Newark, not forgetting to instruct Smith, that he should turn back over La Guardia in case of bad visibility and land. The tower gives the pilot the last warning against fog: "From us you can not see the top of the Empire State Building".

Manhattan, New York, 9:48 am.
Stanley Lomax is a sports reporter at the WOR radio station. He is sitting in his car when the roar of aircraft engines reaches him. A moment later he notices the B-25 gliding over the ravines of the city buildings.
"Fly up, fool, up!" - he yells to the pilot. At the sight of a bomber that emerges from the fog, apparently wandering among the skyscrapers, hundreds of people react in the same way.
Civil flight regulations specify clear rules for flights over built-up areas. It is imperative to keep a minimum flight altitude of 1000 feet. At the same time, there is a rule that over the cities fly at such a height that in the event of a sudden engine failure will allow the pilot to reach the open area or water. For Manhattan, the minimum height was set at 2,000 feet (600 m). However, there is a catch in these rules: civilian machines are in force, and military ones are only a "recommendation".
Later there will be hundreds, often contradictory testimonies by eyewitnesses of the catastrophe. However, the last seconds of flight B025 can be roughly reconstructed.
Most witnesses notice the plane only when it emerges from the fog north of 42nd Street, arriving from the East River. At this time, Smith is already flying over the city in a 15-degree turn below 1,000 feet. The bomber between the skyscrapers is like a fly caught in a stone trap. Smith, who dared to perform combat operations in Europe, seems to be completely lost over downtown New York.
The machine flies south-west, at a speed of 300 to 400 kilometers per hour. At the last minute, Smith avoids a collision with the Main Post Office building. The bomber goes further and almost breaks into a skyscraper on Fifth Avenue. In the last minutes of the flight over the city, there is terror. In offices, shops, on the streets - people like fossils look up. Some of them defend their heads with a defensive reflex.
Eddie Greenberg is working that day on the 17th floor of a skyscraper at 39th Street. He notices a plane about 60 meters above him, and when he hears a huge explosion he yells: "God, he hit Empire State!".

Empire State Building, 9.49.
It's never possible to determine if William F. Smith still had enough time to see what emerged from the dense fog before the nose of the plane. Exactly eleven-tenth his 11-tonne B-25 at a speed of at least 200 miles per hour collapses into the wall between the 78th and 79th floors of the Empire State building.
The machine collides with the northern façade of 280 meters above 34. The street, at the height of lift shafts, there is a hole measuring around 5.5 in 6 meters. The collision rips the plane's wings into shreds that fall like a bomb around a skyscraper. What is left of the hull after the collision, glides like a huge missile through a 25-meter-wide floor and pierces the south facade opposite. Rubble, machine debris and one of the engines are falling on the 33rd Street. The collision is accompanied by an explosion, after which about 3,000 liters of burning gasoline spills over the offices on the 79th floor and on the north facade of the skyscraper, reaching up to the viewing platform on the 86th floor. The gigantic structure is twofold. Its top shines with great tongues of fire through the fog, like a huge torch, after which the upper part disappears in the fog and in thick, black smoke.
The burning fuel rushes through the 78th floor like an infernal flood, and then with staircases reaches down to the 75th floor. Everything that stands in its way immediately deals with fire.
William F. Smith, the second pilot Christopher S. Domitrovich and Albert G. Perna have no chance.
If they did not die, from a direct collision, they died in this fiery hell. Two of them - Smith and Domitrovich - collide the clash from inside the machine. The rescue teams later find their corpse on the 79th floor.
That day, on this floor, members of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) - an institution dealing with organizing humanitarian aid for European countries devastated by war.
Unlike hundreds of people in Manhattan, no-one on the floor noticed the bomber until he burst in like a monster from hell.
The rooms are immediately in flames, and the fire that has not caught up with people before, catches up in the stairwells. Three women are protected in a surviving office space, where in panic, they peel windows from the windows to get more air. After a while, the fire also reaches this place.
Paul Dearing from NCWC died differently. His shattered corpse is found on a narrow ledge, at the height of the 72nd floor. Until this place the Empire State Building is wider than its upper part. This architectural performance saved Dearing from flying into a 300-meter abyss, but the demise of seven floors turned out deadly.
Did the explosion throw him out of the window? Or maybe, surrounded by flames, he himself jumped in a panic attack? Nobody can answer these questions anymore. Nevertheless, his body did not burn completely due to such death. He will become the first victim that the police will be able to identify unequivocally.
Flames had already seized most of the NCWC office when 37-year-old Catherine O? Connor shook off the shock after the collision. Looking around, she spotted one of her colleagues - Joseph Fountain. The clothing of this 47-year-old man is on fire, but he is still on his feet. The woman is calling him: "Come on, Joe, come on, Joe!" Joseph Fountain somehow breaks off the flames and arrives with Catherine and two other women into a small office on the south side of the building. Dense smoke prevents further escape. All four begin to pray.
Also all other people, staying at 9:49 am between the 79th and 102th floor, are in mortal danger. Many of them, however, do not even know what actually happened. A man who spent over 25 years in China thinks that this is a devastating earthquake that he once lived in the Far East. Others think that it may be a Japanese aviator-kamikaze or that a giant skyscraper is falling into ruins.
Dramatic scenes also take place in the elevators.
A second engine from the B-25 and part of the chassis fall into the shaft of elevator No. 7, pull the empty cabin from its rigging and fall with it into a thirty-meter chasm shaft to the bottom - the lowest basement level. Betty's 20-year-old Betty Lou Oliver has just stopped the elevator on the 79th floor of the Empire State Building and opened the door when the burning gasoline splashed in from the elevator shafts. At the same time, the force of the explosion threw the woman out of the cabin into the hallway.
Bleeding, injured, hysterical and barely able to contact with the surroundings of Betty Lou, they find two employees of Air Cargo Transport Company - Barbara Brown and Penny Skepko. Together they tie her to her office and give her first aid. Then they decide to bring Betty Lou down to take her to the hospital.
The three of them go to the similarly damaged elevator No. 6, in which another young woman was serving. She felt the explosion, but she did not get any injuries. Barbara Brown and Penny Skepko are about to get into the elevator when their boss Roy Penzell arrives. She instructs them to come down, but they leave the wounded Betty Lou Oliver under the care of her friend. Both return to their offices. Penzell stays in the hall and hears the elevator door close. Suddenly there is a loud bang. The elevator falls down the shaft.
Damaged lift ropes No. 6 broke, and two young women fall from 275 meters to the lowest floor of the underground. A massive rubber buffer, mounted on the bottom of each shaft, pierces the floor of the elevator. Steel cables falling from above, shattering cab roof.
Penzell and his two employees are rescued later by escaping down the stairs.
At 9:49, between floors 66 and 102, there are five elevators - almost all without passengers. Cabins that have not fallen into the abyss are blocking in the shafts. Some of them are burning aviation gasoline.
Abe Gluck, a 36-year-old journalist, checks Sam Watkinson in front of his cabin on the 80th floor at the time of the check. When they hear the sound of an explosion, Abe thinks it is a lightning or an explosion in the engine room. There is no more time for further speculation. A fire roller runs towards them, forcing them both to run down the corridor.
69-year-old Watkinson is slower than Gluck and lags behind. He is caught up in the flames.
Gluck, hearing Watkinson's screams, turns back and pulls him out of the fire. Both men drag into a deserted office, in which Watkinson loses consciousness. A friend drags him to the window, but thick smoke clouds quickly fill the room.
Gluck is groping in the smoke until he somehow finds the entrance to the stairwell. He rushes back to unconscious Watkinson and bears him several floors down. There are still efficient lifts there. They ride to the 5th floor, where their doctors find them. Only now Gluck notices "something wet on his feet" - his own blood.
Before the disaster, Lieutenant Allen Aiman ​​found himself on the narrow platform on the 102nd floor. He tried to pierce the gray wall of fog when he saw the plane flying straight ahead of the building. He is too amazed to feel fear. Only a moment later, the explosion and vibrations that run through the entire gigantic building, convince him that it was not an illusion. He runs away with his wife to a safe place.
The fountain of burning gasoline is churning up to the glazed part of the viewing platform on the 86th floor. The metal parts from the smashed B-25 are flying from the 79th floor to the open platform gallery. Smoke, flames and a thick cloud of dust from the elevator shafts penetrate into the interior. Three guards break the door to the outer gallery, which during the inclement weather is closed. In the confusion, no one can find the keys.
In spite of everything, there is no panic - perhaps because soft music flows from the speakers. The head of the Empire State Building administration, Frank W. Powell, convenes all visitors and, with the sounds of a slow waltz, brings them by stairs out of reach of danger.
No music is heard in the Caterpillar Tractor Company offices on the 80th floor. Arthur E. Palmer and D.J. Norden is just at work when the plane digs into the skyscraper just a few meters below them. The blow tosses Palmer up, moments later flames appear near the window. "It's a bomb thrown by the Japanese" - he thinks, but after a while he feels the smell of fuel and recognizes that it is the fall of the plane. He rushes to the window and looks outside, but sees nothing because of the smoke and flames. At this moment, one of the wineries comes into the office. He has burns on his arms and legs, in panicky fear he tries to jump out the window. He manages to stop her and calm her down.
Palmer goes out into the corridor, but thick smoke from the elevator shafts drives him back to the office. All three are trapped. They open windows to have something to breathe. They find a small hammer and break the partition wall to the neighboring office. When the hole is large enough, Norden is the first to crawl through it, then the two men push the wounded girl and the last one passes Palmer. Getting out of office rooms reaches the blocked staircase. They descend about thirty stories down before they meet the first rescue team.

Empire State Building, 9.52 hours.
Hundreds of people are witnessing a catastrophe. After a few seconds the telephone lines of the fire brigade and the police warm up to red. The first fire alarm signal is transmitted at 9.52 - and by the fireman.
Firewall lieutenant William Murphy does not see the truth of the bomber himself, when he errs somewhere over the streets, but he hears an explosion and notices smoke. He runs to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 30th Street to the fire alarm indicator.
A few seconds later the next alarm signal arrives to the control panel - sent from the Empire State Building itself. That's where the B-25 hit the skyscraper surprisingly when working on the 73rd floor of William Sharp, a construction worker. Impact hit and the explosion throws him against the wall. Sharp gets up with difficulty, reaches for the shovel and pounds it on the button mounted on the alarm wall.
However, a Raytheon employee on the 53rd floor has trouble with a telephone notification of a fire. When his colleagues still look out the window, he is already rushing to the camera and notifying the flight from La Guardia airport. The caller from the telephone exchange recognizes that the Empire State Building has been rammed by the aircraft for a macabre joke. It is only after repeated assurances that he is inclined to believe what he hears.
41 wagons from 23 fire stations are rushing towards the Empire State Building, which reach around ten o'clock. The commanding officer, Patrick Walsh, and his men are about to extinguish the highest fire that could ever have exploded in the building. The last such "record", now beaten by 40 floors, belonged to the Manhattan Sherry-Netherlands-Hotel, whose upper floors were lit in 1927. Walsh sends most of his people to extinguish the flames that ravage the floors at an altitude of 280 meters. Firemen ride the elevator to the 60th floor. To overcome remain smoky staircases on 18 floors - by them firefighters, packed with heavy firefighting equipment and breathing apparatus, break through to places where fire rages.
Others are directed to the lowest basement floor, where the remains of the aircraft and elevator No. 6 and No. 7 are burnt. There are still small fires, fueled by spilled gasoline.
It is strange that the main waterworks still function on the demolished floors. From the 100 km cable system, none of the important pipes was destroyed. Firemen can therefore connect a large fire fighting unit and immediately start a mass fire attack. Only thick smoke turns out to be worse than the flames. Some, despite breathing apparatus, fall unconscious as a result of smoke poisoning and must be escorted to a safe place.
Doctors and paramedics from Bellevue Hospital deal with the wounded. Also priests participate in the rescue operation. Some of them are rushing to a place from Polish churches, others belong to a surviving group from the NCWC - after escaping from the building they return in the company of firemen and paramedics. They pray at corpses charred in the fire of people they talked to a few minutes before.
Rescue teams on the dangerous road to the place where the plane collides with the building are facing new victims of the disaster. The view of the charred corpses reminds firefighters of the effects of the war just finished in Europe. But sometimes it happens to be a happy end.
26-year-old Harold J. Smith was in his office on the 62nd floor at the time of the disaster. He runs up to the window and, looking up, discovers three women who are leaning out of the window and waving their hands desperately. Flames and smoke surround them from everywhere. In the stairwell, there is a branch of firefighters who leads to the first floor where, according to his supposition, they should be located. Firefighters save three women and one man from suffocation. This is Catherine O? Connor, her two girlfriends and a seriously wounded Joseph Fountain from NCWC.
As the rescue teams break through the rubble, a team of 25 doctors, 24 sisters, 13 orderlies and 15 volunteers from the Red Cross deal with the people leaving the skyscraper on the lower floors of the building. There were 15 ambulances at the scene of the accident, now running between city hospitals and the office building. Over 400 policemen are taking part in the campaign.
In one of the vestibules of the office building, rescuers arranged a makeshift hospital. Some of the victims suffered from poisoning by smoke and burns, others suffered fractures or wounded cuts.
Many require help due to a shocked experience. Still others are completely exhausted because they saved themselves or others from danger or fled down through 70, 80 and more floors. Exactly 1860 degrees leads from the 102nd floor to the level of the street - more than two and a half times more than from the thirtieth floor of the Palace of Culture and Science to the ground.
The Red Cross will help you instantly. Just a few minutes after the first alarm was reported, two field kitchens from the nearby New York headquarters drive up to the skyscraper, delivering 230 liters of freshly brewed coffee and a huge amount of donuts.
Fiorello La Guardia, the mayor of New York, is just arriving at the city hall when news from the radio on his car comes to the fire service. It cancels all meetings and orders the driver to go to the place of the disaster. A moment later, you can see the mayor as he climbs up the stairs from the 60th floor, wading through the cascades of dirty water flowing down the stairs.
On the 79th floor, it appears early enough to personally follow the fire-fighting action. There is an hour and a half left, though, as he later mentions, the top is "hot as in the oven." He furiously wavers his fists when he learns about the first details of the accident. "I always told them not to fly over the city!" La Guardia yells so loudly that the firemen turn to face him. The mayor has no doubt that the military pilot is responsible for this accident.
He learns about the strangest episodes of the rescue operation there later - and, depending on the circumstances, gives the hero an award and proudly poses with him for photos for the press.
Donald Malony is only 17 years old. He comes from Detroit and for nine months serves as a paramedic at the Coast Guard in Connecticut. He's free this day and stands under the Empire State Building when misfortune happens. Malony runs into the nearest building to protect himself from falling debris and rubble. Then he runs to the pharmacy located on the ground floor of the Empire State Building. "Give me morphine, syringes, needles and first aid kits!" - he calls to the seller. Malony is wearing a Coast Guard uniform on that day, and the red cross is his official ID. Therefore, the seller immediately gives him the largest first aid kit he can find.
Also for this reason firefighters running into the building take him with them on their way to the burning cabins, which fell to the bottom of the lift shafts. Breaking a hole in cabin number 6, which collapsed down from the 75th floor. Nobody really expects to find survivors inside.
However, Betty Lou Oliver and her friends are still alive - they are badly wounded but awake. Later, the technicians came to the conclusion that this automatic protection in the elevator shaft managed to slow down the cabin's fall so that both women were not crushed by impacting the bottom of the shaft. Malony gives the first aid to the victims, then rushes upstairs, finds the wounded on the 70th and 79th floor, and in turn brings them to various rescue teams, working on the lower floors.
After 40 minutes, the commanding officer can send most of his people home. Fires are suppressed and the smoke slowly evaporates from the floors flooded with water used to extinguish fires.
It is still not known how many people were on the 78th and 79th floor at the time of the disaster, how many of them managed to escape - and how many failed. Some victims are mutilated to the extent that it is impossible to even determine their gender.
Someone finds the remains of the propeller that has been drilled into the wall, and a piece of material with the inscription "Do not remove from plane No. 0588" ("Do not remove from plane No. 0588").

Times Building, New York at 10.00.
David H. Joseph is the head of the New York Times city department. He's just at work when an awesome explosion shakes Manhattan. He does not have to wait long to find out what happened. The employees of the telephone exchange on the 11th floor of the Times Building have a great view of the Empire State. They come down and inform Joseph about everything. This immediately changes the entire layout of the newspaper. The Sunday edition was supposed to contain information from the Japanese front and the ratification of the UN Charter by the US Senate, but Joseph decides to devote the most attention to the disaster description in Manhattan. A total of 25 reporters are in a hurry to the fire brigade and police, hospitals and the Red Cross, to the city hall and La Guardia airport.
The photos should be placed next to the texts, because they make the greatest impression on the readers. Ernie Sisto forgets his stomach ulcer and the heavy weight of the Speed ​​Graphic Camera up to the 81st floor. He looks at the hole created after the impact, and then attaches the wide-angle lens to the body of the camera.
He manages to persuade the firefighters to take a risky maneuver: he sits on the windowsill, firefighters grab him hard for the ankles, and he is leaning far into the abyss. From this position, Sisto takes pictures. One of them, broadly divided into three columns, later decorates the cover page, just under the heading.
Those who have included radios do not have to wait for the Sunday issue of newspapers to get information on the disaster. Some stations transmit reports almost "live" from the place of the event. Edwin P. Kenny, a WOR radio technician, was standing on the roof of a 25-story building to read data from meteorological measuring devices, and he could perfectly see the bomber crashed on the Empire State Building.
He immediately rushes to the recording studio and tells the announcer about the catastrophe. This interrupts the program and transmits the first report - almost simultaneously with the first telephone calls at 9:49.

Manhattan, a day later.
New Yorkers stare at the dusty hole in the north façade of the world's tallest building. Many of them are surprised that this incredible collision did not cause significant damage to the skyscraper statics. It is also astonishing that the fire was so quickly extinguished and that there were relatively few victims left to mourn. Fear to think what could happen if Smith started one Monday ...
Nevertheless, the scale of misfortune is still terrifying: 14 people killed, 25 injured and material damage in the amount of one million dollars - a very large sum compared to construction costs of 25 million dollars in 1931. The army is running all the dues. /> Many wounded can be fired as soon as first aid is given, and many of them will arrive home on the same Saturday afternoon. Betty Lou Oliver, with severe burns and numerous bone fractures, will spend 18 weeks in the Bellevue hospital. Firefighters, reporters, technicians, engineers and representatives of the city authorities and the army gathered to inspect the damaged parts of the skyscraper on the same Saturday afternoon. A few hours later, shards of glass fall on blocked streets. But soon, the president of the company owner and users of the Empire State Building, Hugh. A. Drum, declares that the skyscraper has not suffered any structural damage.
On Sunday, Archbishop Francis J. Spellman in the presence of 1,000 faithful gathered in the cathedral of St. Patrick, he is celebrating the first mass for the dead. On the same night he heard the following statement about the catastrophe: "This wound in the building is only a modest symbol of the ruins in the hearts of those who have been deprived of their dearest, and who in many cases can not even identify their beloved relatives ".
On Sunday after the accident, all elevators to the 67th floor are already open. Between the 67th and 80th floors, there are still five elevators. Viewing platforms on floors 86 and 102 remain temporarily closed. The breach in the northern and southern façades was covered with makeshift formwork made of planks and tarpaulins. Repairs will take twelve months. Then the Empire State Building stands again as if nothing has happened.
It will never be possible to clearly explain how this disaster could have happened. "If the pilot remained where he was, then we would not have any problems," says Mayor La Guardia on July 29. The army sends its commission, which does not show any concrete results - but the staff of the control tower from the La Guardia airport makes charges that they did not refuse to let the B-25 crew disastrous flight permits.
It turned out that Smith did not fly at the prescribed 2000 feet minimum from the start when he reached Manhattan. But why did he fly out of the fog so suddenly? Cz7 was the recklessness and war bravura of the pilot, who wanted to show off before the companions of a long air journey through the whole country? Perhaps he wanted to "show them New York," and then he fell into a trap without a way out among the stone abysses of the city? Did he have any problems with on-board instruments? Or maybe he thought he was on the prescribed height and noticed his mistake only when suddenly the first skyscrapers appeared before him?
Some witnesses say that the plane had trouble with the engines. However, the fact is that the B-25 rammed the building at a speed of at least 200 miles per hour. Another witness even testified that he saw the machine with one wheel of the chassis released "as if the pilot wanted to destroy speed in this way". Others insist that Smith had problems with horizontal and vertical tail. This could be a sufficient cause of the disaster, but all witnesses saw the B-25 only for a few seconds and in terrible weather conditions. Nobody had enough time for a thorough observation of the flight.
New York would not be New York if there were not a few people who had a good deal here. Edward Blod and two other amateur astronomers usually directed their telescopes to the starry sky, setting up at night on the roof of the 42nd Street skyscraper. However, on the morning of July 29, they rearranged the telescopes, so that at the first dawn everyone can get a look at the destroyed façade of the Empire State Building for a fee.
Curious, eager for sensations, they set themselves in front of the new attraction in long queues.

Cay Rademacher 34 lata, historyk i dziennikarz w Kolonii. Spędził cztery tygodnie w Bibliotece Kongresowej w Waszyngtonie, szperając w materiałach potrzebnych do zrekonstruowania katastrofy. Źródło: "Focus" nr 5/1997
30/07/2005     Redakcja
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