A woman who narrowly avoided being caught up in the 9/11 attack on New York City has revealed how close she came to death.
Grace Shroeder, a Texas-born executive, arrived in New York for a job interview at the iconic World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
The ill-fated meeting was changed from 10am to 9am, and Grace was rushing through the Subway to make it through the doors at 8.50am.
She never made the interview.
‘I noticed that up ahead, people were not continuing forward; rather, they had turned and were running in my direction,’ Grace recalls.
‘The whisper gossip contained the words “bomb” and “gun fight”.’
Grace pushed through the crowds of people, unaware of the chaos taking pace on the streets of Manhattan.
‘At a distance, I saw one man wearing a light coloured suit limping toward the same exit doors that our mob was aiming for. His suit was torn — it is likely that he was standing by the elevator shaft when the first plane hit — and he was bleeding,’ she said.
‘Turning left, I saw a flash as the second plane hit. Once again, the stampede of people carried all of us in the same direction as we ran to escape whatever was happening behind us.
I looked up and noticed that the fire was rapidly burning down. It struck me that I was watching a building with people inside who were, at that moment, dying. This made me choke.’
Following the panicked crowd, Grace tried to run in her three-inch heels.
A woman then befriended her and they both ran towards to east river, struggling to outrun the billowing ash.
Grace finally managed to contact the company Morgan Stanley, who she was supposed to be interviewing with.
All 13 employees made it out alive, except for Rick Rescorla, director of security, who sadly perished in the attack.
It is now 17 years since the day that changed America.
A staggering 2,753 people were killed when Flight 11 and Flight 175 crashed into the north and south towers.
Ground Zero now remains one of the most harrowing and tragic places, filled with memories of the lives that were lost.