Eyewitness to disaster

At Trinity Wall Street

When the first aircraft hit New York’s World Trade Center during the morning rush hour on Tuesday, September 11, young children were arriving at Trinity Wall Street’s pre-school, staff were on the streets around the center, and Archbishop Rowan Williams of Wales was preparing for a videotaping with Trinity Television. Daniel P. Matthews, rector of Trinity Parish, and a group of colleagues were in a meeting in the parish’s office tower three blocks from the WTC.

“We were on the 24th floor, which has a view of the World Trade Center, when we heard the sound, and looked up to see a ball of fire coming from one of the towers. A few minutes later, we saw the second plane hit, and again a ball of fire erupted,” Matthews said. He was soon down in the building’s lobby, reassuring shocked staffers as security staff sought guidance on the safest response.


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