September 11, 2001 will always be fresh in the mind of one Texan after having experienced the attack on the World Trade Center firsthand 19 years ago.
Sujo John, of Denton, Texas, worked on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower and was there at the time of the attack, according to a report from CBS Dallas.
At approximately 8:46 a.m. ET, American Airlines Flight 11, traveling from Boston to Los Angeles, struck the North Tower, according to CNN.
John said he could hear the roar of the airplane’s engine at the time of the attack. According to CBS Dallas’ report, the wing of an airplane tore through his floor in the tower.
“I just remember hearing this incredible explosion,” John said in an interview with CBS Dallas. “I can still feel the heat, the smell of that day. Things burning around me…”
John and his coworkers were able to escape as they rushed down the stairwell. Once they reached the halfway point, that’s when they saw firefighters, according to CBS Dallas' report.
“We run out and these brave men run in,” John said in the interview. “They didn’t make it.”
John’s wife was also impacted by the Sept. 11 attacks, as she was four months pregnant at the time and worked in the South Tower.
The second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, traveling from Boston to Los Angeles, struck the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. ET, according to CNN.
John said in the interview with CBS Dallas that he could hear the South Tower crash, and he immediately assumed the worst.
“Well, I was thinking the worst had happened,” he said.
Fortunately, John said his wife had been running late to work that day. She and the baby survived.
John’s family lives in Denton, Texas; however, the family returns to the World Trade Center site to attend the memorial at Ground Zero. This year was no different.