Chilling, unseen photos showing the horrifying devastation caused by the 9/11 terror attacks have been released by a doctor who claims he was first on the scene.
Dr Emil Chynn says he was walking his dogs through New York when he saw the Twin Towers burning on September 11, 2001, prompting him to put his rollerblades on and rush to see what was going on.
Nearly 3,000 people died in the terror attack, in which aeroplanes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon outside Washington, DC, and another crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Dr Chynn said he felt his medical skills would be put to better use helping victims at the scene of the attack, rather than waiting to treat them at the hospital. He quickly got to work on what he says was the first triage centre on site.
Now 50, the doctor has released a series of never-seen-before photographs taken from the week he volunteered at the scene, in a bid to show the kindness of strangers during such a devastating and terrifying time.
Dr Chynn said:
When I saw the plumes of smoke coming from downtown I knew I had to go and see what was going on.
Having worked in a hospital during a previous terror attack scare, I knew that I would be more use at the scene if people were injured, so I put on my rollerblades and headed down.
As soon as I arrived I was surrounded by smoke, debris and paper inches deep but I had to go and find the buildings.
Along the way I met other volunteers and after about 30 minutes of looking we found the remains of the Twin Towers, which were only about three stories high.
He talked about the ‘awful’ scene in which ‘people were trying to clear debris and body parts from all over the place.’
I quickly did what I could to help and – as [one of the first doctors] on the scene – set up the first triage centre.
I was on the scene volunteering for about a week and captured these photos while I was there.
They were captured on a film camera, so took me a while to get them developed, but as soon as I got the physical photos back I knew I had to share them.
As distressing as the time was and the photos are, they show the pure compassion that people have for other strangers.
Everyone looks back on what happened in dismay at the human race instead of how a city came together to risk their lives and help people they didn’t even know.
Ever since the heinous attacks, firefighters, police and others working at Ground Zero have fallen ill as a result of the toxins they were exposed to from the wreckage.
Many of those developed respiratory and digestive system illnesses which are believed to be linked to inhaling and swallowing dust. Others were diagnosed with cancer.
9/11 is the most deadly terror attack in the history of the United States.
A total of 2,996 people died on 9/11, including 19 hijackers and 2,606 people at the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area. The North and South towers both collapsed from the crash and the debris caused more deaths on the ground below.
We’ll never forget the innocent people who lost their lives on that terrible day and our thoughts are with all those who continue to live with the aftermath of the attacks.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.