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LAST MONTHS SPEAKER (2020)

 

"A 911 Survivor" On 11th September 2001 often referred to as 9/11, a co-ordinated islamic terrorist attack was activated by Al-Quaeda from Saudi Arabia against the United States. At 8.45am on Tuesday morning that day ,an American Airline Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre New York City. The impact left a gaping burning hole near the 80th floor of the 110 storey skyscraper, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping more on higher

Page 1 floors. 18 minutes later a second Boeing 767 United Airlines flight 175 appeared in the sky and sliced into the south tower near the 60th floor. This caused a massive explosion and showered burning debris over the surrounding buildings and onto the street below. It was on this exact morning that our guest speaker Hans Kunnen, Chief Economist employed with Colonial First State Securites was attending a global economic conference at the World Trade Centre and became unknowingly at the time a "9/11 Survivor"

He told us he was at breakfast on the 6th floor hotel restaurant when the building shook and bedlam broke loose and was then directed to leave the building. He wasn't able to return to his hotel room to collect his belongings, passport, clothes luggage etc. Whilst standing on the street he witnessed a burning body which had seemingly jumped from the building and landed just nearby.

With Hans not being familiar with the locality, having only arrived days earlier he had to decide with other confused guests where to go and what to do. (not knowing what had actually occurred) . He then made his way with other people to Staten Island ferry in an endeavor to escape the smoke and dust. He was intending to look for a church to seek help. It was on the ferry where he befriended a young African American christian office worker. This lady offered him shelter and accommodation in her own family home.

His own wife and children were unable to be contacted for some days due to the general blackout of communications. After visiting the Australian Consulate, Hans was able to arrange a new passport , currency and a flight home.

All members agreed that the talk was a particularly emotionally delivered insight, into the most horrific human toll of terrorist carnage in recent times. Hank Staal, on behalf of club members offered a vote of thanks to Hans for his rivetting presentation. Ian Green

 Ian Green.