9/11: The Twin Towers

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9/11: The Twin Towers
Inside the Twin Towers
United 175.jpg
A computer-generated image of United 175 about to hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center, from Stanley Praimnath's office on the 81st Floor. Mr. Praimnath is shown hiding under his desk.
Genre Documentary
Written by Andrew Bampfield
Directed by Richard Dale
Starring William Hope
Narrated by Harry Pritchett (DSC); Terence Stamp (BBC)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Editor(s) Peter Parnham
Running time 90 minutes
Original network Discovery Channel
Original release September 3, 2006 (2006-09-03)
External links

9/11: The Twin Towers (also billed as Inside the Twin Towers) is a television special documentary film which uses re-enactments and computer-generated imagery to re-create a minute-by-minute account of what happened inside the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City during the September 11 attacks. In the United States it premiered on the Discovery Channel on 3 September 2006, narrated by Harry Pritchett. In the United Kingdom it premiered on BBC One on 7 September 2006, narrated by Terence Stamp.

The film won the 2007 British Academy Television Craft Award for Sound Factual, and was nominated (but did not win) for Editing as well.[1] It was also nominated for the 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Made For Television Movie.[2]


The documentary revolves around several WTC workers/rescuers as they retell their experiences from the 9/11 attacks, beginning from the moment of when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center to the aftermath of the collapse of both Twin Towers.


Frank De Martini and Rick Bryan[edit]

Frank De Martini is the construction manager of the World Trade Center, responsible for helping rebuild the building after the 1993 bomb attack. He and two other co-workers, Pablo Ortiz and Mak Hanna began going up the North Tower to rescue trapped workers. They eventually came to the 89th floor where they rescued several trapped workers including Rick Bryan, a manager at MetLife, and secretary Dianne DeFontes. De Martini sends Hanna down the tower with an injured, elderly Port Authority worker on his back while Bryan and his co-workers begin to make their way downwards. Making their way towards the impact zone, De Martini and Ortiz report structural damage that could lead to catastrophic results. Bryan and his group are nearly out of the building when they feel the tremors caused by the South Tower's collapse. They manage to make it out alive along with Hanna. De Martini and Ortiz are both killed when the North Tower collapses. 50 people were saved thanks to their efforts, including Bryan and DeFontes.

Christine Olender[edit]

On the morning of the attacks, Christine Olender is in charge of a conference at Windows on the World, a restaurant on the 106th floor of the North Tower. She calls the PAPD for help several times as the smoke from the impact zone leaks onto their floor. She sends one delegate attending the conference, Melanie de Vere, up to the roof to try and evacuate from there, but they are unsuccessful. Eventually, people begin jumping to their deaths to escape the flames. Christine makes three more calls for help afterwards, but she nor anyone else from Windows on the World is heard from again after 9:40 AM.

Harry Ramos and Hong Zhu[edit]

Harry Ramos and Hong Zhu were two workers who were on the 89th floor when American 11 hit. While Ramos and a few other co-workers decided to evacuate, Zhu opted to stay in his office and wait for instructions. He eventually gives up by 9:00 am and chooses to evacuate. He meets up with Ramos around the 50th floor along with another stockbroker named Victor Walde, who made it down 29 flights above from around the 80th floor. On the 52nd floor, Zhu volunteers to take an elevator down to another floor to find working stairwell. He does so and he, Ramos, and Walde use it to descend to the 44th floor. Once they reach the Sky Lobby, Zhu and Ramos learn from passing fireman that the Pentagon got hit and that this all part of a terrorist attack. Walde calls a random woman and tells her to pass a message on to his wife, Rebecca, telling her that he's okay. When he learns about the Pentagon attack, Walde theorizes that al Qaueda is behind the attacks. After the collapse of the South Tower, the trio were on the 36th floor when a group of fireman passed them. Afraid for his life, Zhu took their advice to leave while Ramos stayed behind to help Walde. Zhu ultimately made it out alive, while Walde and Ramos both died in the collapse of the North Tower. Ramos was the only person from his company, MayDavis, who did not survive.

Jay Jonas[edit]

Jay Jonas, Captain of Ladder 6, is one of several New York firemen who went into the North Tower to save trapped workers. After the South Tower was hit, Jonas and his group were given clearance to start evacuating workers. Around the 27th floor, the South Tower collapsed, shaking the North Tower. Jonas immediately decides that they too need to evacuate. They encounter a woman named Josephine Harris who is suffering from a bad leg, so he decides to bring her with them. They were still inside the North Tower when it collapsed, but miraculously survived as the part that they were trapped in survived the collapse. They were eventually rescued by fellow firemen five hours later.

Al Smith and Jan Demczur[edit]

Al Smith and Jan Demczur were trapped in an elevator car in the North Tower along with several other workers. Realizing that the walls were made of sheetrock, Demczur used one of his janitorial tools to chip a large hole into the wall. They managed to bust through the wall and into a washroom on the 50th floor. A fireman directs them to an elevator where Al convinces Jan not to take the stairs, arguing that it would take too long. They all manage to make it out alive.

Stanley Praimnath and Brian Clark[edit]

Stanley Praimnath worked at Fuji Bank on the 81st floor of the South Tower. Before the tower was hit, he attempted to evacuate with several other employees believing something may happen to the tower, but was forced to return to his office. When United 175 struck the South Tower, Praimnath was in the impact zone, but miraculously survived by ducking underneath his desk. Fire Warden Brian Clark was a few floors above him and was making his way down when he heard him shouting for help in the ruins of his office. Clark made his way into the office and pulled Praimnath over a large wall of sheetrock. Praimnath thanked Clark for saving him and told him that they'd be brothers for life. They managed to evacuate the South Tower before it collapsed. 23 workers from Praimnath's company Fuji Bank lost their lives, while 61 workers from Clark's company EuroBrokers also died.

Alayne Gentul[edit]

Alayne Gentul was Director of Human Resources at Private Banker's Fiduciary Trust. She was on the 97th floor of the South Tower when the second plane hit along with several other co-workers. She calls her husband Jack and relays information on what she and her co-workers were trying to do in light of the situation. Jack tells Alayne and her co-workers to hit the sprinkler systems to try to get some water flowing, but were unsuccessful. Knowing that she may not make it out, Alayne tells Jack to inform their sons that she loved them. After hanging up, Jack calls his local priest and asked him to set up a prayer chain. Alayne and her co-workers perished in the collapse of the South Tower.


  • William Hope as Harry Ramos
  • Robert Ashe as Victor Wald
  • François Chau as Hong Zhu
  • Stuart Milligan as Frank De Martini
  • Denica Fairman as Nicole De Martini
  • Teddy Kempner as Pablo Ortiz
  • Sakalas Uzdavinys as Mak Hanna
  • John Wesley as Al Smith
  • Serge Soric as Jan Demczur
  • Nate Reese as Stanley Praimnath
  • Robert Jezek as Brian Clark
  • Richard Laing as Captain Jay Jonas
  • Alibe Parsons as Josephine Harris
  • Miquel Brown as Dianne DeFontes
  • Trevor White as Rick Bryan
  • Debora Weston as Alayne Gentul
  • Andrius Zebrauskas as Ed Emery
  • Antony Edridge as Male Delegate
  • Charlotte Comer as Melanie de Vere
  • Laurel Lefkow as Christine Olender
  • Suzette Llewellyn and Eleanor Matsuura as the North Tower Security Operators

International broadcast[edit]

Country Channel Premiere date
 United States Discovery Channel 3 September 2006
 United Kingdom BBC One 7 September 2006
 Russia Channel One 2006

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Craft Winners in 2007". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 26 September 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Primetime Emmy Awards nominations for 2007 - Outstanding Made For Television Movie". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 

External links[edit]