Nearly 15-years ago, the United States suffered the worst terror attack in its country’s history – the September 11 attacks.
2,996 people lost their lives in the attacks, the majority of them in New York, where two hijacked planes were deliberately flown into the World Trade Center buildings in downtown Manhattan.
One man’s final recording of that hideous day, which made international headlines at the time, has gone viral once again ahead of the 15th anniversary of the attacks, and gives a rare and heartbreaking insight into the last desperate hopes of those caught up in the terrible event.
Kevin Cosgrove was the vice-president of the brokerage firm Aon Corp, and one of the hundreds left trapped in the second tower after a plane collided with his office block.
Desperate and trapped on the 105th floor of a burning building, which was slowly filling with smoke, Kevin did the only thing he could do and phoned 911.
As Manhattan burned around him and chaos spilled out onto the New York streets, Kevin bravely tried to give his phone number to the operator and explain that he was trapped in his office.
Right. Lady, there’s two of us in this office. We’re not ready to die but it’s getting bad.
In perhaps the most moving part of the recording, Cosgrove explains to the operator that his wife thinks he’s safe, saying: “I called [her] and said I was leaving the building and that I was fine.”
As the conversation goes on, it becomes breathtakingly clear that Kevin has no grasp on how bad the situation truly is, constantly asking how long it’ll be before the fire department arrive to rescue him.
The operator confirmed that firefighters were trying to make their way to him, to which Kevin responded: “Doesn’t feel like it man,” before adding: “I got young kids.”
As the inferno around him began to rage and the enormity of the situation dawned on Kevin, he began to break down to the operator.
It’s really bad. It’s black. It’s arid. We’re young men. We’re not ready to die. There’s three of us in here. We’re overlooking the financial centre. Three of us. Two broken windows.Flickr
Before Kevin could finish his sentence though, a low rumble began to build and he screamed out before the phone call was suddenly cut off and the building collapsed.
Kevin’s body was found in the rubble some days later and he was buried on September 22, 2001, at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery in Huntington, New York.
He left behind his wife, Wendy Cosgrove – a schoolteacher – and three children.
The call stands as a heartbreaking and chilling reminder of the horror of that day.
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.