Archivists have uncovered around 2,400 unseen photographs of Ground Zero in New York, taken after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, after buying a stash of CDs at a house clearance sale.
It is believed the photos were taken by a construction worker, who has not yet been identified, as they helped clear up the wreckage of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.
Though the CDs were reportedly in poor condition, the salvaged photos were uploaded and shared on Flickr by Jason Scott.
The photos show a range of images from the site – pictures of Ground Zero both at ground level and from above, construction workers as they sift through the rubble, and the severely damaged structure of the buildings.
The attacks claimed almost 3,000 lives when hijackers flew planes into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Virginia, and a field in Pennsylvania.
Dr Johnathan Burgess, whose partner discovered the photos at the sale, told BBC News:
Generally these items are neglected at sales. It’s very likely these would be in a dumpster by now had we not gone.
It’s a miracle the discs transferred so well, CD Roms of that age are pretty spotty.
Hundreds of thousands of people worked in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It is believed many people went on to suffer illness because of it, due to expose to toxic contaminants, or because of injury and trauma from the day itself, according to the World Trade Center Health Program.
Dr Burgess said it was his partner who found the CDs in the house clearance sale, and sharing them was ‘about doing what’s right for humanity’. Burgess also suggested those who are moved by the images should think about donating to a worthy cause.
Burgess and his partner passed the CDs on to their colleague Jason Scott. They had to use a CD recovery service to retrieve a number of images. In total, there were around 2,400 pictures on the discs.
Pictures of the rubble, as well as of the construction workers on the scene, show the extent of the devastation the terrorist attacks caused.
The effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are still felt today. Earlier this month, presenter and comedian Jon Stewart appeared in front of US lawmakers over their inaction to extend the Victim Compensation Fund for those affected, giving an emotional and moving speech. The next day, lawmakers voted unanimously in favour of the bill which will extend the funding.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.