World Trade Center

The 9/11 jumpers

Powerful images of the 9/11 jumpers, like AP- photographer Richard Drew’s “Falling Man”, have attracted a bombardment of criticism for the disturbing portrayal of people abandoning themselves to their agony, tumbling through the air towards certain death. Others see them as socially and culturally significant images of despair at the beginning of the 21st century.

Whatever the case may be: The images resonate; they are probably one of the most haunting memories of that day – and it was worse than people realize. USA Today estimates that at least 200 people, almost certainly many more, jumped to their death on that morning.

Most jumpers were from the Trade Centre’s north tower, the first to be targeted by an ‘American Airlines’ passenger jet. Shortly after the jet hit, at about 8:46 a.m., people started jumping. For the jumpers, the fall lasted 10 seconds. They hit the ground at less than 240 km/h – falling too slow to loose consciousness, but fast enough to ensure their instant death on impact.

People jumped alone, in groups – and as couples.

These are the images that inspired Cameraboy’s song SEPTEMBER:

Image: Yutaka Tsutano, CC BY 2.0

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