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order to reach the Windows on the World restaurant on the 106th floor, from
which calls had been made to the PAPD police desk reporting at least 100 peo-
ple trapped.
Many PAPD officers from different commands responded on their own ini-
tiative. By 9:30, the PAPD central police desk requested that responding offi-
cers meet at West and Vesey and await further instructions. In the absence of a
predetermined command structure to deal with an incident of this magnitude,
a number of PAPD inspectors, captains, and lieutenants stepped forward at
around 9:30 to formulate an on-site response plan. They were hampered by
not knowing how many officers were responding to the site and where those
officers were operating. Many of the officers who responded to this command
post lacked suitable protective equipment to enter the complex.
By 9:58,one PAPD officer had reached the 44th-floor sky lobby of the North
Tower.Also in the North Tower, one team of PAPD officers was in the mid-20s
and another was in the lower 20s. Numerous PAPD officers were also climbing
in the South Tower, including the PAPD ESU team. Many PAPD officers were
on the ground floors of the complex--some assisting in evacuation, others man-
ning the PAPD desk in 5 WTC or assisting at lobby command posts.
OEM Response
After the South Tower was hit, OEM senior leadership decided to remain in
its "bunker" and continue conducting operations, even though all civilians had
been evacuated from 7 WTC. At approximately 9:30, a senior OEM official
ordered the evacuation of the facility, after a Secret Service agent in 7 WTC
advised him that additional commercial planes were not accounted for. Prior
to its evacuation, no outside agency liaisons had reached OEM. OEM field
responders were stationed in each tower's lobby, at the FDNY overall com-
mand post, and, at least for some period of time, at the NYPD command post
at Church and Vesey.
The emergency response effort escalated with the crash of United 175 into the
South Tower. With that escalation, communications as well as command and
control became increasingly critical and increasingly difficult. First responders
assisted thousands of civilians in evacuating the towers, even as incident com-
manders from responding agencies lacked knowledge of what other agencies
and, in some cases, their own responders were doing.
From 9:59 until 10:28
At 9:58:59, the South Tower collapsed in ten seconds, killing all civilians and
emergency personnel inside, as well a number of individuals--both first
responders and civilians--in the concourse, in the Marriott, and on neighbor-
ing streets.The building collapsed into itself, causing a ferocious windstorm and
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