spaceFor those who died on September 11th, perhaps the most horrific method was for the people who could simply not stand the intense heat and smoke caused by thousands of gallons of burning jet fuel. Many who were very close to the site of the crash chose to jump from the window instead of waiting for a rescue they felt would never arrive in time. Video cameras captured the horrific sound of bodies falling on the cars and glass surrounding the tower lobbies.

spaceThe images of people falling 1,100 to 1,300 feet to their deaths is undoubtedly one of the most unsettling legacies of the 2001 terror attacks. For those who jumped, the trip took about 10 seconds, and they hit the ground at just under 150 miles per hour. This meant they died instantly upon impact, but were likely conscious as they fell. Some jumped alone, some went in pairs or groups. Others might have accidentally fallen as they were disoriented by thick, black smoke. According to USA Today, about 200 people made the decisions to jump out of the building to avoid burning or suffocating. Most of those who jumped were from the North Tower. One who jumped landed on a firefighter and killed him.

spaceInterestingly enough, the image of people jumping actually saved lives. The morning was filled with confusion. There were even announcements within the towers not to evacuate as many felt the fires would be put out; few fathomed the buildings would collapse. As people in the South Tower saw people jumping from the North Tower, they immediately began evacuating as they knew the situation was serious. Jaede Berg, an Aon worker in the South Tower, said of the event, "I looked at a couple of people jumping, and that was it. I'd seen enough. I said, 'We've got to get the Hell out of here,'" She then evacuated from the 100th floor.

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Discussion questions
1. Even in the face of such tragedy, how did images of falling bodies save lives?