The story behind iconic image of victim falling from tower on 9/11

  • Juliana Gragnani – @julianagragnani
  • From BBC News Brazil in London

Photograph "The Falling Man" (The Falling Man), by Richard Drew (Associated Press), shows an unidentified man falling from a World Trade Center tower in the September 11, 2001 attacks

Credit, Richard Drew/AP

Photo caption,

Photo “The Falling Man” by Richard Drew; some consider her insensitive, but others see in her the picture of death in the September 11 attacks

Death or death. On the morning of September 11, 2001, dozens of people had to choose between these two alternatives. With fire and smoke inside the buildings of the World Trade Center in New York, victims on the upper floors began to jump, losing their lives as they fell from up to 417 meters high.

The scene of people jumping from buildings attacked by two planes is one of the darkest and most sensitive aspects of the tragedy that turns 20 this Saturday (11/9). It was eternalized in images.

One of them, that of a man falling almost in a dive, upside down and his body parallel to the tracks of the Twin Towers, became iconic.

The day after the tragedy, several newspapers published the photo taken by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew. In the years that have passed, the image has been considered insensitive by some, too painful to behold. Others saw in her the terrible aesthetic of that leap to death.