Itamaraty’s estimate is that three Brazilians died in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2021. Among the survivors, businessman Larry de Faria Júnior was working on the 25th floor of Torre Norte when he noticed movement in the building and calculated that he was could collapse. The tower was the first to be hit, and the heavy impact made him make the decision to quickly exit via the emergency stairway.
“Some of the World Trade Center exits were smoky, but I, thank God, didn’t catch any of that. I descended 25 floors, orderly, with no one trying to get in front of the other, no shoving, absolutely nothing. The firefighters went up, talked to us that down there was a little confused, but the descent on my side, thank God, was very calm”, he recalls.
Larry says that today, twenty years later, he still thinks about tragedy almost daily.
“This whole episode of the attack made me sure that I was on the right path, that I had some mission in my life, that I had to raise my children, see my granddaughters, it gave me the certainty that I couldn’t stop and to give up. It was a gift that I was alive. I had a lot of friends. A lot of friends I lost.”
The businessman says that when he left to live in the United States, he first started working in an office on the 84th floor of the World Trade Center. “80 or so people died from the place where I worked, almost all of them I knew”, he says.
Larry de Faria Júnior remembers in detail the moment of the descent, when no one next to him was aware of what was happening. “When we were going down, a colleague told me: ‘Don’t worry, it was just a small plane that crashed there’”.
The second plane’s collision occurred just as they were both on the emergency stairs. “I had no idea there was a second plane. It was a scare. In fact, I thought the plane had crashed into our building and hit the other one. I had no idea that it had been two planes,” he says.
Arriving on the ground floor, the police led the survivors out, which was when the Brazilian suspected that the episode was drastic. “There was smoke, the plasterboards on the ceiling were all broken, fallen, and when I left the door – I walked out the entrance of a hotel inside the World Trade Center, which was where the police referred us – I I saw the two towers on fire.”
THE CNN Brazil presented a special program this Saturday, 9/11, simultaneously broadcast with the American CNN and with correspondents across the United States, in honor of the victims of the 20-year-old attack. Check out:
*(supervised by Elis Franco)