Miro Kresic (1934- ), a Yugoslavian immigrant who settled in Port Washington with his family in the 1970s, worked as a Naval architect for John J. McMullen Associates on the 15th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. In this oral history interview, Mr. Kresic describes witnessing the planes hitting the Towers, his evacuation from Tower Two, and the collapse of the buildings. He also relays the experiences of his son, a Manhattan paramedic who was a first responder to the area around Ground Zero.
“…I came out on the West side onto the Broadway, and I noted that a lot of debris was falling down from the buildings, so I put my briefcase on my head to protect as much as I could myself…And I was looking up, and I saw what was going on. I saw horrendous fire in our building. And it was really extremely scary to see that. And I noted that a lot of people were standing around, almost below the building and watching what was going on. I felt that this is an extremely bad thing to do, so I was simply…trying to go as far as possible from the building, even though I was convinced that the building would not collapse, because I knew how strong it was made. It was a steel structure, and I – I couldn’t believe that finally the building collapsed.”
“You see, everybody was very quiet [when evacuating Tower Two]…And I’m sure everybody was extremely concerned what was going on. And as soon as we come down to the lower level, you know, I saw these firemen – and that’s what bothers me today – I noticed all these people that didn’t survive, you know. They helped us to come out, but they stayed inside in there in the building…I was – I came out on the right moment, I think. The last second, almost.”
Click here for the full oral history, available on the New York Heritage digital portal.