September 11 – After 5 Years

I have so many thoughts I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’ll go with the most controversial one first.

1. The people who jumped or fell from the WTC buildings who have since been apparently written out of the history of the day. How completely unfair to them. Not only that, how completely unfair to everyone who works or lives in a highrise building. By ignoring what happened or pretending it didn’t happen, the chances for change are lost. If those people who fell/jumped had access to one of these emergency parachutes, they could have survived 9/11 too.

There could be other changes – better exits, other technologies that could save lives, if only we didn’t ignore the fact that people either chose to jump to their deaths or fell out of the building trying to get fresh air.

It reminds me of this aviation incident when people died needlessly. Out of 137 people on the plane, 55 died of smoke inhalation. You would think over 20 years later, with all the technology we have now, that you would not have to worry about this now – but the only increases in safety have been in how to get off the plane. If smoke hoods were made available for every passenger on the plane there would be a good chance of this never happening again. Right now if your plane caught fire, the only hope you’ve got is to get to an exit before you are overcome by the smoke. The reason they are not found on planes? The cost – it would work out around $450,000 per life saved.

It is a terrible thing to think of that choice people may have been forced to make – do I stay here and not be able to breathe or get burned, or do I jump and hope for the best – either I survive, or a fast end to a horrible situation. It is even more terrible to think that people would rather just pretend it didn’t happen than to face it.

2. Wow, it could have been a heck of a lot worse. The amount of people who managed to get out of those buildings (both the WTC towers and the Pentagon) is seriously amazing.

3. I watched a documentary on how ATC got all the planes out of the sky on 9/11 which was really interesting. There were a couple of incidents I didn’t know about, including a Korean Air 747 on its way to Anchorage which was showing the transponder code for being hijacked – which resulted in f-15’s being launched, and all kinds of headaches for the authorities. In the end, once they got the plane on the ground in Whitehorse Alaska (the second time a 747 had ever landed there) it turned out the pilots were using that code was to show they got the message about the planes being hijacked. Yes, this is why I was terrified – honestly, shitscared is the best way to describe it – when my Dad flew to Korea on Korean Air. Keep off ooooo Korean Air! The plane could have been shot down – and it almost WAS shot down.

In other news –

Animal Planet have been running a tribute to the Crocodile Hunter and I caught a couple of hours of it. They showed some of his tour across America when he released the movie a while back, stuff which was behind the scenes and them in planes and limos and stuff. We got to see some of Steve being a Dad, and it was beautiful. There was also a photographic book in one of the Sunday papers here, and it had some of the most lovely photos of Steve in it.

The other half is on his way to Thailand – and I am a little terrified, I’ll be honest. Meanwhile I have to work the next 3 days.. ;)

Homeland Security, planes