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Stanley Praimnath is a survivor of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. Praimnath worked as an executive for Fuji Bank on the 81st floor of the South Tower, the second to be attacked. He was one of eighteen survivors from the South Tower above the impact point of the plane crash.
Praimnath started to evacuate from the South Tower when the North Tower was struck. He returned to his office when the building security told tenants it was safe to do so. Praimnath describes returning to his office, on the 81st floor, just in time to see the second airliner heading right toward his window. He describes a burning wing of the plane ending up "in my office door twenty feet from where I am huddled under my desk." He has stated that the last thing he said before the aircraft struck was, "Lord, I can't do this. You take over."
Praimnath was buried in debris, but when he heard Brian Clark and some colleagues descending the only stairwell that was open, he attracted Clark's attention. Praimnath and Clark were two of only eighteen survivors from a floor above where the plane struck. Clark attributes his own survival to going to help Praimnath, as his group had been debating whether to ascend to the roof and wait for rescue by helicopter, or try to descend through lower floors, which they were told were impassable. By the time Clark got Praimnath free, the group was gone, having decided to try for the roof; they were caught in the collapse. Clark and Praimnath went down instead.
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(Between 9:10 a.m. and 9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: South Tower Employee Sees No Inferno on 78th Floor
Brian Clark. [Source: CTV] Brian Clark, the executive vice president of brokerage firm Euro Brokers, was on the 84th floor of the South Tower, where his firm’s offices are, when Flight 175 crashed into it. He had headed out, going down Stairway A, which is the only staircase in the tower that remains intact from top to bottom, and was soon joined by Stanley Praimnath, who also works in the South Tower. They reach a point that Clark later guesses to have been around the 77th or 78th floor, where the stairway walls are cracked, allowing them to look through. This would be around the lower end of the floors where the plane impacted. However, Clark sees no large fire. He later says, “[Y]ou could look through the cracks and see flames. They were just quietly licking up, not a roaring inferno. And there was some smoke there, but again I think the stairs were pressurized, pushing the air out so we had less smoke in the stairway than you might imagine.” [BBC, 3/7/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 5/26/2002; SUN, 9/6/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/18/2004] This apparently contradicts later claims that the tower was subjected to “extreme fires” prior to its collapse. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2004] Firefighter Orio Palmer will make it up to this level of the tower later on, and also report only finding small fires there (see 9:52 a.m. September 11, 2001). Clark and Praimnath continue down the stairs and make it out just minutes before the collapse. They are two of only four people who were at or above the impact zone after Flight 175 hit, who are able to escape from the South Tower. [CNN, 9/9/2002] A further 14 people are able to get out of the building from its 78th floor, which is the lower part of the crash zone. [DWYER AND FLYNN, 2005, PP. 255]
- 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers
- 9/11: The Twin Towers
- Brian Clark
- Inside 9/11
- Michael Okwu (September 9, 2002). "An improbable escape: Two men defy odds and find a way out of the WTC". CNN . Retrieved 2007-08-05.