Dave Hood



My 9/11/2001 Experience:

I worked for the Port Authority from 1987 to 2017, and during this period there were several events that had a profound effect upon my view of the agency. Certainly, the most profound was the events of September 11, 2001.

On that day, I was in my office on the 68th floor of One World Trade Center preparing for a 9:00 o’clock meeting with two colleagues from Risk Management, Jean Andrucki and Barry Glick. Six weeks prior, the agency had entered into an agreement with Silverstein Properties to lease the World Trade Center (WTC). At that time, I was one of the attorneys in the Law Department assigned to the 1993 WTC Bombing Litigation (“1993 WTC Bombing”). As a result, my colleagues had scheduled the meeting to review the litigated matter.

Just before leaving for the meeting, I stopped in the restroom. While there, I felt the entire building shake as I had never experienced before, and the toilets all flushed at once! When I made my way back to my desk, everyone had left the floor. However, the phones continued to ring and when I answered one of them the caller advised me that he was calling from PAPD.

The officer informed me that a plane had hit the building. In light of my experience with the 1993 WTC Bombing, I knew there would be numerous lawsuits, so I decided that I needed to stay and get to work. Subsequently, I received a call from Gerry Crowley, who had recently been promoted to the Chief of New York Litigation. Gerry warned me that the building was on fire and urged me to leave. I explained to him that a plane had struck the building and there would be many lawsuits. I also thought that it was safer to remain in my office since except for the six people killed in 1993, most of the injuries were due to smoke inhalation by people who were forced to walk down the smoke-filled stairwells.

As 9:00 o’clock approached, I decided to tune my radio to 1010 WINS so I could hear the news. Coincidentally, the fire alarms went off right at the time the news would come on, so I immediately left the floor as we had been instructed to do on numerous occasions. When I entered the stairwell, there were already many people making their way down as well as firefighters on their way up to the location of the disaster. I made my way down to the Concourse level just before the collapse of the South Tower but did not make it out of the complex. The last thing I remembered was someone saying take cover before the entire complex went dark and I was caught in what felt like a tsunami. Next, I remembered seeing bright lights from the rescuers who assisted me in getting out. Unfortunately, 84 of my colleagues, including Jean and Barry, did not make it.



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