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Back Stories: On The Ground At Ground Zero

WCBS 880's 50th Anniversary Takes A Look Back

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – On the morning of September 11, 2001, WCBS reporter Sean Adams was covering a teacher strike at Cathedral High School on the East Side.

“Went to the car, got on the phone to do a live report, heard Tom Kaminski say something to effect of, ‘I can’t confirm this, but I think a plane flew into the side of the World Trade Center,’” he recalls. “So as soon as I heard that, I dropped the phone and I started driving.”

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“By the time I got a view of it, the second plane had hit. And how do you take that in? It’s surreal,” he continues. “A reporter’s instinct is run to the center, run to the story, but I said, ‘I am not going on the plaza.’ I said to myself, ‘You do no good dead.’”

He made his way to Church Street, where the mayor was expected to speak.

Hear more 9/11 memories from: Tom Kaminski

“I had my back to the towers. All of a sudden, the ground shook. There was this roar. It sounded like a rocket,” he says.

The building had completely collapsed.

Adams turned and joined the crowd of panicked people running for their lives.

“Nothing you ever learned in a journalism class at New York University ever taught you how to handle this,” he says.

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