Editor's Pick

Masterchef New Zealand on TVNZ Ondemand

MasterChef New Zealand

Series 5, Episode 24 Masterchef New Zealand 21 Apr 14 00:44:30

Top Shows

Contact ONE News

An angel saved my life says Twin Towers' survivor

Published: 1:25PM Sunday August 21, 2011 Source: ONE News

Twin Towers' survivor Genelle Guzman-McMillan believes in angels.

The 39-year-old was the last survivor to be pulled from Ground Zero following the September 11 terror attacks, she was trapped for 27 hours in the rubble of the Northern Twin Tower of the World Trade Centre.

Guzman-McMillan is in Auckland this week to promote her book Angel in the Rubble and told TV ONE's Sunday that an angel named Paul saved her life.

"I said thank god Paul is here, he got me, I'm gonna get out and I'm gonna get home to our family," she said.

Her story is incredible, but then so were the events that unfolded in New York that day.

Guzman-McMillan was working on the sixty fourth floor of the World Trade Centre. She says her day began like any other.

But it all changed with a "bang, that loud sound, and the building shook, and that was what I remember".

She says it was an hour before people in the building worked out what was happening.

"Someone finally went into the conference room and turned the TV on, and there was a reporter saying that it's possibly a terrorist attack," she said.

An hour after the impact in the North tower, Guzman-McMillan began her perilous descent down the stairs, with 14 workmates, desperately clutching on to one another.

But when the group got to the 13th floor "boom, the walls gave in, the place went completely dark, dusty, and the rumbling sound was like 100 earthquakes at one time".

"I fell to the floor, my friend pulled away and she ran back up the staircase, and something just hit me, and knocked me down the staircase.  And I just lay there until I came to a complete stop," she told Sunday.

She rode down a further 13 floors and 100 floors above her came tumbling down on top of her.

"That's what I ask myself every day, how did I survive?  Being under the rubble, I couldn't move, I, my head was wedged, wedged between a concrete pillar. 

"Everything was on top of me except for my left hand, and my legs were crisscross," she said.

Guzman-McMillan stayed like this for 27 hours.

Above her head rescuers combed the wreckage, she pushed her left hand up through the debris and to her surprise another hand grasped on.

"He said Janelle I got you, my name is Paul".

She says Paul held onto Guzman-McMillan's hand until rescuers arrived.

"Paul was just telling me I'm not gonna let you go, I'm not gonna let you go, you're gonna be fine," she said.

She said as she was transported to hospital all she could think was that she wanted to meet Paul, the angel who watched over her.

"I've been trying to find Paul for the past 10 years and it's, it's so surreal that it's 10 years since this attack, and I've been on the news, I've been asking about Paul.  And, and it's so funny that Paul has never come forward.

"That's why I started writing this book I came to the conclusion that Paul must have been an angel, must have been my angel, must have been the miracle I was asking for," she said.

Since that fateful day, which claimed the lives of 2753 people, Guzman-McMillan' has received the Medal of Honour from New York's Port Authority.

She says she has not visited Ground Zero since the terror attacks and doesn't ever plan to.

Advertising