September 15, 2001


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The Rediff Special/ Vaihayasi Pande Daniel

Has anyone seen Kiran Gopu?

They are heartbreakingly poignant little notes. Footnotes of history. They are posted all over the Internet. Thousands of tiny tragic reminders of how life changed drastically for a multitude of people who were geographically unlucky. Of people who wandered into an orbit of bad karma. Took the wrong turn on Fate's path.

They could easily have been you. Or me.

The notes say it all. Some wandered in, with ticket stubs probably still in hand, to gaze wide-eyed from the viewing gallery on the 110th floor of the World Trade Centre, the shining monument of steel and glass to global Big Business.

Some strolled in for breakfast dates at the plush Windows on the World restaurant.

Some walked in to tweak computer networks and programs for the big firms located in the towers.

Some rushed in, crisp in suits, ties and briefcases, for meetings with business acquaintances.

Some to repair the elevators.

And some --- actually thousands and thousands -- worked there. In the posh law offices that populated the top floors. In the finance companies. In the restaurants, serving. In the offices, cleaning.

Some time between 8.45 am and 10.28 am, Time stood still for them. For many, the clock would never tick again.

Aguiar Joao, WTC 2, 89th floor. Posted by John Papula on September 13, 2001, 5:48:47 am. Working at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods:
In the office of the 2nd tower when the 1st got hit. He managed to get down about 11 flights to a floor with an elevator. He was not able to get on. That was the last anyone saw him.

Flecha Eileen, WTC 2, 90-97th floor. Posted by Robert & Ann Morris on September 13, 2001, 10:23:00 am. Was working at Fiduciary Trust International:
Missing since her tower was destroyed. She is 33 years old, 5'2" tall, weighs 145 lbs. She is wearing a navy blue pants suit with a white blouse. She is wearing 2 gold chains with a Virgin Mary pendant, the Star of David and a menorah. She has 3 earrings in each ear. She has a scar on her lower back from recent surgery. Her mother last spoke to her as the 2nd plane hit her tower. She has been confirmed as evacuated before the building collapsed. We have been unable to locate her. We are also looking for her fiancÚ who worked with her. His name is Ivan Perez, he is approx 5'9" tall and weighs approx 190 lbs. We do not know what he was wearing that day. We have been searching for them since this tragedy happened. If any one has any information, please contact her parents at the e-mail address provided.

Graifman David WTC 2, 89th floor. Posted by Dan Brewster on September 13, 2001, 1:36:42 pm. Was working at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods:
David's wife last spoke w/him after WTC 1 was hit. He did not believe he was in imminent danger. Please provide any other info you may have.

Reina Joseph, World Trade Centre. Posted by Cathy on September 12, 2001, 5:28:23 pm:
Joseph has a pregnant wife due in 4 weeks. He is 32 years old, worked on the 101st floor of the 1st building of the World Trade Centre. If any information from this little description, please forward it immediately. Thank you

Abate Andrew, 105th floor. Posted by Maureen Lilmoreen on September 12, 2001, 11:40:36 pm. Was working at Cantor Fitzgerald:
His name appeared on the website for survivors, but family has not heard anything.

Fava Shannon, 103rd floor. Posted by Frank Fava on September 12, 2001, 3:23:24 pm. Was working at Cantor Fitzgerald:
Shannon worked for Cantor and could be listed under Shannon Sava or Dava. She most likely does not have identification. She was wearing a grey shirt with black pants. Brown hair/eyes. If you have any information regarding her or anyone else who was on the same floor, PLEASE contact me. 718-837-7374. THANK YOU

Eberling Dean, WTC 2, 89th floor. Posted by Charles Fraser on September 12, 2001, 9:41:25 pm. Was working at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods:
Dean was last seen in an elevator which had made it to the ground floor but would not open. Two female co-workers were able to get out through an opening at the top of the elevator before the collapse.

Dianne, WTC Tower, 1, 93rd floor. Posted by Gail A Mulert-Jones on September 13, 2001, 8:15:31 pm:
Please call my Aunt Tisa if you have any information on Dianne. She has red hair, blue eyes, 32 years old and she is about four months pregnant.

Squitieri John, Manhattan. Posted by VeMount on September 12, 2001, 8:12:14 pm:
If anyone knows of John Squitieri's whereabouts or if he has been injured or other, please let us know! Close friend. Worked for Manhattan Fire Dept as a paramedic, 7am to 3pm, Mon-Fri. Dark hair and eyes, 6'1" 190 lbs. God bless America.

Stadelberger Richard/or Dick, 2, world trade tower. Posted by Edward Tiscornia on September 13, 2001, 5:11:42 pm. Was working at Texas-McCombs:
Dick and I have been friends for 35 years. We both graduated from St John's University in 1967. My last words to him were 5 minutes before the 2nd plane hit his tower. He said he was OK that it was the other tower that was in trouble and then 5 minutes later after I said good-bye, the second plane crashed into his tower. I know the answer -- he did not survive, but I guess I just need some definiteness so that I can begin my grieving knowing that there is no hope. Ed

Scan these lists and it takes only a few minutes to realize that most of the casualties were those who happened to be in the top 20 floors. Those floors with the best views... and the longest fire 'escapes.' So many are missing from AON, Marsh, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Fred Alger, Windows on the World, Cantor Fitzgerald...

As it is with all tragedies, the people who were expected to be in the center of a disaster are often not there. Delayed by a missed subway. Or an unheard alarm clock. Or a doctor's appointment. And the people who often got caught in Death's crossfire were unexpected.

Mouchinski Iouri, northern tower, 106th floor. Posted by Lena on September 13, 2001, 2:40:01 am:
My father had an appointment at the restaurant on 106th floor at 8.30 am. He is not on any lists available. Thank you for any possible information.

Campbell Geoffrey, 106th Floor, Tower 1. Posted by Chris Burbank on September 13, 2001, 1:04:19 pm. Was at Windows on the World:
Geoffrey Campbell is an employee of Reuters and was supposed to be at the breakfast meeting. He is 5'10, 179lbs, jet black hair, brown eyes and is British. He is deeply loved and missed by his family and friends. If anyone has information please contact me at my email address. He was running late for the meeting, so we aren't sure if he made it to the 106th floor. My prayers are with you all.

Melnichenko Hellen, WTC, Marsh & McLennan. Posted by Consulate General of Lithuania on September 13, 2001, 8:39:54 am. Was at Marsh & McLennan:
Family in Lithuania is very worried; please report to the Consulate General of Lithuania in New York, phone 212 354 7840, fax 212 354 7911

Albaro Gary. Posted by Debbie Richter on September 13, 2001, 1:40:15 pm. Was working for AON:
Please, anyone knowing the whereabouts of Gary Albaro who worked for AON. Was attending a meeting in the 2nd tower on the 101st floor.

So many of these posts are by Indians. Indians who have lost/cannot presently locate a brother, a sister, a parent or a friend. There are numerous messages from relatives checking on the safety of other relatives. And a number of Indians who, perhaps sheltered by tight networks of friends and family, having taken pains to add themselves to lists of the safe so worries all around are assuaged. Patels, Shahs, Bhatias, Sharmas have entered posts on the list of survivors.




Quite a few were less lucky. A Tahir Bhatti is critical. An Anshuman Bhattacharya is critical. An S Ramsundar is injured, St Vincent's...

And there are those poignant notes. More touching, perhaps, because they are closer to home. Two on a missing Nitin Parandkar...

Identification marks 1) fair, medium built, round faced, bears a moustache, wears an hmt quartz watch on his right hand. 2) a big oval shaped mole on his left ankle, wears a ring in his right hand, ring finger. the ring is made in silver metal. The colour of the stone is blackish green. 3) owns a bottle green coloured honda accord bearing number 4820 RJ. Was working on the 96th floor of the North Tower. Posted by Bala Pisupati. Was working for Marsh. Fair complexion. Date of birth November 27th 1973.

Parakkat Vinod, floor 103, Tower 1. Posted by Vineetha on September 13, 2001 7:48:40 pm. Was working for Cantor Fitzgerald:
Vinod Parakkat. He works for Cantor-Fitzgerald. The last we heard from him was when his friend talked to him minutes before the first plane crashed into the WTC. He works in floor 103... if any one has seen him or heard from him, or if he is anywhere, please contact Gokul at 732-967-0663. His wife Jayashree is pregnant and waiting for him.

Puttur Hemanth, NY. Posted by Vinu on September 13, 2001 4:16:39 am:
We are looking for information abt Hemanth Kumar Puttur from WIPRO who is working at Marsh and Maclean at WTC.

Choudhury Mohammed, WTC 1, 106th floor. Posted by Musa Chaudhury on September 12, 2001 9:15:43 pm. Was working at Windows on the World:
If you know of Mohammed or any employees of Windows on the World, please let us know.

The Indian consulate in New York believes some 250 Indians to be missing... perhaps dead. They have released lists of injured Indian citizens and NRIs. More lists are likely. Lists of the missing. Lists that hopefully will not, in a day or two, contain that many names... At least not Kiran Gopu's...

An email from Gopu's sister:

Kiran Gopu Dear Ms V--

There is no news whatsoever about my brother. Let me tell you the whole story and I am also sending his photographs... Please put them on the web site or broadcast in the television or anything you can do to help me find my brother.

My brother is from andhra pradesh... 5'10 , weighing about 165-170 pounds... has a moustache... black hair, black eyes, has a very big white oval shaped birthmark, a little above his stomach. He was wearing a light coloured shirt with dark navy blue trousers and black leather shoes. He was wearing a Timex indiglo watch which has a silver dial with black strap.

He worked for Marsh Financials and that was located in the 97th floor of the first hit building.

He had coffee with his friend at 8.35 am at the subway and they both departed to go to their respective offices. It takes a minimum of 5 to 7 minutes to go the world trade centre. So it would be around 8.42 am and another 2 minutes to show the identification and walk upto the elevators. So that would be 8.44. and he would have had only one minute before the plane hit the building. So he must be in the elevator when the plane hit the building. There is no way he could have gone upto 97th floor in one minute. So I am very sure he got caught up in the elevator and my conscience is telling me he is still there alive in the debris somewhere.

I want the officials to find any elevator under the debris as soon as possible... I have been calling all top officials but with no response. I want everyone to hear me and my story and pressurize the officials regarding this. I am sure there is a elevator there with closed doors down there and I want the rescue workers to get there and help my brother in time...

Please publish this in all newspapers and please see that my brother gets the help as soon as possible.

thank you


Links to the survivors
The official website
Disaster message service
WTC missing persons photo database
WTC victims who were taken to area hospitals
NY Hug
Also see:
Terrorism in America: The complete coverage

Design: Lynette Menezes

The Rediff Specials

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