The efficiency of this piece is remarkable. We thought the use of time and floor numbers a tight and evocative way of both structuring the piece and crystallizing a chaotic event. We found the opening lines particularly strong, along with this key paragraph:
Then it plunged. In the car, someone punched an emergency stop button. At that moment—8:48 a.m.—1 World Trade Center had entered the final 100 minutes of its existence. No one knew the clock was running, least of all the men trapped inside Car 69-A; they were as cut off 500 feet in the sky as if they had been trapped 500 feet underwater.
Read “Fighting for Life 50 Floors Up, With One Tool and Ingenuity,” by Jim Dwyer