Photos: 20 years later, a 9/11 image connects the photographer & survivor

At 9:59 am on September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center South Tower fell. About 15 minutes later, photographer Shannon

Published on Sep 11, 2021 02:54 PM IST 8 Photos
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A group of firefighters stand on the street near the destroyed World Trade Centre in New York on September 11, 2001. Stapleton, then a freelancer for Reuters, took a few frames of a group of people emerging from what remained of the building's lobby.(Shannon Stapleton / REUTERS)

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Kayla Bergeron looks over newspaper clips of her in a picture ran in the New York Times, that she had stored in a cardboard box labelled 9-11, in the garage of her home in Suwanee, Georgia, on July 2, 2021. Kayla Bergeron, head of public relations for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the buildings, had just made her way down 68 darkened and flooded flights of stairs. It had taken her nearly an hour to reach the bottom.(Shannon Stapleton / REUTERS)

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A man walks in the street near the World Trade Centre towers in New York City, early September 11, 2001. Just before leaving the stairwell, Bergeron remembers seeing a bright light ahead of her, and she was filled with hope that she would escape the building with her life. She stepped into the light, but couldn't see anything, so thick was the dust and smoke from the South Tower.(Shannon Stapleton / REUTERS)

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Kayla Bergeron sits with fellow 9/11 survivor and former NYPD officer Ken Marchello at a coffee shop in Cumming, Georgia, on July 2, 2021. Bergeron kept working at the Port Authority for nearly six more years. She helped shepherd the organisation through the immediate crisis and then to the rebuilding of the 1,776-foot-tall tower that now stands about a block west of the old Twin Towers. "I was always high energy. Go, go, go. Never stop," Bergeron told Reuters.(Shannon Stapleton / REUTERS)

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Shannon Stapleton takes photos of the 9-11 Memorial in New York City, on September 2, 2021. For Stapleton, the years that followed 9/11 were filled with professional success. In 2005, Reuters hired him as a staffer, and for the next 15 years, he travelled from one disaster or conflict to another. He rarely stopped to pause or reflect on that dark day, he says. He just kept going.(Carlos Barria / REUTERS)

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Smoke and debris fill the air after one of the World Trade Centre towers in New York City collapsed on September 11, 2001. Stapleton recalls that after the South Tower fell, he looked at the screen of his digital camera – the first he had owned – and, pleased with his pictures, decided to deliver them to his editor. Minutes later, after the two left the area, the North Tower collapsed. Stapleton thinks that if he had been using his usual film instead of having the immediate confirmation of good digital images, he might have stayed on the scene and been there when the tower fell – and become another victim.(Shannon Stapleton / REUTERS)

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In late spring this year, Bergeron emailed Stapleton about the 9/11 picture. A French documentary maker had asked her about it. "I contacted her, and it was like, we'd known each other our whole life," Stapleton told Reuters.(Shannon Stapleton / REUTERS)

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Kayla Bergeron is photographed by Shannon Stapleton with equine therapy horses in the fields at Special Equestrians of Georgia in Milton, Georgia, on July 3, 2021. (Shannon Stapleton / REUTERS)

Published on Sep 11, 2021 02:54 PM IST