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How the window jumpers could have survived the fall from the WTC


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September 11, 2001

The South Tower

Floor 85

"Come, Swansont!"

I hollered, and Swansont and I leapt towards the open window.

"Not so fast, young man," said Swansont quietly. Even over the screams, the din, his voice was as audible as though it were a lecture hall.

"When you jump, keep pressed to the walls of the Tower," he said. 

"The walls of the tower?" I didn't understand. 

"Leap from ledge to ledge!" he said, and showed me. 

I watched, bemused, as Swansont took the first window ledge in it's stride. He leapt from the WTC window, and came to a halt a few metres below. His fingers had gripped the top of the window ledge just below. 

"Try it!" roared Swansont, above the din of traffic hundreds of metres below. 

I took a deep breath, and jumped. Ledge by ledge, we cannonned, progressively, towards the ground floor. My fingers were aching by the time we alighted none too lightly at ground zero. 

"Run!" said swansont. 

We weren't a moment too soon. The WTC collapsed all around us, or so it seemed. Looking back, it had been a close shave. 


Characters in this story are purely fictitious, but techniques of survival, well, those. Would they have worked if they had been put into practice, all those years ago? We will never know.

Edited by JacobNewton
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3 minutes ago, MigL said:

200 lbs, falling 12 ft, and you catch yourself with your fingertips.
85 times !

you have no concept of reality, or you watch too many movies.

you forgot the adrelanine, the fight or flight reflex, that lends wings to mortal endeavours.

Even in the absence of said adrenaline, it would have felt like the equivalent of 85 push ups, executed vertically.

The physical strain would have been none too unseemingly. 

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4 hours ago, Genady said:

There were no ledges.

attached is a photo of the WTC from inside, close up of the window ledges. As you can see, there were ridges of some sort, definitely some sort of thing for a potential window jumper to grab onto while passing. At least that act would have slowed him down to an acceptable speed, would have increased chances of survival. 


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