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Leading figures tell of 9/11 experiences

PUBLISHED: 10:23 11 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

Felixstowe mayor Malcolm Minns said: "I was at home and, by chance, was watching TV and consequently saw what was happening - I sat there for the rest of the afternoon trying hard to believe what I was seeing and hearing.

Felixstowe mayor Malcolm Minns said: "I was at home and, by chance, was watching TV and consequently saw what was happening - I sat there for the rest of the afternoon trying hard to believe what I was seeing and hearing."

Felixstowe police commander Insp Andy Bushell said: "It is something I shall never forget. I was at home washing my car when the phone rang and I was told to turn the TV on because I would not believe what I would see. The first plane had already crashed into the tower, and this camera panned upwards from the street and a second plane went crashing into the other tower and was just swallowed up. I sat there glued to the TV, like everyone else. It was horrific."

Rt Rev Clive Young, Bishop of Dunwich, said: "It was lunchtime, after a routine meeting. I had just passed the office door on the way to the corridor. My colleague called me in. The terrible news was breaking. Countless dead, people in tears and panic. The dust. Heroes coming to the rescue, then perishing themselves. All we could do was watch."

Ron Sudds, Suffolk County Councillor for Gainsborough and then chairman of the county council, said: "I was at home on that day and the TV was on. I asked my son what video he was watching. He said he was not watching a video. We have a very, very dear friend in California, but she had not heard about it when we called her. She just asked me to put the phone down and we didn't hear back from her for a couple of days. I just couldn't believe it was all happening."

DJ John Peel, who lives near Stowmarket, knew exactly where he was - because he had just been diagnosed with diabetes.

"I had just come back from Stowmarket health centre and was sitting on my bed feeling very forlorn and started watching the news on TV. I then got a call to report immediately to West Suffolk hospital. So I'll never forget the day I was diagnosed with diabetes."

Richard Risebrow, Mayor of Ipswich, said: "I was on the way back from Arras after visiting Monet's garden in France with a coach load of people from Ipswich after a five day trip.

"We were about 50 miles away from Calais when the driver switched on the radio. We listened to a radio station reporting the scene of devastation, but at first we ignored it believing it was just a pre-view of a new sci-fi movie.

"Soon I realised the truth and magnitude of what had happened and had a very nervous journey through the Channel Tunnel. I was conscious that it could have been another prime terrorist target."

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