Terror of Ipswich air steward

PUBLISHED: 12:30 13 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010

AN Ipswich air steward witnessed the second terrorist-controlled aircraft plough into the World Trade Centre from his New York Hotel, it emerged today.

AN Ipswich air steward witnessed the second terrorist-controlled aircraft plough into the World Trade Centre from his New York Hotel, it emerged today.

Carl Clennell, a senior cabin crew member for Virgin Atlantic, was on the phone to his aunt as the devastating events unfolded.

He was staying in New York overnight and was due to fly back to England yesterday where he lives with his father on Rushmere Road.

His aunt Viven Knights said she turned on her television as Carl screamed down the phone that a second plane had hit.

Mrs Knights, of Catesbray, Capel St Mary, said she could not believe what was happening.

"Carl had phoned me to tell me a plane had hit the building, he thought it was terrible accident. As I turned on the television I could see what was happening and when he told me a second plane had hit I was living it with him.

"He told me he could see it from his window and his reaction was total shock. We both realised then that this was no accident. As I watched it on television Carl was so close to it I was speaking to someone who was actually among this."

The 24-year-old's reaction was one of shock and utter disbelief.

"Oh My God Viv I cannot believe this is happening, what on earth is going on- this is no accident," he shouted down the phone.

Mrs Knights spoke of her disbelief and sadness at the events that have rocked the modern world. "My sister lives in Connecticut and I have spoken to her. No one out there has been unaffected. Sadly she knew a family who had been on the fated plane which ploughed in to the building. A man she knew had put his wife and child on the plane to fly out to Disney World- the rest needs no words to describe."

Mrs Knights has spoken to her nephew since the devastation of Tuesday and says the mood there is total disbelief and sadness.

"He is stranded there now and they can't even drink the water because it has all been poisoned, this will take a long, long time to heal."

Ivan Clennell, Carl's father is still recovering from the shock.

The 49-year-old of Rushmere Road, said: "I heard about what had happened on the radio. I had heard that two aeroplanes had crashed into the World Trade Centre.

"My first thought was of Carl, who works for Virgin Atlantic as a senior cabin crew. Then my sister contacted me to tell me that she had spoken to Carl who was fine.

"That was the first news that I wanted to hear. I was relieved, but will be much more relieved when he comes home."

"I put on the television and couldn't believe what was happening," said Ivan. "I felt physically sick. There was another plane hijacked. But thankfully Carl was OK.

"It is just unbelievable. It is only just sort of sinking in today. I just didn't think that something like that was possible. I have been to that building and been up in it and it is absolutely massive.

"I am just waiting in anticipation for Carl to come home. I really feel for all the people out there who have lost their lives."

Carl is staying in a hotel in Newark and is at the moment stuck in the States unable to return home, but Ivan is hoping to have him home by the weekend.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star