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9/11: The Story of a Blind Man Saved by His Dog

Eduardo Rivera told how his dog started looking for a way out of the building, while glass was falling due to the attack.

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Eduardo Rivera told how his dog started looking for a way out of the building, while glass was falling due to the attack.

It has been 20 years since the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 and many are the stories that are remembered of that event that marked the history of the world. This is the case of Eduardo Rivera, a blind engineer who worked on the 71st floor of the World Trade Center.

His story was told by the Spanish newspaper El Mundo on September 14, 2001. Rivera had arrived earlier in the day to deliver some reports for a board meeting to be held that day. What he did not expect was that at 8:44 a.m. he would begin to hear screams alerting him to the crash of the planes into the building where he works.

“I was startled at about 8:44 a.m. when someone yelled, ‘What the hell is this plane doing here?’ But a little later there was an impact, such a thunderous noise that I practically heard it like in my ear. The building started shaking and that’s what I remember,” he said.

blind man
On Saturday, stories such as that of Rivera and his dog were remembered (Image: EFE).

His dog’s reaction

Rivera said his Labrador retriever, who was next to his desk, got up and nervously ran out of the office as glass shards could be heard falling. At that point they started running to evacuate the building.

“I kept thinking about what I should do and made the decision that the best thing to do was to evacuate. The plane hit about five or six floors up,” he said.

“We had a lot of difficulties, confusion, there was a lot of smoke upstairs, the smell of gasoline. At the beginning there was a lot of panic, some people tried to take the first place to evacuate, but in reality I think there was a lot of prudence.”

The engineer went down the stairs with his boss, Danna Enrigt. On the 64th or 65th floor, they tried to remove Salty’s leash, as the dog was called, to speed up the passage, but he refused to go on without them and they had to calm him down.

El Mundo reports that “upon reaching the street, Rivera and his dog walked several blocks until they could board the Metro, which transported them to the Pelham station and then they arrived at Mont Vernon, where his wife Sonia and his daughters Elizeth, 21, Andrea, 17, and Erika, 8, were waiting for him.”

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