- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 12:08PM
It's not surprising that this shocking firsthand footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has gone viral, it remains as powerful and chilling today as it did 15 years ago.
The initially private video was filmed by a college student from a nearby NYU dormitory, as the unwitting onlooker became a major part of documenting the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.
Photo: Getty Images
On September 11, New York University student Caroline Dries and her roommate, Megan, awoke at 8.46am to the sound of what they believed to be an explosion.
Dries began filming the events from her 32nd floor room at 200 Water Street when she spotted smoke coming from the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
As the footage unfolds, the confusion of what is happening can be heard, as Caroline and Megan speculate as to what is happening, while Megan frantically explains the situation to her mother over the phone.
It is only when the South Tower was attacked at 9.03am that the two women realised they were witnessing a terrorist attack and evacuated the building. However, feeling even less safe on the street, the pair later returned to their dormitory and watched in horror as the South Tower collapsed at 9.59am.
Dries went on to become a TV writer and producer for shows including Smallville, Melrose Place, and The Vampire Diaries.
Speaking to CNN, Dries said:
"I just remember feeling, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ That feeling of being so vulnerable was so overwhelming; and so, we ran out of the apartment, took the elevator down to the street, and it was just kind of pandemonium with no one knowing what [was] happening.
It took kind of ten years for me to understand why this footage is special. People, I think, want to remember the details clearly and to hold onto it because they know how significant it was. Sometimes I think it would have been nice to have not filmed it — to just have run and let time kind of erase all the details and it would have gone a little faster."