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9/11 memories: Kay Burley

We asked a Sky News presenter: where were you on 9/11?

It had started as a quiet news day. I was corralling reluctant colleagues into a voice-over booth to help with a Safer Harrow campaign. In the studio later, there was little happening when my executive producer alerted me to an incident in New York: a light aircraft had crashed into the World Trade Center. There wasn't much damage apart from a few broken windows and perhaps some slight structural concern about one corner of the North Tower roughly two-thirds of the way up.

Our camera position didn't yet offer a shot to the other side of the building, where a jetliner that had been transformed into a flying bomb had ploughed into the building. We were live on the pictures when the second plane hit the South Tower. It was unbelievable. An expletive in my ear from my producer put it much more bluntly than that.

Soon we had several more camera angles available. We focused on debris falling from the upper storeys. It quickly became apparent that the "debris" was trapped souls, unable to find a way out of the buildings. They were jumping to their deaths and their families were probably watching. The mayhem in my earpiece was replaced with respectful silence. We cut to wider shots.

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This article first appeared in the 05 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, 9/11