Second WTC Janitor Comes Forward With Eye-Witness Testimony Of 'Bomb-Like' Explosion in North Tower Basement
Greg Szymanski | July 12, 2005
A second WTC maintenance worker has now come forward with eye-witness testimony that a massive explosion erupted in the lower levels of the north tower at approximately the same time the jetliner struck the tower’s top floors.
Jose Sanchez, 45, of New Jersey in a never-released tape recorded statement made in early 2002 to William Rodriguez, the first WTC maintenance man to claim a bomb exploded in the north tower basement, said he heard what sounded like a “huge bomb,” causing lights to flicker on and off, while he worked in a small sub-level 4 workshop.
Sanchez, who worked for American Building Maintenance Co. at the WTC for 14 years, was unavailable for comment, but made the taped 2002 statement to Rodriguez, recounting his 9/11 personal experience.
Sanchez, who fell on hard times after 9/11, revealed the details of a basement bomb-like explosion while Rodriguez and two CNN interns, Carolina Inojosa and Evita Zerebrinsky, interviewed victims and documented information for the many unfortunate people having trouble getting needed government assistance after 9/11.
Besides questioning the credibility of the official story that burning jet fuel was the only factor in bringing down the towers, Rodriguez formed an assistance organization called the Hispanic Victims Group instrumental in helping hundreds of people get help after 9/11 left many victims unemployed and homeless.
“I knew Jose very well since we worked for the same company,” said Rodriguez in a telephone conversation from his New Jersey apartment. “At the time, I taped his statements, I was more concerned about getting people needed assistance and, anyway, back then I really thought the government was seriously investigating the WTC attacks.
“But since then I have learned otherwise. I realize now they are covering-up the real truth and that’s why I want to release Jose’s statement. What really upsets me and, you can take this message to the White House, is that people like Jose and many others like him who experienced what happened in the basement of the north tower were simply ignored and never interviewed by the 9/11 Commission.
“If they really wanted to get at the truth, these are the very people who should have been interviewed, not public officials who knew very little about what occurred inside the buildings that tragic morning.
“However, instead we all have been ignored in order to cover up the truth. The victims, those who died and the families who lost loved ones deserve nothing less than the truth and I intend to keep talking until the truth is finally told.”
Sanchez’s explosive comments, shooting another large hole in the government story, now adds even more credibility to Rodriguez’s recent statements that he heard a massive explosion in the WTC basement just seconds prior to the jetliner striking above while working in a sub-level 1 office along side 14 others, all who heard and felt the very same thing as Rodriguez.
Since the outset, the government has stood firm that only burning jet fuel brought down the towers, but has ignored mounting eye-witness testimony and scientific data showing that a controlled demolition was an additional cause.
The government also has not fully explained why it immediately tampered with a crime scene, a criminal offense, by having all the hard evidence from the WTC removed and shipped overseas before independent investigators had a chance to study the structural components of the towers in order to help determine the real cause of the tower’s collapse.
While arguments continue in the scientific community about the structural cause of the WTC collapse, Sanchez’s eye-witness testimony adds more credibility that explosives were placed and detonated in the lower level of the north tower.
In the 2002 taped statement, Sanchez recalls, at the same time Rodriguez and the others heard the explosion, being in a small sub-level 4 workshop with another man who he only knew by the name of Chino when, out of nowhere, the blast sounded as the two men were cutting a piece of metal.
“It sounded like a bomb and the lights went on and off,” said Sanchez in the tape recording. “We started to walk to the exit and a huge ball of fire went through the freight elevator. The hot air from the ball of fire dropped Chino to the floor and my hair got burned,” said Sanchez in the tape recording. “The room then got full of smoke and I remember saying out loud ‘I believe it was a bomb that blew up inside the building.’
“I said ‘Chino, let’s go we gotta get out of here.’ But Chino was wounded and told me he needed help. I remember him saying that the hot air came with such force that it broke his leg. We finally went out through another exit and his leg and knee were both broken.”
Sanchez, all the time helping Chino, then recalls exiting into a parking lot on sub-level 4 where he encountered a group of other people also trying to flee. In the parking lot, a person assisted the pair, wrapping Chino’s leg with a bandage from a first aid kit.
Chino was then driven in an SUV to safety while Sanchez decided to walk up four flights of stairs through the stairwell, trying to exit at the plaza level but being turned back by debris and falling glass.
“I went back down the stairwell to B-4 and encountered several people coming up. I told them to turn back around and then went across the parking lot up another stairwell, making a left and then finally getting outside,” said Sanchez. “It took about 15 or 20 minutes to get outside and for me it was like a bomb with huge smoke all around. Then when I got outside, the other plane hit the south tower. It looked and felt like a war as I hid behind a wall to get out of the way of falling debris.”
Saying that he felt disoriented and “didn’t know what was happening,” Sanchez eventually made his way to safety, arriving at his New Jersey home at about 3:30pm after fleeing down 34th St. and making his way to the ferry boat.
Asked how he felt in the aftermath of the attacks, he said:
“I felt a sense of loss and despair. I worked there 14 years and I worked through the whole complex, installing signs. I worked on all floors and that day I just happened to be in the basement.
“I think I was lucky to get out of the basement because I was near the stairwell."