After the collapse of the World Trade Center towers filled the streets of Lower Manhattan with clouds of debris Tuesday, thousands of people were forced to walk northward in a massive exodus from the scene of the carnage. NY1 reporter Kerri Lyon filed the following report:
With limited subway and bus service and river crossings closed to cars, the best way to get home after Tuesday's tragic attack in New York City was by foot.
Police directed thousands of people across the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn and northward to Midtown. Many were injured and most were covered in soot and using distributed surgical masks from breathing in the debris.
"I got trampled," said Jennifer Paulson, who was injured in the exodus. "My foot is broken now, but all they could do was put a bandage on me because so many people are hurt worse. So I don't blame them."
Then there were those with no physical injuries, but dealing with psychological wounds.
But it wasn't Brooklyn where all the people were trying go - it was anywhere but Manhattan.
"We left before the evacuation, because I figured before anything else happens, let me get the hell out of Manhattan," said one man.
"I was in my car on the way to New Jersey," said another man, "and they closed the tunnel and I had to turn back. I wasn't going anywhere, so I just got out of my car and started walking."
For others, walking wasn't an option. Stranded miles and miles from home, travelers sat for hours outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal to await word on alternate transportation.
Several ferry services offered free shuttles to New Jersey and Queens as well. By afternoon, several thousand people had already made the trip.