Saturday, September 20, 2014

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Daycare Center Recalls Escape From Twin Towers' Collapse

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TWC News: Daycare Center Recalls Escape From Twin Towers' Collapse
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When Five World Trade Center collapsed, so did the Children's Discovery Day Care Center on the main floor. NY1's Todd Baer filed this remarkable story of how the children got out safely.

Tristan Conner's 4-year-old world was turned upside down three weeks ago. His day care center was in the World Trade Center.

"My school had smoke and fire," Tristan says. "We just, Mommy ran with me on my shoulders."

Tristan and 29 other children were escorted out of the building by their teachers after the terrorist-driven planes slammed into the twin towers. Some of them were put in to shopping carts as they fled in different directions away from the burning buildings.

"And we're running and pushing them," says Minerva Torra, a teacher at the daycare center, "running north, running north, running north."

Said another teacher, Sasha Sears: "We just grabbed the kids and we just kept going north."

Lynn Gaccione's two children were at the daycare center. When she made it out of her office in One World Trade Center, she frantically started looking for her kids.

After a day of searching, she found them with the teachers who brought them to safety, one at St. Vincent's Hospital, the other at another daycare center on Avenue D.

"I hugged them so hard, I thought I was going to squeeze them to death," Gaccione says.

She credits the teachers for her children's safe return.

"They saved my kids," she says. "I have my kids because of them. I told them, the word 'hero' is so small. They saved my boy, they saved my girl."

Now, the teachers have to find new jobs, while the parents must find new daycare centers for their children.

Through it all, the kids say they are not afraid. "No, no, I'm not scared," says Tristan, "because, I'm brave."
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