Today marks 18 years since the world’s most famous terror attack, which changed the city of New York forever.
As the Twin Towers were being engulfed in flames on the morning of 11 September 2001, nearly 3000 people were desperately trying to escape the inferno before the World Trade Centre inevitably collapsed.
Among those that joined the rescue effort were almost 300 dogs. One of these canine heroes was Labrador Roselle. The fearless guide dog saved her owner and 30 other people, calmly leading them to safety down 80 floors, navigating them through fire, smoke and debris.
Michael Hingson, a sales manager for Fortune 500 company Quantum, had first met his guide dog in 1999, and she was sat under his desk, just like every other day, when the disaster struck.
In an interview with the Sunday Express, Michael told about the moment he knew something was wrong.
“I heard a tremendous boom, and the building started to shudder violently, before slowly tipping, leaning over 20 feet,” he said.
“Those inside became convinced they were on the verge of death. Tearfully, colleagues said goodbye to each other. I was sure I was going to die.”
Although they didn’t know it at the time, the building had just been hit by American Airlines Flight 11, which is said to have been hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorist Mohammad Atta and four others. After the initial impact, the building slowly, somehow, righted itself.
And then the repercussions of the impact began, with debris beginning to fall down around his colleagues.
Michael said: “I had always paid attention to fire drills and I knew to avoid the elevators, take the stairs and not to panic.
“While everything was happening, the explosion, the burning debris, the people in the conference room screaming, Roselle sat next to me as calm as ever.
“She didn’t sense any danger in the smoke and flames, everything happening around us.
“If she had sensed danger she would have acted differently, but she didn’t. Roselle and I were a team and I trusted her.”