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Template:Infobox police officer William J. Jimeno (born November 26, 1967) is a Port Authority Police officer who survived the World Trade Center attack on September 11. He was buried under the rubble for a total of 13 hours, but survived, along with fellow Port Authority officer John McLoughlin.

Early life and educationEdit

Jimeno was born in 1967 in Colombia but immigrated to New York City as a boy with his family.

CareerEdit

At the time of the attacks, he was a rookie cop assigned to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. He saw the shadow of the airplane that seconds later hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He rode to the WTC site with 20 other Port Authority police officers in a commandeered bus.[1]

The collapse of the South Tower trapped Jimeno and three other Port Authority officers, led by Sgt. McLoughlin, under the Concourse between the twin towers. Only Jimeno and McLoughlin survived. Dominick Pezzulo survived the initial collapse but was killed by the collapse of the North Tower while he was trying to free Jimeno.

A USA Today account observed:

Sometimes they yelled for help. But mostly the 46-year-old sergeant, a 21-year veteran, and the 32-year-old [sic] rookie talked intimately, sometimes revealing personal things — about kids, families, feelings — that they had never shared with anyone. Jimeno asked the Sergeant to deliver a message over the radio to his wife, Allison, who was seven months pregnant. They had received no response earlier, but he thought maybe their radio call would be picked up on a police tape recording. "Attention," Sgt. McLoughlin announced, "Officer Jimeno requests that his baby girl be named Olivia." His wife had liked the name. He hadn't been so sure. Now, as he prepared to die, he wanted to think of his baby girl, Olivia.[1]

The two men were located and extricated after former U.S. Marines Sergeant Jason Thomas and Staff Sergeant Dave Karnes heard their cries for help. Both survivors, especially McLoughlin, were severely injured. They required several surgeries and months of hospitalization for recovery and rehabilitation. On June 11, 2002, McLoughlin (with a walker) and Jimeno (with a limp) walked across a stage at Madison Square Garden to receive the Port Authority's Medal of Honor.[2]

Their entrapment and rescue were portrayed in the 2006 Oliver Stone film World Trade Center, with Jimeno portrayed by Michael Peña.

On January 2, 2008, Jimeno appeared on the television game show Deal or No Deal and won $271,000. Also appearing on the show were students from Anderson High School of Austin, Texas, whose teacher uses the Stone film to inspire his students.

See also Edit

ReferencesEdit



TimelineEdit

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Shortly Before 9:59 a.m. September 11, 2001: Some Witnesses See Ground-Level Explosion Just Before WTC 2 Collapses Edit

Will Jimeno. [Source: Todd Plitt / USA Today] Some witnesses reportedly see a massive fireball at ground level, coming from the South Tower just before it starts to collapse. According to a report by the Mineta Transportation Institute (a research institute founded by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta), “People inside the South Tower felt the floor vibrate as if a small earthquake were occurring.… The vibration lasted for about 30 seconds. The doors were knocked out, and a huge ball of flame created by the exploding diesel fuel from the building’s own supply tank shot from the elevator shaft and out the doors of the South Tower, consuming everything in its path. Minutes later, at 9:59 a.m., the tower collapsed.” [JENKINS AND EDWARDS-WINSLOW, 9/2003, PP. 16] Around the same time, Port Authority Police Officer Will Jimeno is in a corridor leading toward the North Tower. “Suddenly the hallway began to shudder,” and he sees “the giant fireball explode in the street,” when the South Tower begins to collapse. [BOWHUNTER, 1/2003] Ronald DiFrancesco is the last person to make it out of the South Tower before it collapses. As he is heading toward the exit that leads onto Church Street, he hears a loud roar as the collapse begins. According to the Ottawa Citizen, “Mr. DiFrancesco turned to his right in the direction of Liberty Street, to see a massive fireball—compressed as the South Tower fell—roiling toward [him].” He bolts for the exit, before being knocked unconscious and blown many yards across the street. [USA TODAY, 12/18/2001; OTTAWA CITIZEN, 6/4/2005; OTTAWA CITIZEN, 6/5/2005; PBS NOVA, 9/5/2006] A number of other witnesses report feeling the ground shaking just seconds before the South Tower collapses (see Shortly Before 9:59 a.m. September 11, 2001).

RefsEdit

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