This news story is from Sept. 17, 2001, six days after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers. Tim Krason, the Collegian Editor at the time and current husband of the Mississippi College Modern Language Department professor Ashley Krason, tells an unforgettable story of a MC graduate who happened to be in the second World Trade Center tower when it was hit. This story unveils fresh emotions reacting to the attacks while telling the account of a MC graduate who escaped and survived the terrors of 9/11.
– Jordyn Gunn, Online Editor
Sept. 17, 2001 MC Grad Survives Terror by Tim Krason
Last week, the Mississippi College community had reason to give thanks even in the midst of tragedy. For many Clinton residents, Tuesday’s acts of terrorism were insulated by over 1,200 miles of breathing room, but the horror hit much too close to home for at least one MC family.
Daniel Brasier, a May graduate of Mississippi College, is employed by Morgan Stanley financial services and works out of the Jackson branch of the company. However, last week, Brasier, along with about 350 other Morgan Stanley employees, was sent to corporate headquarters at New York’s World Trade Center for specialized training.
According to Larry Brasier, Daniel’s father, who lives in Indianola, Daniel spent Monday at the New York Stock Exchange and entered the second World Trade Center tower early Tuesday morning for the first time.
“Oh, he [Daniel] was right in the center of all that mess,” stated Larry Braiser.
After observing an explosion in the first tower through a window in Morgan Stanley’s sixty-third story offices, Brasier alerted other employees of possible danger and began evacuating the building. Following a stairwell descent of about five stories, a public announcement was made encouraging all employees to return to their stations as no further problems were expected.
“Daniel said that several employees turned around after that announcement and went back to work, but Daniel and a friend of his from Dallas decided to keep evacuating,” said Larry Brasier.
The second assault on the towers occurred only moments later, when Brasier was at approximately the fifty-third floor. This time, the second tower was hit- and it was hit right at the sixty-third floor where Brasier would have been.
“The shock from the plane shook the entire building. It knocked Daniel right off his feet, and he fell down several stairs,” explained Larry Brasier. “The concrete was cracking all over, and all the lights went out.”
By the time Brasier reached the bottom of the tower, the streets already resembled a war zone as dead bodies, wreckage and emergency personnel cluttered the area.
He immediately ran three city blocks, entered a restaurant and obtained a cell phone to call his parents back in Indianola.
At home, Larry and Donna Brasier had been watching the drama unfold on television with the knowledge that their son was scheduled to be inside the second World Trade Center tower.
“From the time that second plane hit until we received Daniel’s phone call, about 40 minutes had passed. We were almost sure that he was dead,” said Larry Brasier. “When he called, he had just enough time to say, ‘I’m alive,’ before the phone cut off.”
To totally clear the disaster area, Brasier then ran approximately seven miles back to his hotel at Madison Square Garden. Following this traumatic experience, Brasier was provided transportation back to Memphis, where he was scheduled for arrival this past weekend.
“His story is absolutely incredible,” stated Larry Brasier. “We’re so thankful, and we’re excited to be having him back home soon.”