'When they hit the tower, everyone knew there is something wrong here'

'When they hit the tower, everyone knew there is something wrong here'

COOS BAY, Ore. - Father Jeyamani Paul had the day off from his parish in Brooklyn, New York.

"On that particular Tuesday we wanted to go to the Statue of Liberty," he said.

On the way to the boat, he saw a fire burning in one of the World Trade Center towers. He didn't know what had happend.

Then a plane flew over his head.

"The plane came very slow, very low over our heads. It was very low; we could see very clearly the belly of the plane," he recalled. "I thought they were going to douse the fire with spraying something on it."

But that wasn't what happend on Sept. 11, 2001, after a plane hit one of the towers.

"Even now it's scary," Paul told KVAL News. "They just were kind of maneuvering the plane so well because there are a lot of tall buildings and then slammed into the tower.

"When they hit the tower," he said, "everyone knew there is something wrong here."

Father Paul and thousands of others were running through the streets of lower Manhattan.

"The tower came down and it was really scary," he said. "I thought I would die there because it was the debris, smoke and everything."

The pandemonium of those moments stay with him.

"When I was running I stepped on so many people because I couldn't see anything," he said. "Probably there were some elderly people who were not able to run."

He ended up in a boathouse for hours.

"After 20 minutes the second tower came down, and once again it was all covered with smoke and it was pitch dark," he said. "We could not see anything, and some people started fainting inside the boathouse."

Ten years later, Paul is a priest at St. Monica's Parish in Coos Bay.

That day in New York stays with him.

"As I was running for my life, the thousands of people who were running - the firefighters and the police were running inside to save the people," he said. "That was really amazing to me."

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