The untold story of 9/11

Conspiracy theories about what happened on 9/11 began to circulate just days after the attacks, but in recent months they’ve become a phenomenon with up to 75 per cent of Americans believing their government hasn’t told them the whole truth about that tragic day.

World Trade Centre janitor William Rodriguez was there when the aircraft struck the Towers and was decorated for his heroism in rescuing survivors.

Ahead of an appearance in Lewes, he speaks to Angela Wintle about the experience and the disturbing questions he’s been asking ever since. They still haunt his dreams, the ones who didn’t get away. He hears their screams for help from the passenger lift, screams he heard as he fled from the stricken World Trade Centre for the very last time.

He sees the faces of his old pals from the Window on the World restaurant, people he met daily over breakfast, who never stood a chance on the 106th floor. He remembers the fixed looks in the eyes of the firefighters as they pushed past him up the stairwell, never to return.

William Rodriguez saved dozens of lives on 9/11, but it’s the ones he didn’t save he thinks about most.But, of course, by rights, he shouldn’t be here at all. Rodriguez, 45, was a janitor at the World Trade Centre, tasked with cleaning three stairwells in the North Tower. But on September 11, 2001, he overslept and was half an hour late for work.

Ordinarily, he would have been having breakfast in the staff kitchen 106 storeys up when the first aircraf hit at 8.46am. But the Fates were looking down on him that day and he’d only just entered the basement of the building.

“I was on B1 level, talking to my supervisor, when we suddenly heard a massive explosion,” he says.

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