Bin Laden’s death brings painful memories

Painful memories.. Peter Bull pictured with his World Trade Centre pass
Painful memories.. Peter Bull pictured with his World Trade Centre pass

A SCARBOROUGH man who headed a firm struck by tragedy during the 9/11 terrorism attacks has spoken of the difficult feelings brought about by the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Peter Bull lost seven staff from the company he ran at the World Trade Centre in New York.

Now, following the death of the al-Qaeda leader, who was behind the horrific attack which killed nearly 3,000 in September 2001, Mr Bull says memories of the tragedy have flooded back.

Mr Bull, who was also managing director of the Eastfield-based Castle Group electronics firm, said: “It is very difficult to describe how I feel after hearing the news. You hear something like that and all of a sudden such vivid memories come back, memories which you hope you won’t have to re-live again.

“I wouldn’t say his death brings closure. I don’t think there will ever be closure for an event like that. A lot of people were lost and other were scarred for life.

“I guess a lot of people will see it a justice, I suppose to me I see it as we have got rid of some evil in this world.”

Mr Bull’s New York firm of stockbrokers, Avalon Partners, was on the 83rd floor of the north tower, which was the first to be hit by the hijacked planes.

Mr Bull, the firm’s chairman, was at home working in his office there when his wife told him that a plane had hit the tower and he assumed at first it was a light tourist plane or a helicopter.

Following the attacks he spoke to the Evening News. He said: “I listened to the radio and realised it was a lot more important. I put the television on and I just sat in disbelief at what I was seeing.” Mr Bull tried to telephone the staff but there was no reply. “I did not hear from anyone for some days and did not know if anyone of them had survived. I was due to fly out there anywhere on the 13th.”

Mr Bull explained that because it was fairly early in the morning many of the 26 staff would not have been in and some would also have been on holiday.

He said: “They were sitting in the office and there was a huge bang. The 83rd floor was where the tip of the wing clipped in.

“Right opposite our suite of offices was the emergency staircase. They just ran. They had been part of an exercise a week before on standard evacuation so they were able to run out of the offices and down the stairs. Everyone got out of the office but it was in the process of going down the stairs that we lost seven people.”

His firm had moved three weeks before to that floor from the 18th floor of the south tower, which was the first to fall down.

Mr Bull joins millions across the world who have welcomed the news of Bin Laden’s death.

American forces killed Bin Laden on Sunday after raiding his compound in North west Pakistan, bringing to an end the man hunt which has gone on almost ten years.