Pasquale Buzzelli, a New Jersey engineer for the Port Authority, was in the north tower of World Trade Center in New York City when it collapsed after being hit by a plane during the 9/11 terrorist attack. Despite working on the 64th floor, he survived.
Buzzelli, and his wife Louise, joined Morning Joe Tuesday, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist, to discuss their story, which will also appear in a documentary airing on Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. tonight.
Buzzelli and some of his colleagues had remained in the building in part to keep the stairways clear for rescue personnel, but when they "felt a rumbling," they decided to gather their things and make their way down. By the time they made it into the twenties, another "loud, tremendous rumbling" shook the building. Buzzelli went to a far wall and curled up in the fetal position, trying to protect himself from falling debris. The "floor cracked and gave way," and he thought, "I'm going to die."
When he looked up, he saw blue sky. "I couldn't believe I was alive."
Buzzelli, dubbed the "9/11 Surfer," had somehow landed safely on a pile of rubble that had been the World Trade Center after about a 15-story fall.
Meanwhile, his pregnant wife was at home watching the tower collapse and thinking her husband had just died.
MSNBC's Willie Geist narrates The 9/11 Surfer Tuesday night.