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Utahns in N.Y. describe chaos, horror

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It wasn't known early Tuesday whether any Utahns died in the terrorist attacks on the east coast, but those who survived it felt the explosions, saw the smoke and flames and were caught up in the chaos that followed.

Mitch Stone, a Utahn visiting New York City, was driving on the West End Highway about 20 blocks from the World Trade Center on Tuesday when terrorists attacked.

He saw a "big hole with smoke coming out of it" from the tower on the north. "Then the south side was just burning, where the second plane apparently hit. You could see the flames coming from that. At that point the cops got everything off the freeway."

His car had to turn around and return through the city. "They just shut down all the freeways through it," he said. "You can't get through that."

"The subway system's closed down, everything closed down."

In Washington, D.C., where the Pentagon and State Department were attacked, Brigham Young University graduate Jenny Oman described the scene on the streets as chaotic.

"People are running everywhere in the streets. They are filling the roads and panicking. Everyone is talking on their cell phones trying to get through to someone, anyone."

She was in a building 10 minutes away from the Pentagon, which was evacuated.

Kelly Lear moved to Washington, D.C., from Salt Lake City four weeks ago. She and her husband live in an apartment two miles from the Pentagon.

"I heard a plane, and it was very very loud, and my building shook. About 10 minutes later, there was another incident that I felt as well. I haven't left my apartment. The metro is shut down. Everyone is listening to the news," she said. "I'm a little bit anxious because I can hear and feel things going on. I can't even imagine the fear and anxiety of the people of the World Trade Center. That's a horrible thing to think about."

Nathan Rafferty, director of communications for Ski Utah, was in New York for meetings as he stood within blocks of the crumbling World Trade Center.

"You could see a yellow glow in the center. Now and then you could see people falling from the building. You could tell they were people. When someone would fall, you could hear the people around me scream and cry.

"Suddenly the building collapsed and this huge cloud of smoke moved down the street. Everyone started to run away from the building."

"You should see Times Square. People are just standing still watching TV," said Derek Nance, who works at Coltrin & Associates in midtown Manhattan, about 1 1/2 miles from the World Trade Center. Coltrin was to help the Salt Lake Organizing Committee stage an event Wednesday in near the World Trade Center to announce Olympic torchbearers.

Hubble Hausman, a Brigham Young University graduate who works on Wall Street, said those on the trading floor just started freaking out, screaming and crying. I went upstairs where we saw the explosion when the second plane hit. There was glass and paper flying down everywhere," he said. "Back on the floor everyone from the most important people down was on the floor watching the televisions to see what was going on."

Brian Hatch, former deputy mayor of Salt Lake City in the Deedee Corradini administration, lives on 96th Street in Manhattan. He was at home, on the Internet, when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center. Shortly thereafter, he went to a local grocery store.

"Folks are going to stores and getting supplies. I was one of them." He said New Yorkers, at least on the upper west side, were behaving calmly, although there seemed to be more pedestrians on the streets that normal.

"The store wasn't really crowded. People were calmly getting sufficient supplies for a day or two." He said there was no apparent hoarding.

Several Utahns have family or friends working in either New York and Washington.

The daughter of state Sen. Pete Knudson, R-Brigham City, was stepping out of her office building in New York's financial district when the first plane slammed into the World Trade Center.

She ran and "fortunately she was able to get out without being injured, but she had a lot of friends who work in the building and the upper floors," Knudson said.

She called her father, who couldn't get a call through to her.