WINNIPEG – A Winnipegger who narrowly avoided becoming a victim of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City is sharing his story.
Evan Kuz was visiting New York for the first time in 2001 and had plans to be at the World Trade Centre the morning of the attacks.
He had visited the Twin Towers the evening before with a woman named Camilla whom he had met on his travels. But the view from the observation deck was obscured by clouds, so the pair made plans to meet again at the same spot to take pictures at 8:30 the following morning.
“We really only planned on meeting at the World Trade Centre because her hotel was nearby,” Kuz recalled.
But when the fateful morning came, Kuz opted to go for a run with another friend instead of meeting his date early in the morning.
“I still don’t know why, but I decided quickly I would go for the run.”
Kuz returned from the run to a worried call from his sister in Winnipeg, which is when he found out about the 9/11 terror attacks. At 8:46 and 9:03 a.m., hijacked aircraft slammed into both towers of the World Trade Centre, killing more than 2,600 people in the towers and on the ground.
Evan Zuk’s ticket from his visit to the World Trade Centre in New York on September 10, 2001 Evan Zuk
Evan Zuk’s ticket from his visit to the World Trade Centre in New York on September 10, 2001
For a day and a half Kuz was unable to reach Camilla to ensure she was okay. When he finally got a hold of her, he found out she had slept in that morning and also missed the date at the ill-fated Twin Towers.
“It was the most bizarre reunion I’ve ever had in my life. I think we knew we were going to be connected through this incident forever.”
Kuz lost touch with his travel friend but is still often reminded of that day, especially on the anniversary.
“You never know what could trigger it, it could even be looking at the clock and seeing it’s 9:11,” Kutz said. “There’s always going to be reminders, which pretty much just ensures me that it’s something that’s never really going to go away. It’ll always be present.”