Five Argentines – a nurse, a firefighter and three businessmen – died in the attacks on the Twin Towers of September 11, 2001 (9/11) in the United States, which caused around 3,000 deaths and marked a before and after for that country and for the entire world.
Mario Santoro, a man from Rosario who worked as a paramedic in New York, was on leave the day of the attack, but when he saw one of the two towers burning from the balcony of his house, he told his wife that he should go to the scene of the attack. tragedy: “I’m going there; they will need me.”
Santoro was a couple with an American, Leonor, and had a daughter, Sofía, after living from a very young age in that city where he had come with his parents.
Another Argentine who lost his life while trying to assist the victims was Sergio Villanueva, a firefighter born in Bahía Blanca, who died at the age of 33.
In 1992, Villanueva had joined the New York Police Department and seven years later he became a firefighter. He was engaged to Tanya Bejasa and was known in his inner circle by the nickname “Big Daddy” (Great Daddy).
He had finished his shift at 8 a.m., just about 45 minutes before an American Airlines plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, but then entered the same building shortly after the second plane hit. the South Tower.
Gabriela Waisman, a 33-year-old psychologist, was visiting for a meeting at the Twin Towers. Unfortunately, she was the first Argentine identified on the list of deceased persons.
Born in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Caballito, she had moved with her family to New York when she was 6 years old and in the Big Apple she had developed her professional career in a software company called Sybase.
He worked in an office nine blocks from the World Trade Center complex, but that morning he was on the 106th floor of one of the towers during a trade show for his company.
Waisman communicated by telephone his family, who saw the attack on television: “She was scared, she said there was a lot of smoke and that it was difficult for her to breathe,” said Armando, her father. “In the last call, she said that she could no longer breathe. She was crying a lot. We didn’t hear her again,” he said.
Another Argentine who lost his life in the 9/11 attacks was Pedro Grehan, who had his office in one of the towers of the World Trade Center.
Born in 1965 in San Isidro in 1997, he decided to try his luck in New York, after remaining unemployed, married and with three children.
After a few years, Grehan established himself as a financial analyst for the Cantor Fitzgerald company and worked day-to-day inside the towers.
He arrived shortly after 6:30 in the morning at his office. A couple of hours later, the first plane would hit a few floors below where he was, inside the North Tower.
His mother, Inés Oteiza, claimed to have seen her son leaning out of a window in a photo in an American newspaper and trusted that Pedro was one of the hundreds who jumped into the void before the collapse of the two towers. But his body was never found.
The name of the fifth deceased, identified in 2009, was not included on a plaque that former President Néstor Kirchner discovered in 2003 in the building of the Argentine Consulate in New York, as a tribute to the Argentine victims of the attack.
His name was Guillermo Alejandro Chalcoff. He was a 41-year-old businessman who had received US citizenship shortly before the 9/11 attacks, for which he had been registered as a local victim.
Chalcoff was the president of Accutek Information Systems, a contracting company whose offices were located elsewhere in the city.