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1993 WTC bomb victim testifies about her ordeal

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[March 04, 2009]  NEW YORK (AP) -- A woman seeking millions for injuries suffered in the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center testified Tuesday that she almost lost her will to live while she lay trapped and bleeding in the rubble, heat and smoke.

Linda Nash, of Durango, Colo., said she parked in an underground garage beneath the trade center's Vista Hotel at midday Feb. 26, 1993. She was on her way to her office, she said, and as she got out of her car the blast slammed her to the ground.

Nash said the explosion, one underground level below where she stood, knocked her unconscious. But she later picked herself up, found a telephone in the booth where the garage attendant normally worked, and called for help.

Nash, 65, said someone on the end of the line told her, "Help is on the way," but as cars burned and smoke thickened, "I was getting weaker. I was losing my strength and my will to live." She also discovered that her head was bleeding.


Firefighters found Nash buried in debris shortly before 3 p.m.; they had been looking for a colleague who had fallen into the six-story deep bomb crater and had no idea Nash was there.

Nash was testifying in Manhattan's state Supreme Court in a trial to determine how much the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that owned the World Trade Center, should pay her for her injuries. Her lawyer, Louis Mangone, asked the jury to award Nash up to $8 million.

The blast, caused by an explosives-laden rented van parked two levels beneath the Vista, killed six people and wounded 1,000.

In 2005, a jury found that trade center officials had ignored their own security reports and should have been better prepared for a terrorist attack. An appeals court agreed, making the Port Authority financially liable for injuries.

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Mangone said his client sustained brain and lung damage in the explosion. He said she suffers post traumatic stress syndrome, has memory problems and has been unable to hold a normal job. She now raises horses in Colorado.

Attorney Paul Devine says his Port Authority clients agree Nash should be compensated but he thinks she is exaggerating her injuries.

Nash said Deloitte & Touche fired her in mid-1994 from a job that "was my life, my identity" because she was unable to function. She had been a senior actuarial and benefits consultant there for nearly two years.

She said she was "brokenhearted, devastated" after being fired, and grieved as if she had lost a person close to her.

[Associated Press; By SAMUEL MAULL]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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