Just imagine Geoff Campbell’s last terrified moments, trapped on the 106th floor of the North Tower of New York’s World Trade Centre.
Far below him, between the 93rd and 99th floors, an American Airlines Boeing 767 hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists and loaded with 20,000 gallons of aviation fuel had been flown into the building.
The South Tower had already collapsed in huge clouds of concrete dust after being hit by another passenger aircraft.
As they were engulfed in lethal fumes, Geoff and scores of other men and women in the North Tower began smashing windows in a desperate attempt to gulp some fresh air, and begged for help in mobile phone calls to rescue teams and loved ones.
Geoff had kissed Caroline and said goodbye at about 8am on that fateful day as she lay in their bed. She was never to hear his voice again
Some of those trapped with the young Briton on that morning of September 11, 2001, were later photographed hurling themselves to their deaths hundreds of feet below, rather than staying where they were to be burned alive or suffocated.
And then the North Tower collapsed, taking Geoff’s life and the lives of hundreds of others with it.
We are now in the 20th anniversary year of 9/11, the worst terror atrocity the world has witnessed, the day when more than 2,600 people were killed in the Twin Towers and the surrounding area of downtown Manhattan.
Geoff, 31 years old, had already made his mark as a brilliant risk analyst who, by chance, was at the World Trade Centre that morning for a conference.
He had an American fiancee, Caroline Burbank, who loved him dearly and today lives alone in the couple’s apartment, a 20-minute stroll from where the towers once stood, which is still full of memories of their life together.
Geoff had kissed Caroline and said goodbye at about 8am on that fateful day as she lay in their bed. She was never to hear his voice again.
At first, the Campbell family and Caroline were sure he was alive, perhaps in hospital terribly injured, his identity unknown.
But one year later, fragments of a shoulder blade containing Geoff’s DNA were found amid World Trade Centre rubble.