Former New York City Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani has begun testifying before the commission investigating the September
11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
In opening remarks, Mr. Giuliani said the city's police and firefighters
were heroes for their efforts to evacuate people after two hijacked airplanes
slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
He said the evacuation efforts helped save another 8,000 people who could
have died in the terrorist attacks.
Later Wednesday, Mr. Giuliani's successor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Homeland
Security Secretary Tom Ridge are also due to appear before the commission in
Tuesday, the commission said a lack of communication hampered rescue efforts
at the World Trade Center.
In a report, the commission was largely sympathetic to the difficulties police
and firefighters inside the twin 110-story towers. But the report noted that
emergency line phone operators had a "lack of awareness" of what was happening
as people inside the burning buildings called and asked for help.
Among other things, the report says many rescue workers in the North Tower
did not hear an evacuation order because they were using different radio channels.