Buildings in London’s financial district, Canary Wharf, were evacuated on September 11 2001 after the World Trade Centre in New York was destroyed by plane hijackers.

Former Deputy Managing Director at the Independent, Dorothea Georgeson, who lives in Haxton, near Salisbury, was one of those city workers evacuated.

The great-grandmother, who was 50 years old at the time, recounted her memories of that day for the Journal to mark the 20-year anniversary of 9/11.

Read more: 'The world changed that day' - what you remember about 9/11

“I got a call from the editorial staff saying you need to come down to the press room to have a look at this. Nobody could believe what they were seeing," she recalled.

“We thought it was a hoax, that somebody had put together a video of things going into the building.

“It took a while to work out it actually was for real, and then everything just went mad.

“People tried to get through to people, the phone lines were engaged and some of them were down because there was too much traffic going across them... it was surreal. 

“We don’t have the kind of facilities you have now, I mean we had blackberries, but it was very different.

“Then there was an alert that said everybody needs to evacuate the building, Canary Wharf is next in line.

“Well, we tried to evacuate but the whole of the east of London was completely gridlocked... I tried going Westbound and that was equally as bad if not worse.

“It was chaos. Those people who didn’t have their own cars were running to try and get the tubes. Tubes were then messed up because they were stopped from going in and around [Canary Wharf]. It was just... gridlock.

“In the end I went back to the office. I had carparking under the building, so I stayed there until about 8 o’clock at which point it was reasonable to get out. It was quite frightening.

“I didn’t have too much time to be shaken.

“I always work best in a crisis, I come into my own. I had to be back again not long after that for the next day’s sessions because if you’re running things, you can’t be the only one who stays at home.

“It was interesting, unreal, but it was also like living through a bit of history.”

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