Onlookers horrified as man jumps into 9/11 Memorial pool in New York City

Click to play video: 'Video shows man plunging head first into 9/11 memorial pool in NYC'
Video shows man plunging head first into 9/11 memorial pool in NYC
WARNING: Video contains images which some viewers may find disturbing. Discretion is advised – Oct 10, 2023

A 33-year-old man was arrested on Monday after allegedly jumping into one of the reflecting pools at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

Police told NBC New York that the incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. local time. The man was found injured inside the north pool — one of two memorial pools that mark the spots where the Twin Towers once stood.

The man, who was not named, was taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries to his left leg and back. Charges, which may include trespassing, have yet to be filed.

He was described as an “apparently emotionally disturbed person,” a Port Authority spokesperson told NBC.

Each pool at the memorial site consists of a waterfall that descends 30 feet into a square basin. From there, the water drops another 20 feet into a “smaller, central void,” the 9/11 Memorial & Museum describes on its website.

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Videos of the incident, taken from multiple angles by onlookers, were posted to social media showing the man already inside the square basin of the pool.

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One video shows the man walking towards the central void before lying down and peeking his head over into the chasm. He lies there and stares into the hole for about a minute before he begins slowly inching over the edge.

Screams can be heard coming from witnesses standing around the pool as the man slides headfirst into the void. The spot where he had been laying is left red with blood.

Sources with the Port Authority Police told CBS that they had to use a maintenance access door to reach the man inside the pool. He allegedly told one of the officers he “did this for his father.” It’s unclear if the man lost his father in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that brought down the Twin Towers.

“I just pray that he’s still OK,” tourist Weldon Stites told CBS. “I’m curious to know why.”

The water at the reflecting pools was turned off after the incident and security guards were spotted setting up chains around them, NBC reports.

The design of the memorial pools are meant to represent “absence made visible,” according to the architect Michael Arad.

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“Although water flows in to the voids, they can never be filled,” the 9/11 Memorial & Museum writes.

The names of the 2,983 people who were killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre are inscribed on bronze parapets that encircle the pools.

The names around the north pool include those who were killed in the North Tower, on hijacked Flight 11, and the victims of the 1993 bombing. The south pool includes the names of 9/11 first responders, victims from the South Tower and the Pentagon, and those who were on hijacked Flights 175, 77 and 93.

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