The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 9 December 2006 / 18 Kislev 5767

Not Another 9/11!

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library
It is hardly headline material when a person is released from a hospital. But when Ilana Benhuri came out of the New York hospital where she had spent a month undergoing major surgery and several skin grafts, it was a news item that brought relief to the residents of the Big Apple.

Benhuri, a 50-year old Iranian Jewess, was the victim of a freak accident on October 11th. New York Yankee pitcher Cory Liddle and his flight instructor were in a small plane that crashed into the 30th floor of the Upper East Side building in which she lived. Her housekeeper, Eveline Reategue, rushed into the room where Benhuri was doing some paperwork, and warned her that a plane was headed their way. As they ran from the four-bedroom apartment the plane smashed through the wall and set off a massive explosion. Although both the pitcher and his instructor were killed, Benhuri and Reategue managed to crawl out from the debris and go down the stairs.

Coming only a month after the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center, this accident shocked New York. This time, however, there were no fatalities (aside from the occupants of the plane). Of the 23 people injured, including 14 firefighters, only Benhuri was hospitalized. Her miraculous recovery brought a happy end to a tragic event.

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