Empire Blue Cross Offices Destroyed

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Empire Offices Destroyed

by Judith Messina

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, which had 1,800 employees at 1 World Trade Center, was still trying to determine late Tuesday how many of its workers had made it to safety. The company, a major employer at the twin towers and one of the largest health insurers in the state, occupied 461,000 square feet in the building. Its offices were destroyed, and it is setting up temporary headquarters in Melville, L.I., starting Wednesday and is asking employees to call (866) 761-8265 to report in. The CEO, Dr. Michael Stocker, was out of town Tuesday.

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield executive Deborah Bohren was in her 28th-floor office when the first airplane hit the twin towers. She fled down the stairs of 1 WTC, through the Marriott Hotel and onto the street. There was initial confusion, she said, when she and others reached the street because glass and debris were flying from the crash of the second plane into 2 WTC. But a policeman told them to run south toward Battery Park and not look back. The magnitude of what had happened hit only when she and a colleague were walking up the East Side of lower Manhattan and saw the collapse of 1 WTC.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 12, 2001

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