‘Light at the end of the tunnel’: Babylon woman remembers escaping 9/11 days before giving birth
A Babylon woman was eight months pregnant when she had to run nearly two miles out of a tunnel leading to Manhattan as it was filling with smoke and debris.
Janet Kask went to visit her husband Peter who had just undergone heart surgery the day before Sept. 11, 2001.
She went to visit him at a hospital in lower Manhattan.
“We were on the BQE, and we saw the first plane hit,” Kask says.
Initial reports said that a small plane accidentally hit one of the Twin Towers, so Kask says they proceeded into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.
She says smoke then came through the tunnel and people ran toward her screaming.
The south tower had collapsed as debris, smoke and fumes came into the tunnel from Manhattan. People abandoned their cars to run toward Brooklyn.
“So, we just got out of the car to run, and it was just sheer panic,” Kask says. “It was dark because of the smoke, and I hit a lot of car doors on the way out of the tunnel.”
An officer noticed her hidden in a toll booth and brought her to an ambulance.
An EMT said she couldn’t sense any heartbeat of fetal movement and told her that she thought she lost her baby.
Kask returned to Babylon to see her own doctor who told her much happier news.
“He laughed at me and said ‘no, the baby’s being born today,’” Kask says.
Kask’s baby, Aiden Kask, was born and is now a mechanical engineering major and member of the crew team at Union College in upstate Schenectady.
“For the first 10 years of my life, I didn’t really think about it,” Aiden Kask says. “I was thinking about presents and all the birthday parties I had. But now, especially after visiting the museum, it definitely has a different weight to it.”
Unfortunately, Janet Kask’s husband, Peter Kask died five years after Sept. 11.
Aidan Kask has little memory of his father but says he has a powerful bond with his mother.
“I tell her that she fought for her life to have me,” Aidan Kask says.
When Janet Kask and Peter Kask announced the birth of their son, they called him their “light at the end of the tunnel.”