Thomson says most workers are safe
By KEITH DAMSELL
Thursday, September 13, 2001
The "vast majority" of Thomson Corp.'s more than 200 employees working at New York's destroyed World Trade Center are safe, the Toronto information services company said Wednesday.
"We have confirmed that the vast majority of our colleagues did get out of the World Trade Center buildings," said Dick Harrington, Thomson president and chief executive officer, in a message to employees Wednesday. "We are fearful that some did not. We will not rest until we confirm the whereabouts of every Thomson person who works in the area."
In addition, one unidentified Thomson employee on hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 is presumed dead. The plane, scheduled to fly from Boston to Los Angeles Tuesday morning, struck the center's north tower at 8:45 a.m.
Three Thomson Financial businesses had office space in the twin towers: Baseline, I/B/E/S, and Vestek. The majority of the estimated 200 employees worked for Baseline; the balance of I/B/E/S/ and Vestek staff were moved to other Thomson offices in May. The three financial information companies were part of Primark Corp., a data firm acquired by Thomson last year.
The names, nationalities and status of employees have not been released by the company. Further information is expected Thursday as searchers continue to comb through the rubble for survivors of the disaster.
"I was next to the building when it all happened, if you have any sense of what type of destruction we're talking about," said company spokesman Warren Breakstone. "I would think in the next day we'll have a full understanding of the impact on our people."
About 2,000 Thomson employees working at three other locations in Manhattan's financial district were safely evacuated Tuesday morning following the attack.
The company is offering counselling and assistance to distraught employees and has set up an employee information hotline.