Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has revealed that he was not allowed to board a flight to the US after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the country in 2001.
During that time, he stayed in a hotel room for three “treacherous” days.
“9/11 was most tragic and sad and frightening… I was shooting for ‘Kaante’ in Los Angeles and had taken a couple of days off to travel to Egypt for the International Film Festival in Alexandria, where they were honouring me with a special award,” Amitabh recalled on his blog on Monday on the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
“Ceremony over, the next morning I took a flight out of Cairo, to Los Angeles via London… Arrived in London, Heathrow Airport, and after a short wait was announced to board my flight to Los Angeles via New York City,” he added.
The 74-year-old said when he was about to board the flight he got a call from “very frantic and screaming Shweta (Nanda) from Delhi” who asked him to see TV.
“I did not have time to ask why, and I think it was quite obvious that something important and serious was happening … also immediately there was a sudden commotion in the entire airport … people were moving about rather rapidly in all directions, some with muffled screams and a large portion of them running to the large TV screen at the terminal,” Amitabh said.
He said he saw one plane hitting the World Trade Center on TV.
He added: “Motionless and in shock and stunned silence, people watched the second one go in too and it was a most inexplainable situation .. some had anger written all over them, some were in tears, others were frantically making calls …
“I just stood there for a while stunned and then quietly walked across to my gate to board the flight … boarded, taxied off and then the plane turned back … announcement … all flights to and from US blocked and stopped.”
Amitabh said that he stayed in a hotel for next three days.
“Airline after much to and fro arranged for us to get to a hotel and there we stayed for the next three days until there was clearance to travel,” Amitabh said.
“Those three days at the hotel were treacherous … did not move from the room and only watched TV giving news of the incident and talks and debates and details of what and why and where and how. A sad moment.
“A few years later I on a visit to New York had driven past the site, where preparations were being done to rebuild the spot with a memorial,” he added.
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