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Amitabh Bachchan recalls 'treacherous' days in hotel room post 9/11 attack

The veteran actor was on his way to the US from a trip to Egypt when the twin towers were attacked in 2001.


Amitabh Bachchan has revealed that he had to stay in a hotel room in London for three days, as all planes to the US were cancelled after the 11 September attacks in 2001.

The actor describes those days as "treacherous", wherein he spent all his time watching the news.

"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, 11 September, 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 when he got a call from "very frantic and screaming Shweta (Nanda) from Delhi" who asked him to watch 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," Bachchan said.

He then saw one plane hitting the World Trade Center on the television set.

"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," he added.

Bachchan stayed in a hotel for the 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," Bachchan 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.