Guyanese volunteer suffers from Ground Zero after effects
Grit, faith save Guyanese-born banker from 911 towering inferno
Caribbean Life, S 28 EPTEMBER 10-16, 2021
9/11: 20 YEARS LATER
By Tangerine Clarke
The determination and faith in God
that Guyanese-American, Stanley Praimnath
had on 911, 20 years ago, helped
him to escape from the burning 81st
floor, where he was an executive for Fuji
Bank in the south tower of the World
In an exclusive interview with Caribbean
Life on Sept. 1, just before the 911
commemoration to honor the 2,983 men,
women, and children lost, Praimnath,
who now works virtually for a Japanese
bank, from his Long Island, New York
home, is still thanking the almighty, that
he is alive and well.
The brave man, who has had speaking
engagements with churches, schools,
and universities at the invitation of the
institutions over the years to give the
account of his life-or-death experience,
will spend the 2021 commemoration of
the twin-towers, doing just that, in California
The Cyril Potter College of Education
trained teacher, who immigrated to the
United States, ironically in September
of 1982, was rescued by Canadian-born,
Brian Clark who came upon a frantic
knocking from behind a wall, followed
the sound, while waving a flashlight.
Praimnath, who was screaming for
his life, praying, that he would be found
alive, saw the light and reached out his
hand, saying I am here, before Clark,
pulled him to safety.
After the two pledged brotherhood for
life, shook hands, hugged, and shared
names, they braved dangerous obstacles,
the burning building, and ran down the
81 flights of stairs to safety.
Covered in soot, and blood-soaked,
the survivors were directed to an escape
route, and recalled seeing firefighters,
and police officers rushing into the building,
risking their lives to save others.
Today, the heroes come together as
a family and meet on special occasions,
and stay in constant contact.
However, Preminath has stayed away
from ground zero. He said he has visiting
only twice, once to view the memorial
museum where his voice is recorded giving
an account of his rescue.
“I have never participated in the 911
commemoration because it has become
much more of a political event, than
He said it was not his favorite place
to go visit anyway, as it brings back sad
memories of the many people whom he
had bonded with over the 13 years he
worked at the World Trade Center, and
who are now buried at ground zero of the
His said his delirium began when he
was admitted to hospital, and the doctor
who attended to him voiced that he was
out of mind.
“Even though I could hear him talking,
I could not respond because I felt
numbed,” said Praimnath.
He would later have screaming episodes
in his sleep, but found peace after
therapy sessions recommended by his
Praminath, who recalled being battered,
bruised, and covered in pulverized
cement from the south tower inferno,
said he was a ‘bloody mess’, and described
his skin as falling off, during the many
nightmares he experienced.
The survivor’s family also suffered to
the extent that his wife was unrecognizable
to him, and his last daughter who
was 4 1/2-years old, screamed you are not
my daddy. The repercussions from that
tragic day, also affected his then, eightyear
By Tangerine Clarke
Ronald “Wenick” King, a former
civilian construction supervisor, told
Caribbean Life, he was among a group
of volunteers who rushed to ground
zero on Sept. 14, three days after the
terrorist attacks on 9/11.
He said he was compelled to show
his gratitude to the country that had
done so much for him and for so many
King, who immigrated from Guyana
in 1978 at age 21, recounted that after
the terrorist attacks, he could not sleep,
thinking who could have done such a
terrible thing to America, and jumped
in to help in the recovery.
“I can’t help going back to my uncle,
Rudolph Dunbar, because my family
came to this country on account of him.
He lived here and would always write
my mother to say, there was something
special about America,” said King who
was inspired to leave his small town of
Linden for a future in this country.
With these sentiments in mind, King
took a member of his work crew and
abandoned his job at New Roads Construction
in Manhattan to join a volunteer
line at the devastated site, where
more than 2,000 people perished.
He labored for long hours, combing
through tons of rubble, among a
bucket unit, with only one concern,
that he could be crushed by one of the
steel beams left from the imploded
Nevertheless, he kept going back to
the site day after day, hoping to get
closure, since it was believed thousands
of people were still trapped and needed
help getting out, a sad situation that
became worse by the day.
He said while working on piles of
rubble, he wore protective gear including
face mask, but remembers replacing
soot-covered masks and occasionally
removing them to take a breath, unaware
that the toxic air at Ground Zero
could have affected his lungs.
The Valley Stream, Long Island, resident,
after one month, returned to his
job and was pleasantly surprised when
his boss Jerry Romonoff paid him a
He felt good and settled back into his
normal routine, thinking, and annoyed,
that other volunteers were complaining
about having breathing problems.
Unfortunately, months later, King
fainted on the job, and was rushed to
the hospital. The attending doctor at
that time advised him that his fainting
spell was a reaction to him breathing in
human remains, while working at the
Just then, the WTC Committee had
opened a monitoring clinic, and King
was given a clean bill of health, but
subsequently, another test by his doctor
showed he was suffering from COPD.
Another sample was taken later and
King was diagnosed with Pulmonary
Fibrosis and prescribed, Symbicort and
Spiriva, which he said have been very
helpful with his breathing.
King who refused psychotherapy
treatment for his post-traumatic stress
disorder, that had affected his work and
family environment, is still working
through his anger issues.
He said he has suffered much loss
that included financial loss, that did not
cover sick days, as well as his job as a
supervisor he left in 2009, much to the
disappointment of his workmates and
boss who presented him with a letter of
King said he had no regrets and
wanted to give the accolade to his uncle,
Rudolph Dunbar who inspired him to
Dunbar, a WW ll veteran, died in
1988. During the 1930s and 40s he was
a leading journalist and a foreign and
war correspondent for the news agency
representing African American newspapers,
was credited with the heroism of
saving the US 969th Battalion during
the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of
1944, but never received an acknowledgement
for his bravery.
Ronald W. King.
Guyanese-American banker and author,