Chilling 9/11 photo shows moments after plane struck Twin Towers

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September 11, 2001, is a day that still strikes sadness and fear into the hearts of Americans, especially those who resided in New York City during the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history. Almost 3,000 people lost their lives on that fateful day when two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers.

If you’ve seen any images from 9/11, you’re well aware of one thing — those photographs aren’t easy to forget. Unfortunately, in recent years, multiple individuals have doctored 9/11 images, which has led many to be skeptical whenever a ‘new’ photo from that devastating day reemerges online.

When Reddit user Gar1986 shared a photo of a young boy seemingly unaware of the horrors unfolding behind him, people were quick to deem the image a hoax.

Image via Reddit/Gar1986/Austin Sansone

Fellow Redditors quickly started to dissect the image, questioning everything from how no one in the photo seemed to notice what had just happened behind them, to the amount of smoke that was already billowing from one of the towers. 

Commenters continued to argue about the photo’s authenticity until the young boy seen in the image stepped forward.

“My name is Austin Sansone and I live in TriBeCa (which is in the lower west side of Manhattan) and this is a picture of me on 9/11. I was 4 years old and the picture was taken along the west side highway that morning. I have the actual photo, which I will post a picture of when I get home. For all of you doubting whether this is real or photo shopped, I promise you that it is sadly very real.”

The now-young man posed with the picture in question on May 29, 2015, to verify its authenticity. 

Image via Austin Sanson

Austin later added that his mother had taken this photo of him and that he believes it was captured after the first tower was struck. 

While it may be 17 years since the 9/11 attacks, photographs from that day will always be just as sobering. 

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