Last survivor pulled from the rubble? Saved hundreds of lives?

Last survivor pulled from the rubble?

“Not only was I there, but I’m actually the last survivor from the north tower that was pulled from the rubble.” Source

“Hi, I'm William Rodriguez. I'm not with the FDNY. Actually I’m the last survivor pulled from the rubble.”Source
These statements are not true. Rodriguez’s story needs no embellishment. He was likely the last person to leave the north tower before it collapsed. He was pulled from the rubble approximately two hours later. He was interviewed live on CNN at 1:30 that afternoon.

Port Authority Police officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin, who were the subjects of the Oliver Stone film “World Trade Center,” became trapped by a collapse in the concourse between the towers after flight 175 hit the south tower. They survived that collapse and the collapse of both towers, and were rescued on the morning of September 12.

Sixteen people who were inside the north tower stairway B survived the collapse. Port Authority engineer Pasquale Buzzelli was on the 22nd floor when he was knocked unconscious by the collapse. He woke up a couple of hours later, astonishingly on top of the debris pile. Port authority police officer officer David Lim and twelve firefighters, some of whom had been with Rodriguez as he opened doors upstairs, survived inside stairwell B. They were able to extricate themselves several hours later through the top of the severed stairwell and get help for Josephine Harris, a civilian whom they had been helping down the stairs.

Genelle Guzman-McMillan, the last person to make it out of the wreckage alive, was pulled from the rubble more than a day after Rodriguez escaped.


Saved Hundreds of Lives? Single-handedly rescued fifteen?

From William Rodriguez’s website:
“On 9/11, Rodriguez single-handedly rescued fifteen (15) persons from the WTC, and as Rodriguez was the only person at the site with the master key to the North Tower stairwells, he bravely led firefighters up the stairwell, unlocking doors as they ascended, thereby aiding in the successful evacuation of unknown hundreds of those who survived.”
Also from his website:
The last man out of the North Tower who in the North Tower saved hundreds of lives, but the 9/11 Commission and the Major Media hid his revealing testimony from YOU, the American people!

While his actions on 9/11 are deserving of all praise, I am not aware of William Rodriguez single-handedly rescuing anyone, much less hundreds of people. Again, Rodriguez’s story needs no embellishment. He helped the badly-burned Felipe David to an ambulance. While doing so, the 14 people who were with him in the basement office also fled to safety through the loading dock area to Vesey Street. It is unlikely that they would have remained in the basement for an hour and forty minutes until the building collapsed. Rodriguez and a co-worker rescued two men from an elevator that was stuck between the B-2 and B-3 levels. On his way up the stairs he found a woman on the 33rd floor who didn’t know what to do and sent her down the stairwell with the evacuees (Rodriguez says that she was killed by falling debris outside). Based on his stories, that’s perhaps the closest example of him single-handedly saving someone that I can think of.

His master key (which he obtained after filing a lawsuit against the Port Authority when he was injured in a stairwell and couldn’t get help for hours) certainly saved some firemen time and energy in making sure the floors were clear. For security reasons, in the tower stairwells only one of every four floors had reentry access to the office areas. Here’s what Battalion 11 Chief Richard Picciotto, who was in the same stairwell as Rodriguez, and who survived the north tower collapse there, had to say about that:
“At the same time, my guys were banging on the doors on the way up, hoping there’d be some firemen or other rescue workers on the other side, which we were finding was often the case. We had our tools, and we could have forced the doors no problem, would have taken maybe twenty seconds, but you couldn’t force every single door on the way up to the fire floor. Two guys working a Halligan [a crowbar-like tool] could have taken down virtually every door in no time flat, but even no time flat would start to add up.” (Richard Picciotto & Daniel Paisner. Last Man Down. New York: Berkeley Books, 2002. p. 57)
Varying claims of lives saved

In possession of one of the few master keys in the building, William led firemen up the stairwells. He was responsible for getting at least a dozen people out of the towers. Source

Rodriguez, who saved at least 15 lives before being the last man out of the North Tower, reminded the audience how his statements about WTC basement explosions "have been censored by the mainstream media" as well as being completely omitted in the 9/11 Commission's final report. Source (December, 2005)

Rodriguez held one of five master keys to the WTC—a tool he calls “the key of hope” that enabled him to save 15 people trapped inside the two towers. Source (April 22, 2007)

William Rodriguez saved dozens of lives on 9/11, but it's the ones he didn't save he thinks about most. Source

After rescuing an estimated 100 lives that day, the North Tower suddenly began to explode and collapse down upon him. Rodriguez didn't have time to run away from the falling tower, so he threw himself under a nearby firetruck. With very little air, he remained buried under this truck for 2 days until he was rescued. Source

"I saved hundreds, but I couldn't help my friends," he said Sunday, his eyes filling with tears. Source

Today, Mr Rodriguez is grateful to be alive, but he said: "I never found my friends. I saved hundreds of people, but the reason I do what I can to get the word out is that I lost 200 friends who have no way of claiming justice." ...It was the start of a day that transformed Mr Rodriguez from a maintenance man to the hero of 9/11. He ran back into the crumbling tower three times, and helped save hundreds of people.
HERO OF 9/11 WON'T STOP SPEAKING OUT AGAINST BUSH Source - 02 December 2006

Mr. William Rodriguez, a Puerto Rican native-U.S. citizen, worked in the World Trade Center complex as a janitor for 20 years. With what came to be known as the ‘Key of Hope,’ he saved hundreds of lives on September 11, 2001. Source

"If I was the last survivor out of the north tower, helped rescue hundreds of people, almost was killed three times and declared a national hero, how could they leave my story out of the book? Are they trying to hide something else I said? They mentioned nothing about the basement explosion, the other 14 people, Felipe David, the burn victim, and many others who all have important stories to tell about what really happened.” Source

"I never found my friends. I saved hundreds of people, but the reason I do what I can to get the word out is that I lost 200 friends who have no way of claiming justice." -William Rodriguez, last man out alive of the WTC. Source

William Rodriguez to Receive Good Karma Humanitarian Award of 2006 for Saving Hundreds of Lives on September 11

Ventura, CA December 11, 2006 -- William Rodriguez was the last person to exit the North Tower alive on September 11th and now he is being honored with the Good Karma Humanitarian Award of 2006 for his brave rescue efforts and continued advocacy for the victims of that fateful day.

Rodriguez, who worked as a janitor at the Word Trade Center for 20 years has inspired thousands around the globe by telling his personal story of heroism under extreme pressure. Not only did he single-handedly rescue fifteen (15) people from the WTC, but since he was the only person with the master key to the North Tower stairwells he led firefighters up the building, unlocking doors as they ascended, aiding in the successful evacuation of unknown hundreds.

If that wasn't enough, Rodriguez re-entered the Towers three times to help rescue people and survived the North Tower's collapse by diving beneath a fire truck. After receiving medical attention for his injuries, he then spent the rest of the day as a volunteer rescuing the injured and came back the next day to continue his heroic efforts. Source