CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- After a night of tense worry, 10 missing staffers at Publicis Groupe's Fallon, New York, which may have been the
|Ground zero, the area around the World Trade Center, is a scene of total devastation.|
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"We've found everyone and our next concern is their friends and family still missing," said Julie Thompson, a spokeswoman for the agency, who had left Manhattan very early Tuesday morning to return to the shop's Minneapolis headquarters.
Located at 233 Broadway, just two blocks from the Twin Towers, windows shattered and ash and smoke poured into the agency within seconds of the first plane crashing into the tower.
"People said it sounded like it hit our building," said Ms. Thompson. On some news footage, the agency's copper roof and spire appears to be in line for the impact, she said.
Workers immediately began running down 20 flights of stairs to escape the soot and chaos, according to the stories Ms. Thompson was told by staff who witnessed the impact and the subsequent building collapses.
"We're hearing stories of staff walking 120 blocks covered in ash to go home, some to Brooklyn," she said, adding that many staff witnessed horrific scenes as they navigated through an obstacle course of debris and injured. "They literally had to run."
Fallon quickly assembled an emergency team to establish call chains to confirm by any means available the whereabouts of staff and provide a host of services to them and to clients.
"We're offering our full support ... whatever we can," said Ms. Thompson. "Anything we can do for them we will do."
Meanwhile, the team is working to divert inbound calls to the Minneapolis office switchboard (612-758-2345) to keep the lines of communication open.
Until Lower Manhattan is reopened, the agency will have to wait to assess the damage to the office.
"Our first priority is finding all of our people," Ms. Thompson said.
All agency staff that had been traveling also have been accounted for and are driving home from places such as San Francisco and Washington.