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The deceptive icon of 9/11

9/11 Memorial in New York City (Anthony Fomin via Unsplash)

Warm, insomniac, choleric, generous: a colourful personality, Tania Head, a 30-year-old of Spanish origin, has made a strong impression on the community of 9/11 survivors. She has even become its most famous representative across the Atlantic.

Her account of the World Trade Center attacks sent shivers through the media. Working in a Merrill Lynch bank office on the 96th floor of the South Tower, above the point of impact of the terrorist plane, she is said to have managed to extricate herself from the burning building, collecting the wedding ring of a dying man, who asked her to give it to his wife.

Dave, Tania Head’s own fiancé, is said to have died in the North Tower. She did not come forward as a victim until 2003. Willing and energetic, she helps the other survivors to overcome the complex of being alive in front of the bereaved families. The young woman structures and strengthens the World Trade Center Survivors Organization, which she will chair for several years. Under her aegis, thousands of members were recruited and services were provided to the survivors.

It was a New York Times journalist who, in 2007, pointed out the first inconsistencies in her story. Further investigations showed that on 11 September 2001, Tania Head (whose real name was Alicia Esteve Head) was in Barcelona. She was removed from the presidency of the association but was not prosecuted. After leaving the United States, she worked for an insurance company in Spain for several years.

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