Whether we are covering monster hurricanes, terrorist bombings or political upheaval, the many servers and writers of the Metroblogging network have often proven useful when an entire city (or country) is having a really really bad day. One year ago myself and some of the other city captains were setting up a series of procedures for what we call “crisis mode”. I never expected these to be useful.
As we tried to make sense of what was happening in Dawson College, something in the back of my mind kept nagging at me. I knew that I knew somebody that worked there, but in those fevered hours I just couldn’t nail it down.
Turns out it was Jason, one of our own writer. Once he got his emotions in check, he was able to post what was, for a time, the only first hand account of the tragedy that was available online. Needless to say, it was read by tens of thousands of visitors. I am reposting it today to help us remember how we all felt on that terrible day.
Well, where do I begin?
First, my apologies for not posting a little sooner. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon outside near de Maisonneuve/Atwater, making and receiving countless phone calls, checking voicemail, talking to people and trying to help out by getting people pushed back farther away toward Lambert Closse. I finally decided it was time to go home around 3:15PM and walked to the Lionel Groulx Metro station where it was thankfully working in my direction. Once home, I fielded even more phone calls and tried to catch up on what the news was saying.
Trying to gather my thoughts over the last couple of hours, I’ve decided that I’m not going to bother with posting hourly updates. I don’t know anything more than what the news reports are saying. I’ll leave that sort of thing to my fellow Metbloggers, unless I have something of value to add.
My intention is to relay what I saw/heard and what I know as fact. I will also hopefully be posting, over the next couple of days, stories of some of my colleagues and other people that I will be talking to… if they are willing to share.
My story after the jump. (Be warned, it’s a little lengthy)