Technology companies with offices in the World Trade Center are nervously trying to account for hundreds of employees who have been missing since the landmark towers collapsed yesterday morning.
According to published lists and telephone directories, there were about 15 computer or telecom-related companies with offices in the World Trade Center. The list includes prominent names like AT&T, Global Crossing, Sun Microsystems and Verizon Communications. Among a number of small technology companies that had offices in the devastated facility are bepaid.com, FileTek and Persistence Software.
Officials at the San Mateo, Calif., headquarters of Persistence, which makes caching software, told Interactive Week that all of the companys employees are well, but would not say how many worked in the center. FileTek, a data management software provider, had less than 10 employees in the World Trade Center, and according to company spokesman, Peter Abzug, all were out of the building at the time of the collapse.
The situation is far different for Verizon, which had some 400 people working in the World Trade Center. Yesterday afternoon, company officials were having difficulty finding their employees, and their job was made harder, said a spokesman, because many of the transportation routes into and out of Manhattan had been closed.
Sun apparently occupied the entirety of floors 25 and 26 of the South Tower. A Sun spokesperson said officials are still trying to determine exactly how many of the companys employees were in the building and how many of them got out before it collapsed.
Theres also a great deal of uncertainty at Cantor Telecom, a company headquartered in North Carolina that provisions and trades bandwidth. Formerly known as Chapel Hill Broadband, the company was acquired a few months ago by Cantor Fitzgerald Securities Investments, which occupied floors 101 through 105 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
"Theres no news," says Brent Wilkins, managing director of Cantor Telecom. "The call-in number, you cant get through. Its a tragedy. We need all the prayers we can get."