A LOVED-UP Essex couple were caught up in the horror of 9/11 terror attacks just one day after landing in New York for their honeymoon.

Emma and Michael Austin, of Witham, arrived in the Big Apple on September 10 2001, after having tied the knot two days before.

Their first day consisted of a trip to the top of the Empire State Building and a ferry ride on the Hudson River, both from which Michael, 43, snapped some pictures of the famous Twin Towers.

The following day the couple, staying in a Midtown Manhattan hotel, woke-up early to catch a bus from Times Square to Lower Manhattan, the home of the World Trade Centre.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Skyline - The photo Michael Austin took of the Twin Towers the day before they were destroyedSkyline - The photo Michael Austin took of the Twin Towers the day before they were destroyed

On their way out, however, they noticed the mood among the usually bustling New York centre had changed.

“All of a sudden people had stopped and were looking up at the big, live news screens, and that is when we realised something had happened,” said Emma, 45.

“We did not know how bad it was at first, but then it became clear what was going on so we walked backed to our hotel where we stayed for the next few hours watching the news.

“We tried to call our parents, but the phone lines were down and the noise around us was just that of constant sirens - but we were just relieved we were safe.”

After spending a few hours back at their hotel, the couple decided to go for a walk at about 5pm.

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“The streets were quiet, but we could still hear sirens,” added Emma.

“We went into a diner to eat and it was very quiet and people were crying and praying in there - it was very upsetting.

“We saw lots of fire engines with the firefighters covered in dust and clouds of dust in the sky.

“When we went back to the hotel, there was dust on our window from the towers.

“It was terrible and from then on it was very scary - I will never forget it.”

A few hours after arriving back at their hotel, which by this point was guarded by armed police, Emma and Michael were evacuated due to a bomb scare at the nearby Empire State Building.

During the harrowing ordeal, they were told to run for their lives by concerned officers.

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Then, the following day, the newly-weds were unable to fly to Florida as planned due to all fights being grounded, so they had to stay a further three days before being allowed back home.

Emma added: “On the flight home the air stewardesses looked terrified and I also felt very worried about flying.

“Our parents were at Heathrow waiting for us - they were very pleased to see us.”

Three years later, Emma and Michael welcomed their son George, who arrived nine weeks premature on September 11, 2004.

The couple have since returned to New York, where they visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which for Emma proved “very moving and emotional”.

“It makes us feel lucky that we was not near the Twin Towers on the day, but I feel very sad for all the lives that were lost,” she added.

“I will never forget 9/11.”