Was jumping from the burning World Trade Towers on 9/11 suicide?

After the planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11, before the buildings collapsed, some people jumped from the towers and died.
Was this suicide?

God bless,


Dear Law,

Technically, one would have to say that since they jumped to their death, they committed suicide which, all things being equal, is a mortal sin. Only God has a right to take the life that He created. Most people who take their own lives, however, are simply trying to stop the pain-either physical or psychological and do not intend to defy God by such action. In this instance there was so much panic, that it would be difficult for one to see a rational deliberation taking place before such action. These people were faced with fire and mayhem on one side and a jump into oblivion on the other. Not much of a choice, really. And they were very much afraid. We pray that they jumped into the arms of God.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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