Sensational yet harrowing new photos depicting the collapse of New York’s Twin Towers in the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been obtained by ABC after it requested the images under the Freedom of Information Act last year.

Taken from a unique vantage point of the sole police helicopter which was allowed into the New York airspace, the photos offer a macabre but inescapably enticing insight into the events that unfolded in 2001.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Jan Ramirez, head curator of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum described the photos as, “absolutely core to understanding the visual phenomena of what was happening.” The curator added that the police pictures captured were, “some of the most exceptional images in the world”.

The photos bring a new perspective to the horrific attacks which will forever live in infamy in American history. The impact of the billowing grey/blue dust clouds can be seen to a much fuller effect in the aerial shots as the debris spread through New York’s streets.

“Some survivors may find these pictures too painful to look at, but they are an important part of the historical record,” commented Richard Zimbler, president of the World Trade Center Survivors Network which was set up in the wake of the atrocity.

The World Trade Center suicide attacks resulted in more than 2,700 deaths in New York’s financial district including over 400 servicemen from the emergency services. 9/11 2010 will mark the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attack as one of the enduring images of modern history.