In the midst of the horror, a New York policeman showed Mrs Sweeting and her daughter great kindness.
The pair, who had escaped from the hotel with no passport and just the dirty clothes they stood up, were transferred to a hotel close to the airport.
Mrs Sweeting said: “All I wanted was a shower. But I couldn’t wash the smell of smoke off my skin.”
The policeman, who had dropped them off, returned the following day and showed great kindness in taking them shopping for new clothes.
But when they returned to the hotel, Mrs Sweeting was received a phone call from the authorities stating that a body matching her husband’s description had been found.
She said: “They asked if he was missing a finger. I said no and they told me this man’s finger had been removed a few years ago.”
Mrs Sweeting and her daughter spent a further agonising day waiting at the hotel for news when finally the Red Cross called.
She said: “They said they had someone who wants to speak to you and suddenly my husband said: ‘Hello love’.
“He had escaped through another area and found the Red Cross. It was a miracle they found us as we were so far apart.”
The family flew home to Kent five days after the attack.
Mr Sweeting died six years ago and she recently moved to live in Clenchwarton with her new partner Roger.