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1. An airplane engine catches fire with a Reuters photographer on board. All in the line of duty.
(photo: Beawiharta, Indonesia. caption: Passengers on Cathay Pacific flight CX715 prepare to disembark from the aeroplane after it landed safely at Changi Airport in Singapore May 16, 2011. The A330 flight, which was enroute to Jakarta, experienced engine trouble shortly after takeoff and had to return to Singapore. Its starboard engine was burnt, according to pilot Bradley Chic.)
2. Oh, the symmetry, the symmetry. A photographer in the UK captures the lack of ease with which the country understands its diversity.
(photo: Kieran Doherty. caption: Muslims pray in Hyde Park as protesters demonstrate to show solidarity with the Arab peoples, as they march to Downing Street, in London February 25, 2011.)
3. The shoes worn by a woman who escaped from the World Trade Center on 9/11. …Because it was, and remains, that much of a shock and a stain on our way of life.
(photo: Lucas Jackson. caption: Blood-stained shoes worn by Linda Lopez as she evacuated from the 97th Floor of Tower 2 on September 11, 2001 are seen in this photograph before becoming a part of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York August 22, 2011. Linda Lopez was at work at the Fiduciary Trust Company on the South Tower’s 97th floor when the first plane crashed into North Tower, sending a fireball past their window and radiating a heat that she said felt like being sunburned. There was quickly a sense of confusion: Was it a bomb? Were the rumors that it was a plane crash true? Should people in the South Tower ignore the advice coming over the public address system to stay put and evacuate instead? Lopez felt she had to get out. She had reached only as far as the 61st when she was thrown against a wall as the second plane crashed into the floors above her. Taking off her shoes, she continued to head down the stairs, passing firefighters heading in the opposite direction. She ran barefoot out of the building, across broken glass and other debris. “Lady, your feet are bleeding,” someone said to her as she paused a few blocks away in relative safety. She put her shoes back on, and began learning the details of what it was she had just escaped from. The museum, which occupies seven stories below the ground of the World Trade Center site–is still being built at the site of the fallen towers. It is due only to open in 2012, on the 11th anniversary of the attacks.)
Images from Reuters Best Photos of the Year gallery — #2 of 3.