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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Giuliani clings to hope
Rescuers endeavour to sift through the rubble
Bad weather hinders the search for any survivors
The Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, has said there is still hope that survivors will be found in the Manhattan rubble.

Emergency workers have been forced into repeated retreat as heavy rain and winds struck the city on Friday, turning dust into mud and further destabilising buildings in the vicinity of the destroyed World Trade Center.

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
Giuliani had angry words for the media
Rescuers have also been put on edge by a succession of false bomb threats, prompting evacuations throughout Manhattan, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told a news conference.

He was visibly angered by media reports from Thursday that five firefighters had been rescued after being buried in their vehicle when the Trade Center's towers collapsed. They had in fact been trapped for just a few hours.

"The misinformation is a cause of real concern, and leads to lots of families becoming very hopeful and finding out it's not true at all," he said.

But he suggested there was still a chance that people would be found alive, three days after Tuesday's disaster.

Click here for a graphic of the destruction in lower Manhattan.

"There is still a strong hope that we'll be able to find people, and recover them and save them," he said.

Nobody has been found alive since Wednesday, when five survivors were pulled from the debris. Mr Giuliani says 184 bodies, or parts of bodies, have been retrieved from the wreckage of the twin towers.

Bush's options

New Yorkers, while waiting to receive their current president, had a visit from his predecessor, Bill Clinton.

A big crowd turned out in Manhatten to greet Mr Clinton, including some who were still waiting for news of missing relatives.

Woman searches for missing person
Identification of some victims might depend on DNA samples
He spoke of the opportunities now open to President Bush.

"I believe that the magnitude of this has generated support for the United States for taking action against these people that did not exist before," said Mr Clinton.

"And that will open up some options for the president that would not have been there before," he said.

Polls quoted by news agencies show that some 90% of Americans support a military response to the attacks, which are believed to have left nearly 5,000 people dead.

To help in the monumental task of identifying victims, relatives are being asked to provide personal items, such as hair brushes, belonging to missing people from which DNA might be extracted.

Death toll
4,763 missing in New York
30,000 body bags ordered by New York authorities
184 bodies or body parts recovered from WTC
All 266 on board the four planes are feared dead
About 126 defence workers may have died at Pentagon
Eighteen rescue teams are operating in the city, with support staff and vehicles brought in from other US states.

The emergency teams digging through the debris are also searching for colleagues crushed by the collapsing building as they were trying to rescue people just after the jets struck.

Local media reported that about 350 firefighters were missing - more than the total number lost to the service in the whole of the United States since 1977.

Of five people pulled earlier from the debris on Wednesday, three were police officers.

Empty beds

More than 1,000 people were treated at local hospitals in Manhattan and about 2,000 walking wounded were ferried across the Hudson River to New Jersey.

Hospital representatives said they had hoped to see more survivors brought in for care, and noted that the lack of patients could only be a bad sign.

"Bodies will still be there, probably, come Christmas," said Dr Michael Baden, an NYPD pathologist.

Pentagon officials said 126 people were still unaccounted for at the defence headquarters, which was also hit on Tuesday, including people on board the plane and soldiers who were inside the building.

After recovering about 60 bodies, they expect the total death toll there to be about 190.

Part of the structure, which has a gaping hole in its side where a plane ploughed through it, is closed, but most employees are back at work.

Help from abroad

The rescue operation is also getting the backing of foreign governments, some eager to repay America for the help it sent them in time of crisis.

A Belgian medical team, including burns specialists, is in Iceland awaiting clearance to fly to New York, and similar teams are on stand-by across Europe.

Turkey, which received millions of dollars of US aid after it was struck by earthquakes two years ago, is preparing to send a specialist search-and-rescue team.

Japan, also hit by devastating earthquakes, has offered expert assistance, and the Dalai Lama has donated $30,000 to the US relief effort as thanks for American support for Tibet.

Click here to return

The BBC's Clarence Mitchell
"The authorities are refusing to give up hope"
Dr Donald Rowland, Plastic Surgeon
describes his experience of the rescue effort
Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.

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