BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 23:41 GMT 00:41 UK
Relatives' desperate poster appeal
Photos of people missing after the World Trade Center attack
Vehicles have been covered with missing posters
Thousands of distraught families have taken to the streets of New York to search for loved ones missing after Tuesday's terror attack.

A help centre has been set up for those looking for someone at the Armory in Lexington Avenue.

Driven by desperation, more than 2,500 people stood in line at a centre on Thursday.

They clutched posters and photographs of their missing relatives and friends, hoping they would lead to information of their whereabouts.

As every hour goes on, it just gets worse. But we're not giving up, because we know that means the end

Deborah Burton
Searching for missing friend
At the centre people were asked to fill in seven-page missing-persons reports which asked heartbreaking personal details, including wedding ring size and the colour women painted their toenails.

They were also asked to bring in toothbrushes and other personal items belonging to the missing person that might contain a tiny bit of DNA that could be matched against a body, or part of a body.

The family and friends queuing at the centre feared the worse but were hoping for something better.

Zara Kahn held photographs of her brother, 29-year-old Taimour Kahn.

'No luck'

Her mother pressed fliers into the hands of strangers which asked people to call with information, followed by a telephone number.

"If anybody has heard anything, anything, we've been searching days," said Ms Kahn.

Alice Carpeneto got a phone message and nothing else from her daughter Joyce, who worked on the 83rd floor of one of the towers.

"She was on the machine, saying 'Mom, we've been hit by a plane and I'm leaving'" said Mrs Carpeneto.

Medical records

Her daughter's best friend and co-worker got out. That has comforted Mrs Carpeneto and given her hope, but she has called every hospital without luck.

"As every hour goes on, it just gets worse," said family friend Deborah Burton.

"But we're not giving up, because we know that means the end."

At New York's St Vincent's Hospital, where many of the victims from the attack were taken, relatives also waited to find out if their loved ones had been admitted.

One year-old Daniel Brahah from New York
Tributes to the victims have been left all over New York
Nearby vehicles were plastered with missing posters.

Emily Howell was looking for her husband with her son Kevin.

She said: "I came to the hospital with information. Hopefully when they do bring out and recover more people, if by any chance he comes out alive at least I have the medical record the hospitals can use.

"If he is not alive then it will still tie him to something. Without that they wouldn't know who was who."

Some relatives had been trying to persuade reporters at the hospital to print or broadcast the names and photographs of the relatives they could not find.

The BBC's Jane Standley in New York
"The wait is agonising for the relatives"
Katie Forth from Texas
missed a telephone call from her brother Chad
See also:

13 Sep 01 | Americas
Bodies pulled from the debris
13 Sep 01 | Americas
One desperate search among many
13 Sep 01 | Americas
Attacks on US: World round-up
13 Sep 01 | Americas
Blow to New York survivor hopes
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories