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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 19:28 GMT
WTC attacks death toll falls
The footprint of the twin towers
Some of the 40 were reported missing by people overseas
The official number of people killed in the 11 September 2001 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York has fallen by 40 to 2,752.

They were struck from the list because the New York authorities were unable to confirm their deaths - or, in some cases, the fact that they ever existed at all.

Officials said the changes followed an extensive investigation by several city agencies, including the police department and the medical examiner's office, into the list of those reported missing, but whose remains were never found.

Those named include illegal immigrants whose employers had no record of their work, as well as some non-existent people who may have been the subject of false claims for compensation.

At least 40 people have been arrested in connection with fraudulent claims of this kind.

Major revision

It is the second time that the official death toll has been reduced since the city released its list of the victims.

At the Ground Zero ceremony last year marking the first anniversary of the attacks, a total of 2,801 names were read aloud, but nine names had been removed by the time of this year's ceremony.

The BBC's Jane Standley in New York says the task of revising the list has been a huge one, with investigations covering several continents.

Our correspondent says that in the aftermath of the attack, worried relatives from all over the world called in with their loved ones' names, but often few other details, and did not correct the information when they turned up alive.

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