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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Hospitals await rescue progress
injured victim
A victim of the attack is carried to an ambulance
Hospitals in New York and Washington DC have treated more than 1,700 casualties of terrorist attacks on the two cities.

However, the expected rush of injured victims has so far not materialised on the day after the disaster in New York - with only a handful being freed from the wreckage of the World Trade Center.

Disaster relief agencies are rushing blood supplies to both cities to help them cope with the hundreds still in hospital.

Thousands of people have responded to desperate appeals for blood donations.

New York hospitals handled the vast majority of the casualties on Tuesday - only 40 were taken to hospital in Washington following the Pentagon blast, and seven of those are in a "critical" condition.

Injuries in both cities included severe burns, smoke inhalation, corneal damage and broken bones.

More than 150 of the New York casualties were said to be in a "critical condition".

Hospital staff said they were frustrated that more survivors had not been brought to them from the wreckage.

'Ominous sign'

A spokeswoman for Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan's East Village said: "There is a real feeling of pain here that we cannot do more. We want to do more."

At St Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village, staff had been warned to expect the arrival of injured victims - but this never happened.

Dr James Dillard, from the hospital, said the lack of patients was an ominous sign.

"I think so many people are dead. It's a bad sign that there are no mass casualties."

Some firefighters involved in Wednesday's rescue efforts had been brought in, a spokesman said later - with injuries including severe abrasions caused by digging at the masonry with their bare hands.

There is a real feeling of pain here that we cannot do more. We want to do more

Spokeswoman, Beth Israel Medical Center

Well over 200 fire-fighters and many police officers remain unaccounted for.

New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told a news conference he feared that many people remain trapped alive under tons of twisted metal and rubble.

Blood appeal

Emergency workers from neighbouring New Jersey are being rushed in to help. Mr Giuliani said that casualties were being sent to dozens of surrounding hospitals.

More than 1,500 "walking wounded" were shipped to Liberty State Park, in New Jersey by ferry and tug boat.

Temporary morgues have been set up at hospitals and on piers along the Hudson River.

Dozens of hospitals were prepared to receive casualties

The New York Blood Centre announced a blood emergency for the metropolitan area and New York Senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats, urged donors and medical staff to come forward:

'Overwhelming' situation

Bernadette Kingham, vice president of St Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village - the closest to the WTC said: "From a medical point of view, we were prepared. But from an emotional standpoint - that's a different story.

"Many of us had friends and family who worked in the WTC.

The spirit of caring, the spirit of trying to all pull together and help each other has been overwhelming

Bernadette Kingham, St Vincent's Hospital
"We had within the first couple of hours of the crisis, hundreds of people show up and just stand quietly in line to donate blood.

"The spirit of caring, the spirit of trying to all pull together and help each other has been overwhelming."

The hospital has dealt with around 360 patients yesterday. Fifty were seriously injured and five died.

Fifty-four of those injured were from the emergency services.

A spokesman for another hospital, Bellevue, told CNN that it had received approximately 125 injured patients directly from the scene.

He added that more were arriving from other hospitals for specialist operations such as microsurgery, and described the situation as "overwhelming".

Tracy Gary, of the American Red Cross told the BBC the organisation is offering counselling to both the general public and workers in the emergency services.

She said: "We have been preparing for something like this for quite some time - even before the Oklahoma City bomb."

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