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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
London mourns America's dead
Flowers outside the US Embassy in London
A policeman lays flowers outside the US Embassy
Hundreds of people have converged on the United States Embassy in central London to pay their respects to those killed in the New York and Washington terrorist attacks.

The US ambassador in London, William Farish, thanked the British people for the flowers and messages of sympathy left at the embassy in the wake of the attack.

US Embassy
Flags fly at half-mast at the US Embassy in London
Mr Farish said: "I would like very much to thank the many British private citizens who have called or e-mailed our embassy with messages of support or sorrow. Many have left flowers as well."

He said efforts were ongoing at the embassy to help people in Britain seeking information about missing friends and relatives in the US.

Speaking of "a tragedy of massive scale", he said history had shown again and again that when times got tough the US and the UK stood most closely together.

A minute's silence

Elsewhere in the capital the reality of the situation was beginning to sink in.

Staff at businesses and financial institutions across the City were awaiting news of the fate of their colleagues involved in the World Trade Center disaster.

London shoppers
Stunned shoppers watch the tragedy unfold on TV
As the two buildings collapsed on Tuesday afternoon, reports said desperate employees were sending e-mails to offices around the world begging for help.

The London Stock Exchange called for its members to observe a minute's silence at 1245 GMT as a mark of respect for the thousands of people feared dead in New York and Washington.

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