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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Relatives wait for news
Nigel Thompson
Broker Nigel Thompson was on the phone to his brother
A young British stockbroker was on the phone to his twin brother from the World Trade Center as one of the hijacked planes struck.

Nigel Thompson, 33, told his twin Neil that the building was under attack and then the line went dead.


Nigel said: 'We are under attack. We are being evacuated'

Mark Thompson
Nigel's family and friends are among those many Britons still waiting for news of the fate of their loved ones, three days after the terrorist attacks on America.

The stories of Britons still missing have begun to emerge as Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned that the death toll of UK victims could reach the middle hundreds.

And New York's Mayor has said that almost 5,000 people still remain unaccounted for.

Hoping for a miracle

Nigel Thompson's older brother Mark said it would be a miracle if he was now found alive.

Speaking from Sheffield, Mark recounted how Nigel called his twin from the tower where he worked on the 105th floor as a stockbroker for Cantor Fitzgerald.

Norman Thompson
Norman Thompson hopes his son may still be found alive
"Nigel said, 'We are under attack. We are being evacuated'. Then they got cut off," said Mark.

Mark Thompson said: "He is still classed as missing but because he works on the 105th floor and because no names have been coming out of Cantor Fitzgerald as survivors, we are bracing ourselves for the inevitable."

Cantor Fitzgerald appears to have suffered the heaviest losses for a single firm. The company occupied the top floors of the first tower to be hit, and more than 700 of its 1,000 staff are still missing.

Their father Norman told the BBC: "We have been living in hope that he would still be alive and that we would find him buried and alive or unconscious not able to identify himself in hospital. But that all seems to be going slowly now away."

He has been making his own appeals on the internet.

Witness to sister's fate

Nina Sukhabhai, of London, is still waiting for news of her cousin Bella, who also worked for Cantor Fitzgerald.

"Her sister Nisha survived - she worked for Morgan Stanley in Tower Two.

"Bella started work at 8.30am and Nisha started at 9. So Nisha said goodbye to her sister, who then made her way to her desk on the 104th floor. Nisha hung around outside.

"As the first plane crashed into the tower, she witnessed the possible fate of her sister. She tried calling her but to no avail."


If you go to church, light a candle for us

Eric Redheffer
Publishing executive Sarah Redheffer, 35, had organised a conference at the restaurant on the 106th floor of the North tower.

Neither she nor her colleagues from Risk Waters, including nine British employees, have been heard of since Tuesday.

Speaking from his home in Enfield, north London, her husband Eric Redheffer said: "If you go to a church, light a candle for us."

Father-of-three missing

Sybil Eades-Whyte, of the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, has had no word from her son Gavin Cushie since the terrorist attack.

Gavin, 48, was on the 104th floor of the first tower to be hit. He has been working in the US for 25 years but was due to return to Lewis next month to marry his American fiancée.


You can't let yourself think the worst

Les Gillian
Father-of-three Ron Gilligan, 43, is believed to have been at his desk on the 103rd floor when the attack happened.

Originally from Liverpool, IT manager Mr Gilligan has not been seen by his wife Liz and children since leaving for work at Cantor Fitzgerald on Tuesday.

His brother Les said: "You have to be optimistic. You can't let yourself think the worst".

Smoke billows from World Trade Center
Stories of Britons trapped in the twin towers have begun to emerge
Irish carpenter Martin Coughlan, 53, from Co Tipperary, spoke to his wife Catherine on the phone from the 96th floor of the south tower just after the second hijacked plane struck.

His sister-in-law, Josie Coughlan said: ""His wife heard from him just before the block went down.

"He just said, `There's been a bomb, the place is covered in smoke and I'm trying to get out.'

"After that there was nothing."

Broker Howard Selwyn, 47, who was on the phone to a colleague when he was told to evacuate, is still missing, according to his brother Ian.

Speaking from Leeds, Ian Selwyn said: "The only thing we are sure about is he was making his way down from the 84th floor. When he got separated, we just don't know.

New father

Banker Derek Sword, phoned his family in Dundee in Scotland from the World Trade Center seconds after a plane crashed into the building - but has not been heard from since.

The 29-year-old, who was on the 89th floor of the South Tower, told his father that it was not his tower that had been hit - just moments before a second plane crashed into the New York skyscraper.

Mark Cunningham, who had just become a father, was caught up in the disaster when he returned from paternity leave to his work in Manhattan.

His brother Paul said: "He phoned his wife just after the plane hit and said they were evacuating.

"He said to his wife 'I'm leaving straight away but I'm not going to panic and I'm not going to hurry."

Worried friends and relatives can phone a special telephone helpline on 0207 008 0000.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Sangeeta Mhaiskar
"It's believed there are at least 100 britons missing"
British consul general in NY Tom Harris
explains what they have been doing to help

Key stories

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See also:

12 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair warns of British victims
12 Sep 01 | UK
UK on high security alert
12 Sep 01 | Business
Sombre mood in the City
11 Sep 01 | Scotland
Rescuers on US stand-by
11 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair condemns terrorist 'evil'
11 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair's statement in full
11 Sep 01 | UK
UK buildings evacuated
11 Sep 01 | Americas
Could the planes have been stopped?
13 Sep 01 | Scotland
Missing son phoned from skyscraper
13 Sep 01 | Americas
New York mourns its missing
13 Sep 01 | Business
UK firms fear human losses
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