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Friday, 21 September, 2001, 17:17 GMT 18:17 UK
Bereaved relatives 'still in shock'
The wreckage at the World Trade Center
The attacks are thought to have killed 200-300 Britons
Families of Britons missing after the US terror strikes are struggling to accept their relatives may be dead, according to UK bereavement counsellors in New York.

The UK's largest bereavement charity, Cruse Bereavement Care, sent 10 volunteers to New York earlier this week as part of the Foreign Office's team assisting grieving families.

Another 10 are due to join them on Sunday.

But team leader Dr Arthur O'Hara has said relatives who have flown to the city are finding it "very difficult" to come to terms with the tragedy.


Many are still in shock and have not yet reached a point where they are ready to move forward in the process of grieving

Cruse Bereavement Care New York team leader, Dr Arthur O'Hara

"Some came to the US still hoping that their relatives might be found alive - but as the days go by, that hope is disappearing," he explained.

The British Government has said that two relatives of every missing Briton will be offered the chance to visit the scene of the attacks.

At least 80 have already arrived in New York.

But Dr O'Hara added: "Many are still in shock and have not yet reached a point where they are ready to move forward in the process of grieving.

"Their situation is all the more difficult as they are unable to visit the scene of the devastation for safety reasons."

He said shock, disorientation and anger were a common response to traumatic bereavements.

The Cruse Bereavement Care Helpline is on 0870 167 1677.


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See also:

20 Sep 01 | Europe
Blair bolsters US campaign
20 Sep 01 | Americas
We share grief, Blair tells America
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