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Friday September 21 04:26 PM EDT Foreign Nationals Add to List of Missing in Terror Attack

Foreign Nationals Add to List of Missing in Terror Attack


Citizens of 80 countries were among those lost in the World Trade Center tragedy. As the international community compiles names of suspected victims, the number of those missing has risen from 5,422 to 6,333.

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New details of missing foreigners have pushed the number of people believed missing or dead in the rubble of the World Trade Center to 6,333 today as President Bush (news - web sites) urged prayers of support for the victims of the terror attacks.

The swelling number was largely due to new possible victim lists submitted from abroad, said New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (news - web sites) on Thursday.

Citizens of 80 countries were missing and presumed dead in the disaster, Bush said in his address to Congress on Thursday night. More than 130 were Israeli citizens and more than 250 were citizens of India, he said.

Rescue workers today struggled with thundershowers and had to temporarily halt their work early this morning as a lightning storm made it hazardous to work near shattered metal beams.

Although no one has been found alive since Sept. 12, the day after two hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center's twin towers, city officials were not officially transitioning their mission from a rescue to a recovery operation.

But during a radio address on WABC today, Giuliani admitted that few people, if any, were likely to be alive under the rubble of the World Trade Center.

"The chance of recovering anyone alive is very, very small," he said. "We're not going to recover significant numbers of people. We know that. We recognize that."

New York Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen told Reuters his workers had made an unofficial transition from a search for survivors to a search for human remains today.

"It's really happening in a normal kind of a transition that I think is acceptable to everybody and the best way for us to get this done," he said.

An 'Eerie Pompeii'

As emergency workers arrived at the site to replace the exhausted overnight crew on a grim, gray morning, the mood among workers was resolutely hopeful.

So far, 241 bodies have been recovered, but only 170 have been identified by the coroner's office. The dead include 37 police officers, 32 firefighters, two emergency medical technicians, two Port Authority employees and one New Jersey firefighter. The number of injured stands at 6,291.

Crews have removed 68,943 tons of debris from the site, but an estimated 1 million to 2 million tons remain, and officials have said it will take at least six months to clear it all.

For observers hoping for some sign of life under the rubble, the heavy equipment being brought in to clear the ruins of the twin towers today was another bleak sign of the dwindling chances of finding survivors.

The shopping level below the World Trade Center Plaza had escaped damage in some spots, some workers told ABCNEWS, but they described the deserted concourse as an "eerie Pompeii," referring to the ruins of a 79 A.D. Roman city.

Police detectives were investigating several incidents of looting in the concourse area under the World Trade Center complex today. Two people were arrested on allegations of looting a designer watch and jewelry store in the concourse level, police sources told ABCNEWS.

Horror and Diminishing Hopes

As rescue teams desperately search through the rubble that was once the World Trade Center, political leaders have been making their way to "ground zero" to get a firsthand look at the destruction wrought by America's worst terrorist attack.

On Thursday, Giuliani led Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (news - web sites), D-N.Y., and Sen. Charles Schumer (news - bio - voting record), D-N.Y., along with 38 other U.S. senators, through the muck and wreckage. Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert is expected to visit the site later today.

"I'm from a part of the country that has been hit by hurricanes repeatedly," said Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. "But I must say, I've never seen anything comparable to what we have seen here today, the magnitude of it and the horror of it."

While maintaining hope, Giuliani in recent days has conceded the chances of finding any more survivors is growing increasingly slim.

But Earl said the remaining glimmer of hope keeps rescue workers going and prevents them from giving up.

"In earthquakes, they've pulled people out after 14 days, after two weeks, if someone's at a spot where there's some kind of availability of water, which is one way that the rain might help somebody if they're trapped in there," he said.

"Hopefully, there are signs of life, but realistically we're starting to lose hope for that," he said. "But we're forcing ourselves to still hope. We know that it's still a possibility."

Weekend Memorial Moved to Yankee Stadium

As the rescue search continued, New York City firefighters and police officers mourned the loss of their missing colleagues.

City officials announced that a weekend memorial originally planned in New York's Central Park for fallen firefighters and police officers will instead be held at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Giuliani said additional mourners might be able to gather at minor league baseball stadiums in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Newark, N.J.

Giuliani said the memorial in Central Park, which was expected to draw up to 1 million people, was canceled due to security concerns. The ceremony at Yankee Stadium will only allow 60,000 mourners.

‘Hallowed Ground’

Rescue work meanwhile has continued at two other disaster sites.

At the Pentagon (news - web sites), where a hijacked airplane crashed into the west side of the building, virtually all debris removal has been completed.

FBI (news - web sites) agents have begun to collect criminal evidence from the rubble. That process is expected to take another two or three weeks, after which the evidence will be taken to a nearby deposit site for a closer examination that could last a month or longer, an FBI official in Washington said today.

An investigation also is proceeding at the site where hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in the hills of Western Pennsylvania, killing all 44 people aboard after passengers on the plane apparently fought the hijackers.

FBI Director Robert Mueller — visiting the Shanksville, Pa., site with Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) on Thursday — said the FBI still is analyzing the plane's cockpit voice recorder, but it was clear the passengers on-board did everything they could to stop the hijackers from crashing into any buildings and killing any innocent people on the ground.

"We believe those passengers on this jet were absolute heroes and their actions during this flight were heroic," Mueller said.

Ashcroft said the site where so many died felt like "hallowed ground," and vowed to catch and punish everyone involved in the terror attacks.

"We will identify the parties responsible," Ashcroft said, "and we will provide a basis for punishing parties and organizations whose mission it was to disrupt America's life of freedom and liberty."

ABCNEWS' Steve Scott and Jim Waggoner in New York contributed to this report.

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