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Sunday, September 16, 2001

Suspected hijacker's passport found

image

The Associated Press
Rescuers use heavy equipment to dig through debris ln the hunt for survivors at the World Trade Center.


No sign of life in exhausting, grisly search

By Larry Neumeister
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK - The passport of a suspected hijacker was discovered near the ruins of the World Trade Center, authorities said Saturday, as exhausted rescue workers clawed through the wreckage, searching unsuccessfully for signs of life.

FBI Assistant Director Barry Mawn did not disclose the name on the passport or other details, but the discovery prompted an intensive search for evidence blocks from the towers that were brought down in Tuesday's terrorist attacks by two hijacked planes.

The find was revealed as Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said a new ferry service carrying passengers between Brooklyn and Manhattan would help workers get to their offices.

The city also released a partial list of victims, and Giuliani said 159 people had been confirmed dead, including 18 firefighters. Nearly 5,000 are missing, among them an FBI and a Secret Service agent.

For the third frustrating day, the cleanup effort at ground zero yielded none of the pings or knocks that might signal a survivor.

John Hartley, a volunteer from White Plains, N.Y., spent a grueling 16-hour shift passing buckets of rubble by hand. When it was over, he practically staggered up the street. "You're taking out rubble a brick at a time. You're always hoping that you find something," he said.

Details of rescuers' grisly finds since Tuesday began to emerge. Among them were a pair of hands, bound together, found on a rooftop, authorities said.

The New York Times reported Saturday that one rescuer found the body of a flight attendant, whose hands were also bound. Another worker told the paper he had found the remains of people strapped in what seemed to be airplane seats.

Dazed firefighters showed the strain of their fruitless hunt for life. "They're drained," said Greg Shriver, a firefighter who traveled down from Connecticut to help. "They have to rest up to go back. They've lost a lot of brothers."

About 300 firefighters were lost in the carnage, by far the worst tragedy since the city's first engine companies were formed in 1865.

As firefighters said goodbye to their comrades, city officials said the number of people missing in the terrorist attack had grown by more than 200 from Friday. The total is now 4,972, Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said.

The new figure came from missing persons reports - 1,200 of them filed with police outside the city - and relatives reporting to a Manhattan crisis center, Kerik said.

One day after officials warned that scam artists were running bogus fund-raisers to help victims' families, Gov. George Pataki announced the launch Saturday of an official state fund.

The New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund is accepting donations in several ways, including by mail at P.O. Box 5028, Albany, N.Y. 12205 and via phone at 1-800-801-8092.

In Lower Manhattan, hundreds of residents lined up for a chance to return to their homes briefly and grab some essentials.

National Guardsmen escorted them into the blocked-off area and quickly brought them back out.

 

 

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