Rescuers find more plane wreckage at World Trade Center site as toll of missing rises
NEW YORK (AP) – The number of people believed missing in the rubble of the World Trade Center increased to 6,453 on Sunday as rescue workers continued sifting through still smoldering debris and uncovered a 10-foot piece of jetliner fuselage.
The flight recorders, or black boxes, of the two hijacked airliners have not been found by the hundreds of firefighters, police and construction workers combing the wreckage. Pictures have been posted throughout the site so rescuers can recognize them.
The piece of fuselage was loaded onto a golf cart Sunday and taken away by federal crime-scene investigators. Hydraulic cranes and other heavy machinery pulled out 50-foot sections of twisted steel beams and loaded them onto flatbed trucks.
Elsewhere, search and rescue teams scaled 20-story-high ruins to search by hand.
Rescue workers have not found a survivor since the day after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani explained the increase in the missing, up from 6,333 on Saturday, as a result of list revisions.
”The number went up a little bit after they went through the lists, removed some of the duplications and then added some names,” he said.
In lower Manhattan, more weary residents were allowed to return home Sunday and relief agencies encouraged them to ask for government help. More than 8,000 people have applied for aid, according to Mike Byrne of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
”I would encourage anyone who’s suffered … to get registered in the system,” Byrne said.
Many of those returning found neighborhoods filled with tourists seeking terrorist attack souvenirs. A parade of sightseers with cameras filled Broadway in lower Manhattan, snapping images of rescue workers, debris and broken lives.
”It’s sort of sick seeing these people standing there. I don’t think much of them,” said Brendan Heneghan, 27, whose apartment escaped damage and who was on the 79th floor of One World Trade Center when the towers were hit.
Moshe Alfassi, a Broadway shop owner, said he didn’t mind the sightseers.
”Let them take pictures. Let them take these pictures back home. Let the world see what was done here,” said Alfassi, who had to lay off 13 employees and may not reopen until at least November.
In the ruins, volunteer Joe Savino, a carpenter, said the passing days have not made the job easier.
”The smell is getting worse. You go in there and remember that (more than) 6,000 people are dead.”
But hope is not lost.
Said firefighter Paul McGuire: ”We’ll just move little pieces as fast as we can. I’m still waiting for that cheer to ring out where they find someone.”
Battery Park City resident Dan Borecki said he will not give up and he will not move away.
”I don’t think any of those people would tell me not to go on,” he said, speaking for the victims. ”So that’s what we’re going to do. We are going to go on – make our community just as great as it was before.”
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