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Giuliani: New Yorkers must have patience

Firefighters tend to a colleague overcome by treacherous conditions at the World Trade Center devastation.
Firefighters tend to a colleague overcome by treacherous conditions at the World Trade Center devastation.  

NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani urged residents to have patience as recovery and rescue personnel painstakingly work to sift through thousands of tons of rubble caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center's two towers and three other nearby buildings.

"Every effort is being made to try to recover as many people as possible," Giuliani said. "Unfortunately, it's going to take a very long time to be able to get the information that they want."

Officials at the city armory near Gramercy Park, converted into a center for possible victims' family members, are compiling two lists: one of identified bodies, the other of missing people.

"Of the 184 sets of human remains collected, 47 are entire bodies and 35 have been identified," Giuliani said Thursday night.

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A spokesman for the Greater New York Hospital Association said more than 4,000 people have been treated at area hospitals since Tuesday's attack -- for everything from respiratory difficulties to crushed limbs.

Rescue workers themselves suffered several setbacks Thursday as hopes faded that more survivors would be found in the debris.

Reports that five firefighters had been rescued from a vehicle buried in the rubble of the World Trade Center towers are not true, a fire department spokeswoman said.

It was unclear how the report began circulating, but both police and rescue workers had said it was true.

The news had given search teams a temporary morale boost, and cheers were heard around the search area.

Emergency workers were also pulled back Thursday afternoon from around one nearby building -- Three World Financial Center, just north of where the World Trade Center once stood -- when it appeared that it was shifting. Smoke was coming from the windows of the 51-story structure, also called the American Express Building.

Officials later said that only the facade of the building -- not the entire structure -- was falling.

The building has been used as a morgue and as a headquarters for triage since Tuesday's attacks.

"You can clearly see the anxiety" on the faces of rescue workers, said CNN Producer Adam Reiss, who was on the scene.

The anguish was even more evident at the Armory, at 26th Street and Lexington Avenue, where families and friends could report if any loved ones are missing.

A Toronto, Ontario, man said that he received a voice message Wednesday night from someone who claimed to be trapped in the rubble. Pat Probert played a tape of the message for CNN in which a man says "we are trapped but alive."

Probert said he did not think he knew the person.

Giuliani said more than 6,000 tons of debris have been removed from the scene so far. It was being transported to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, where FBI and police officials plan to sort through and analyze it.

He said officials are hoping to reopen the city below 14th Street by midnight Thursday. He said the hope is to reopen Wall Street on Friday.

Hope dims for survivors at Pentagon

Meanwhile at the Pentagon, officials said the death toll has reached an estimated 190, including an Army three-star general.

The figure includes the 64 people on the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon. The Defense Department is estimating that a total of 126 Pentagon workers are still unaccounted for and believed dead in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

Arlington County, Virginia, emergency officials said they are assuming they would find no more survivors in the wreckage

"We are officially in a recovery mode at this particular time. The rescue workers obviously are still very hopeful. And we continue to want them to be hopeful," said Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher.

Nearly 24,000 military and civilian employees were back on the job Thursday at the Arlington building, damaged heavily in the attack, with Metro trains resuming regular service and buses continuing to operate from Pentagon City.

As employees returned to work, bomb-sniffing dogs were sweeping through the Pentagon.

Half the building remains closed because of smoke and structural damage, and many workers will have to double up in offices.


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