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Recovery effort moves ahead

ground zero
Ground zero, one week after the attacks on the World Trade Center.  

(CNN) -- More than a week after the terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center in New York, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Tuesday the likelihood of finding any more survivors in the rubble is "very, very small" but that "those chances are not totally ended or over."

Giuliani revised the confirmed death toll in the attacks to 218. Of those, 152 have been identified. The number of missing is now at 5,422 people.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Pentagon officials said they were considering ending the search for survivors a week after hijackers slammed a plane into a wing of the U.S. military headquarters.

The hope of recovering survivors still ran strong in New York, from makeshift memorials to the thousands working around-the-clock at the disaster scene.

Immigrant workers -- many undocumented -- are the little known victims of the World Trade Center attacks. CNN Maria Hinojosa reports (September 18)

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CNN's Jeanne Moos visits canine aid stations that have been set up to help in search efforts at the New York disaster site. (September 18)

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Some emergency workers are being ordered to take time off after being on the job virtually nonstop since the attacks. And in observance of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana services were being offered for workers and their families at ground zero Tuesday.

Nine search and rescue teams worked at the site Tuesday, and two more teams were being deployed. Another four teams are expected to be sent Thursday.

Officials continue to refer to the operation at ground zero as a "rescue mission," emphasizing the possibility victims could be found alive in the seven-level underground complex, which housed a subway station, commuter train station and retail shops and restaurants.

"I think everyone wants to be the one to find somebody," said rescue worker Jack O'Brien.

U.N. Secretary-Gen. Kofi Annan toured the site Tuesday and thanked firefighters and police. "The U.N. is a New York institution," he said.

Assessing structural damage

The city's Office of Emergency Management is putting teams together to assess what structural damage was caused to the buildings around the World Trade Center complex, spokeswoman Gay Ruby said.

Grubb & Ellis, a commercial real estate services firm, said all seven World Trade Center buildings either collapsed or partially collapsed as a result of the terrorist attacks.

The destroyed buildings included the twin towers; the 22-story World Trade Center Marriott Hotel; 5 World Trade Center, which housed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and various judicial offices; and 7 World Trade Center, which housed the U.S. General Accounting Office, the OEM, the Secret Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The partially collapsed buildings are 4 World Trade Center and 6 World Trade Center. The latter is the U.S. Customs House.

Five other buildings have "possible structural damage," according to Grubb & Ellis, including the American Express building in the World Financial Center and the Bankers Trust building, both across the street from the 2 World Trade Center, the south tower.

As many as 13 other buildings in the vicinity suffered less serious damage, the firm reported.

Electricity is being restored to streetlights and small businesses, and officials expect it to be back to normal for all businesses by Saturday morning.

The Environmental Protection Agency is removing asbestos from streets and buildings and set up monitoring stations around the site and in New Jersey.

Rescue continues at Pentagon, for now

Pentagon officials had not decided Tuesday whether to officially end the search for survivors but said the topic is on the table.

"That is definitely being discussed. I don't believe that decision has been made yet," Lt. Cmdr. Don Sewell, a Pentagon spokesman told Reuters Tuesday morning.

Four rescue teams of about 60 members each, along with dozens of medical personnel and firemen, have been working in the area.

Rescue crews overnight pulled the remains of five more people from the charred site where hijackers crashed an airliner into the five-sided building just outside Washington.

A Pentagon employee died Tuesday of injuries received in the attack, Pentagon officials said, raising the projected death toll from last week's attack from 188 to 189, including those who died on the airliner. Only 11 bodies have been identified so far.

The Pentagon plans on augmenting security with U.S. military troops, defense officials said.

The troops will be used to augment security provided by the Defense Protective Service, which is the Pentagon's civilian police force, and by military police who have already taken up posts inside the Pentagon building.

No timetable was provided by the officials for the arrival of the troops.

'Death is a part of every situation'

At the site of the World Trade Center, fires continued to burn under the rubble. So far, about 49,553 tons of debris have been removed, but city officials said 20 times that much probably remains.

"We pulled out a piece of steel of tower one that said '96th floor,'" said iron worker Anthony Esola. He said the fires still burning make the debris so hot that "if you stay in one place too long, your boots start to melt."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts it will take 45 days to complete the job.

At the firehouse at 8th Avenue and 48th Street -- which is missing 15 firefighters from the attacks -- a shrine of flowers, candles and signs has taken over the front sidewalk. The home of Engine Company 54, Ladder Company 4 and Battalion 9 also posted the pictures of the 15 missing men on the wall outside.

"Death is a part of every situation. This is just on a much larger level," said Capt. Dale Brown of the Intermountain Fire Department, which is working at the site alongside its New York counterparts. "Most guys from the New York Fire Department are feeling this just tremendous loss."

With more than 300 firefighters reported missing, the New York Fire Department is one of the city's hardest-hit public services. Thousands are expected to attend a mass interfaith memorial dedicated to the firefighters, planned for September 23 in Central Park.

The gradual reopening of lower Manhattan, evacuated after the twin towers fell, meant thousands of residents, business workers and students remained shut out of the area.

New York University spokesman John Beckman said the school is temporarily housing 1,700 affected students in two Midtown hotels, paying for their books and school supplies, and giving them a small allowance to buy clothes and necessities.

"That was a cause of anxiety, because they were starting classes without access to study materials," said Beckman, who declined to discuss the cost to the school.

He said it was unclear when the city would allow the students to return to the residence halls.

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