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New York lowers missing figure at trade center site

NEW YORK (CNN) -- As New York officials sort through the thousands of missing persons reports, weeding out duplications, the delicate work of recovering the remains of victims from the ruins of the World Trade Center site continues, with powerful cranes now lifting hundreds of tons of debris at a time.

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The official number of people missing in the rubble dropped to 5,960 Thursday. Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the number was lowered after a recheck of missing persons reports. The police department is drawing its numbers from six different sources, meaning there is the possibility of duplication.

Only 306 deaths have been confirmed, and 238 of the dead have been identified.

Dr. Robert Shaler, chief of forensic biology in the New York City medical examiner's office, told The Associated Press that most victims examined died from "blunt trauma" and others from burns, smoke inhalation and injuries from sharp debris.

A total of 8,786 people have reported injuries from the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Giuliani said.

More than 128,050 tons of debris have been removed from the 16-acre site where the World Trade Center collapsed, he said.


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