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Day 3 - Relief Operations Continue in NY - 2001-09-13


In New York, the extraordinary relief effort continues, as volunteers flow in from around the United States. Hope for miracles is dimming on the third day of search and rescue efforts at the site of the devastated World Trade Center.

Thousands of rescue workers are picking through the wreckage of the World Trade Center attack, desperately hoping to find survivors. But, as time passes, the chances of finding survivors becomes less likely.

Approximately 100 bodies have been recovered. Close to 5,000 people are missing, but officials say the final toll may be higher. Expected rain late Thursday will further complicate the rescue effort.

Officials estimate that more than 300 New York City firefighters, at least 50 police officers and another 100 Port Authority police are missing.

President George Bush will visit New York Friday. He told New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani he is expediting payments of benefits to the families of fallen public safety officers.

Mr. Giuliani expressed gratitude for the swift action. "The uniformed officers - the police, the fire and the emergency service officers - their families will really appreciate this," he said. "We are going to sustain a tremendous loss of our bravest and our best people. The relief that you are now making available to the families is going to mean a lot to them. They are going to be able to think about the fact that their children are going to be taken care of, that they are going to be able to go to college, to carry on."

The president says he has told his administration to do anything it can to help New York.

Meanwhile, volunteers have driven from all over the United States to join the rescue effort. Not all are at the site. Many are working with New Yorkers to man emergency centers, help at shelters [that have been] setup for the families of the missing, and relieve exhausted medical personnel and pubic safety officials. In midtown Manhattan, firefighters from Massachusetts are operating a local fire station. Police officers from Florida are patrolling the streets of Greenwich Village neighborhood.

Most access routes into Manhattan have been opened. But fire department officials have suspended the two busiest subway lines in the city from the midtown area of the city south, in the direction of the devastation. They fear that vibrations are destabilizing buildings.

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