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NY: Death Toll Climbing, Economic Loss Staggering - 2001-09-13

The death toll is starting to mount, as recovery operations continue in New York in the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

By Thursday morning, the official number of deaths climbed to almost 100, with close to 5,000 missing. Officials say they still have hope that some survivors can be found in the rubble of the World Trade Center complex, but those hopes are dimming as the hours drag on.

The city has ordered 30,000 body bags, but officials say that huge number is because every body part must be put into a bag. May of the victims were dismembered.

As many as 300 New York City firefighters are believed to have died in the disaster, and more than 50 police officers are missing. In addition, rescue workers, many of whom have been working almost non-stop, are exhausted. Help has been pouring into New York from surrounding communities and from some very far away. Police from Miami, Florida, were on patrol in parts of lower Manhattan.

More than 5,000 people have donated blood and thousands more have volunteered to help in any way they can. New York State Governor George Pataki says officials are overwhelmed by the offers, and will work to get the volunteers organized at the huge Javits Convention Center on the West side of Manhattan. "If people want to help out, whether they are medical personnel or construction workers, or just simply people who want to volunteer, we will be able to sign them up," he said, "put down the nature of their offer of assistance, and be able to call on them as this process goes forward, as it will, not just for days, but for weeks and weeks."

Governor Pataki also said an economic recovery office will be established to assist businesses destroyed or damaged by the attack. The economic loss to New York City is expected to be staggering, with preliminary estimates well above $10 billion.