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More bodies found as crews lift larger chunks of debris at WTC
Associated Press WriterNEW YORK (AP) -- Clumps of bodies, including those of 15 firefighters, were found under the rubble of the World Trade Center as heavy equipment allowed workers to move giant steel beams and large pieces of debris.
The number of confirmed dead grew by 30 on Monday to 344, the largest increase since the first week after two hijacked jets smashed into the twin towers. Officials have identified 289 of the bodies, while 5,219 are listed as missing.
"We're finding a lot of stuff in there," said construction worker John Yannucci. "It's not a happy sight."
Law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said Tuesday that the bodies of 15 firefighters have been pulled from the wreckage since Monday afternoon.
Officials in the mayor's office said they could not comment on the recovery of bodies until the families had been notified. Officially, 343 firefighters are missing or dead and the number of their bodies recovered has risen to 86, the law enforcement sources said.
A backhoe operator at the wreckage said the work is slow going. Dan Panarella, who works for Turner General Contracting, said after getting off his 7 p.m.-to-7 a.m. shift Tuesday that he typically will move a beam, wait as FBI agents look through the newly uncovered wreckage and then move another beam if given the go-ahead.
"When you pull out somebody's pocketbook and you wonder if they were one of the ones that got out, it kind of hits you hard," Panarella said.
Some of the debris removal costs, as well as unemployment insurance for displaced workers, will be paid by $1 billion in short-term bonds offered Monday.
In a preliminary estimate last week, Senate aides said it would cost about $39 billion to clean up from the Sept. 11 attack and rebuild the city. Washington has pledged at least $20 billion.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, following a tour of the trade center ruins on Monday with 108 other members of Congress, said no one can know how much the recovery effort will cost. "We don't know if that's the iceberg or the tip of the iceberg," Hastert said.
As more bodies were pulled from the rubble, 2,500 mourners gathered under tents Monday at a memorial in Central Park for employees of Cantor Fitzgerald, a bond firm that lost about 700 employees in the attack.
Joan Kirwin's husband, Glenn Kirwin, 40, was a partner with the firm and died in the attacks. She and four others who lost their spouses addressed the crowd.
"On the morning of September 11th, my life, as well as all of yours, changed forever," she said.
The victims' relatives and friends hugged and cried along with the speakers, who included the firm's chief executive, Howard Lutnick, and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Giuliani said some would never completely heal from the wound of the terrorist attack.
"You'll need a great deal of support in getting through this. So will I, so will many, many people in New York City and around the globe," Giuliani said. "Your loss is shared by many, but particularly by a family of 8 million people, and I speak for them when I say that your loved ones will never be forgotten."
He also attended a gathering for relatives of the more than 70 workers lost at the trade center's Windows on the World restaurant. "I didn't think he'd come to a service for dishwashers and cooks," Gilbert Ruiz Jr., whose father was a kitchen worker, told The New York Times. "He proved me wrong, and it made me happy he came."'
National Guard troops will be patrolling 19 airports around New York state beginning Friday. The 309 armed troops were called up by Gov. George Pataki as part of a nationwide deployment requested by President Bush to provide more security and coax travelers back to flying.
Their presence "could go on for as along as six months," Pataki said. More than half of the troops will be assigned to John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York City.
On Wednesday, President Bush was expected to make his second trip to New York City since the attack. His spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said the president has been concerned about the effects on children and plans to visit a school Wednesday.
The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Joe Allbaugh, said he also would be in New York City on Wednesday to address what he called "quite a few problems" with the cleanup. He did not explain what those problems were.
In Albany, a study released Monday by state Assembly Democrats estimated that more than 7 percent of the state's private sector jobs, accounting for nearly 15 percent of the state's private sector wages, were threatened or eliminated by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
------On the Net: http://www.nyc.gov