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Fri, Sep 14, 2001 - Page 2 News List

World counts its own among the dead as news of those missing continues to grow

INDISCRIMINATE The heinous act that struck at the very heart of America also took the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people from other countries

AP , TOKYO

When terrorists slammed their hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center, they attacked more than America.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of foreigners worked in the towers. Yesterday, people around the globe awaited word of whether their sons or daughters or colleagues had survived.

Dramatic stories were already beginning to emerge -- an Irishman told of how his brother who worked in the towers survived, but his sister on a hijacked plane didn't.

From China, a woman escaped only to see her office building melt like "chocolate."

But nearly everywhere, people were simply hoping for the barest of details.

As is the case with the overall count, the number of foreigners who are remain missing is still unclear.

But as reports began to come in from governments trying to track down their citizens, it appeared the toll could easily reach several hundred.

According to Japan's Foreign Ministry, roughly 100 Japanese nationals, including dozens of tourists, are unaccounted for.

There were 31 Japanese companies with branch offices in the Trade Center towers, and 22 workers believed to have been inside were unaccounted for.

"We are working around the clock," Yoshinori Ide, a spokesman for Japan's Fuji Bank, said from an emergency center to coordinate the bank's search for 12 employees still missing.

Bank employees who survived the attack are calling and visiting hospitals in search of their missing colleagues, who were mostly on the 79th through 81st floors of the second tower.

Britain's casualties appeared to be even heavier.

Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman, Alistair Campbell, said that though it is difficult to predict with any certainty, "what is becoming clear is that the death toll of British citizens is likely to run into the hundreds."

That would be well above past Irish Republican Army attacks and the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 33 Britons.

Initial news of those who had survived was mixed with sadness.

In Ireland, television viewers heard John Clifford tell of how his brother escaped unscathed from the World Trade Center, only to learn later that his sister and a young niece were in one of the planes that hit the tower.

Clifford, of Cork, told Irish television that his brother Ronnie, 47, survived but his sister Ruth, 45, and her 4-year-old daughter Juliana had died.

"Tragically, my sister hit the tower building as my brother was on the ground floor. He's safe now. He's very traumatized."

Another survivor was Sun Lingling, 46, who handles the China Daily newspaper's distribution in North America.

According to an interview with her in the paper, she stumbled down 33 flights of stairs at the center, losing only a shoe. She then watched from outside as the tower where she had worked for eight years collapsed.

"It was as if a huge piece of chocolate had been melted down," Sun said.

"I thought of friends at Morgan Stanley, whom we met during our exercises at the gym nearby. I knew it was almost impossible for them to survive."

Most of the 27 South Koreans listed as missing -- nine were confirmed safe Thursday -- were employees of firms housed in the World Trade Center buildings.

The only Korean confirmed dead, however, was aboard the hijacked United Airlines plane from Boston. Kim Ji-soo, 37, was flying that day to visit her 83-year-old grandmother in Los Angeles.

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