The Recent Discovery Of Remains At Ground Zero Giving Firefighters New Hope


Courtesy of WABC News - New York

The discovery of at least 13 more bodies at ground zero in recent days, is giving recovery workers some hope that even more victims will be found in the rubble. Workers at the WTC disaster site are now concentrating on the area around the South Tower, which collapsed first, giving people inside little time to get out. Stacey Sager reports from ground zero with the latest.

Nearly 85 percent of the recovery work at ground zero is complete, but that doesn't mean that workers won't continue to find more bodies. In fact, pictures of ground zero take Wednesday afternoon show workers, firefighters and policemen removing the remains of another victim. The recent increase in remains being found is due to the fact that workers are concentrating on new areas at the disaster site, areas of particular interest to firefighters hoping for closure. For the firefighters of Ladder 15, Ladder 10 and Engine 4, the coming weeks may turn out to be a combination of closure and heartache. They lost 19 men on September 11th, and so far only three have been found. Like so many fire houses, the vigil continues with prayers, candles, photos and flowers.

The remains of 11 firefighters and two civilians were discovered in the debris Tuesday. They were draped in flags and carried up a 500-foot ramp, as workers and police officers stood by and saluted.

The overall site includes seven different buildings. Work has just recently begun where the South tower, Two World Trade, once stood. It was the first of the two buildings to fall, and was where so many firefighters had initially gathered.

Lt. John Viola, FDNY: "I truly believe this is where we're going to find them because I think part of the fire command station where they would have reported to is what we're trying to get to right now, the area we're digging up in the South tower."

In SoHo, at Engine 55, the past few days have been emotional because their rig was finally pulled out of the debris. At Ladder 20, and nearby Squad 18, firefighters feel fortunate to have recovered 13 out of 14 men. Still, they insist they will not give up on the last missing man, Lt. John Fisher.

Lt. David Simms, FDNY: "We want to heal, we want to get better. John Fisher was a great person and we have the highest hopes and expectations that they will find him." A total of 148 firefighters have been pulled from the rubble and positively identified.

Lt. Simms: "I believe they are going to recover a lot more."

There was one other new development Wednesday, President Bush appointed a special advisor for Lower Manhattan Development. Ruben Jeffery III, formerly of Goldman Sachs, will be responsible for coordinating White House efforts in the downtown area as the recovery continues.