New Yorkers Pull Together In Rescue Effort

New York-WABC, September 11, 2001)--It has been a long and difficult night for the hundreds of rescuers digging through tons of rubble trying to find victims buried beneath the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Early this morning, their search paid off as they found several survivors. Sarah Wallace reports.

Early Wednesday afternoon, clouds of smoke were still coming from Seven World Trade Center, which was one of the last of the World Trade Center buildings to collapse. There were also clouds of dust and debris from the damage site. There is still hope for people trapped alive. The mayor said, however, that he did not have any idea about exact numbers. There could be thousands of people trapped beneath the World Trade Center debris, and this is the priority.

For instance, several firefighters survived because they were inside an air pocket.

In the dark early morning hours, in these darkest of times, there were signs of life. Six firefighters were trapped together, but alive.

Rescue Worker: "I was able to get up to the space and like everybody else and help to dig them out. I believe one of the firefighters was in good condition. The whole time down there he was talking to us, and his vitals were in good shape when we found him."

A Port Authority police officer was also pulled out alive. By daylight, rescue workers had made contact with another officer.

NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik: "The rescue workers also have dogs and we are making every effort to get those people out of there."

But this is still very much a rescue effort and all available people are pitching in.

NY Governor Pataki: "At last count 18 different search and rescue teams were down there. I would like thank my colleagues for their help. Connecticut Governor John Rowland has sent down a search team and there is also a specialized unit coming in from Puerto Rico."

At the 76th precinct, a police officer was looking for his sister who had just taken a job with a trading firm on the first floor of the World Trade Center.

Alberto Angiella, NYPD: "I am just praying that she is alright. We are checking all of the hospitals. I just hope for the best. "

Firefighter John Clarey: "I got here yesterday around 12:30 p.m. in the afternoon. The intial search started around 11 p.m. Tuesday night. Another building collapsed and the chief kept us all out of there until was safe. We started another search and we found two Port Authority workers trapped, and we got them out alive. There is a lot of heave debris and we just got on top of the pile. The visibility is really poor and its really hot. But I am going back in there, some of my fellow firefighters are still in there."

In spite of the danger, that is why they call them "New York's Bravest."