Rescuers dug for bodies in the World Trade Center's
smoking rubble as a shaken nation struggled Wednesday to recover from an airborne attack that shut down the financial capital.
New York was the hardest hit target in Tuesday's coordinated assault on American government and finance, which grounded the nation's commercial aircraft and led President George W. Bush to place the military on its highest state of alert.
The World Trade Center's twin towers collapsed by 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT) in horrifying clouds of gray smoke.
The final death toll may not be known for weeks.
New Yorks mayor Rudolf Giuliani said police had received cell phone calls from people trapped in the debris.
"There are people that are still alive," he said. "We'll be trying to
recover as many people as possible and trying to clean up the horrible mess made by this."
Cranes 120 feet (36 meters) tall and bulldozers were brought in to clear the streets.
Rescue workers were armed with pickaxes and shovels.
"I must have come across body parts by the thousands," said Angelo Otchy, a mortgage broker who came in with a National Guard unit from Dover, New Jersey, to help dig through the debris.