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Minor miracles

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Although it may look like clutching at straws after the slaughter of so many lives, minor miracles do appear have taken place.

Brokers Morgan Stanley occupied 25 floors of the World Trade Center, employing 3,500. Remarkably only 15 are missing. All 340 of the staff in Sun Microsystems' field office at the South Tower has been accounted for. Such statistics bring little comfort to the bereaved, of course, but reflect on the bravery of the rescue workers, the ability to put collective survival over blind panic, and the extraordinary resiliance of the WTC towers, which between them allowed an hour and forty vital minutes for evacuation.

Around 50,000 people are in the towers and plaza on a typical weekday morning.

The latest toll put the number of missing at 4,998, including 170 at the Pentagon. Today has been declared a national day of mourning in the US. ®

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