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WORLD TRADE CENTER UPDATE 5:25 EST

At 5:22, Building 7, a 25 story building in the World Trade Center complex collapsed.

As of 5:20PM EST, it was believed that as many as twenty thousand people may have been in the World Trade Center when the twin towers were struck by hijacked aircraft between ten and ten thirty this morning. Many of these people would have been able to leave the towers, but it is believed that there have been heavy casualties.

There continues to be concern that other buildings in the area may collapse, and despite earlier hopes, area fires continue to spread.

A debris mass five stories high, still burning, is all that remains of the World Trade Center. At least a dozen people jumped from the upper floors of the World Trade Center before the buildings collapsed. More than two hundred New York City firemen and other emergency service personnel are unaccounted for, in addition to an unknown number of civilians.

Due to the adverse situation in the area of the World Trade Center, an organized rescue effort cannot yet be mounted.

At 10 AM this morning, the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Thirty three minutes later, the North Tower collapsed.

A large area of lower Manhattan continues to be choked with smoke, fire and debris, and this greatest of human constructions is gone.

Stuyvesant High School, in the immediate area, was safely evacuated before the collapse.

New York Emergency Services are struggling to recover and reorganize. Civilians in lower Manhattan have evacuated calmly.

This is the most terrible attack on the United States since the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor, and it appears likely that the number of casualties will be much higher.

US intelligence services are saying that they had no warning of these attacks.

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