- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 20, 2001

Thirty-three bodies recovered from the crash site at the Pentagon have been positively identified more than a week after a hijacked passenger jet crashed into the building.
The identifications of the remains were made at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, said Tom Davies, a coordinator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Department of Defense officials said the remains of 118 persons who were missing or known dead have now been recovered; 71 persons remain missing. The death toll remains at 189.
Meanwhile, hundreds of search-and-rescue workers continued to dig through the rubble amid dimming hopes of finding any survivors. About 5,000 tons of debris have been removed since the recovery effort began, Arlington Fire Battalion Chief George Lyon said.
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, visibly angry after touring the crash site yesterday morning, said seeing the charred remains of the building's west side made him more determined to track down those responsible for the attacks.
Mr. Ashcroft also said he believed those responsible had help.
"It's pretty clear that the networks conducting these events were harbored, supported and sustained by a variety of foreign governments," he told reporters after his visit.
Some search-and-rescue crew members used their hands and shovels to pick through the debris, looking for human remains, personal items, government documents and pieces of evidence.
Others put up steel beams and built shoring towers to keep the second floor of the building's west wing from caving into the site. So far, 45 such towers, each measuring 400 to 700 feet in height, have been put in place, said Capt. Robert Gray with the Arlington County Fire and Rescue Department.
All those working in the collapsed area must wear hazmat suits, two to three layers of latex and plastic gloves, respirators and construction helmets to protect them from any kind of chemical or bacterial exposure, workers said.
"The devastation is just mind-boggling," said Old Guard Army Spc. Tim Shaw, 21, who is helping out with the effort. "Everything is just chaotic in there."
Members of Arlington and Alexandria technical rescue teams echoed Spc. Shaw's sentiment.
"The pictures you've seen on television or in the newspaper don't do the damage justice," said Capt. Mark Dalton with the Alexandria Fire and Rescue Department. "It's the most phenomenal thing I've ever seen in my career. There's destruction beyond [what] I've ever seen."
The plane's fuselage penetrated two of the building's five rings. Jet fuel from the doomed airplane has burned rooms throughout the section that was hit, and what used to be pieces of office furniture are now small lumps of dust.
"Every day you come outside the Pentagon after being inside the wreckage, it's just not the same building anymore," said Homer McElroy, an Arlington County firefighter. "I hope I never have to go through this kind of experience again."
The structural damage is so severe in spots that it takes a crew member up to eight hours to dig through the debris just to reach one of the building's columns.
"There are instances when you have to remove walls that wrapped around the columns during the explosion," said Lt. Bryon Andrews with the Alexandria Fire Department. "The damage is extensive and quite challenging."
As the recovery efforts continued, more survivors were released from area hospitals yesterday.
Walter Reed Army Medical Center officials said they released three persons, including an Army major who was brought in Monday suffering from exhaustion and stress from the recovery mission.
Three others remain at Walter Reed, including retired Navy Cmdr. Paul Gonzalez of Annandale, whose condition was upgraded from critical to fair.
Eight more patients remain at Washington Hospital Center one in serious condition, five critical and two fair.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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