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Post Office Holding Mail For World Trade Center

Aired October 2, 2001 - 14:24   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: We've told you many times that at the World Trade Center 50,000 people came to work every day. Thousands more would pass through the center for a variety of business reasons. It was so big had its own zip code. And today, even, thousand of pieces of mail continue to get delivered to post offices in New York.

For more on how they handle that. here is CNN's Beth Nissen.

BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There were some of the highest prestige business addresses in the world -- One World Trade Center, Two World Trade Center, seven Trade Center buildings in all.

The business headquarters for more than 1,000 companies and organizations. A complex so large it had its own zip code, 10048.

PAT MCGOVERN, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: The World Trade Center complex received about 85,000 pieces of mail a day. We have 7 letter carriers that deliver to that complex alone. Seven carrier routes in there. That's more than many American cities have.

NISSEN: The World Trade Center letter carriers ,all of whom escaped unharmed on September 11. Rescued a million pieces of dusty mail and quickly set up a sorting station in the city's main post office. They go through trays and bins and carts full of mail for World Trade Center addresses that no longer exist. Mail addressed to people they saw every day, to people they don't know if they will ever see again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see the address. I see the name, and I see those people's faces. It affects us deeply. You know, we don't know who is gone and who is not gone. We have that on our mind every day.

NISSEN: For 27 years Emma Thornton delivered mail from the 78th floor to 110th floor of the North Tower.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every room, every room I went to, every suite I went to, I knew somebody.

NISSEN: She knows the fates of some.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know a young lady on the 79th floor, she didn't make it, a young lady on the 93rd floor, she didn't make it, and a young lady on the 80th floor, she didn't make it.

NISSEN: Hundreds of thousands of pieces of mail have yet to be collected.

MCGOVERN: Larger companies are in the process of relocating. Some are picking their mail up every couple of days.

NISSEN: And the post office knows some of the mail here is addressed to people who are no longer alive. The post office will hold unclaimed mail for three months, then deal with it according to policy for what, until just a few weeks ago, were called "dead letters."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something personal about the mail that people just relate to it. The mail is important. We have to keep the mail going. We will keep the mail going.

Beth Nissen, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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