Pentagon names 84 more victims

Repair to building will cost `certainly more than $100 million'

Terrorism Strikes America

Returning To The Skies

September 15, 2001|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon released yesterday the names of 84 more people, including 18 Marylanders, presumed dead in Tuesday's terrorist attack and said that the building itself, a 6 million-square-foot fortress once considered impregnable, will require hundreds of millions of dollars and years to repair.

The men and women named are among 190 presumed fatalities caused by the crash of American Airlines Flight 77, hijacked by terrorists, into the southwestern side of the Pentagon Tuesday morning. (A full list of the Marylanders appears on Page 11A.)

In all, the Army's estimated death toll is 74; the Navy's, 42; and other Defense Department agencies', 10. The plane carried 64 passengers and crew members to their deaths.

Restoring the Pentagon, already in the midst of a large-scale renovation, will be a "multiyear" effort and will cost "less than a billion [dollars] but certainly more than $100 million by quite a bit," said John F. Irby, who oversees the building's maintenance.

"We took a big hit, but two-thirds of the building is operating in a normal manner," Irby said.

It was a day of odd juxtapositions at the building, where business continued even as hundreds of people clasped hands in a tearful noon prayer service and public affairs officers continued to compile the names of those still missing.

"We're in pain, and we're also angry," said Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, chief of staff of the Army, which immediately dispatched family support officers to the homes of those on the list.

The Army's support of families consists of "everything from the chaplain's side of things, to the financial side to ensure people understand the benefits package, to explaining how the [rescue] operation is going," Army Secretary Thomas E. White said in an interview.

Early yesterday, searchers found the flight data and cockpit voice recorders in the wreckage of the plane. The FBI said the voice recorder was damaged, and it was uncertain whether information from it could be recovered.

Pentagon and fire officials were closely monitoring a concrete and steel roof deck over the recovery area, which they said was still in danger of collapsing. "It's in an extremely precarious area, and it could destabilize the entire incident scene," said James Schwartz, assistant fire chief in Arlington County, Va.

While the recovery operation continued yesterday, there was little hope of pulling anyone out alive. Mostly, the survivors of the crash were people who fled the blast on their own.

"I don't think any of us really believes there will be a live find," said Dr. Edward Bessman, an emergency physician from Johns Hopkins' Bayview Medical Center who was part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency search and rescue team.

One problem was that the floors collapsed like pancakes, leaving few "void spaces" where people might survive, he said.

Yet another heroic tale emerged yesterday.

Army Lt. Col. Ted Anderson, a veteran of the Persian Gulf war, helped save a handful of wounded from the burning building before firefighters ordered him to leave before the section collapsed.

"For me, this was the battlefield, and I was being prevented from rescuing my comrades. You don't leave your buddy on the battlefield," Anderson said.

Before being instructed to evacuate, Anderson said, he helped rescue two bleeding women who had apparently been blown from their offices and pulled a severely burned man out of harm's way.

Even in sections of the building that were operating yesterday, there was evidence of the blast.

Near a fifth-floor auditorium, where 350 people gathered for a prayer service, passers-by gazed out windows at blown-out windows and missing sections of roof.

"If you're having a difficult time, if you know someone who is having a difficult time, you can come down to my office," Pentagon Chaplain Henry Haynes told attendees.

As they do their jobs, it is critical for the service members to reflect on what has happened, said Howard T. Patton, a Protestant minister from Bolling Air Force Base. He led a separate Protestant service at the Pentagon in the afternoon.

"We must realize that God is the one in control," Patton said. "This is about keeping the faith, keeping the hope, going on with your lives no matter what you're going through."

Sun staff writers Jonathan Bor and Laura Sullivan contributed to this article.

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