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Suffolk workers' prayers for bereaved

PUBLISHED: 16:05 13 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010

EMPLOYEES at businesses across Suffolk were today extending thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those missing or killed in the terror attacks on New York's World Trade Centre.

EMPLOYEES at businesses across Suffolk were today extending thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those missing or killed in the terror attacks on New York's World Trade Centre.

Hundreds of workers at Ipswich energy provider TXU were emailed today by senior company executives Paul Marsh and Phil Turberville.

The e mail read: "Sadly, we have to inform you that some close friends and relatives of a small number of TXU employees as well as a number of close business associates in the financial community were in and around the trade centre at the time of the attack and are unaccounted for."

A TXU spokesman said those unaccounted for were not company employees but workers at companies with close links to it.

TXU is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has ties with financial institutions across the world.

The email was a private message within the company to "express our sympathy for people we've worked that may have been lost in the tragedy," the spokesman said.

Employees at Willis were being offered the opportunity to write in a book of condolences, which will be available at the company's offices in Ipswich and London.

Spokesman Nicolas Jones said: "We have offices in Lower Manhattan just a few minutes walk from the World Trade Centre but I'm pleased to say that all of our colleagues have been accounted for.

"Many of us have friends who worked for Marsh and Aon – the other global insurance brokers – who had offices in the World Trade Centre and words cannot express what an extraordinarily traumatic time this has been."

Mr Jones added that Willis had now successfully moved their offices in Lower Manhattan to New Jersey.

A spokeswoman for Lloyds TSB, who have branches in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Stowmarket and Woodbridge, said: "It's a terrible tragedy and we are just incredibly relieved that all of our staff are save. All our sympathies go out to those involved," she said.

Staff at the Ipswich branch of Royal and Sun Alliance are praying that colleagues from their insurance group will turn up safe and well from the carnage that once was the World Trade Centre.

A spokesman for the company today said all their American staff who had occupied one of the floors in the giant building had been evacuated in time.

"But we cannot account for six members of staff that were visiting clients at the time," said the spokesman.

"There is such confusion in New York and there is every hope that these people who are presently missing are caught up in the confusion. We will continue to hope that everything will be all right."

At Norwich Union, which has offices in Ipswich, a spokesman for the company said: "We have an office in Boston so we were very lucky but obviously our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives."

At Ipswich stockbrokers Charles Stanley staff are "grateful" not to have heard of personal losses.

Charles Sylvester, at the Northgate Street firm, said: "Working in the world of finance it should almost be a foregone conclusion that we would know of people or at least companies that have been caught up in this horror.

"But gratefully and thankfully, I can report that no one we know or indeed is connected to any Suffolk firm of stock brokers. It is a relief for us but in no way does it diminish the concern and compassion we feel for all those lost lives and their loved ones," he added.

AXA Insurance, which has offices in Ipswich, also has offices in New York although they are situated in mid Manhattan and not in the immediate vicinity of the World Trade Centre.

The company's media relations manager Phil Hickley today said: "Our offices have not been directly impacted by the terrorist activity although to a degree the whole of New York has been affected.

"It is still too soon to say with any certainty that no American employees have been directly affected. Hopefully that position will become clear in the coming days."

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