Updated at 9.36am: Almost 5,000 people have been confirmed dead or missing in the terrorist attack on New York City. In one of the first indications of the magnitude of the loss of life, Mayor Rudy Giuliani said in a press conference late on Thursday (HK time) that 95 people had been killed. Of those, only 46 have been identified. More seriously, another 4,763 people are missing. Most of them are presumed dead as well, their bodies pulverised when the World Trade Centre collapsed. The number of missing will probably increase as the search continues and authorities gain more control over the situation. The first casualty report put the missing at 3,500, but the higher figure was released after the first few hours of daylight in New York. Mr Giuliani said the incredible devastation caused by the collapsing buildings has made the recovery process difficult, both physically and mentally, for the thousands of rescue workers sifting through the wreckage. ''We have the gruesome and horrible situation in which we recover only parts of bodies. We have 70 in that category. I'm sorry that I have to describe it that way. It's unfortunately the way things are,'' he said. Missing persons posters now blanket public spaces in the Manhattan area with passionate pleas for information about family members and friends. The city has ordered 6,000 body bags, but Mr Giuliani said that is not an indication of how many are presumed to be dead. Some 6,000 tonnes of rubble have been removed from the disaster site so far. It is estimated that the total size of the crumbled buildings will amount to 500,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, an air quality scare has emerged, as a cloud of toxic dust lingers over Manhattan. Officials say air tests are being done, especially for asbestos. Most people who go to the area have taken to wearing masks in order to protect themselves.