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A Marriott spokesperson stopped just short of confirming reports that the chain’s World Trade Center property is on the verge of collapse but quoted a just-released a bulletin stating the structure “has suffered severe damage.” The chain’s other downtown property, the Financial Center Marriott, has suffered limited damage, the bulletin says.

Both hotels were evacuated and searched prior to the collapse of Number Two World Trade Center, the first tower to collapse after hijacked commercial jets crashed into both buildings, according to Marriott spokesperson Stephanie Hampton. Two Marriott employees remain unaccounted for.

Marriott is using five New York-area properties as “sheltering hotels” for downtown hotel guests who were forced to evacuate, Hampton said. Last night, cots were set up at the Marriott Marquis in Midtown Manhattan to accommodate the overflow.

Hampton tells GlobeSt.com that Marriott officials are not allowed to enter either of the affected properties and says that it is impossible at this time to predict the fate of the buildings. “We’re working very closely with authorities and we’re taking their lead,” Hampton says. “It’s very obvious that both hotels sustained very serious damage.”

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