A New Search For 9/11 Victims' Remains

NPR icon by Lauren Hodges
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Mark Lennihan

About 60 dump trucks full of debris from the fallen World Trade Center will be sifted for victims' remains beginning Monday. The debris was collected for the past two and a half years from construction sites in the neighborhood.

The New York Daily News reports that family members of 9/11 victims received emails from New York City officials on Friday, alerting them to the 10-week, multi-agency operation that will take place at the city forensic unit on Staten Island. A memo attached to the email was from Deputy Mayor for Operations Caswell Holloway addressed to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"We will continue DNA testing until all recovered remains that can be matched with a victim are identified," Holloway wrote in his memo.

NBC New York calculated that the debris amounted to 590 cubic yards.

"...38 from the WTC, 13 from the western edge of the southbound lanes of West Street and 539 from the Liberty Street area, where four pieces of possible human remains have already been found."

USA Today reports that of the 2,750 people who died in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, only 1,634 have been identified.

The city revitalized search efforts for victims' remains in 2006 when bones were found in a manhole. Since then, 34 victims have been identified and 2,345 human remains have been found. The city medical examiner's office is leading the operation.

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