User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : Scientists Still Working To ID Victims From 9/11
Posted by Randy on 2014/5/9 4:06:32 (494 reads) News by the same author

NEW YORK (AP) -- Thousands of vacuum-sealed plastic pouches filled with bits of bone rest in a Manhattan laboratory. These are the last unidentified fragments of the people who died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Click to see original Image in a new window

On Saturday, the 7,930 pouches are to be moved in a solemn procession from the city medical examiner's office to the new trade center site. They will be kept in a bedrock repository 70 feet underground in the new Sept. 11 Memorial Museum that opens May 21.

The remains will be accessible only to families of the dead and to the forensic scientists who are still trying to match the bone slivers to DNA from the more than 1,000 victims who never came home and have never been identified.

"Our commitment to return the remains to the families is as great today as it was in 2001," says Mark Desire, who oversees the four-member World Trade Center team in the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Of the 2,753 people reported missing at the World Trade Center, 1,115 victims, or 41 percent, have not been identified through a DNA match to items provided by families - toothbrushes, combs, clothing or swabs from relatives.

With ever-advancing technology yielding results that were impossible a dozen years ago, the unique genetic code gleaned from the bits of bone is the only hope for families waiting for anything tangible to officially confirm what they already know: Their loved one is dead.

In some cases, scientists have gone back to the same bone fragment 10 or 15 times, using new technology to attempt to extract DNA diminished by fire, sunlight, bacteria and even the jet fuel that poured through the towers.

Four new identifications were made this past year.

Family members have long endorsed the ongoing identification process, even as some protested this weekend's move of the remains to the museum site, which they fear could be prone to flooding.

"Don't put them in the basement," Rosemary Cain, who lost her firefighter son at the trade center, said at a protest Thursday. "Give them respect so 3,000 souls can rest in peace."

By December, the latest technology will have been applied to every remnant in the medical examiner's possession, exhausting the available methods, for now.

The question is: How long and at what cost will the forensic team keep working to identify these last 9/11 remains? The team's annual budget is $230,000, plus costs for follow-up work by other scientists and staff.

Charles Strozier, founding director of the Center on Terrorism at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said that work must continue "because our relationship to the Sept. 11 disaster hinges on being able to identify and pay respects to those who died."

"The World Trade Center attack was more cruel than death usually is, because some people were simply incinerated and those remains went into the air," Strozier said.

For Desire, it's not just a grim scientific task - it's personal.

He was under the still-standing towers minutes after the two hijacked planes hit them, having rushed down with the then-chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles Hirsch. As the towers toppled, the men were struck and bloodied by falling glass and debris.

"It's a service and an honor, working on something that has transformed American history," he said.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article

Other articles
2015/10/9 7:39:20 - Open House Fundraiser Set For Chillicothe
2015/10/9 6:33:08 - Deer Strike On I-35 In Harrison County Injures 3
2015/10/9 6:27:13 - Injury Accident North Of Milan Injures One
2015/10/9 6:22:53 - Collision In Gilman City Results In Minor Injuries
2015/10/9 5:24:30 - Caldwell County Gets New Conservation Agent In Justin Pyburn
2015/10/9 4:28:06 - Tow Truck Operator Shoots Man Who Fired At Him
2015/10/9 4:21:08 - 15-Year-Old Teen Facing Charges After Girl Says She Was Raped By Classmate In School
2015/10/9 4:14:40 - Four Arrested After Drugs And Handguns Found In Sedalia Home
2015/10/9 4:12:09 - Islamic State Flag Burned In Front Of MU Columns
2015/10/9 4:04:00 - Galt Mother Accused Of Pointing Weapon At Daughter
2015/10/9 3:57:57 - Former Trenton Man Sentenced For Producing Child Porn
2015/10/8 7:44:49 - Spickard Men Travel To Washington, DC On Heartland Honor Flight
2015/10/8 7:37:59 - NRCS Sets November 20 Deadline For Missouri Farmers And Ranchers To Apply For Assistance
2015/10/8 7:29:50 - Missouri High Schools Challenged To Drive Safe: Buckle Up Safe Driving Campaign Educates To Save Teen Lives
2015/10/8 6:50:18 - 4-H'er With Cerebral Palsy Heads To American Royal
2015/10/8 6:00:52 - Grundy County Sheriff Reports Two In Custody
2015/10/8 4:24:23 - Grundy County United Way Kicks Off Fund Drive This Saturday
2015/10/8 4:20:00 - MU Students Protest Thomas Jefferson Statue, Call For Its Removal
2015/10/8 4:08:39 - AG Koster Alerts Customers To T-Mobile, Experian Data Breach
2015/10/8 4:05:00 - Moberly Trailer Factory Plans Layoffs
2015/10/8 4:00:52 - Tractor-Trailer Goes Airborne In I-35 Accident
2015/10/8 3:58:26 - Sexual Assault Reported On MWSU Campus
2015/10/8 3:52:35 - Dangerous Building In Macon Coming Down
2015/10/7 11:56:16 - Food Prices Continue To Rise For Missourians
2015/10/7 11:34:43 - SUV Hits Farm Vehicle In Gentry County
2015/10/7 11:31:22 - Clinton County Accident Injures Maysville Man
2015/10/7 11:30:00 - Polo Bank Robber Receives Prison Sentence
2015/10/7 6:47:44 - Police Begin Death Investigation After Body Found In Hannibal Home
2015/10/7 6:43:01 - Roughly 6000 Federal Inmates To Be Released
2015/10/7 6:30:00 - Chillicothe Fire Department / Red Cross / Wellness Committee Working To Reduce Deaths, Injuries Due To Fires

Bookmark this article at these sites


Listen to KTTN-FM