Another World Trade Center Victim Identified, Nearly 16 Years After 9/11 Terror Attacks - NBC New York

Another World Trade Center Victim Identified, Nearly 16 Years After 9/11 Terror Attacks

Monday's announcement marks the first time since March 2015 that remains of a Sept. 11 World Trade Center victim have been identified

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The New York City medical examiner's office has identified the 1,641st victim from the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center nearly 16 years ago. Michael George reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017)

    What to Know

    • The name of the male victim has not been released; he is the 1,641st victim of the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center to be identified

    • Monday's announcement marks the first time a Sept. 11 World Trade Center victim has been identified since March 2015

    • Roughly 1,112 victims -- about 40 percent of the 2,753 victims in the New York attacks -- have yet to be identified

    The New York City medical examiner's office said Monday it has positively identified another set of remains from the 9/11 terror attacks at the World Trade Center, yet 16 years after two hijacked planes flew into the twin towers, about 40 percent of the families who lost loved ones are still waiting for that call. 

    The name of the man most recently identified was withheld at his family's request, the New York City medical examiner's office said. Monday's announcement marks the first time since March 2015 that remains of a Sept. 11 World Trade Center victim have been identified.

    His identification was confirmed through DNA retesting. He is the 1,641 victim of the 2,753 killed at the lower Manhattan site that day to be identified; 40 percent of those killed have not had their remains identified. The city says it is still working to bring closure to the families of the other 1,112.  

    The medical examiner's office has been retesting human remains recovered during the original recovery at ground zero, collected before May 2002.

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    New, more sensitive DNA technology was deployed earlier this year and helped make the latest identification after earlier testing produced no results, the medical examiner's office said.

    As DNA testing advanced, so has the multimillion-dollar effort to connect more than 21,900 bits of remains to individual victims. Few full bodies were recovered after the giant towers burned and collapsed, and the effects of heat, bacteria and chemicals such as jet fuel made it all the more difficult to analyze the remains.

    Over time, the medical examiner's office came to use a process that involves pulverizing the fragments to extract DNA, then comparing it to the office's collection of genetic material from victims or their relatives. Most of the DNA profiles generated belong to previously identified victims.

    In some cases, scientists have gone back to the same bone fragment 10 or more times, hoping new technology will provide answers.

    In 2013, authorities sifted through truckloads of debris unearthed by construction crews working on the rebuilding. Possible remains of more than 20 victims were recovered.

    Nearly 3,000 people were killed in New York, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in the attacks. 

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