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Hunt still on for 9/11 remains

July 04, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — A goal to end the search for human remains at the World Trade Center site by the fall is not realistic, and the effort will continue "for the foreseeable future," a city official said Tuesday.

The city medical examiner's office will maintain a presence at the site indefinitely while construction continues in case excavations unearth more human remains, Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler said in a memo to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

The hope to finish searching by this fall "is no longer attainable," he wrote.

"Our experience over the last nine months and the ongoing rebuilding of the World Trade Center site and surrounding area suggest that search operations will continue in one form or another for the foreseeable future," Skyler said.

Construction and the remains search have continued to unearth debris from the fallen twin towers under roads and possibly in ground where families gather each year to mark the Sept. 11 anniversary, Skyler wrote.

Hundreds of human bones, ranging from fragments to full arm and leg bones, have been found since October and continue to be recovered daily in an intensive city-led search.

City officials have searched manholes, rooftops, sewer lines, a service road at ground zero and under a state highway, sometimes finding steel and debris from the destroyed towers mixed in with the remains.

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