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World Trade Center victim's remains identified

July 26, 2007|From Newsday

NEW YORK — The New York City medical examiner has identified the remains of another victim among more than 1,100 people who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, but whose bodies had not been found.

The medical examiner Tuesday announced that the remains found in a Con Edison manhole at ground zero in October were those of Edward Ryan, 42, of Scarsdale, N.Y.

Ryan was first vice president of Carr Futures Inc. He died along with 68 co-workers after apparently being trapped by debris that clogged stairwells in the burning tower that was hit by American Airlines Flight 11.

The chief medical examiner last year sent a letter to the families of victims whose remains had not been found, telling them that advanced DNA technology might help identify their relatives.

"I cannot say how many [we will match] or how long it will take," Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch wrote. "This is ongoing. We may have paused in our work, but we didn't stop trying."

He added: "We will never quit."

The letter was a milestone because previously, the medical examiner had told families that -- though he would keep trying -- chances were scientifically slim that future identifications would be made.

In what has become the largest DNA project in history, 20,730 human fragments found at or near the World Trade Center have been cataloged, and a database of DNA profiles of the victims has been created through personal effects such as toothbrushes and combs.

As of last year, 10,933 fragments had been linked to victims, while 9,797 awaited identification, according to Ellen Borakove, public affairs director for the city medical examiner. There were 2,749 victims killed in New York in the attacks.

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