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Search shifts for remains of 9/11 victims

March 12, 2007|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — The search for remains of Sept. 11 victims has moved across the street from the former World Trade Center to the lot of a destroyed church, where important relics, including the bones of three saints, may also be buried.

Since October, more than 400 bones have been unearthed from the debris of a service road that construction trucks used to get in and out of the site after the 2001 attacks. The city, which oversaw the original cleanup, is conducting a new search to find more remains of the 2,749 victims. About 40% of the victims have not had remains identified.

Last week, two bones were recovered where St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church used to be and where new digging has begun, said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Debris from both towers collapsed onto the church and its parking lot. In the months after the attacks, some relics were returned to the St. Nicholas congregants. But the most precious one is still missing -- a safe that contains church documents and a small enamel box containing three bone fragments less than a half-inch long.

The bones are believed to be those of St. Nicholas, St. Sava and St. Katherine.

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