NEW YORK – Construction workers cleaning toxic waste from a vacant skyscraper near the World Trade Center site have found more bone fragments and human remains, officials said Tuesday.
The city medical examiner's office plans to extract DNA from the latest remains to be recovered from the former Deutsche Bank building and try to match it against a database of the 2,749 people killed at the trade center on Sept. 11, 2001, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the city medical examiner's office.
Fire Department crews had inspected the building in the months following the attacks, but construction workers clearing gravel off the rooftop found 10 bone fragments there last fall.
The new remains were found in recent weeks by crews doing a more thorough cleaning before construction workers begin dismantling the building in June, said John Gallagher, spokesman for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.
Some victims' family members said forensic experts should search the 41-story building again.
"I'm not trying to malign the construction workers, but this is not what they're trained to do," said Diane Horning, whose son was killed at the trade center and has filed suit to remove trade center debris from a landfill where victims' remains were found.
More than 40 percent of the victims at the trade center have not been identified. The medical examiner's office is storing more than 9,000 unidentified remains and hope that more sophisticated DNA technology can allow for identifications in the future.
Borakove said that two human remains were found Jan. 27 on the 38th floor of the building. She could not say what the remains were or how big they were. Last Friday, workers found two bone fragments on the roof, she said.
"They are definitely human," Borakove said.
The Deutsche Bank building has been vacant since the terrorist attacks, when part of the south tower tore a gash in the building. Deconstruction of the building, which is contaminated with asbestos, lead and trade center dust, began in September.