NEW YORK – New DNA testing has identified human remains recovered years ago from the World Trade Center wreckage as a flight attendant and passenger from American Airlines Flight 11, the first hijacked plane to crash on Sept. 11, 2001.
Remains of a third victim also have been identified, but his family asked that his name not be released, the city's medical examiner's office announced Wednesday.
The newly identified remains had been with the medical examiner's office for years, but even now, human bones are still being found at the site as construction begins at ground zero on the planned Freedom Tower.
The city announced Wednesday that it plans to hire up to 10 more forensic anthropologists to join the search for additional human remains, a project that could stretch well into next year, Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler said Wednesday.
"We will make sure we have the appropriate resources to do this job," said Skyler, who is overseeing the recovery. "The mayor's orders were very clear: 'Do what needs to be done."'
Some victims' families say it still isn't enough.
They planned to rally at the site Thursday afternoon to call for federal intervention and an expanded search for remains at the site. The families of about 40 percent of those killed at the attack have yet to received DNA confirmation of their remains.
"Hiring extra anthropologists is a recognition that they realize the job they have to do," said Charles Wolf, whose wife was killed on Sept. 11. "But doing the job and doing it right are two different matters. How are you going to manage this?"
The current search was prompted by the discovery last month of hundreds of pieces of human bone in an abandoned manhole.
Some 200 pieces of bone and other remains have been found since the accidental discovery by utility workers doing routine work along the western edge of the Manhattan site.
Officials have said the manhole had been paved over and forgotten when a service road was built there in the midst of excavating the Twin Towers' rubble.
After the discovery, city officials identified about 10 more manholes and pockets under the road and ordered them to be excavated immediately and sifted for remains.
The work involves tearing up parts of side streets, exploring the rooftops of selected buildings near the 16-acre site and excavating more manholes beyond the dozen the city is already exploring.
The newly identified remains belonged to flight attendant Karen Martin of Danvers, Mass.; Douglas Stone of Dover, N.H.; and a man whose family asked that his name not be released, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office.
The identifications were made after the families submitted additional DNA samples to the medical examiner's lab, Borakove said. She declined to comment further on their cases. The medical examiner has occasionally requested additional DNA while tried to identify the remains of the 2,749 victims.
Since the bones were found last month, some families have pushed for the city to bring in the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a military forensic unit that specializes in finding soldiers who went missing long ago.