NEW YORK (AP) – Human remains from the World Trade Center site have been found by utility workers, a city official said Thursday.

Consolidated Edison workers found remains at the downtown Manhattan site, took them to a natural gas vehicle fueling station more than a mile to the north and then called the medical examiner’s office to have them identified, office spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said.

“The remains came from down there,” Borakove said, referring to the trade center site. “How they got to 29th Street and 11th Avenue, I don’t know.”

She said she didn’t know when the remains were found, and she didn’t describe them.

The area was roped off, and investigators were sifting through dirt under a white tarp. The team of workers included forensic anthropologists who are overseeing the medical examiner’s massive effort to identify Sept. 11 trade center victims.

Five years after 2,749 people died in the World Trade Center attack, families of about 1,150 victims still have not received word that their loved ones’ remains were found amid the rubble. During the excavation of the 110-story twin towers, which began the evening of the attacks and lasted for nine months, about 20,000 pieces of remains were found.

The DNA in thousands of those pieces, many small enough to slip into a test tube, was too damaged by heat, humidity and time to yield matches in the many tests forensic scientists have tried over the years.

The city told victims’ families last year that it was putting the project on hold, possibly for years, until new DNA technology was developed. Every known process had been tried.

But last month, Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch said that advances had been made by Bode Technology Group, the Virginia company contracted to work on recovered Sept. 11 bone fragments, and that “new identifications will be forthcoming.”

Borakove said Thursday that no new IDs had been made but they still were expected.

Besides the new remains found by the utility workers, the lab also has recently received hundreds of bone fragments discovered on the roof of a building just south of where the trade center stood. The building had been condemned since the attacks and was about to be torn down when workers found the bone pieces.



Associated Press writer Sara Kugler contributed to this report.


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