NEW YORK (AP) – The city broadened its search for human remains at ground zero Friday, expanding the effort to a service road and several nearby streets, buildings and rooftops that may have been missed in the cleanup after the Sept. 11 attacks.

City and state officials said debris from the World Trade Center could have been packed beneath a 60-foot-wide service road that was rebuilt in March 2002.

“A layer of debris may still exist” just below the road on the western edge of the site, according to a report issued by the city’s Department of Design and Construction and the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center.

Workers have found more than 200 pieces of remains inside manholes along the road since utility workers discovered bones inside a manhole last week.

Excavation continued Friday inside a dozen manholes and underground cavities that officials have acknowledged were missed during the initial cleanup of the site and search for the dead. No additional remains were located.

Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler had ordered officials to come up with possibilities for a renewed search. He said Friday’s report “makes it clear that we have much more work to do.”

Family members said the search should include more buildings and rooftops and be headed by a military agency that specializes in recovering missing service members from all wars. More than 40 percent of the 2,749 victims killed at the trade center have not been identified.

“We’re not drilling for oil here,” said Charles Wolf, who has no remains of his wife, Katherine. He said the entire service road should be looked at. “Unless you dig the whole road up, you’re going to miss something.”

The report also recommended digging beneath the site of a destroyed church and searching a 40-story damaged skyscraper near ground zero, as well as combing a dormitory and another damaged building.

In addition, it called for sweeping the rooftops of a hotel and another skyscraper that is home to two lower Manhattan rebuilding agencies and the foundation in charge of building the Sept. 11 memorial.

Both buildings have gravel on their rooftops. Officials could not confirm whether the gravel had been removed or replaced since Sept. 11, the report said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would accept the report’s recommendations.

“I hope that the actions we are taking will assure everyone that we are doing everything in our power to find their friends, colleagues and loved ones,” Bloomberg said.

The report said the rest of the site – where a skyscraper, transit hub and trade center memorial are under construction – is likely free of remains.

“It’s been cleaned,” Bloomberg said earlier Friday on his weekly radio show. “There’s no chance of anything else.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.