Tue, Sep 11, 2018 - Page 6 News List

NYC lab still trying to identify 9/11 remains

NO GIVING UP:Only 1,642 of the 2,753 people killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center have been formally identified by the city’s medical examiner’s office

AFP, NEW YORK

In Manhattan, Desire is the only original member of the forensic team still working on the project.

“This has defined my career,” he said, a twinkle in his eye as he speaks of new technologies his is impatient to use to test the remains. “We’re very close with the families and that’s uncommon for forensic scientists. We’re all trained to be impartial, to be unbiased, to not get emotional. But the World Trade Center is different.”

In 2001, the head of the forensic office, Charles Hirsch, understood that time would be an ally in the effort to identify the remains, and he ordered that all the remains be conserved.

Teams from all over the world now come to New York to learn from the team.

When meeting with families of the victims, Desire said the team talks “about the future, what we’re working on right now that helps making more identifications.”

Those who today serve as experts in his lab “were probably in elementary or grade school at the time” of the attacks, Desire said with a smile. “But they see how important it is.”

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