400 bits of bone on bldg. roof
Find stuns WTC kin; say halt razing|
Workers preparing the Deutsche Bank building at
Ground Zero for demolition have found nearly 400 human bone fragments
on the roof in the past two weeks, officials revealed yesterday.
|Heavily damaged Deutsche Bank building had at least 400 human bone fragments on its roof. They were discovered this month.
The grim discovery, 41/2 years after 9/11, offered new hope that more victims could be identified.
But some family members were infuriated that the fragments went
unnoticed for so long - and said the planned razing of the damaged,
contaminated building should be halted until it is thoroughly searched.
Bill Doyle of the WTC United Family Group, whose son Joseph died in the
attacks, said his group would look into going to court to delay the
"They should stop deconstruction immediately, until every building in
that surrounding area is checked thoroughly," Doyle said. "This is my
son who could be lodged up there."
The shrouded Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty St. stands as a grim
reminder of 9/11, its facade ripped open by the collapsing south tower,
its interior choked with toxic dust.
Bought by the state, the building was scheduled to start demolition in
the coming weeks. Two weeks ago, workers began cleaning the roof and
quickly discovered 74 bone fragments. In the past three days, they
found 300 more bone fragments mixed in with the gravel that covers the
roof, city officials said.
"Many are in the size range of one-sixteenth of an inch," said Ellen
Borakove, spokeswoman for the city medical examiner's office.
Borakove said each fragment would be carefully preserved to increase
the potential for identification by DNA analysis. A city anthropologist
has been supervising the recovery since the first discovery of remains.
As of this week, 1,151 of the 2,749 people killed on 9/11 had not been
identified. The medical examiner still has more than 9,000 unidentified
The city suspended the identification process last year, but since
then, advances in technology have made more identifications possible.
The last identification was in January. City and state officials said
yesterday they expect to find more human remains as work continues
throughout the week.
The family group said many relatives are worried remains of loved ones will be lost in the rush to tear down the building.
"It's criminal what's going on up there," Doyle said. "The Deutsche
Bank is going to wind up as a burial site for my son and 1,200 others
and just swept away."
Lower Manhattan Development Corp. spokesman John Gallagher said the
agency would work to find any remains, "which will be treated with the
utmost care, respect and dignity."
News of the discoveries came as the Daily News reported that federal
officials had ordered the LMDC to come up with a better demolition plan
before work begins.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has expressed concerns
about the LMDC's plan to use heavy concrete-crushing equipment on the
top floors of the 40-story tower - and send the debris down a chute to
Originally published on April 14, 2006