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More 9/11 bone fragments found

In the past four days workers atop a skyscraper damaged Sept. 11, 2001, have found about 300 additional fragments of bone from victims of the terrorist attacks. That's in addition to the more than 80 pieces recovered recently and 10 fragments discovered when toxic cleanup work started last fall at the old 15-story Deutsche Bank, which is being dismantled as part of the redevelopment plan.

Nearly 300 more bone fragments found on top of WTC skyscraper

By AMY WESTFELDT
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Nearly 300 more human bone fragments were recovered in the past four days from the roof of a skyscraper badly damaged by the Sept. 11, 2001, collapse of the World Trade Center, officials said Thursday.

Workers have been going through the former Deutsche Bank building to remove toxic chemicals and trade center dust before they begin dismantling it floor by floor. They found 10 bone fragments on the rooftop when the cleanup began last fall and had found more than 80 in recent weeks.

Two fire department battalion chiefs and retired firefighters joined in the search for remains this week after some Sept. 11 family members complained that recovery experts should help the construction workers. The bone fragments, most less than 1/16 of an inch long, were found in gravel that had been raked to the sides of the roof of the 41-story skyscraper, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the city medical examiner's office. The work on the roof is expected to take another week to complete.

Part of the trade center's 110-story south tower tore through 15 stories of the Deutsche Bank building when it collapsed. The bank building, covered in black netting, has remained vacant, contaminated with asbestos, trade center dust and other chemicals.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which bought the building for $90 million and is paying to tear it down, has added an archaeologist and an investigator from the medical examiner's office to oversee the work.

The new procedures "have and will continue to yield findings of potential human remains, which will be treated with the utmost care, respect and dignity," LMDC spokesman John Gallagher said.

Fire and police officials have not been able to say in recent weeks when the Deutsche Bank building was last searched for remains or whether other buildings around the trade center site have ever been looked at.

The LMDC hopes to complete the search for remains and clean the building of toxins by June, when it wants to dismantle it. But federal environmental officials this week expressed concerns about the state rebuilding agency's plans and warned that they wouldn't approve the deconstruction without more information.

The dismantling won't begin "until such time as the regulatory team has agreed that LMDC has provided them with an acceptable plan for such work," Pat Evangelista, the World Trade Center site coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, wrote on Tuesday.

The EPA questioned a plan to use a concrete chute and other equipment that would pour debris down the side of the building, saying the agency never got approval for it.

Said Gallagher: "LMDC will expeditiously provide any further information, clarifications, enhancements or modifications to the plan that EPA requests."

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