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Sifting of WTC debris begins in search for traces of victims

Posted: 1:03 PM, Apr 01, 2013
Updated: 2013-04-01 19:22:22-04

A new effort to identify human remains of World Trade Center victims is under way, but  is already getting some opposition.

Starting Monday, 60 dump trucks of debris from construction areas around the site will be sifted through for any traces of the 2,753 people who were killed in the attack on the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001. The debris has been gathered over two years from the construction of a vehicle security center, as well as the World Financial Center and other areas. The remains of only 1,634 have been identified, 34 of those since 2006.

But a group of victims’ families are asking state officials to halt the action.

The group is calling for an investigation into the medical examiner’s handling of DNA of the victims.

“How can we be certain that the same practices that allowed over 50 DNA samples to be mishandled as well as DNA evidence in 26 rape cases to go undetected (at the medical examiner’s office) will not likewise taint the DNA investigation process of our heroes and loved ones of 9/11 as well,” the statement says.

The city has said a new system for examining the debris will be used at the site of the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, CNN reports.