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New World Trade Center victim identified, city ME says

Flowers are placed by the names of victims

Flowers are placed by the names of victims at the National September 11 Memorial in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2016. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Nearly 16 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and with the benefit of new DNA technology, forensic experts have identified another victim who was killed at the World Trade Center, officials said Monday.

The man, whose identity and address are being kept confidential at the request of his family, was identified through retesting of DNA from remains recovered in 2001, according to a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner’s office.

The office was able to do the retesting with DNA technology acquired earlier this year, spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said.

With the latest determination, the total number of victims identified from the World Trade Center now stands at 1,641, according to data released by the medical examiner.

DNA has been the single largest method for identifying remains, while dental records, fingerprints and personal effects have been used to a lesser extent, according to figures released Monday by the medical examiner.

A total of 1,112 people, or 40 percent, remain unidentified out of 2,753 killed at the Twin Towers, which collapsed after terrorists flew hijacked airliners into them in the 2001 attacks. The most recent previous identification was in March 2015.

The medical examiner has been conducting a continuous identification process of the remains since the attacks. Along with new technology, experts have developed better techniques to extract DNA material from bones, which often are the only remains available, Bolcer said.

Forensic experts have said over the years that more identifications are expected as DNA technology evolves, although the pace has been slow.

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