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9/11 victim identified 16 years after terror attack

Another victim of the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City has been identified, according to the city medical examiner

8 August 2017, 8:23am
The male victim is the 1,641st person to be identified out of a total of 2,753 people who died in the attack
The male victim is the 1,641st person to be identified out of a total of 2,753 people who died in the attack
The remains of a man killed at the World Trade Centre on 9/11 have been identified nearly 16 years after the terror attacks.

The male victim is the 1,641st person to be identified out of a total of 2,753 people who died in the attack, meaning 40% of those who died are still unidentified.

His identity was withheld at his family’s request, the New York City medical examiner’s office said.

New, more sensitive DNA technology was deployed earlier this year and helped make the latest identification after earlier testing produced no results, the medical examiner’s office said on Monday.

As DNA testing advanced, so has the multimillion-dollar effort to connect more than 21,900 pieces of remains to individual victims. Few full bodies were recovered after the giant towers burned and collapsed, and the effects of heat, bacteria and chemicals such as jet fuel made it all the more difficult to analyse the remains.

Over time, the medical examiner’s office came to use a process that involves pulverizing the fragments to extract DNA, then comparing it to the office’s collection of genetic material from victims or their relatives. Most of the DNA profiles generated belong to previously identified victims.

Monday's announcement marked the first new identification made since March 2015. The office uses DNA testing and other means to match bone fragments to the 2,753 people killed by the hijackers who crashed airplanes into the twin towers on 11 September, 2001.

Two planes crashed in New York City that day, as well as one at the Pentagon in Virginia and another in Pennsylvania, claiming nearly 3,000 lives and injuring thousands more.