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Search for human remains at wtc grows { October 27 2006 }

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Search for Remains at Ground Zero May Grow

By Amy Westfield
Associated Press
Friday, October 27, 2006; A07

NEW YORK, Oct. 26 -- Officials overseeing the recovery of human remains at the World Trade Center site will recommend expanding the search to several nearby roads, the Associated Press learned Thursday.

A proposal to be sent to Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler on Friday will not suggest an expanded search at Ground Zero itself, said an official familiar with the plan who was not authorized to speak publicly before the proposal was announced.

Skyler ordered city and state officials last week to compare search grids and maps of the 16-acre site with the cleanup and recovery operation after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and to come up with possibilities for a renewed search.

Utility workers discovered remains while digging at a manhole last week under a service road along the site's western edge. Workers have since uncovered more than 200 bones -- ranging from inch-long shards to full arm and leg bones.

Nine more pieces of human remains were recovered Thursday, the medical examiner's office said.

Officials acknowledge that the manhole and other underground cavities were missed during the nine-month search for the dead.

More than 750 bone fragments have been located in the past year by forensic anthropologists and construction workers on the roof of a damaged 40-story skyscraper just south of the site. Cleanup and recovery plans are under way for a former dormitory near the site that has not been searched.

Fire officials have said the department thoroughly searched buildings surrounding the site. The proposal to Skyler does not address whether crews should inspect other buildings around the site.

Skyler, who is overseeing the renewed effort to recover remains, declined to comment ahead of the presentation.

Bruce DeCell, whose family received remains of his son-in-law, Mark Petrocelli, on five occasions since the attacks, said the rooftops of area buildings should be searched again. He added that the entire search should not be handled by the city.

"I think it should be put into the federal government's hands," DeCell said, adding that city officials "really have done a haphazard job altogether."

2006 The Washington Post Company

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