nyc searches sewer line for 9/11 remains

nyc searches sewer line for 9/11 remainsfrom washington post: The city has finished searching a service road and a skyscraper hovering over the World Trade Center site for remains of Sept. 11 victims, and it has turned its search to a sewer line running beneath ground zero.

City officials found a total of 646 human bone fragments in a service road after digging up the path and hand-sifting the debris, deputy mayor Ed Skyler wrote in a Friday memo. The road had carried construction trucks in and out of ground zero.

Across from the site, workers over the past two years found another 785 bone fragments at a 40-story vacant skyscraper that is being razed. Searching of the lower floors of the former Deutsche Bank building and of the service road ended this week, Skyler said.

The city still needs to search more than 1,000 cubic yards of debris recovered from former ramps that led to the trade center and is searching a sewer line beneath ground zero where eight bones have been found so far, Skyler said.

Digging is complete at the site of a destroyed Greek Orthodox church. Eight pieces of remains were found during that excavation, and more than half of the recovered debris will be hand-sifted.

Another part of the site still to be searched is a grass-covered area near construction of a transit hub and a subway line, Skyler said. Officials who oversaw the 2001-2002 cleanup had said that area was not completely searched before the site was turned over to its owner in May 2002.

The yearlong search will be over in November, Skyler said. It began in October 2006 when utility workers found bones in a manhole at the ground zero service road.

Many Sept. 11 family members have criticized the search, saying the city is rushing to finish it and hasn't provided enough information about the techniques it has used.

"How many times have they finished it? They finished Deutsche Bank three times... They're just going as fast as they can," said Diane Horning, a leading critic of the city's search. Her son, Matthew, was killed at the trade center on Sept. 11.