New DNA technology identifies 9/11 victim 16 years after terror attack

Toni Houston
August 9, 2017

The remains of a man killed in the terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, have been identified almost 16 years after the deadly 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.

The city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner had been re-testing DNA recovered in 2001 using new, more sensitive testing, reports the BBC.

The man is the first 9/11 victim to be identified since March 2015, when officials announced the identity of Matthew David Yarnell, a 26-year-old resident of Jersey City, New Jersey, who worked on the 97th floor of the south tower. His remains were recovered at Ground Zero in 2001.

The man's name was being withheld upon request from his family.

As DNA testing advanced, so has the multimillion-dollar effort to connect more than 21,900 bits of remains to individual victims. Most of the DNA profiles generated belong to previously identified victims.

Over time, the medical examiner's office came to use a process that involves pulverising the fragments to extract DNA, then comparing them to the office's collection of genetic material from victims or their relatives.

Now and again, researchers have backpedaled to a similar bone section at least 10 times, trusting new innovation will give answers.

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