Construction workers told to search for human remains

After the recent discovery of 74 bone fragments, construction workers are being asked to search for human remains as they deconstruct buildings around the World Trade Center.

Workers discovered the bone fragments on the rooftop of a vacant skyscraper across from the World Trade Center site during the first weekend in April. It was the largest discovery of human remains since cleanup of the building began last fall, officials told the Associated Press. Deconstruction of the building, which is contaminated with asbestos, lead and trade center dust, began last September.

Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner, told AP workers still had more than 100 yards of material to rake through on the roof and said the discovery of additional remains wouldn’t surprise her.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corp., whose workers are involved in the deconstruction and rebuilding of the vacant building, has instructed its workers to look for human remains and notify the medical examiner’s office if they find them.

Some relatives of 9/11 victims don’t like the idea of LMDC using its workers to search for remains. They have urged the development group to have forensic experts search the building first, and some plan to ask Mayor Michael Bloomberg to require a team from the medical examiner’s office to be on the site at all times.

“This is an abomination that we are putting this on construction workers,” said Sally Regenhard, the mother of a firefighter killed at the trade center.

DNA testing will be done on the remains, which will be stored indefinitely if they can’t be linked to anyone. So far, none of the remains found at the building have been positively identified.