FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ACCEPTS REPORT ON EXPANDED SEARCH FOR THOSE LOST DURING ATTACK ON WORLD TRADE CENTER
Mayor Orders Comprehensive Searches for Remains Underground, on Rooftops and in Buildings
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today accepted recommendations contained in a report from Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner David J. Burney and Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) Executive Director Charles J. Maikish which recommended expanding the current search for human remains at and near the World Trade Center site. After human remains were found during an excavation by Con Edison, Deputy Mayor for Administration Edward Skyler requested the report last Friday in an emergency meeting with high-ranking officials from various City agencies, State agencies, and private utilities, including DDC, LMCCC, the Police Department, Fire Department, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), Office of Emergency Management, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Metropolitan Transportation Authority, State Department of Transportation, Battery Park City Authority, Verizon, and Con Edison. Representatives from the same organizations convened again this afternoon at City Hall for a briefing on the report and to discuss its implementation.
"Last week's discovery caused every New Yorker pain, especially those who lost someone close to them during the 9/11 attacks,” Mayor Bloomberg said. "I hope that the actions we are taking will assure everyone that we are doing everything in our power to find their friends, colleagues and loved ones. I would like to thank Commissioner Burney and LMCCC Executive Director Maikish for their hard work in making these recommendations.”
"Over the past week, a team of dedicated professionals from the City, State and private utilities have worked tirelessly in the search for human remains at the World Trade Center site,” Deputy Mayor Skyler said. "Today's report makes it clear that we have much more work to do. We will start immediately by planning the implementation of these recommendations so that those we lost may rest in peace.”
Although the report finds that the vast majority of the site had been thoroughly searched and is free of human remains, it recommends the continued excavations on the haul road where remains have been recovered (the haul road runs parallel to West Street, from Vesey to Liberty Streets, along the western edge of the World Trade Center site); the exploratory excavation of the 140 Liberty Street parcel, the former site of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church; the searching of selected subterranean structures in neighboring streets, such as Con Edison, Verizon, and DEP manholes (at the Mayor's request, these searches will exceed the report's recommendations because all the material from these locations will be removed and sifted by OCME); and the development of protocols for future construction on the site which would include having the City's Medical Examiner on site to observe all future construction in areas that have not been excavated since 9/11. This work will continue to be coordinated with the Port Authority and no construction delays are anticipated as a result.
In addition, OCME will sift through the rooftops of two buildings, One Liberty Plaza and the Millennium Hotel to make sure there are no human remains. All the rooftops of area buildings have been visually inspected but the roofs of those two buildings have ballast surfaces, making a visual search inconclusive. Finally, OCME will search through damaged areas and areas exposed to the environment on 9/11 in the Deutsche Bank building (130 Liberty Street), Fiterman Hall (30 West Broadway), and 130 Cedar Street to make sure there are no human remains within the buildings.
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Download the report (pdf)