Two victims of the September 11 attacks have been identified by advanced DNA testing days before the 22nd anniversary.
Monday marks 22 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center that destroyed the Twin Towers and killed 2,977 victims.
Both a man and a woman have been identified; their names are being withheld at the families’ request.
New York City’s medical examiner has been testing the remains of the attack victims, which are all stored in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site. The process is being carried out in order to return the victims to their families.
A positive identification match has not been made in two years, since September 2021, until a few days ago. Before this, the last match was made in 2019.
The examiner tests body fragments that were recovered after the towers had fallen, and uses cutting-edge DNA sequencing to try to match an identity to the remains.
“More than 20 years after the disaster, these two new identifications continue to fulfil a solemn pledge that OCME made to return the remains of World Trade Center victims to their loved ones,” Dr Jason Graham, New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) said in a statement on Friday.
“As we prepare to mark the anniversary of September 11, our thoughts turn to those we lost on that terrible morning and their families who continue to live every day with the pain of missing loved ones,” Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, also added. “We hope these new identifications can bring some measure of comfort to the families of these victims,
So far, the examiner has been able to link 1,649 victims to an identity since they started testing.
There are still 1,104 human remains left to be tested and identified stored at the memorial.
"Faced with the largest and most complex forensic investigation in the history of our country, we stand undaunted in our mission to use the latest advances in science to serve this promise," Dr Graham said, determined to identify the remaining 40 per cent of victims.
The annual ceremony will be held in Lower Manhattan today, starting at 8.25am, to remember all the victims who lost their lives in the attack. There will be a reading of all the names of those who were killed.