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1641st victim of 9/11 attack identified almost 16 years later

09 August 2017

Remains of 1,641 victims have been identified thus far, meaning that 40% of other victims were never identified or found.

The city's Medical Examiner identified the 1,641st victim of the September 11 terror attacks on Monday, just weeks ahead of the 16th anniversary.

The man - whose name has been withheld by USA officials at the request of his family - is the first victim to be identified since March 2015, more than two years ago.

The office was able to do the retesting with DNA technology acquired earlier this year, spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said.

DNA has been the single largest method for identifying remains, while dental records, fingerprints and personal effects have been used to a lesser extent, according to figures released Monday by the medical examiner.

New, more delicate DNA innovation was sent not long ago and helped make the most recent recognizable proof after prior testing created no outcomes, the restorative analyst's office said.

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In 2013, authorities sifted through truckloads of debris unearthed by construction crews who were working on rebuilding the site.

There are more than 21,900 pieces of remains yet unidentified.

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.

In some cases, scientists have re-examined the same bone fragment 10 or more times - hopeful that advancements in technology will provide answers. The remains were very hard to analyse as they were affected by extreme factors such as heat from the jet fuel, and the chemicals involved in the resulting explosion and collapse of the buildings.

More than 2,750 people were killed when two passenger jets destroyed the Twin Towers, the symbol of New York's financial wealth and confidence.

1641st victim of 9/11 attack identified almost 16 years later