NEW YORK (WABC) -- Two more victims of the September 11th terror attack on the World Trade Center were positively identified, city officials announced Friday.
The man and woman were the 1,648th and 1,649th people to be identified since September 2001, but they are the first victims to be identified since September 2021.
Their names are being withheld at the request of their families.
The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner used advanced DNA testing of remains recovered from the attack to properly identify the two victims.
The man's identity was confirmed through DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001. The woman was identified through DNA of remains recovered in 2001, 2006, and 2013.
After almost two decades of negative results, OCME used recently adopted next-generation sequencing technology which is used by the U.S. military. The technique used is more sensitive and rapid than conventional DNA techniques.
New York Mayor Eric Adams and Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jason Graham were present for the announcement.
"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," said Dr. Graham.
Approximately 40% of those who died, approximately 1,104 people, remain unidentified.
"We hope these new identifications can bring some measure of comfort to the families of these victims," said Mayor Adams. "The ongoing efforts by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner attest to the city's unwavering commitment to reunite all the World Trade Center victims with their loved ones."
In addition to the two new identifications, OCME was able to identify 60 human remains associated with previously identified victims.
After 9/11, OCME made a solemn promise to continue testing fragments of remains as DNA technology evolves in order to identify as many victims as possible.
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