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9/11, Remembrance and Renewal: Unidentified Victims Remain

U.S. Navy Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A decade after the attacks of Sept. 11, the recovery work is still not over.  Some of the nearly 3,000 people killed in New York City have yet to be identified.

For months after 9/11, forensic teams scoured Ground Zero and recovered more than 20,000 human remains.  Ten years later, forensic biologist Mechthild Prinz says, the city medical examiner's office is still identifying victims.

"It's really very complex," Prinz says.  "There was a lot of destructive energy and the victims, some of them got very very fragmented but out of fragments you've been able to make identifications."

A team of five scientists works full-time trying to make new identifications.  So far, 59 percent of World Trade Center victims have been identified.

"Yes, we will get a few more but we will not get all of them," says Prinz.

The unidentified remains of the victims are stored on East 30th Street in a white tent. Some of these remains will be retested and hopefully identified as DNA-matching technology continues to advance. The rest will be interred back at Ground Zero at the 9/11 Memorial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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