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Workers Find Body Parts Amid Ruins
AP | 10/26/01 | TOM HAYS Associated Press Writer

Posted on 10/26/2001 12:12:42 PM PDT by kattracks

NEW YORK (AP) - Finding a hand or a mere bone fragment is considered a success at the former landfill where hundreds of workers are picking through the ruins of the World Trade Center.

Discovering anything that might identify one of the thousands of people still listed as missing can boost the morale of search crews, said Deputy Police Inspector James Luongo, who is in charge of the ghastly work.

``You may not be able to help the dead, but you can help the living,'' he said.

Unlike the well-publicized recovery operation in Manhattan, the city's other ground zero is on a desolate, wind-swept plateau of household waste on Staten Island. Fresh Kills, one of the world's largest dumps before it closed last year, was reopened last month as arguably the world's largest crime lab.

There are 800 people at work here, some of them in plastic white suits, looking for human remains and potential clues.

The landfill, its name taken from the Dutch words for fresh stream, has yielded a grim harvest of body parts and personal belongings. The work here is expected to take months.

At the feet of Linda Klepinger, a volunteer anthropologist from the University of Illinois, sits a bucket labeled ``ANIMAL BONES.'' She uses a toothbrush to scrub the bone fragment found one recent day, deciding it might be part of wrist instead of chicken bone from a restaurant meal.

``When you're working, you're OK,'' she said of her task. ``It's later you have to worry.''

As Detective Darryl Hayes put it: ``If you're a human being, you're going to feel some emotion. But you suck it up and deal with it.''

The search effort once relied solely on workers armed with rakes and pitchforks, crews that had to fight turf wars with seagulls. But over the past five weeks, an assembly line has emerged.

Barges deliver the debris - 300,000 tons of it so far - and huge dump trucks haul it to the 130-acre search site. Cranes separate steel beams and other heavy wreckage: flattened fire trucks and police cruisers, an engine of one of the doomed jetliners, an elevator motor the size of a washing machine.

The rest ends up in mechanical sifters and conveyer belts, or spread on the ground so detectives and federal agents in protective gear can examine it.

The seagulls have been scared off by firecracker-firing guns. But the debris still brings with it the acrid smell familiar at ground zero.

The stench ``sticks in your throat,'' said one detective, Tony Rivera. ``It's hot out there. It smells. But you want to do the work.''

One recent day, search crews found an ace of diamonds playing card, a doorknob, a pair of security guard pants, a woman's black wig and a pink toothbrush.

Personal effects are catalogued in hopes they can be returned to families of the victims. But investigators fear that many items, including jewelry and even flight recorders from the two jetliners, were destroyed.

With winter closing in, the crews have added portable classrooms and giant tents equipped with heaters and hot water. As workers eat macaroni and cheese in their makeshift mess hall, a television blares news reports. Taped to the wall are photos of missing police officers. Outside are potted palm trees donated by a landscaper who wants to switch to pine trees once temperatures drop.

In a nearby trailer, crime scene experts photograph body parts before sealing them in red bags labeled ``Biohazard.''

The search crews wear mandatory jump suits, goggles, gas masks and earplugs, making the work feel like ``something out of `The X-Files,''' Hayes said.

He once discovered a severed hand. But most of the 2,000 body parts found to date are smaller and less obvious. There have been arm and leg bones, pieces of ribs and shoes. Lots of shoes.

Also pulled out: driver's licenses, credit cards, wallets and, in one case, a box of wedding invitations, sealed, addressed and never sent.

Copyright © 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved.



TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
The next time anyone complains about busses, mosques, and civilians being bombed in Afghanistan show them this thread.
1 posted on 10/26/2001 12:12:42 PM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
a box of wedding invitations, sealed, addressed and never sent.

Oh my, that one caught in my throat.

2 posted on 10/26/2001 12:21:41 PM PDT by mountaineer
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To: kattracks
BUMP
3 posted on 10/26/2001 12:24:26 PM PDT by The Real Deal
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To: kattracks
The next time anyone complains about busses, mosques, and civilians being bombed in Afghanistan show them this thread.

Bump.

4 posted on 10/26/2001 12:25:47 PM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: kattracks
BTTT

RememberThe11th.com


5 posted on 10/26/2001 12:27:50 PM PDT by TheOtherOne
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To: kattracks
The next time anyone complains about busses, mosques, and civilians being bombed in Afghanistan show them this thread.

A massive to the top, all the way on top bump!!!

Let's Roll!!

6 posted on 10/26/2001 12:29:03 PM PDT by dpa5923
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To: kattracks
The next time anyone complains about busses, mosques, and civilians being bombed in Afghanistan show them this thread.

Or better yet, they should be taken to the Fresh Kills landfill for a day.

I drove by the landfill on my way to Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago. There was an area where the wrecked fire trucks and other vehicles were lined up and that was very touching to see. I was also touched by the huge American Flag flying from the top of the highest crane.

7 posted on 10/26/2001 12:29:07 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: TheOtherOne
Sad to say that we may have all sorts of dates -- not that September 11th is not still fresh in our minds -- to commemerate before this threat is addressed.
8 posted on 10/26/2001 12:32:24 PM PDT by Nick Thimmesch
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To: kattracks
Bump!
9 posted on 10/26/2001 12:36:46 PM PDT by eggette
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To: kattracks
Dear Lord, please give comfort to each rescue worker and survivor who saw things, and heard things, that NO ONE should ever see or hear.

I pray this every day for these dear people.

Even the rescue workers couldn't be trained adequately to deal with something this overwhelming, let alone those civilian survivors who were there that horrible day.

10 posted on 10/26/2001 12:37:17 PM PDT by mombonn
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To: kattracks
Alleged Towers, Alleged Terrorists, Alleged Planes, Alleged Bones. CNN, is more interested in presenting the side of our enemies. The leftist media of the US needs to be arrested and confined until the end of the war. Anyone found guilty of promoting our enemies cause needs to be brought to justice.
11 posted on 10/26/2001 12:37:58 PM PDT by Professional
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To: kattracks
Go figure.....
12 posted on 10/26/2001 12:38:24 PM PDT by tracer
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To: kattracks
BUMP!
13 posted on 10/26/2001 12:39:01 PM PDT by browardchad
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To: mountaineer
I read (WSJ, front page story) that a woman arrived at work late at her bond company, because she was getting ready for her wedding. So she survived. But her future husband at the same bond company died. It is very sad. Maybe not the same set of invitations, but it reminds me of the individual tragedies.

Deport illegal aliens now (after rigorous questioning).

14 posted on 10/26/2001 12:48:46 PM PDT by Chemnitz
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To: kattracks
We have a friend that has been working ground zero. He says that at first he thought he was going to find bodies - no bodies. Then he thought he would find body parts - only a few out of all that. Now, he says what is most profound is that he realizes that all the ash around him is what's left of the people - just ash - everywhere. He also says what is most strange - He has not found a single telephone. How very sad and very empty.
15 posted on 10/26/2001 1:53:20 PM PDT by Woodstock
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To: Woodstock
He also says what is most strange - He has not found a single telephone.

And yet all that paper survived. It's the weirdest thing to think about. Two buildings and all those people basically vaporized, but there's paper artifacts to find. Paper all over the place on 9/11, not burning, while everything else was in flames.

16 posted on 10/26/2001 2:02:50 PM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: hellinahandcart
Yes, I did not think about the paper. It must be some of the reason our friend was so blown away that he has yet to find a single phone. Very Strange.
17 posted on 10/26/2001 2:10:39 PM PDT by Woodstock
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To: Woodstock
a neighbor worked on the 23rd floor of bldg. 1 and was able to make it out alive and unhurt. he said there was no panic, no screaming. he remembers someone telling people not to look around...there were bodies. after that he remembers nothing...except walking up to the 59th st. bridge with many other people. he can't get it out of his mind and said he'll never, ever be the same. he can't talk about anything else. he and will have this hurt in his heart forever. we as americans will also.
18 posted on 10/26/2001 2:27:40 PM PDT by contessa machiaveli
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To: mombonn
Dittos! Well stated!
19 posted on 10/26/2001 2:36:38 PM PDT by LiberteeBell
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To: kattracks
bump
20 posted on 10/26/2001 2:51:57 PM PDT by mommya
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: kattracks
"The next time anyone complains about busses, mosques, and civilians being bombed in Afghanistan show them this thread." The media are trying hard to write the history of this their way. The internet is taking that power away from them.
22 posted on 10/26/2001 3:17:15 PM PDT by monkeywrench
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To: monkeywrench
ditto bump
23 posted on 10/26/2001 4:00:18 PM PDT by mamaduck
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To: mamaduck
ditto ditto bump.
24 posted on 10/26/2001 4:06:26 PM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: kattracks
Remembrance bump
25 posted on 10/26/2001 4:07:59 PM PDT by WIladyconservative
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To: Woodstock
All true. My son and I both worked the pit on the second day. When we got home we realized that the hard dust that caked our boots contained significant levels of human ash. I don't know what to do with mine. I won't wear them. I won't wash them off. They just sit in the basement and probably will until I'm gone.
26 posted on 10/26/2001 4:13:08 PM PDT by wtc911
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: mountaineer
"...Oh my, that one caught in my throat."

The description of the smell of death caught in mine

28 posted on 10/26/2001 4:22:44 PM PDT by DCPatriot
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To: kattracks
Everyday i think of the pictures of people falling to their deaths. It keeps me focused on the task at hand,even though i am just another person who was not there.I want to pick up a gun and head overseas. I AM READY TO GO!!!!!!!!
29 posted on 10/26/2001 4:23:09 PM PDT by GregB
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To: kattracks
Good God, what grisly duty! It makes Graves Registration look like a day at Coney Island. Seriously, the military parallel is apt. These people are burying soldiers killed in the line of duty by an enemy bombardment.

Nobody can tell me that Sept. 11 wasn't an act of war. Well, carpet riders, you wanted war, you got it.

30 posted on 10/26/2001 4:32:38 PM PDT by IronJack
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To: kattracks
"Fresh Kills ... its name taken from the Dutch words for fresh stream"

Chillingly accurate in English too. What tragic irony.

31 posted on 10/26/2001 5:45:40 PM PDT by Don Joe
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To: Don Joe
Kill them all(terroists), let God sort them out.
32 posted on 10/26/2001 5:53:13 PM PDT by Axman4
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To: TheOtherOne
I'm sorry, but this was not a "tragedy"

This was a HYJACKING, FOLLOWED BY MASS MURDER!!!

33 posted on 10/26/2001 5:55:41 PM PDT by Sueann
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To: Axman4
"terrorists", sorry, thought I was able to spell.
34 posted on 10/26/2001 5:57:54 PM PDT by Axman4
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To: kattracks
As Detective Darryl Hayes put it: ``If you're a human being, you're going to
feel some emotion. But you suck it up and deal with it.''


Bless the people doing this work.
I hope Providence helps them to cope with what they find and how they feel in the
years to come.
35 posted on 10/26/2001 6:02:10 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Sueann
It's the....

New York Massacre!


36 posted on 10/26/2001 6:02:50 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER
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To: kattracks
Another absolutely tear-jerking tribute to the WTC victims.

I've seen a handful, and this is the only one I've bookmarked. WTC Tribute

Takes a bit to load, but you won't regret the wait. Sorry if it has already been linked. Some amazing images including a few of GWB.

37 posted on 10/26/2001 6:08:27 PM PDT by NetSurfer
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To: hellinahandcart
And yet all that paper survived. It's the weirdest thing to think about. Two buildings and all those people basically vaporized, but there's paper artifacts to find. Paper all over the place on 9/11, not burning, while everything else was in flames.

Watch the videos of the collapse -- notice all the billowing white clouds jetting out the sides of the buildings even as they're falling.

It looks to me that when each floor pancaked, the air that used to be between the floors was forced out at high velocity (it *had* to, there was no where else for it to go, just as a large book dropped flat onto the floor will blow away any light object within several feet of it).

It not only forcibly blew out the dust from the collapse itself, but it surely must have taken with it anything in the offices that would have been liftable by a high wind, including huge amounts of papers and other light objects.

So I would expect an awful lot of paper to have been blown out the windows of the towers as they collapsed, only to flutter down to the surrounding streets, clear of the crushing collapse itself and subsequent fire.

38 posted on 10/26/2001 6:13:49 PM PDT by Dan Day
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To: kattracks
Bump.
39 posted on 10/26/2001 6:16:29 PM PDT by Rocko
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To: Crusty_Pant_Suit
I know what you mean.

You can think of what they did, you can feel the tremble of rage shake your body, you can clench your teeth and fists, you can summon the deep gutteral howl of anger from deep within yourself.

Your only choice is to steel yourself and direct the desires for ultimate revenge to the future and this real war on a fanatical and demonic enemy.

As with the aftermath of WWII: Never again.

40 posted on 10/26/2001 6:24:53 PM PDT by Thumper1960
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To: TheOtherOne
I'll always remember Sept.11 but what I'll remember most of all is who made it all possible, our own government officials. Only our President and elected officials had the power to strip us of our security and most of our military. AND STILL, NOT ONE DEMOCRAT HAS COME FORWARD TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT THEY DID, NOT ONE HAS COME FORWARD TO OFFER AN APOLOGY. Hillary Clinton attends meetings,fund raisers with terrorist that were connected with the same Hyjackers that attacked this country and she sits in the Senate. Not one New Yorker demanding she be removed.
41 posted on 10/26/2001 6:27:52 PM PDT by rebapiper
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To: wtc911
Yes, keep the boots or bury them.

God bless and protect you sir

Thank you

42 posted on 10/26/2001 6:43:03 PM PDT by katnip
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To: NetSurfer
Thank you for that link. It is a beautiful tribute. Have you seen the one called "America"? There was a thread that linked to it, but the artist who created it had surpassed her bandwidth limit on the site that was hosting it. I don't know if it is still available, but I saved it to my hard drive. You might want to save this one.
43 posted on 10/26/2001 7:33:35 PM PDT by ELS
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To: ELS
I'll do that...thanks for the suggestion.
44 posted on 10/26/2001 7:48:07 PM PDT by NetSurfer
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To: NetSurfer
Another absolutely tear-jerking tribute to the WTC victims.

Thank you for posting this link. I thought it was an excellent tribute.

45 posted on 10/26/2001 7:59:27 PM PDT by pbear8
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To: wtc911
You are the bravest of the brave - you and your group of searchers. Please know how deeply we all appreciate your efforts, your dedication, and your courage, and tell the others as well.

God bless you, sir. And may He give you peace.

46 posted on 10/26/2001 10:45:56 PM PDT by Humidston
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To: kattracks
kudos to the landscaper providing trees to soothe the scene.
47 posted on 10/26/2001 10:59:01 PM PDT by oceanperch
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To: hellinahandcart
And yet all that paper survived. It's the weirdest thing to think about. Two buildings and all those people basically vaporized, but there's paper artifacts to find. Paper all over the place on 9/11, not burning, while everything else was in flames.

Paper is light - phones and bodies are not. As the WTC collapsed, with the floors pancaking onto each other, the air between the floors was forced out by the collapsing action, taking with it anything light enough to be caught by the wind

48 posted on 10/27/2001 8:31:53 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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