Can the missing be found?

I read that the temp in the WTC fires reached 2,000 degrees. Isn’t this the same as needed to cremate someone.

Is it possible to identify people once this happens?

When they describe trucks melted into the ground etc is it possible to determain whether someone was in the truck?

What I am really asking is NOT whether this will be done but does the technology exist to give us this answer.

I am aware they may say “those missing are presumed dead and leave it at that”

All they need is a little peice of someone (tooth, bone, hair) and they can use modern tools to ID the person.

It is certainly possible for a body to be so crushed and burned that no DNA remains to be identified. I think there will always be some forever missing from this disaster.

Many, perhaps most, of those poor souls were obliterated to the point where there will be nothing left to identify. A further indiginty in a horrible tragidy.


I heard a piece on a fireman that came out to rest and said that he wasn’t sure he could go back into the digging. His statement was “I don’t know if I can stand finding any more body parts.” After getting it off his chest, he returned to the digging. I honestly don’t know if the survivors would want just an arm or a leg and DNA testing is not cheap. Damn what a thing to be talking about. I’m not sure how those people will get thru the next few weeks, but they will.

Anyone know anything more about this?

Even if the heat was enough for the person’s body to be mostly destroyed, wouldn’t some bones survive? Also, what about fillings, metal body parts like joint replacements, etc? Heck, what about other things like glasses, jewelry, or other metal things about their person?

This is pretty morbid, all right. But right now, I’m wearing a ring, a lanyard around my neck with several metal pins and a badge, steel-toed leather boots, and I have massive amounts of dental work including custom-fit caps, etc. (and I’ve had very recent X-rays to match). In the forensic anthropology books I’ve read, most recently Dead Men Do Tell Tales by William Maples, they describe identifying a single body positively by something as little as a single post used in a root canal. I know that we’re not looking at bits of things that we definitely know are human remains, and we have thousands of people to match against what we do find, but I’d think that given a bit of luck, we might be able to identify enough partial remains to positively indicate the death of most of those now only “missing.”

How terrible to have only the hope that you could find even a small part of your loved one’s remains…

Corr, who would still like to be a forensic anthropologist