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Search for human remains to begin at sight of newly discovered 9/11 plane wreckage

LOWER MANHATTAN, Manhattan (PIX11) – Mike Burke lost his firefighter brother, Captain Billy Burke with Engine 21 in the North Tower on 9/11.

It’s been a traumatic week hearing the news that wreckage believed to be from one the planes on 9/11 was found. It’s brought back all the pain from that day.

“We have no remains,” said Mike Burke, 9/11 family member.

Boeing confirming that thepart discovered at the rear of 51 Park place is a trailing edge flap actuation support structure from a Boeing 767, a wing part.

It had a Boeing identification number, but it’s still unclear what plane it belonged to.

Soon the process to find human remains will begin at the site of the wreckage.

Forensics experts say they will be looking for skeletal remains.

“After this length of time, there certainly will be no soft tissue and even documents are going to be degraded,”  said Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensics professor at John Jay College.

“I think the likelihood of finding remains at this point is quite slim. I think the possibility that there will be some skeletal remains is quite slim,” added Kobilinsky.

As for how it got there, a rope found around the wreckage raised some questions last week. Now, the NYPD said it’s learned that when police officers first responded last week, one of the officers used that rope to wrap around the aircraft part in order to move it to look for its serial number or other identifiers.

While investigators continue to work at the scene, Burke says he’s not hoping for a phone call, it’s just too painful.

The search for human remains is expected to begin Tuesday morning.


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