Cleanup missed bodies

NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to explain the rapidity of the cleanup of the World Trade Centre site - after the centre was destroyed by Islamic militants piloting hijacked panes - has not appeased some of the victims' families.

NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to explain the rapidity of the cleanup of the World Trade Centre site - after the centre was destroyed by Islamic militants piloting hijacked panes - has not appeased some of the victims' families.

They fear that the remains of their loved ones were overlooked.

"The cleanup had very little to do with the families," said Monica Gabrielle, whose husband's remains were never found.

"This is another spin - it's a diversion from the issue, which is that management [of the cleanup] failed, not the workers, and management needs to be held accountable."

Thirty-six more bone fragments were found on Tuesday as workers continued sifting debris from cavities that were apparently missed during the initial cleanup.

The media reported on Monday that some officials involved in the search for remains in 2002 had urged that "more time be spent" searching, but felt rebuffed by a city agency that wanted to finish the job.

The emotions and disagreements from years ago have new significance now that remains are turning up at the site, as well as atop a nearby skyscraper.

"Were we under time pressure? Absolutely," Bloomberg said. "I don't know any family member who didn't want to find out about the loved one they lost."

The city agency in charge of the excavation, the Department of Design and Construction, was applauded in 2002 for the efficient way it pared down and whisked away the 10-storey pile of rubble in less than a year.

Among those who said they raised objections during the nine-month recovery effort was John McArdle, the police commander at ground zero.

"There came a time when they said 'We've got to try to wrap this up' and they tried to expedite it as much as possible, and they jumped the gun, and now you have all of these families hurt and they're finding all these body parts," he said. - Sapa-AP

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