Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images
Workers search the area where human remains were found at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.
updated 10/27/2006 7:10:52 AM ET 2006-10-27T11:10:52

Officials believe searching several roads near the World Trade Center site could turn up more human remains.

But they will not advise an expanded search at ground zero itself because they do not expect to find remains on those 16 acres, according to an official familiar with the plan, who was not authorized to speak about the proposal before it was made public Friday.

Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler ordered city and state officials last week to compare search grids and maps of the site with the post-Sept. 11 cleanup and recovery and come up with possibilities for a renewed search.

Skyler, who is overseeing the renewed effort to recover remains, declined to comment ahead of the presentation.

Utility workers came across body parts while digging up a manhole last week under a service road along the site’s western edge. Since then, workers have uncovered more than 200 bones — ranging from 1-inch shards to full arm and leg bones. Officials acknowledge that the manhole and several other underground cavities were missed during the initial nine-month search for the dead.

The current search has targeted 12 manholes and service boxes along the service road. Nine more human remains from that area were recovered Thursday, said Grace Burgess, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner’s office.

The proposal does not address the possibility of inspecting the many buildings that surround the site, beyond a search already under way in a 40-story damaged skyscraper just south of the site and an old dormitory that has not yet been searched.

Fire officials have said the department thoroughly searched buildings surrounding the site for remains.

Bruce De Cell, whose family received remains of his son-in-law on five different occasions since the attacks, said that the rooftops of area buildings should be searched again, and added that the entire search should not be handled by the city.

“I think it should be put into the federal government’s hands,” De Cell said. City officials “really have done a haphazard job altogether.”

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