updated 11/2/2006 9:59:12 AM ET 2006-11-02T14:59:12

Families of Sept. 11 victims planned to rally at the World Trade Center site on Thursday to call for federal intervention, a greater expansion of the remains search and a more clearly defined organization of the effort.

On Wednesday, New York City said that the renewed search for human remains around the site is such a massive undertaking that it plans to hire several additional forensic experts. The current search was prompted by the discovery last month of human bones in an abandoned manhole.

Charles Wolf, whose wife was killed on Sept. 11, welcomed the move but like many others demanded more.

"Hiring extra anthropologists is a recognition that they realize the job they have to do, and it is a signal to the families that they intend to do the job," he said. "But doing the job and doing it right are two different matters. How are you going to manage this?"

More military help?
Some families have pushed for the city to bring in the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a military forensic unit that specializes in finding soldiers who went missing long ago.

A forensic dentist for JPAC assisted the city in the days after Sept. 11 and several other anthropologists helped at the Pentagon, according to JPAC spokesman Troy Kitch.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has resisted calling JPAC this time. Thus far, the work has been overseen by the city's two forensic anthropologists, both of whom worked for the JPAC unit before joining the medical examiner's office.

The remains of about 40 percent of those killed at the World Trade Center have not been identified.

That figure changed slightly on Wednesday when the medical examiner's office announced remains had been identified for three more victims of the attack. The remains were recovered long ago and were not involved in the recent discoveries.

The remains belonged to Karen Martin, Douglas Stone and another man whose family asked that his name not be released, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the Medical examiner's office.

Martin, of Danvers, Mass., was a flight attendant on the plane that crashed into the north tower, and Stone, of Dover, N.H., was a passenger.

The identifications were made after the families submitted additional DNA samples to the medical examiner's lab, Borakove said. She declined to comment further on their cases.

Over the years, as the medical examiner has tried to identify the remains of the 2,749 victims, some families have occasionally been asked to give more DNA, typically from cheek swabs, to enhance the profile and increase their chance of getting a match.

Forensic experts say the new discoveries of remains at ground zero could lead to many more identifications because the bones are in good condition.

More search experts promised
As many as 10 forensic anthropologists will join the search for remains of Sept. 11 victims on the next phase of the project, which could stretch well into next year, Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler said.

The work involves tearing up parts of side streets, exploring the rooftops of selected buildings near the 16-acre site, and excavating more manholes beyond the dozen that the city is already exploring.

"We will make sure we have the appropriate resources to do this job," said Skyler, who is overseeing the recovery. "The mayor's orders were very clear: 'Do what needs to be done.'"

Some 200 pieces of bone and other remains have been found since the accidental discovery last month by utility workers doing routine labor in a manhole along the western edge of the lower Manhattan site. Officials say the manhole had been paved over and forgotten when a service road was built there in the midst of excavating trade center rubble years ago.

After the discovery, city officials identified about 10 more manholes and pockets under the road and ordered them to be excavated immediately and sifted for remains.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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