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1,650th victim of 9/11 identified through advanced DNA testing

The new identification was confirmed through ongoing DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001 by using advanced next-generation sequencing technology.
1,650th victim of 9/11 identified through advanced DNA testing
Posted at 12:21 PM, Jan 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 14:21:37-05

Over two decades after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, New York City officials have identified the remains of a man who lost his life in the World Trade Center.

John Ballantine Niven from Oyster Bay, New York, is the 1,650th person from the attacks identified using advanced DNA analysis, according to the New York City medical examiner.

Niven was 44 years old at the time of his death, and he is the first person to be identified since September 2023.

“While the pain from the enormous losses on September 11th never leaves us, the possibility of new identifications can offer solace to the families of victims,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams in a press release. “I'm grateful for the ongoing work from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner that honors the memory of John Ballantine Niven and all those we lost.”

Niven's identification was confirmed through ongoing DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001 by using advanced next-generation sequencing technology, which is often used by the U.S. military to identify the remains of missing American service members.

“Our solemn promise to find answers for families using the latest advances in science stands as strong today as in the immediate days after the World Trade Center attacks,” Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jason Graham noted. “This new identification attests to our agency’s unwavering commitment and the determination of our scientists.”

However, the process still takes some time, as out of the 2,753 people who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks, approximately 40%, or 1,103 victims, still remain unidentified.

SEE MORE: Five suspected 9/11 terrorists were never tried after the attacks


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