Documentary 9/11: The Final Chapter to air on Channel 5 (UK)

By Doug Lambert ATV Today (UK)

Channel 5 has commissioned a new documentary about the world’s largest forensic recovery operation after America’s worst terrorist attack: 9/11: The Final Chapter.

Nearly thirteen years on, over a third of the 2,753 [sic] people who lost their lives are still missing without trace. Over the years almost 22,000 individual pieces of human remains have been recovered by carefully sifting through the wreckage, and painstakingly matching them to missing victims. Yet 1,115 families, still to this day, have nothing.

“It’s an indication of the sheer destructive brutality of 9/11 that 13 years after the event, the remains of more than 1,100 victims have still not been identified, and it’s an extraordinary demonstration of the endurance of the human spirit that the search for them, in the tons of shattered debris, still goes on. This film offers a powerful and emotional insight into that process from the perspectives of both the forensic investigators and the families and friends of the missing.” – Simon Raikes Commissioning Editor: Factual at Channel 5

Time is now running out [sic]. The identification process is approaching its end [sic]; and in May the New York authorities plan to entomb the unidentified remains at the new Memorial Museum at Ground Zero. [Note – This is incorrect. The OCME has no plans to stop testing remains for possible identification. While remains will be housed in the Memorial Museum, the repository will be staffed by OCME personnel and remains will be tested just as if they were in their former location.]

With access to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York, 9/11: The Final Chapter follows the on-going search for human remains and the analysis which could still reunite victims’ remains with their families. Scores of scientists, specialist machinery and cutting edge DNA identification techniques are all part of the quest to identify the remaining 8,000 unidentified remains. Last year, just a week before the 12th anniversary of 9/11, OCME made several new identifications leading to three families having remains returned.

The film will also follow the process from the other side: from the point of view of the families who are anxiously still waiting for news, as well as those who have – because of the work of the OCME – had their loved one’s remains identified. Some have had numerous parts returned to them over the years and faced the gruelling prospect of several funerals for their loved ones.

As the meticulous operation draws to a close, this revealing investigative film will chart the final chapter in this moving and extraordinary story, and examine what else is still to be revealed from the site. Channel 5

The documentary is produced for Channel 5 as a co-production between Bearkatt Productions and GroupM Entertainment.

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