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Published: Thursday, 12/6/2001

2 local dentists in New York to help identify terror victims

Two Toledo dentists left last night for New York City to help identify victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Drs. Michael Kastner and Dan Strickland will join colleagues from across the country at the New York City coroner's office. The two are expected to return Sunday.

Both are members of the Ohio Mass Disaster Team, an all-volunteer group run by the Ohio Dental Association. Dentists in the group travel to accident sites across the country and help identify victims.

Dr. Kastner said other dentists who've been at the coroner's office in New York say the situation there is unlike anything any of them have ever dealt with.

“The magnitude of this is unbelievable,” he said.

He said while the work is a sad task, “it's a job that needs to be done.”

“I think even though we're dealing with small fragments and with very difficult identification, it's important because it allows families to regain closure,” he said. “From what I've heard from returning teams, the most heart-wrenching part is the children waiting to hear about their parents. It's very, very stressful.”

Four dentists from Ohio who are trained in identifying remains have been to New York and returned. Dr. Strickland and Dr. Kastner went to New York with two other Ohio dentists.

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