Body parts of 9/11 victims were dumped in landfill site, says report
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Wednesday 29 February 2012
Remains of some of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks ended up being dumped in a landfill site, it was revealed last night, in a new report on mismanagement at a military mortuary.
The US Department of Defence report said that some small portions of unidentified human remains from the Pentagon and from the crash site of the hijacked Flight 93 in Pennsylvania were improperly disposed of by staff at the Dover Air Force Base.
The disclosure is the latest revelation in the unfolding scandal at Dover, which receives the bodies of American soldiers killed abroad. Late last year, the Pentagon admitted that partial remains of hundreds of soldiers had been incinerated and handed to a private company for disposal at a Virginia landfill site.
The remains of at least 274 fallen men and women were improperly treated between 2003 – which is as far back as records go – and 2008. In addition to 976 identified body fragments, the Pentagon's records show that a further 1,762 unidentified battlefield remains, too badly damaged to be subjected to DNA analysis, also ended up in the landfill plot.
Yesterday's update was designed to set out exactly what had gone wrong at the base and to recommend new procedures to prevent a repeat. But it also – almost incidentally – revealed that remains from 9/11 victims had also been handled by the base. The remains were treated as biomedical waste, incinerated and – because mortuary officials assumed that nothing remained – taken to a nearby landfill.
The report said the remains had been handled in this way because they "could not be tested or identified". Retired army general John Abizaid, who led the investigation, said he could not quantify how many human remains from the 9/11 attacks were disposed of in this manner. "We don't think it should have happened," General Abizaid said. "Confidence has been lost in the ability of this organisation to care for the fallen. We must restore that confidence."
The number of people killed when a hijacked aircraft crashed into the Pentagon in 2001 was 184. Forty people on board Flight 93 died in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Rush Holt, a New Jersey congressman, was one of the first to react to the new revelations. "The Pentagon must provide absolute clarity and accountability as to what human remains were dishonoured in this manner," he said.
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Why it matters 26 million people have changed their Facebook profile picture to a rainbow flag
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Ex-Scientologist Carmen Llwyelyn blasts 'cult' and her treatment after divorce with Jason Lee
Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...