A Pentagon report revealed Tuesday that unidentifiable remains of an unknown number of victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks had been dumped accidentally in a landfill.
The report said the victims’ remains were recovered from crash sites at the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa.
The report was issued by an independent board that was set up to look into problems at the Dover Port Mortuary at Dover Air Base, Del., after The Washington Post reported in October that the unidentifiable remains of troops had been dumped improperly in a landfill.
The practice of dumping unidentifiable remains ended in 2008, when a new policy dictated that such remains be cremated and retired at sea.
“It’s been three years since there’s been a change in policy, recognizing that prior practices were not appropriate. We have taken steps since 2008 to move forward,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters at the Pentagon Tuesday.
He said the Air Force would take a “full and complete look at the report,” but added: “The focus is today going forward.”
Gen. Norton Schwartz, chief of staff of the Air Force, said he did not know that remains of Sept. 11 victims had been dumped in a landfill. “I’m responsible,” he said.