- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2001

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
About 200 personnel have been added to the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to examine, identify and prepare for burial an estimated 190 victims killed Tuesday when an airliner hijacked by terrorists crashed into the Pentagon.
Officials are still searching through rubble for victims. Remains of the first recovered victims were received Thursday at the base's Charles C. Carson Port Mortuary Affairs, the military's largest mortuary.
"We're expecting to receive more remains today," Sgt. Mitch Gettle, of Dover's public-affairs office, said yesterday before helicopters arrived with the most recently recovered bodies.
Remains of 38 persons were turned over to their families Thursday. Department of Defense officials advised families to conduct closed-casket funerals because the victims were charred and marred so badly they could be identified only by chemical tests or personal possessions.
Neither Sgt. Gettle nor other officials would say how many victims have been recovered. But the prospective death toll caused Dover mortuary officials to summon 200 helpers from 10 other command centers around the United States.
Most recent estimates of the dead are 74 Army, 42 Navy and 10 Defense Department employees, and 64 passengers and crew members aboard American Airlines Flight 77.
The job at Dover is to identify the victims, contact their families, embalm or otherwise prepare the bodies for burial, and ship the remains to the families or funeral homes.
With its usual staff, the mortuary can process 50 bodies each day. With the 200 additional personnel, it has the capability to process 100 bodies. Nearly 1,000 bodies can be stored there.
Like other military posts and agencies, Dover Air Force Base has been placed under tight security since the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York.
The Carson Port Mortuary was built in 1955 to tend to the bodies of Americans slain overseas.
— Arlo Wagner


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