The Pentagon has admitted that portions of the remains from some Sept. 11 victims were incinerated and later placed in a landfill.
Three of the four hijacked planes were supposed to fly to Los Angeles, including American Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. United Flight 93, the plane that went down in Pennsylvania, was headed to San Francisco.
The Pentagon now says that some of the remains aboard those two flights were never identified. Instead of burying them, the remains were cremated, turned over to a disposal contractor and put in a landfill.
The information comes from an independent committee led by retired General John Abizid, whose initial report was supposed to simply review mortuary operations at Dover Air Force Base.
Abizaid told reporters at a press conference Tuesday that he could not quantify how many remains of Sept. 11 victims were taken to the landfill.
“You’ll have to ask the question elsewhere,” he said, according to the Washington Post. “What we didn’t do was go back and take a detailed look at the records to see what went on.”
It is still unclear whether any families of the victims knew about the landfill.
Remains of war dead occasionally go to landfills, but only when families have already held their own burial and have told the military they don’t want to know if additional remains are discovered later.
Top officials with the Air Force told the Post on Tuesday that they had heard nothing about the remains.