US Airforce Disposes of Soldier Remains in Landfill
Air Force Admits 274 Soldiers' Remains Went To Landfill
Updated: Thursday, 08 Dec 2011, 8:15 AM CST
Published : Thursday, 08 Dec 2011, 8:15 AM CST
(NewsCore) - A US Air Force Base disposed of at least 274 US troops' partial remains in a Virginia landfill, it emerged late Wednesday -- far more than had been believed.
The practice of dumping incinerated remains in King George County landfill -- revealed last month -- took place from 2004 until 2008, when remains that could not be returned to the soldiers' families, or that the families asked the military to destroy, began being buried at sea.
Data gathered by The Washington Post shows that 274 identified service members' remains were dumped in that manner by mortuary staff at Delaware's Dover Air Force Base, the main repatriation point for US war dead.
The Post reported that dumping incinerated remains in a landfill was never official policy, nor were senior Pentagon officials informed of the practice.
The newspaper's investigation -- which began when it found a single case of a soldier's remains ending up in the landfill -- culminated in air force officials releasing information that showed 976 pieces of 274 identified troops ended up in the landfill.
Another 1,762 fragments of unidentified remains went to the landfill.
The scandal saw three mortuary staff disciplined when the practice was revealed in November.
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