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Partial remains from some victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks ended up in a landfill, according to a Pentagon report that revealed other blunders at the US military's main mortuary.
The Pentagon report said that several portions of remains found from the attack on the Pentagon and at the Pennsylvania crash site of a hijacked airliner presumably ended up in a landfill after being handed over to a private firm.
It did not say precisely where the remains ended up.
Retired General John Abizaid, briefing Pentagon reporters on the findings of the review of practices at the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, said it was unclear how many September 11 victims' partial remains were disposed of in this manner.
"I don't know that there's a way to find out," Abizaid said.
The details were disclosed in passing in a report that focused on ways to improve oversight and controls of the Dover mortuary after the disclosure last year of the mishandling of remains of war dead.
But the new document threw light on other irregularities, including a $US25,000 settlement in January, 2008 to a spouse of a Marine whose personal effects were destroyed.
In 2006, the mortuary accidentally disposed of remains from a crashed Navy training aircraft as medical waste, as opposed to giving them a group burial.