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Flight 93 Victims’ Remains Returned

February 26, 2002

SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) _ The remains and belongings of 40 people who died when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a western Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11 are being returned to their survivors, the county coroner said Tuesday.

The remains of all but the plane’s four hijackers will be placed into caskets. The first sets of remains were shipped Monday and the rest will be delivered when the victims’ survivors are contacted, Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said.

Officials have finally identified all the remains through fingerprints, dental records and DNA. They had been stored at a temporary morgue in Somerset.

The hijackers’ remains will stay in the county, Miller said, and may eventually be turned over to FBI investigators.

Flight 93 was one of four planes hijacked Sept. 11. Some passengers made phone calls indicating they were going to fight off the terrorists. All 44 people were killed when the plane _ believed by officials to have been headed for a Washington target _ went down in a field about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

About 400 volunteers searched the crash site, but Miller said he isn’t sure that all remains have been recovered. Officials may search the site again in the spring, he said.

The crash site, which is now guarded by county deputies, could become a national memorial, said Susan Hankinson, the county’s coordinator of post-crash affairs.

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