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FBI Assumes Jurisdiction At Pentagon Crash Site

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2001 -- The FBI assumed crime-scene jurisdiction at the Pentagon terrorist attack site Sept. 21 from the Arlington County (Va.) Fire Department, officials said.

FBI officials estimate the crime scene investigation would last about a month, Arlington Fire Chief Edward P. Plaugher said. He said he expects "additional remains will be discovered during the course of the FBI investigation" and mortuary specialists will remain on site to process them.

As a result of the attack, 125 people in the Pentagon died or remain unaccounted for, according to a DoD casualty update. Another 64 people were aboard the hijacked plane that smashed into the building. To date, 118 remains have been recovered and transported to Dover Air Force Base, Del., for identification.

Plaugher said Arlington firefighters will continue providing emergency protection for FBI investigators combing the crash site, including fire watch and structural safety monitoring. He said his department would also assist in processing evidence.

At a ceremony earlier in the day Army Maj. Gen. James T. Jackson, Military District of Washington commanding general, thanked county firefighters, Army engineers from Fort Belvoir, Va., and other organizations that pitched in during the emergency.

"You are truly the foundation upon which our country will continue to stand," Jackson said, presenting the firefighters and engineers with MDW commander's coins.

A terrorist-hijacked airliner crashed into the Pentagon's west wall Sept. 11 just minutes after two other hijacked airliners crashed into the New York World Trade Center's twin towers in New York. More than 6,400 people are now feared dead there.

Around the same time, a fourth hijacked plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing 44. The plane's crew and passengers are credited with thwarting the terrorists' plans.

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