Chief State Medical Examiner James Gill said Tuesday that experts were unable to extract viable DNA from the exhumed bones of Hartford Circus Fire victims, leaving the identities of five souls buried in a Hartford cemetery a mystery.
“DNA analysis of the remains of both circus fire remains was unsuccessful,” Gill said. “Due to the condition of the remains, there was a high bacterial content that interfered with testing.”
Gill said samples taken from the bones will be retained by his office in the event that future technological advances are developed that could make DNA testing successful.
Gill’s announcement comes a day after the 76th anniversary of the Hartford Circus Fire, which claimed 168 lives and injured another 700, many of them for life. The infamous blaze started when the big top tent, coated with a gasoline and paraffin mixture, caught fire and trapped circus-goers inside either burning them to death or suffocating them in searing heat…
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