1944 hartford circus fire

DNA Analysis of 1944 Hartford Circus Fire Bodies Exhumed Was Unsuccessful


The Officer of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that DNA analysis of the two 1944 Hartford circus fire remains exhumed from a Connecticut cemetery were unsuccessful.

They say the condition of the remains had a high bacterial content that inferred with testing.

The bodies were removed in October from two of five graves of unidentified circus fire victims at Northwood Cemetery in Windsor. A state judge approved the exhumations in hopes of determining whether one of them was Grace Fifield, a 47-year-old woman from Newport, Vermont, who was never seen again after attending the circus on the day of the fire.

Samples will be collected in the event that future technics are developed that would be successful, OCME CT said.

The fire at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus on July 6, 1944, killed 168 people and injured 682 others. The cause of the fire in the big top tent was never officially determined, but some authorities suspected a cigarette was to blame.

NBC Connecticut & The Associated Press
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