Century-Old Mass Grave Thwarts Highway Project

Work halts as heavy rains reveal remains at the site.

Tue August 18, 2015 - Northeast Edition
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Officials say a highway construction project in eastern Pennsylvania has unearthed remains from victims of the Spanish flu pandemic a century ago and brought the work to a halt.
Officials say a highway construction project in eastern Pennsylvania has unearthed remains from victims of the Spanish flu pandemic a century ago and brought the work to a halt.

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. (AP) - Officials say a highway construction project in eastern Pennsylvania has unearthed remains from victims of the Spanish flu pandemic a century ago and brought the work to a halt.

The discovery of the mass grave drew in the Schuylkill County coroner’s office, state police and researchers from Mercyhurst University to investigate this week. The bone fragments began emerging amid heavy rains while crews were widening a stretch of Route 61 in Schuylkill Haven, about 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Officials from the Schuylkill County coroner’s office estimated that a couple hundred bodies could be in the field along the construction project.

Schuylkill County Coroner David J. Moylan III says the remains along the road are being unearthed and analyzed for identification purposes, and will be reburied elsewhere.

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