Judge approves exhumation of 2 unknown victims of 1944 fire

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut judge has approved an exhumation request for the bodies of two unknown victims of the 1944 Hartford circus fire in an effort to determine if one of them was a Vermont woman.

Judge Susan Cobb approved the request by Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy in a ruling filed Monday. It’s not clear when the exhumations at the Northwood Cemetery in Windsor will occur.

The fire in the big top of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus on July 6, 1944, killed 168 people and injured 682 others.

Chief Medical Examiner James Gill will compare DNA samples from the remains of the two women to a sample from the granddaughter of Grace Fifield, of Newport, Vermont, who attended the circus and was never seen again.

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