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Pentagon: Military mistakenly shipped live anthrax samples to labs in Del., NJ, 7 other states

 Chemistry student Jorge Rodriguez Martinez holds a sample of billions of Anthrax bacteria at the National School of Biological Sciences in Mexico City, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2001. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Chemistry student Jorge Rodriguez Martinez holds a sample of billions of Anthrax bacteria at the National School of Biological Sciences in Mexico City, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2001. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

The Pentagon inadvertently shipped live anthrax spores to as many as nine laboratories, including one in New Jersey and another in Delaware. Officials are investigating how that happened.

 

The labs were supposed to receive dead — or inactivated — anthrax samples for research use.

The Pentagon is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to retrieve the samples, said spokesman Cpl. Steve Warren.

The government has confirmed one shipment contained live spores and suspects eight others did, too. The government believes there are no risks to the public, Warren said.

The live spores were shipped from Dugway Proving Ground in Utah — a Defense Department facility — to government and commercial labs in Texas, Maryland, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California and Virginia.

Contact with anthrax spores can cause severe illness.

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