Human remains have been found among the debris left by the United States space shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated minutes before its scheduled landing on Saturday, killing all seven astronauts on board.
A central part of the investigation, which will take weeks or months to complete, will be analyzing the pieces of the shuttle, which rained down from the sky over the southern United States.
Body parts believed to be from the astronauts have been recovered near Hemphill in eastern Texas near the state's border with Louisiana along with a helmet and uniform badges. BBC reported that the remains have been removed for DNA testing.
Small and large parts of the shuttle have been found some 30 miles away in Nacogdoches but the debris is spread over a huge area.
"Columbia's lost. There are no survivors," US President George W. Bush said in an address to the American people.
"These astronauts knew the dangers and they faced them willingly, knowing they had a high and noble purpose in life." (Albawaba.com)
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