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Man’s Ashes Dropped on Safeco Field

May 25, 2002 GMT

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SEATTLE (AP) _ A low-flying plane dropped a container of a man’s cremated ashes over the Seattle Mariners’ ballpark Friday, prompting a hazardous materials scare.

The container was dropped from a Cessna operated by a company at Boeing Field, about four miles south of the Safeco Field.

The object was seen hitting the stadium roof shortly after 10 a.m., said Seattle Fire Lt. Harold Webb.

Hazardous materials crews responded to a 911 call, closing off the streets around the stadium. No one on the ground was hurt, and the streets were reopened in about an hour.

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The identity of man whose remains were in the container was not immediately known.

``There was a spouse on board and her husband was a pilot and a giant Mariners fan, and wanted some of his ashes scattered over Safeco Field,″ Dave Menzimer, a Wings Aloft flight instructor, told KIRO TV. ``We’ve spoken to the FAA. There were no rules violations. The pilot was talking to the tower while all this was going on.″

FAA regional spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the agency would investigate and could enforce civil penalties, including fines against the company or suspension of the pilot’s license.

Regulations prohibit the dropping of objects unless precautions are taken to ensure they won’t hurt anyone, he said.

``We’re certainly not pleased,″ Mariners spokesman Tim Hevly said before Seattle played Baltimore on Friday night.

Hevly said the remains bounced off the roof and landed on a street north of the stadium.