Flight 93 National Memorial reports fire contributors

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) – The National Park Service says discarded smoking material is “strongly” suspected as the cause of a 2014 fire that struck the Flight 93 National Memorial in western Pennsylvania.

The park service said in a report released Saturday that other factors believed to have contributed to the October 2014 blaze at the Shanksville memorial include landscaping mulch that was too close to the building and flammable decking material believed to have hastened the spread of the flames.

The blaze destroyed hundreds of original photographs and items linked to the passengers and crew of the plane that crashed during the 9/11 hijackings. Also lost was a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on the day of the attacks. Officials said at least 8,310 objects and archival materials were damaged or destroyed.

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