According to WRTV Channel 6, a TSA worker at an airport in Florida violated the agency’s policy when she opened a container containing the ashes of a passenger John Gross' grandfather and spilled them on the terminal floor.
Gross was visiting relatives in Florida when an uncle, acting on the wishes of the family, gave Gross a portion of his grandfather’s ashes in a tightly sealed jar, marked “human remains."
Gross recalled that the TSA "opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes.’ She picked up the jar. She opened it up.”
The agent not only opened the sealed jar, but stirred the contents with her finger, allowing about a third of the ashes to spill out on to the floor.
Gross frantically tried to scoop up his grandfather’s remains: “She didn’t apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.”
TSA policy states that crematory containers must pass through X-ray scanners, but the organization’s website indicates that containers holding human remains should never be opened by TSA personnel.