Reporting Leigh Ann Adam
A man attempting to bring the ashes of his grandfather home to Indianapolis had his trip end in tragedy earlier this week. It all ended with an angry scene in a Florida airport, with grandpa’s remains spilled on the terminal floor.
The Indy Channel is reporting that John Gross was leaving Florida with the remains of his grandfather, Mario Mark Marcaletti, in a tightly sealed jar marked “Human Remains.”
Gross thought there would be no problems until he tried to take the jar through TSA at the Orlando airport.
“They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,’” Gross told the TV station. “She picked up the jar. She opened it up.”
He continued, “I was told later on that she had no right to even open it, that they could have used other devices, like an X-ray machine. So she opened it up. She used her finger and was sifting through it. And then she accidentally spilled it.”
Gross claims bout a quarter to a third of the contents spilled on the floor, leaving him frantically trying to gather up as much as he could while anxious passengers waited behind him.
“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,” Gross said.
TSA rules say a crematory can be in carry-on baggage, and that is must pass through X-ray. The agency’s website adds that remains must not be opened under any circumstances.
“I want an apology,” said Gross. “I want an apology from TSA. I want an apology from the lady who opened the jar and laughed at me. I want them to help me understand where they get off treating people like this.”