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Missing anthrax samples found in N.J.

United Press International

TRENTON, N.J., May 3 (UPI) -- Two samples of potentially deadly anthrax bacteria missing from a Trenton, N.J., laboratory were mislabeled and have been found, a report said Wednesday.

"There was a transcription error in the numbers when labeling them for storage," state Deputy Health Commissioner Eddy Bresnitz told the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

"We pulled the two samples from the negative racks and retested them. Those two were positive, confirming our suspicions that they were mislabeled," Bresnitz said.

The mislabeled samples had been put among 19,000 others taken from a U.S. Post Office center near Trenton, N.J., that processed anthrax-laced letters in October 2001.

State Assemblyman Kevin O'Toole, R-Essex, said his fears would ease once the FBI completes its investigation.

"I'm not about to believe 'The dog ate my homework,'" O'Toole said.