TISSUE samples were taken from Hillsborough tragedy victims without their families’ knowledge.
Ten families received letters warning them about discoveries surrounding the death of their loved one.
The fragments are what are known as “blocks” or “slides” and were taken at post mortem examinations to establish cause of death.
Today the practice would be illegal – but it was not at the time.
The panel overseeing the release of Hillsborough tragedy documents, chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool James Jones, made the discovery while examining secret papers.
It underlines the panel’s determination to investigate all aspects and leave no stone unturned.
It was considered so important that families were informed as soon as possible – instead of waiting until the release of documents next year.
The Hillsborough Panel today said it regards the personal details as strictly confidential to those families concerned, and not for public disclosure.
It will discuss with them the options in relation to remaining tissue, and assist them to ensure it is dealt with respectfully in accordance with their wishes.
Bishop Jones said: “I am sorry that this additional distress has been caused to some of the Hillsborough families, who have suffered greatly already.
“I know from my previous experience in Liverpool how much anguish has resulted from this practice.
“The panel believes that it is right that affected families should have the chance to find out about this now.”