Residents near Trinity Test Site to hold anniversary vigil

Trinity Test
FILE - This July 16, 1945 photo, shows the mushroom cloud of the first atomic explosion at Trinity Test Site, New Mexico. Thursday, July 16, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the Trinity Test in southern New Mexico comes amid renewed interest in the Manhattan Project thanks to new books, online video testimonies and the WGN America drama series “Manhattan.(AP Photo, File)

TULAROSA, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico residents living near the site of the first atomic bomb test 72 years ago are planning a vigil to remember loved ones who have died from cancer.

Tularosa Basin Downwinders have scheduled a candlelight vigil Saturday to honor those advocates say died from diseases related to the atomic explosion.

The group says the Trinity Test on July 16, 1945, irreparably altered the gene pools of residents in surrounding communities such as the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa.

The Downwinders are currently lobbying for compensation and apologies from the U.S. government.

The Trinity Test took place as part of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret World War II nuclear development program run out of the then-secret city of Los Alamos, New Mexico.