To help identify the victims of the crashed US-Bangla aircraft in Nepal, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will conduct DNA tests on the victims’ bodies at their labs.
DNA samples of the relatives of the deceased will also be taken in order to match the results, and two specialists from the CID have already gone to Nepal to collect them.
CID’s Assistant Police Super Sharmin Jahan briefed journalists on the matter at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, saying: “Assistant Police Super Abdus Salam and Assistant DNA Analyst Ashraful Alam have gone to Nepal on Wednesday. They will bring back DNA samples from the deceased, following which we will run tests at our labs.”
A source at the CIA DNA lab said: “Since the incident has happened in Nepal, we cannot collect the samples at our leisure. We need Nepal’s permission and cooperation. We will bring back samples and test them, and our team has gone there fully prepared for this task.
“The team will hold extensive discussions with specialists there and bring back the DNA samples as necessary,” he added.
He also said: “Our specialists will first examine the bodies and then speak to Nepalese specialists. Bodies which can and cannot be visually identified will be categorized separately. No bodies will be given away on the basis of assumption.”
Moreover, six members of a nine-person medical team from Bangladesh have gone to Nepal, with the other three not having been able to make it due to passport-related complications.
Even four days after the incident, not a single body has been handed over to their respective families despite eight having been positively identified. According to international law, no bodies are to be handed over in the case of any confusion regarding the victims’ identities.
After the DNA tests, the bodies will be given to their respective relatives. The decision was taken mutually by the authorities of both countries.
In an interview given to BBC Bangla, head of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital’s forensic department Dr Pramod Shrestha said: “So far, 30 of the victims have undergone post-mortem with eight being positively identified.
“Four teams of specialists are working on identifying the bodies in various ways, including post-mortem, extracting DNA and other samples and asking relatives for details of the deceased. They will determine unanimously the identities of every victim,” Pramod said.
On March 12, US-Bangla’s flight BS 211 crashed at Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal with 67 passengers and four crew members on board. 50 people perished, of whom 26 were Bangladeshi. A further 10 Bangladeshis were severely injured and are currently undergoing treatment at various hospitals.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com