• Saturday, Dec 14, 2019
  • Last Update : 04:53 pm

DNA tests continue as 21 Chawkbazar victims remain unidentified

  • Published at 10:40 pm February 22nd, 2019
DNA samples
File photo: A team from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police is working at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) to cross-match DNA samples of unidentified victims of the Chawkbazar fire, to hand over the bodies to family members on Friday Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

CID matching DNA samples of Chawkbazar fire victims at DMCH

A team from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police is working at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) to cross-match DNA samples of unidentified victims of the Chawkbazar fire, to hand over the bodies to family members.

Confirming the matter to the Dhaka Tribune, District Administration Additional Deputy Commissioner Shafiqul Islam said: “The CID team is working to collect DNA samples from the families to perform cross-matching with the victims who still remain unidentified.

“After identifying the bodies, they will be handed over to their relatives,” he added.

At the time of filing this report around 8pm, the CID official said that they had so far collected DNA samples from 30 blood relatives for identifying 18 bodies. 

Nusrat Yasmin, assistant DNA analyst of CID, said they started collecting DNA samples from around 10am on Friday. There is a sophisticated DNA laboratory, where the samples will be tested.

"We will hand over the DNA samples to the district administration. After cross matching, the bodies will be then handed over to the deceaseds’ families," she said.   

Nusrat Yasmin added: “'Most of the bodies are severely burnt. As a result, it will take a little longer for identification. Blood samples and cheek tissue have been collected as samples for DNA tests. 

“In the case of identification, it is easy to identify a body if the DNA sample is from parents or offspring. In the absence of parents, samples from the victim’s children can be collected for the test. If neither parents nor children are available, samples from siblings and other blood relatives will be collected.”

The forensic analyst said the results may take anywhere between one month and six months to deliver conclusive results.

She also urged the parents and offspring of the unidentified deceased to submit DNA samples.

The last day for accepting DNA samples is Saturday. After Saturday, any DNA samples will have to be submitted to the CID headquarters in Malibagh, Dhaka.

The devastating fire broke out at Chawakbazar area around 10:30pm on February 20, leaving 67 people dead.