Sunday, 20 October 2013

Anonymous sources: DNA tests identify 290 Rana Plaza victims

DNA tests have been able to confirm the identities of around 300 previously unidentified victims of the Rana Plaza disaster, sources said.

The national DNA testing laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College used Combined DNA Index System (Codis) software to successfully match DNA samples provided by relatives of Rana Plaza victims.

Although the DNA matching procedure is yet to be finalised, sources said 290 bodies have been identified. Of all the DNA samples taken, only 30-35 are yet to be matched to victims.

DNA specialists expressed hope of providing detailed information and confirming relationships between the victims and the sample donors once the process is completed.

Sources said the results of the first phase of tests, which are likely to reveal the identities of 250 to 260 victims, would be published by October 30.

The other samples would require further examination since some samples of teeth, bones or tissue from individual victims were examined separately, leading some victims to be identified multiple times.

The disclosures were made by several officials and employees of women and children affairs ministry and the DNA profiling laboratory, on the condition of anonymity, as the “sensitive issue” is directly supervised by the PMO.

Asked, Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman, chief of the laboratory, told the Dhaka Tribune last week: “I did not give you any number. Who told you? We have not sat yet to write the results. After Eid, we will sit for it.”

Around 550 relatives who gave DNA samples would be able to claim compensation from the government once the results were made public. They are yet to receive help from any organisations until date.

At least 321 victims remain unidentified almost seven months after the collapse killed more than 1,112 people, mostly women workers.

Sunday 20 October 2013


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