Monday, 7 October 2013

DNA test results of Rana Plaza victims likely after Eid

The DNA test results of the unidentified victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy will be made public after Eid-ul-Azha, sources have said.

The Combined DNA Index System (Codis) software, set up at the National DNA Profiling Laboratory of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), has already successfully traced most of the identities.

The Dhaka Tribune has learnt that the process of matching the DNA profiles of 321 unidentified victims against those of 550 relatives is almost complete.

However, it could not be known how many of the victims have so far been identified.

Seeking anonymity, a senior official of the women and children affairs ministry told the Dhaka Tribune that Prime Minister’s Office had given strict directive to keep the test reports confidential until it got approval from there.

Dr Sharif Akteruzzaman, chief of the DNA profiling laboratory, told the Dhaka Tribune: “It is true that we have managed to identify some of the victims through DNA matching by the Codissoftware.”

However, declining to disclose any further information, he said: “We have nearly completed the matching. But some minor works are still left. Hopefully we will be able to officially reveal the results soon.”

If the DNA test results are made public, the ill-fated relatives of the unidentified victims who has been waiting for more than six months, will be able to claim monetary compensation from the government and the donor agencies.

Some 550 people, who said their relatives had been missing since the tragedy, have so far provided DNA samples.

They have not got any kind of help from any organisationbecause their relationships with the victims could be proved.

Out of the 1,115 bodies pulled from under the rubble of the collapse, 234 remained unidentified mainly because they had decomposed beyond recognition and were buried to the Jurain Graveyard in the capital.

The authorities, before burying the bodies, kept DNA samples from each of the bodies so that they could be later identified; but did not have the necessary apparatus to do the tests.

On September 22, experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the USA finished setting up the Codissoftware at the DMCH DNA laboratory.

The nine-storied Rana Plaza in Savar near Dhaka, that housed five garment factories, came down on April 24 with thousands trapped inside.

Monday 7 October 2013


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