Monday, 4 November 2013

Chisumbanje ethanol tanker explosion: DNA tests for 17 unidentified victims

Government has approached a private forensic laboratory to have DNA profiling done on 17 unidentified bodies from the Chisumbanje ethanol tanker explosion. Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa yesterday said he would meet representatives from the laboratory today. "We have a private DNA forensic outfit in the country and they are going to assist us on this particular case," he said.

"I will be engaging them tomorrow and we hope that they will assist us to identify the bodies," Dr Parirenyatwa said.

National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said the DNA tests would be conducted by a team of local medical experts.

"I can confirm that the DNA tests would be conducted by a team of medical experts in the country," he said.

African Institute of Biomedical Science Technology (AiBST) founder Professor Collen Masimirembwa is leading the experts.

Chipinge District Administrator Mr Edgar Seenza yesterday said relatives had been asked to go back to their homes and would be advised about the developments today.

The remains of the victims were still at Chipinge District Hospital.

Last Friday, relatives of the 17 asked Government for mass burial after they disagreed on the identities of the bodies.

They changed tack over the weekend in the wake of our story on Saturday proposing DNA profiling.

The 25th body belonged to Clifford Muyambo who died on Monday and was being transported to his village for burial when a Mazda T35 truck ferrying mourners collided head-on with the tanker, resulting in the inferno.

Muyambo's body was also burnt in the fire.

Mr Seenza said the other eight bodies had been identified and had been collected for burial.

He said families of the unidentified bodies had approached him demanding that the mass burial be carried out immediately since they were finding it difficult to identify their relatives.

Monday 04 November 2013


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