Saturday, 2 November 2013

Mahbubnagar bus fire: An agonising wait for families to claim bodies

Family of 50-year-old Venkatesh Yadav and his cousin Anita (42), who were on their way to Hyderabad from Bangalore to distribute invitations for Anita’s daughter’s wedding and died in the ghastly bus accident in Mahbubnagar, despite having identified the bodies with strong evidences were forced to wait for the DNA reports. This, according to family, now might end up in postponing the girl’s wedding.

“We identified the body on Thursday itself and the authorities have also agreed. We were still asked to give blood samples for DNA testing as a formality and were promised to hand over the body once the acknowledgment slip was submitted,” Raghavender Yadav, a close relative, said. However, the family is now asked to wait for another 7-8 days for the results of DNA test.

The family wishes to go ahead with the wedding on November 15 despite the tragedy. Venkatesh, along with his cousin Anita left Bangalore on Tuesday night and a photograph taken minutes before they boarded the bus is held by the family as the proof. “We can clearly see her mangalsutra and bangles in the photo whereas we all knew that Venkatesh was wearing a silver chain around his waist,” Yadav explained.

Authorities though admitted the same, however said that a small girl was found on Anita’s lap and thus the body may not be Anita’s.


Forensic experts are relying on the femur bones of the charred bodies to analyse DNA profile to establish identity of the victims in the Mahabubnagar bus tragedy.

Normally, soft tissues – if available -- of unidentified bodies are useful for the experts to conduct the DNA profiling. “Soft tissues were not available in case of all the victims. Hence, the forensic doctors relied on femur bones,” said a police officer associated with the investigation.

Sources said that in addition to soft tissues and femur bones, teeth of the victims too were collected for conducting the DNA profiling. Several senior forensic doctors and experts took part in collection of samples of the victims to analyse the DNA.

Extraction and isolation of the DNA is the next crucial step. In case of femur bones, the marrow is extracted after soaking them in prescribed chemicals. The cells are then subjected to PCR test for amplification and multiplication.

The DNA profiles of the cells are then compared with the samples collected from the family members of the victims. Normally, samples of the parents or siblings are collected for comparison. “Surely, it is a laborious process. Complex technical procedures are involved. Once the DNA profiling of the victims is conducted, comparison can be completed within 72 hours,” said a forensic expert. Recalling the case of two police constables charred to death in Khammam district a few years ago, he said the victims’ DNA was analysed within a week. That time, DNA kits were borrowed from other forensic laboratories and agencies to complete the procedures at the earliest.

Saturday 02 November 2013


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