Monday, 11 November 2013

Zimbabwe: Ethanol tanker fire DNA samples taken

Samples for 13 victims of the Chisumbanje ethanol tanker inferno were transferred to Harare from Mutare last Thursday where the DNA profiling is to be conducted by a team of medical experts.

The team, which is being led by Africa Institute of Biomedical Science Technology (AiBST) founder Professor Collen Masimirembwa, took tissues and blood samples from 19 relatives of the victims.

The team requires six weeks to carry out tests and then release the results.

Acting Manicaland police traffic co-ordinator Chief Inspector Cyprian Mukahanana confirmed that the team had left Mutare.

"They left here (Mutare) this morning for Harare where the tests will be conducted," Chief Insp Mukahanana said.

"The experts said they need six weeks to conduct the process before releasing the results."

Chief Insp Mukahanana said the relatives would be advised when the results were out or if there was need for them to assist during the process.

Police in Mutare said two families, the Muyambos and Mariyas, managed to identify the four victims, bringing the total number of those who have been identified to 12.

Chief Inspector Mukahanana said a post-mortem was conducted on the four bodies and the relatives ferried them to Chipinge for burial.

The Muyambo family identified three of its relatives, while the Mariya family managed to identify one.

Twenty four people were burnt, some beyond recognition, when the ethanol tanker collided head-on with a Mazda T35 truck carrying mourners, resulting in a huge inferno.

There has been confusion in the identification of the charred remains of some of the victims, with their relatives at one stage suggesting mass burial after they failed to identify them.

They later opted for DNA tests, prompting Government to engage the team of experts.

Monday 11 November 2013


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