Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Families of quake victims must wait two weeks for DNA confirmation

The families of two Singaporean victims killed in last week’s earthquake must wait another two weeks for DNA confirmation before they will be allowed to take the bodies home.

Despite positive identification by the police, Queen Elizabeth Hospital director Dr Heric Corray said that the hospital is running DNA tests based on samples and data received from the families for final confirmation before they can release the bodies.

“We feel that DNA testing is required to be able to ascertain the bodies. This will be the final confirmation,” he said to reporters here today.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said one victim’s family was in Kota Kinabalu to give a DNA sample while the other family had sent DNA data through e-mail and forensic experts are working round-the-clock to identify the remains.

Earlier today, Sabah police commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said that body parts found on Mount Kinabalu were identified to be those of 13-year-old student Navdeep Singh Jaryal and 35-year-old teacher Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed from Tanjong Katong Primary School.

He said Malaysian police worked with its Singaporean counterpart to identify several body parts including arms, legs and torso picked up from the mountain summit using a disaster victim identification guide.

Meanwhile, Dr Corray said all the bodies have been claimed except for the family of the Japanese national who were likely to be arranging logistics to transport the body back following post mortem today.

“His body is still with us and we are just waiting for his family to take it. The last one was to the family of the Chinese national, who came here today,” he said.

The death toll from the magnitude 5.9 earthquake is now officially at 18, including six Malaysians, 10 Singaporeans and one Chinese and Japanese national each.

The deaths were caused by blunt trauma or injuries sustained from falling or being hit by a hard object, believed to be when the victim, who were climbing Mount Kinabalu, got hit by falling rubble from the quake.

The earthquake, some 16km northwest of the town of Ranau and in Kinabalu Park, is the largest to have hit Malaysia.

Wednesday 10 June 2015


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