Friday, 19 June 2015

Flood victim identified 62 years after Zeeland disaster

A second victim of the Zeeland flood disaster, which happened 62 years ago, has been identified based on a DNA match. The victim is 38 year old Maartje Verhelst from Nieuwerkerk. The announcement was made at a meeting for survivors in Ouwerkerk on Thursday night, Omroep Zeeland reports.

Last year human remains were exhumed at various cemeteries in an effort to identify 32 unidentified victims of the disaster. The victims’ DNA was compared to that of people who lost relatives in the disaster that were never found or identified. Thursday night’s meeting for survivors was the conclusion of the project.

Maartje Verhels was identified based on DNA material from two nieces. This identification is quite extraordinary, as identification with 100 percent certainty can usually only be done with DNA matches with first-degree relatives – parents, siblings, children. Maartje Verhelst was buried at the cemetery in Ouwerkerk, beneath the flood monument.

The first victim was identified in February this year. Magdalena Cornelia Koter from Kruiningen was identified by a DNA match with her now 77 year old child Ad de Bel from Wezep, Gelderland. She was 41 years old at the time of the disaster and was buried in Yerseke.

Friday 19 June 2015


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