Thursday, 20 February 2014

30 more Typhoon victims recovered in Tacloban in two weeks

More than three months have passed since Yolanda devastated the city but authorities continued to recover more dead bodies from different areas in Tacloban.

In the recently concluded Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) Meeting held at Leyte Sports Development Center, in this city, Task Force Cadaver headed by Senior Superintendent Pablito Cordera of the Bureau of Fire Protection in the region has reported that 30 dead bodies were recovered by the team from February 4 until February 17, 2014 in different places in the city.

Most of the cadavers were retrieved in San Jose District, one of the coastal barangays hardly hit by the storm surges.

Eleven(11) of the cadavers were found on February 4. 2014, One(1) in February 6, Two (2) in February 8, five(5) in February 11, three(3) in February 13 and eight(8) were retrieved in february 17. All of these were brought to the grave site at Holy Cross Cemetery.

This brings to a total of 2, 622 cadavers recovered by the task force since November 16, 2013 until February 18, this year.

The task force cadaver comprises personnel from the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, City Government of Tacloban, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Health and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) which is the lead agency.

Thursday 20 February 2014

continue reading

Train fire: 2 bodies yet to be identified

More then a month after a fire broke out in the Dehradun Express, which killed nine commuters near Dahanu station on January 8, family members of two missing passengers are still waiting for results of DNA tests so that the remains of two bodies lying unclaimed can be identified. Though the bodies are still to be identified through DNA, circumstances made relatives of two missing passengers believe that they are Sakina Shabbir R.C. Wala (57) and Zamir Ahmed (60) who were travelling in the ill-fated bogie.

Senior police inspector Pramod Dawde of Palghar government railway police (GRP) confirmed that the first DNA test performed on charred bones was inconclusive and bones of some other parts of bodies were again sent to the Kalina FSL. “We could only find charred bones in the coach, and two persons are still missing, but we cannot come to any conclusion till the DNA reports is made available,” he said. He added that investigation is still underway and the cause of fire is yet to be ascertained.

On the other hand, Sakina’s nephew Murtuza R.C. Wala, who was travelling with her, said, “If we get any news about any missing lady being found somewhere, we crosscheck it, but till now, we have not found her. Since remains of only two bodies recovered in the coach are lying in JJ Hospital, and only two families have come forward to claim them, we strongly believe that they are the bodies of the two missing persons only.”

Mohammed Shamshad, son-in-law of Zamir Ahmed (60) said, “We are not getting any satisfactory answers from investigating agency, but we have come to know that remains of two bodies were again sent for forensic tests as the first test did not yield any result. Though we will keep hope till DNA test proves otherwise, since only two persons are still missing, we have strong reasons to believe that we have lost our beloved father. Now, we are waiting to get the remains to perform his last rituals.”

Thursday 20 February 2014

continue reading

GPS-tracked pig carcass to help RCMP find bodies in river

Where do bodies that fall in the South Saskatchewan River go?

Saskatoon RCMP believe a pig carcass will help solve that mystery.

Cpl. Tyler Hadland with the Historical Case Unit said, since the early 1980s, six bodies believed to have fallen into the river have never been found.

Cpl. Tyler Hadland, right, and another officer prepare to drop a pig carcass into the South Saskatchewan River Wednesday. “The Saskatoon Historical Case Unit has been annually searching the river by plane and by boat for the past number of years, so it’s quite a mystery as to where these bodies end up,” Hadland said.

Police dropped a pig with an attached GPS tracking device and radio transmission device into the river at the Saskatoon Canoe Club around 11 a.m. Wednesday. They hope to see how far and how quickly a body could travel in the river, and where a body would end up.

"With the GPS we’re able to access a website that will show tracking every 30 minutes, as long as it’s reaching a signal,” Hadland said.

The radio device on the pig sends out transmissions to temporary towers in place along the South Saskatchewan River to track the pig’s movements.

Hadland said understanding these movements could change how river searches and missing persons investigations are done. "As we collect more data with the flow rates on the river, we can correlate that to when we know a person went in. That could change everything.”

The research project was launched in September of 2013. RCMP dropped a pig into the North Saskatchewan River near North Battleford. The pig travelled 20 kilometers in a week’s time and ended up on a sandbar.

Police saw with the September launch that a body can travel up to six or seven kilometres per hour. Since there are many variables, such as water levels, flows and weather conditions in both the North and South Saskatchewan rivers, the RCMP plan to conduct the project a number of times.

The police said they chose Saskatoon as the next location for a launch partly because of a recent missing person case. Gregory “Myles” Macintosh went missing Feb. 1 from his stag party and his family believes he fell into the river near the Sid Buckwold Bridge.

Thursday 20 February 2014

continue reading