Total of 24 victims of LAM air crash identified

21 Mar 2014 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 21 MAR (NAMPA) - The National Forensic Science Institute of Namibia has so far identified 24 out of the 33 passengers of the Mozambican air crash that took place in the Bwabwata National Park in the Zambezi Region.
LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 was a scheduled flight from the Maputo International Airport in Mozambique that crashed on 29 November 2013 in the Bwabwata National Park en route to Quatro de Fevereiro Airport in Angola.
The Head of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Public Relations Division, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi in a media statement issued on Thursday noted that the first testing of 233 post-mortem samples has been completed.
“These are continuously compared against the profiles previously provided as direct references or by families, in an attempt to make additional identifications. We have at this time established 20 direct references and eight familial references for the 33 on board,” he stressed.
This first testing of the 233 post-mortem samples has yielded complete and partial profiles that are compared against the 20 direct references and 54 familial references.
According to Kanguatjivi, NamPol expects that this comparison will continue to yield additional identifications, until all 33 deceased have been identified.
Additional remains have subsequently been recovered from the crash site in addition to those already scientifically processed. This naturally delays the conclusion as these remains have to undergo the same scientific process as the initial recoveries, he said.
He said whilst NamPol expected this process to be completed by the end of February, further patience is need. This is due to factors beyond the police’s control, specifically considering the condition of the human remains and the ongoing recovery of additional human remains.
In the next few days, NamPol will identify and issue new death certificates for some of the remaining nine people who have not yet been identified.
He went on to say this will be the time for families whose loved ones have been previously or are now being identified to make choices on whether they now wish to arrange for repatriation of their loved ones.
The first testing of 156 post-mortem samples yielded only partial or no profiles, which requires substantial additional testing and analysing. The goal is to account for the human remains all 33 people who were aboard the flight, Kanguatjivi said.
“Those remains not being repatriated at this time will in the future be interred into a cemetery in Namibia. Of course, families can at any time request their positively identified loved ones can be repatriated at any time. We will provide more information about this internment in the next few weeks,” he added.