Seven plane crash victims identified

15 Dec 2013 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 15 DEC (NAMPA) – The identities of seven people who died in the plane crash which occurred at the Bwabwata National Park in the Kavango East Region on 29 November, have been established.
Flight LAM TM 470 from Mozambique to Angola crashed in the Kavango East Region on 29 November this year, killing all 33 people on board - including 10 Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, one French, one Brazilian and one Chinese national.
The Deputy Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), Major-General James Tjivikua said during a media briefing here on Friday the plane crash victims were identified through dental and fingerprint comparisons.
He said their families will be notified of the development individually through their respective governments.
The police announced last week that the remains of victims of the Mozambican plane crash are being examined through the process of Disaster Victim Identification (DVI), a method used to identify victims of mass casualty incidents such as aircraft crashes or bomb blasts.
The process involves a range of forensic science techniques used to make a positive identification of the deceased victims, using fingerprints, dental records, and/or DNA profiling.
Tjivikua said by Thursday, all of the about 600 examinations had been completed.
“We hope to, if desired by those families who have been notified of the identification, make arrangements to repatriate their loved ones as from Monday,” he said.
Tjivikua further said they are also in the process of preparing all ante-mortem and post- mortem samples for DNA analysis, and this will be concluded by the third week of January next year.
“This is a protracted process and is necessary given the complexity of the analysis and the large volume of samples involved,” he stated.
He then explained that they will first have to complete the analysis of the reference samples that have been provided by the plane crash victims’ families.
“A small number of reference DNA profiles have already been provided which facilitates the process. When we have generated these analyses we will then begin the testing of the samples collecting during the examinations,” Tjivikua said.
The police will also start returning the personal effects of the deceased over the next few weeks.
“We will provide the relevant documentation to the relevant governments on Monday,” he said.