Nepal air crash: DNA tests on six unidentified passengers begin

NewsDrum Desk
31 Jan 2023

Kathmandu, Jan 31 (PTI) Authorities in Nepal on Tuesday began conducting DNA tests on the remains of the six unidentified passengers who died in the horrific plane crash earlier this month, termed the country's worst aviation disasters in over three decades.

Yeti Airlines flight 691, after taking off from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport on January 15, crashed on the bank of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport in the resort city of Pokhara, minutes before landing, killing all 72 people on the ATR-72 aircraft.

Fifty-three Nepalese passengers and 15 foreign nationals, including five Indians, and four crew members were on board the plane when it crashed.

"The remains of six people killed in the Pokhara air crash required DNA tests for identification due to excessive burns," Dr Gopal Kumar Chaudhary, Chief of the forensic medicine department of the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital said.

The test procedures began in the Central Police Forensic Science Lab, officials said.

Samples collections of the families and DNA extractions from bones and teeth of the mortal remains were sent for tests, sources said.

It will take at least two weeks to identify the mortal remains through DNA testing procedures, they said.

Out of the 48 bodies brought to Kathmandu from Pokhara, the identity of 42 victims was established through forensic tests and fingerprints.

Forensic tests of 22 were conducted in a hospital in Pokhara.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the five Indians on board the ill-fated plane were shifted to India after forensic tests were completed.

Singapore’s Transport Ministry will analyse the black boxes of a Yeti Airlines flight. According to Nepal’s civil aviation body, 914 people have died in air crashes in the country since the first disaster was recorded in August 1955.

The Yeti Airlines tragedy in Pokhara is the 104th crash in Nepali skies and the third biggest in terms of casualties. PTI SBP VM AKJ VM VM

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