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Kollam temple tragedy: Officials to conduct DNA tests to identify 13 bodies

Thiruvananthapuram: DNA testing procedures to identify bodies of 13 persons charred beyond recognition in the Puttingal Devi temple tragedy at Kollam will be carried out at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Bio Technology (RGCB).

"The testing procedures has started. Samples will start arriving this afternoon", Institute Director, Prof M
Radhakrishna Pillai, told PTI.

 Kollam temple tragedy: Officials to conduct DNA tests to identify 13 bodies

Officials stand by the bodies of those killed in the fireworks incident. AFP

On how long it would take to arrive at conclusions, he said, "It depends how the samples come. We will also have to have the DNA fingerprinting of immediate relatives to do a comparison. We are hoping to do the results in five to seven days".

Considering the enormity of the tragedy, the procedures are likely to be laborious as some of the remains are in a very bad shape.

"We haven't seen the samples, but it is likely to be cumbersome", he said adding, "we will do it free of cost and as quickly as possible".

Kollam Police commissioner P Prasanth had written to the RGCB, seeking their help to conduct DNA testing for the 13 bodies.

Police had received complaints of 21 persons missing in the fireworks tragedy at the Puttingal Devi temple in Kollam, which has so far claimed 113 lives and left over 300 injured.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the temple complex and met some of the injured in hospitals on the day of mishap and had termed the incident as 'heart-rending' and 'shocking'.

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Updated Date: Apr 13, 2016 13:13:38 IST