Category Archives: Mass Disaster

Experts say DNA identification of victims of pipeline blast almost impossible

Recovering DNA from the charred remains of people killed in the petroleum pipeline explosion in Hidalgo last month is almost impossible, genetics experts say.
The death toll from the blast and fire that spread across a field in the municipality of Tlahuelilpan on January 18 has reached 126. Of the 68 people who died at the scene, just 16 have been identified.

Photos And DNA Tests As Indonesians Search For Lost Relatives

CARITA, INDONESIA: Grief-stricken Indonesians queued with photos or waited on DNA tests Wednesday, to find out if their missing loved ones were among bodies being held in a hospital morgue after a devastating tsunami tore families apart.

The Mediterranean’s deadliest shipwreck just got deadlier

ROME — Before their lives ended in an underwater deathtrap, before they lined up 100 to a row on a Libyan beach to board a boat with no anchor, the young men from the parched villages of the Sahel had names.
Two forensic investigators, one crisscrossing Africa and another in a university laboratory in Italy, are on a quest against the odds to keep Italy’s promise to find those names. They are tracing the identities of the migrants killed when an overloaded fishing boat went down off the coast of Libya on April 18, 2015, in the Mediterranean’s deadliest shipwreck in living memory.

VFW urges families of MIA servicemembers to provide DNA samples

WASHINGTON (KCTV) -The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is asking the families of those who went missing during the Korean and Cold Wars to submit DNA in the hopes of identifying the remains North Korea turned over to the U.S. recently.

DNA to X-ray: Military has variety of tools to ID returned remains

NEW YORK — The U.S. military remains released by North Korea on Friday will be sent to a military lab in Hawaii, where they’ll enter a system that routinely identifies service members from decades-old conflicts.
Identifications depend on combining multiple lines of evidence, and they can take time: Even after decades, some cases remain unresolved.

9/11 victim identified using DNA testing

The remains of a 26-year-old financial worker who died 17 years ago on 9/11 has been identified through advanced DNA testing by the city’s Medical Examiner, a report on Wednesday said.
The office said the remains belonged to Scott Michael Johnson, who worked on the 89th floor of the south tower ​​as a security analyst for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the New York Times reported.

68 years after the Korean War, hundreds of US families are still searching for closure

The Korean War broke out 68 years ago this month, when North Korean tanks and troops crossed the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, as part of an “all out offensive” against South Korea.
The remains of thousands of US soldiers are still in North Korea, despite decades of effort by families and the US military to repatriate them.

For relatives of Guatemala volcano victims, an agonizing wait

ESCUINTLA, Guatemala: At an improvised morgue in the Guatemalan town of Escuintla, dozens of people stand around in an anguished daze, clutching photos of their loved ones, hoping to recover their bodies for burial.

Skeletons From WWII Mass Grave In Italy Identified Through Forensic DNA Testing

On March 24, 1944, Nazi soldiers slaughtered 335 Italian political prisoners and civilians in Rome, tossing them into a mass grave known as the Fosse Ardeatine. Months after the retaliatory massacre, 323 of the bodies were identified by a forensic medical team. The remaining dozen skeletons were disinterred more than 65 years later for forensic DNA testing in an attempt to identify the unknown people in this WWII mass grave.

The search for Greece’s unburied war dead

Their remains lie where they fell during world war II. Some 8000 Greek soldiers buried in mass graves in Albania. They had been confronting Italian troops they had driven out of Greece between 1940-1941.

ICMP: The first Results of DNA Analysis from Laboratories in The Hague to arrive in BiH in March

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), whose DNA Laboratory was moved from BH to The Hague will start with profiling of the cases from the Western Balkans already in the upcoming month, when the new laboratory system is fully functional, as confirmed by Sasa Kulukcija, the spokesperson of ICMP.
To recall, the new laboratory was moved to The Hague at the end of December last year.

Israel: DNA tests may provide answers on missing babies

Nazareth, Israel – Thousands of Israeli families who have been searching in vain for answers since their babies mysteriously disappeared in the early 1950s – shortly after Israel’s creation – have been thrown a lifeline.

ICMP decides to move the DNA laboratory from Sarajevo to The Hague

As political issues took the leading place in the news, another problem which makes life in BiH more complicated for citizens who are still trying to find the remains of their relatives, who they lost during the war in BiH, remained in the dark. The International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) was assigned to do the job but, recently, they moved the DNA laboratory from Sarajevo to The Hague, despite the disagreement of local institutions.

Military IDs 100 killed on USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor

HONOLULU (AP) — The military has identified 100 sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma capsized during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 76 years ago, officials said Friday.
The milestone comes two years after the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency dug up nearly 400 sets of remains from a Hawaii cemetery.

New DNA swab to combat sexual violence in war zones

Scientists have created a self-testing DNA swab that could make it much easier to prosecute the perpetrators of sexual violence in poor and war-torn countries where victims typically have poor access to forensic tools.
The new swab will allow victims to recover genetic evidence following a sexual assault, without the need for access to proper medical care or forensic examinations. This will enable victims to test themselves for the first time.