With 81 badly charred bodies of the Air India flight crash yet to be identified, authorities have decided to conduct DNA tests on Sunday.
As the search operations were called off with the recovery of all the 158 bodies, the focus has shifted to the Government Wentlock Hospital here where most of the bodies have been kept.
Till late evening, a total of 77 bodies had been identified, Karnataka Environment Minister J Krishna Palemar, who is coordinating the rescue operations, said.
He said the process for identifying the remaining 81 bodies, most of them charred beyond recognition, will begin only after DNA experts from Hyderabad arrived in Mangalore on Sunday.
Emotions ran high as grieved relatives arrived from nearby areas and adjoining Kasaragod and Kannur districts of Kerala, which accounted for around 50 victims, were in tears unable to identify their dear ones.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, his Kerala counterpart V S Achuthanandan and his ministerial colleagues Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and P K Sreemathi and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran visited the hospital.
Bodies have also been kept in other hospitals, including A J Hospital, City Hospital and SCS Hospital, where a large number of anxious relatives were scene waiting to identify their dear ones.
One of the relatives of Shailesh, hailing from nearby Uduppi, sought help of the mediamen to identify the body of his kin, who was coming to attend the funeral of his mother, who died yesterday.
"Shailesh, employed in Abu Dhabi did not get direct connection and was forced to take this flight to attend the funeral of his mother. But we are facing difficulty in identifying his body," his cousin said.
"Karnataka Home Minister V S Acharya had assured me to go for DNA tests and we do not know what to do," a grieving relative said.